Tags: blood!


Blood! Preview - Coming October 31st

Blood! is coming in time for Halloween, the revised second edition of the 1990 British horror RPG by Underground Games (Norley Tucker, Steve Osborn et al).

Blood is a game of 'splatterpunk' horror where players take on the part of ordinary people thrust into horrific and terrifying situations.  The first book in the series is the core rulebook and contains...
  • Advice on playing Blood!
  • Full character creation and advancement rules
  • Full combat and skill rules
  • A small bestiary of foes from the original edition
  • Adventure seeds to get you started
  • Rules for more than 400 weapons from the conventional to powertools, garden implements and improvised household items.
  • Grotesque and stomach churning critical hit tables for every type of weapon
  • A stunning cover by Gavin Hargest and interior art by Brad McDevitt, Darkzel and Paul Campion
Plans for follow-on material include the long awaited Hell On Earth medieval vision of Blood! and Star Shock, SF horror using the same rules set. Other material will include a full bestiary of foes 'Psycho Freaks' for more human opponents and numerous horror scenarios dual or tri-statted for use with other popular game engines.

Blood! uses a gritty, 'crunchy' percentile based system with resource management and deadly combat emphasised to create a true sense of risk and survival.

Blood! will be published in PDD/POD at the end of October with a print version following for Dragonmeet in December.

For more information contact...

grim @ postmort . demon . co . uk


So, the time has come to get Blood! in order and it should be ready by the end of October.

This is a tricky project for me, I love the original game and want to do it justice, improve on it and bring it up to date with some of the modern material we've seen come out since the game was published in 1990.  I want it to be recognisibly British at the same time and I want to retain what made the original Blood! great.

Horror's developed since 1990 I think, or at least people's tastes, the extremes that are being shown and the black humour have all shifted.  There's a lot of homage to the 1970's shock and splatter going on, as well as the tongue-in-cheek stuff like Sean of the Dead, Scream and so on and that needs to be reflected in the write up.

Just think of  horror genre stuff that's come around in the last... what... 16 years? 1990 is before Buffy and Angel - if you can really call them horror. It's before Saw and House of 1000 Corpses, it's before Silent Hill, Resident Evil, before The Ring or The Grudge, before all the current, modern icons of horror.  I don't think doing the Jason/Freddy Kruegar type 80's horror would work so well any more.

So, the genre information needs an update and, to keep it in the right splatter/British vein I guess I should throw in some Sean Hutson and Graham Masterton type nastiness.  For a more mythos type vein perhaps some Barkeresque weirdness and begin to develop a slightly different mythos.

So, yeah, it's going to be challenging.

Pluses of the old game
  • Dark sense of humour.
  • Wicked illustrations.
  • Percentile system.
  • Just the right amount of rules crunch.
  • Blood points!
  • Rules for transfusions.
  • Interesting skill/career system.
  • Encouragement to play normal people.
  • Good skill 'level up' system.
  • Good combat system with 'ticks'.
  • Cannibal starting adventure.
  • Weapon stats for EVERYTHING.
  • Gory critical hit tables.
Minuses of the old game
  • Not all of the old illustrations were exactly top notch.
  • Character creation had a LOT of mathematics to it.
  • Many, many sub-stats.
  • Slow combat.
  • Not enough career packs/skills.
  • Advancement by levels.
  • Price lists in 1990 UK money.
  • Combat ticks are good, but unwieldy.
  • Martial arts a bit gooby.
  • Sanity/Fear rules relatively undeveloped.
  • Not enough monsters.
  • No line support.
  • Sample weapons unordered.
  • No rules for defining own improvised weapons.
  • Crappy character sheet.
Changes for this edition
  • Better rules explanation.
  • Streamlined character creation.
  • Line support.
  • Streamlined combat.
  • Additional art (but we're keeping the good stuff from the original too).
  • Proper vehicle rules.
  • Better sanity rules.
  • Find some actual use for energy points and exhaustion.
I reckon this edition will top out somewhere around 120-150 pages given the layout might be a bit more fancy than the old and at around $10-15 as a PDF.

[Postmortem Studios] Make it moist!

Here is a special announcement…

Postmortem Studios has acquired the rights to update and re-release Underground Games’ 1990 game of splatterpunk modern horror ‘Blood!’ by Norley Tucker and Stephen Osborn, with illustrations by Paul Campion.

Blood! Was a visceral and gratuitous horror game taking many of its cues from the horror films and horror novels of the time. This is a game of slashers, of gnawing zombies and most of all a game of its namesake – Blood!

The intention is to update the system somewhat while retaining the core that made Blood! great, to expand on the creatures and opponents and to provide more mini-scenarios in which players can be suitably slaughtered as well as expanding the weapon list to include modern innovations such as DVD players and flat-screen monitors.

Release date is tentatively scheduled for Summer/Autumn 2006.

In the meantime we are seeking your impressions of the old game. What worked for you and what didn’t? What are some of your favourite memories of playing Blood!?

Further information will be made available on gaming forums or at the Postmortem Studios website as it becomes available.


Additional Note:
‘45’s release is imminent! Start your engines for the Psychobilly Retropocalypse. It’s almost here!

One strike, one hopeful...

I mentioned my talent for rooting out people and talking to them about potential deals, as well as tracking down the Games of Yesteryear.

Well, something to report on that score...

1. I have managed to make contact with Norley Tucker, who SOME of you might recall as the co-author of one of my favourite role-playing games of all time BLOOD! The Roleplaying Game of Modern Horror. Originally by Norley Tucker and Stephen Osbourne, illustrated by Paul Campion (who has done very well for himself.

So, we're in discussion over some sort of potential licensing or redevelopment of Blood!

Blood! Had a fairly simple percentile system, and interesting split between hit points/blood points a tacked on 'level' system that never really came into play and the most gloriously gory critical hit tables to ever grace a game. So, it was sort of a bastard hybrid between AD&D, Call of Cthulu and Rolemaster, but it actually worked. It revelled in the horror cheesiness and the combat system was actually pretty bosh and brutal.

I loved it.

2. On whim I contacted Piers Anthony about the Xanth series, since I'd been wondering for a while why they'd never been made into an RPG. He's fairly amenable to the idea it seems, however, the Xanth rights are tied up with the film options and not his to negotiate any more.

Fucking film companies. I guess they snaffle up all the subsidiary rights in order to better market and merchandise their product. I can certainly understand that when it comes to things like this but it also causes complications with public domain properties from time to time, though my shelved Barsoom project takes heart from the fact that Spielburg didn't sue either the independent film companies doing their own interpretations of War of the Worlds, nor many of the game supplements and sourcebooks based on it that came out around the same time. Or Disraeli's Scarlet Traces for that matter.

Maybe I'll look at Barsoom again, after some other things that need doing.

Tracking down old RPGs

I seem to have quite a lot of success tracking things - and people - down through the internet.

I found the guys who published Tales of Gargenthir a while back, they weren't interested in licensing out or resurrecting it - at least not in partnership with anyone else, but it was cool to talk to them.

I managed to talk directly with Peter F Hamilton years back about licensing for his books into RPGs, but no company took that up. Bet they're kicking themselves now (This was after Mindstar and just after Reality Dysfunction).

I got the non-profit license for Neverwhere out of Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry's production company.

I seem to do pretty well on these sorts of negotiations and contacts.

I've just followed up a lead on the makers of BLOOD! (Underground Games) a rather gory modern horror game that I think, with a little updating could do pretty well in the PDF market. Of course, I may be being driven by nostalgia as we loved that game and used it a great deal for gory zombie survival games and a campaign featuring Dr Morbius from TOXIC!.

Still, we'll see where it leads...