Blood! slakes my thirst for horror gaming
Wanna see something scary? Check out Blood!
I love the hell out of horror. If you read my blog (www.SkullRing.org) you know that I avidly follow the latest and greatest developments of my very favorite genre in all of its forms. From penny-dreadful (well, really $6.95 dreadful) pulpy paperbacks, to scream-queen creature features on DVD or the silver screen, I’ve got love for things that go bump in the night.
Well, there’s one particular manifestation of the horror genre that has consistently disappointed me throughout my spook-filled life, and that’s horror role-playing games. It seems like ever since Pacesetter’s “Chill” and Stellar Game’s “Nightlife” shuffled off the mortal coil, there really has not been a solid horror game that I can really sink my teeth into.
I’m happy to report that this has all changed. James “Grim” Desborough at Postmortem Studios (www.postmort.demon.co.uk) has managed to slake my taste for blood with a great new release called, um, “Blood!”
“Blood!” is a grue-soaked horror RPG that pulls no punches. If you’re like me, and you’re aren’t interested in the introspective navel-gazing or “horror as metaphor” games that seem to have sucked the life out of the hobby lately, then you may want to give “Blood!” a look.
Drawing its inspiration from “video nasties” like “Hellraiser,” “Dawn of the Dead,” and “Friday the 13th”, “Blood!” provides a terrifying gaming experience where player characters find themselves in incredibly horrific situations that, when they don’t kill outright, leave scars – both mental and physical.
The “Blood!” system is incredibly meaty, with rules for insanity, sudden physical shock, blood loss and even more….and it all comes in handy, too. You learn this as soon as you look at the weapon charts and critical tables.
Dozens and dozens of weapons and household objects are detailed, from kitchen knives to shotguns, to car wheels, axes, screwdrivers and even more. If a character can pick it up and poke, prod or pummel someone or something with it, then it is likely listed in these charts.
All of them are reference to various critical charts that will really have your players “feeling” the pain: muscle layers get sliced away, knee caps get torn off and guts are eviscerated.
Speaking of death and dismemberment, it is likely that players of “Blood!” will be going through more than their fair share of characters, and the game’s character generation system is quick but well-rounded, enabling players to have a new, fresh character in no time.
“Blood!” comes with a nice selection of monsters and antagonists, from the familiar (vampires, zombies) to the obscure (Vampire Brains), to creatures readily recognizable from various popular movies. Each has complete stats and well thought-out adventure hooks for quick in-game implementation. My only wish is that there would have been stats for werewolves. I had a "Dog Soldiers" inspired game in mind as my first "Blood!" Game.
While “Blood!” may not be for every gamer, if you like your horror bloody, your monsters scary and your players frightened, then this may be the game you’ve been looking for.