The design is very old-school, with a typewriter font and creepy black and white illustrations that recall the sort of graphics common to many fantasy digests. Think Analog or Night Cry (a good horror digest from the 80s) for reference.
|Yeah, you'll meet these guys...|
In fact, it's physical design gels nicely with its content, and whenever a product makes good use of all its elements to convey an atmosphere, it says a lot!
Here's the premise: A party is on its way somewhere, and to cut time, they take an unfortunate shortcut that takes them through the lair of something both evil and ravenous...
WARNING: This adventure contains some foul language and vivid descriptions of torture and implied sexual violence. Now, we don't condone this behavior, but the scenario makes it abundantly clear who the bad guys are and why...
Bloodnut Pass is a side trek; an interlude between principle adventures, although playing could easily take up an entire session depending on how things go for the characters. Fortunately, the book does an excellent job of helping referees to get things started, with good advice on how to reel the party in and even how to orient the map for best results.
Something truly outstanding about Bloodnut Pass is its ability to evoke a sense of growing menace. This is skillfully done, and should help the referee convey this to the players.
The adventure is a brutal (although smartly done) meat grinder, being physically laid out in such a way that simply navigating it is extremely difficult. And then there's the enemies! In fact, the interplay between the dungeon and its inhabitants is without a doubt one of the best constructs we've ever seen...
Is it a dungeon with monsters, or monsters with a dungeon?
Where do you run? Where can you run? Each option, although very difficult, is nonetheless survivable if well played...
Now Matt understands P&P, and he employs this knowledge to great efficiency here. Unlike some games, characters never outgrow lower level enemies, and there's no such thing as a 10th level dwarf wading through a mob of orcs unscathed. Higher level characters can take on more powerful foes and have more resources to draw from, however, low level monsters remain a threat. Especially when they live in well-constructed lairs!
|Bloodnut Pass recalls 1970s horror |
flicks in all their exploitative glory!
That said, Bloodnut Pass is suitable for characters of any level, starting at maybe 3rd to give them a chance...
It might be easy to dismiss this one as a bloody mess with foul language (it's that too, so don't play this with the kids), but this is overlooking what a cleverly challenging scenario this actually turns out to be. Especially with the right players!
Remember those Creepy and Eerie comics from the 1970s? That's the atmosphere present here. Dreadful fun!
Finally, Pits & Perils prides itself on taking inspiration from those influences available in the 1970s, and one of these is horror movies; namely, exploitative slasher flicks with gore and/or sex aplenty and lots of dismemberment. Old-school now has its own Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and it's called Bloodnut Pass! Get this vile mess digitally at Drive-Thru RPG or any of its affiliates!