Monday, January 11, 2016

[Review] Evenings Of Terror For Chill 1e & Cryptworld

And now a review of one of my favorite supplements for any RPG system…

Evenings of Terror is a compilation of nine mini-adventures for the Pacesetter’s original Chill RPG. (By extension, this supplement is also backwards-compatible with Cryptworld.) Each of the horrific scenarios within this supplement are one-shots, designed to be played within a single session – the “evenings of terror” referred to in the title.

As many of you know, I’m a big fan of “microadventures”. (Heck, my Mutant Future supplement One Year In The Savage AfterWorld was directly inspired by the “quick hit” nature of the adventures in Evenings of Terror!) So this collection of Chill one-shots really scratches an itch of mine.

Each adventure is narrow in scope, taking place in a single well-defined locale, for example, a small town in the middle of nowhere or within the confines of a classic “haunted house”. There’s even one adventure that takes place in the confines of a single room! (It’s also one of my favorites Chill adventures to run at a convention.) Each of the adventures from Evenings of Terror is self-contained with a set-up and PC introduction, the adventure itself, and a resolution at the end. Each also has every NPC statted up, as well as the THING(s) lurking in the shadows. For the price of one adventure, you get nine separate horrific journeys for your players to investigate and…perhaps…survive.

Before I give you an overview of the individual adventures that make up the Evenings of Terror supplement, I need to warn those of you who may play in any of these that I might reveal the plots and twists of each one, so SPOILER SPACE FOLLOWS HERE:
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The Epidemic – Animals are disappearing throughout DeWitt, Indiana, and the players are sent to investigate. As the PCs check out the little town, the animals return…changed, somehow. This adventure is a fun little romp as the PCs try to figure out where the numerous pets have gone. And when the townfolks begin to vanish as well, they’ll have their hands full!

Lanier House – A new twist on the classic “haunted house” tale, the PCs are sent to find out what happened to the last folks who entered the supposedly haunted house. Is it a ghost or poltergeist causing the mischief? Or is it something more malevolent? (Spoiler alert: Ever seen Monster House?)

A Little Room – One of my favorite scenarios. McClellan Manor in Ontario has a terrible curse. Anyone who enters the mansion’s Overlook Room on July 19 will find themselves trapped within. On the morning of July 20, the door will reopen and the victim will be found dead. It’s said that the curse will be broken if anyone can survive the night until sunrise. A great locked-room adventure that takes place over 8 hours in one room.

Animal House – People are missing in Chicago, and unusual pet behavior is reported. The link? A mysterious veterinarian all of the missing persons visited in the days leading to their disappearance. When the PCs get too close, they may share the victim’s fate! The weakest entry, as it’s a bit of a railroad for the PCs.

The House on the Hill – The townspeople whisper that strange and foreboding experiments are underway at the house of Dr. Frankenberg. His hunched assistant beckons the players to enter as lightning flashes in the sky. It’s a scene straight out of a 1950s horror movie, but it can’t be this straight-forward, can it? A classic bait-and-switch scenario that will cure the PCs of jumping to conclusions.

Still Life – A talentless painter is suddenly creating masterworks of artistic reknown. Any who criticize these work, however, are later found murdered. However, the artist always has an iron-clad alibi. What otherworldly “deals” have been made, and what can the PCs do to break the spell? A very unusual THING haunts this adventure, and it will give your players chills!

Rounded By A Sleep – Anyone who falls asleep in Room 1010 of the Devereaux Hotel never wakes up again as they die peacefully in their sleep. Is something killing people from beyond the realm of dreams…and nightmares? A tough adventure for the PCs as they must fight the THING on its home turf – the dreaming realm!

Crime Magazine – A private eye saw two people who were shot and killed get up and walk away. He’s invited the PCs (known to dabble in “weird stuff”) to help him investigate the seedy underworld when ghouls meet gangsters! Femme fatales and mob bosses are all after a cursed object that leaves death in its wake. An adventure with a 1930’s noir twist.

Haunt Thy Native Place – A stopover in the quiet town of Tall Rock becomes a fight for survival as a dangerous creature watches the players with interest…and hunger. How fast can the players get to the bottom of this supposedly peaceful setting? A pretty standard horror adventure but fun nonetheless. 

Oh, and what of Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark? How does she fit into all of these scenarios? She doesn’t. Elvira provides an intro and outro for each adventure written in the style of our favorite horror hostess. Her photos grace the pages throughout too, but those of you fearful that this was somehow an adventure series “starring” Elvira need not worry.

As a fledgling CM, Evenings of Terror taught me that you didn’t need a world-spanning campaign that takes months or years to complete. If you want to run a quick night of horror with a host of new and unusual creatures for your Chill/Cryptworld players, I recommend you pick up a copy of this great sourcebook. You can get it for less than $10 at Noble KnightGames.

3 comments:

  1. I've not picked this one up, but I will. I understand why Elvira doesn't actually appear in the book (other than the intro and outro), but I do think it would have been cool to include stats.

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  2. Thanks! I've always stayed away from this module because I thought it more or less a joke, but thanks to your review I can't wait to GM it! :)

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