Solace in Silence, Adventure by Oliver Clegg
The dread realms of Ravenloft have given me a new appreciation for the true thrill of horror. You would not have caught me dead in a theater showing horror movies, and yet true terror can lie in the tensions that a game can face. Nothing is tenser than uncertainty of what lies around the corner, such as A Quiet Place, the John Krazinski horror masterpiece of 2018. The DM may quickly understand that what makes D&D so engaging is how the players’ uncertainty in what could happen causes them to unintentionally inflict horror on themselves, especially when nothing is there. This masterfully done module is reminiscent of an early episode from the 60s Twilight Zone, where a man comes across a town where no one is around. The players will also feel the same uncertainty the man felt, but with a much stronger sense of dread at what sinister forces are watching them. This is Ravenloft after all, and here, everything is out to get you. Even if everything is really nothing. Immediately the key to making Solace stand out is its adaptability. This adventure is made for players of all levels, truly a rare occurrence in any adventure. One DM or player might even think that such a thing is impossible, but that’s the beauty of modules. The best of them can find new ways to push boundaries and find unorthodox approaches to strange situations. As I said, reading this adventure is reminiscent of an old Twilight Zone episode. One where signs all point to something watching the protagonist, or someone being here recently. These signs create dread and uncertainty, the crown jewels of any good Ravenloft adventure. Using well timed marks of horror with the Dread world leaking into Solace, DMs will find their players second guessing every decision they make or every word they utter, all culminating with the horror that something is waiting to jump out at them. An eternal drum roll with no end, the high five left hanging, the players holding their breath with no chance of ever letting it out. This is an instruction manual to torture your players with nothing. They believe the shadow of an axe is above their heads, but it’s all in their head. Exposition can be a problem with most adventures, but you will find no villains delivering monologues for the inpatient players to interrupt. It falls to the players to find the pieces of the puzzle, and see if they can assemble the horrible image that it forms in the end. While the disease itself may rush to devour all players, you yourself must not rush, and learn to twist that knife deeper and deeper. Contrary to how the adventure suggests, DMs might actually opt to infect players one by one, or infect them all at once. This is another outstanding feature of the adventure. Very rarely can two radically different settings fit within the narrative, and yet somehow, Solace in Silence was able to blend the Gothic horror of Ravenloft with the futurism of Spelljammer. DMs might even find inspiration from Ridley Scott’s Alien franchise to crank the tension up as the players explore the shell of the Spelljammer ship. The thing that many people forget about D&D is that there are no winners. This module emphasizes that and proves that there are only losers no matter who plays this dreadful adventure. To die is to lose, but to escape is to destroy countless more souls and die as well. Do you wish to take down evil no matter the cost? Or does your life matter more than those that adventure with you? These questions and conundrums lie at the heart of D&D, and Silence in Solace shows the dark side of these questions. All with a tension filled module that any player can pick up and enjoy.
To sum up, this is a solid 8/10 adventure by Oliver Clegg, there are some weak points such as typos and a missing entry due to [DATA EXPUNGED] but it’s an adventure your players would die to experience.
You can find it here for 1.99$