Halls of the Blood King
Author: Diogo Nogueira
Publisher: Necrotic Gnome
Page Count: 49
Available Formats: PDF & Print
PDF (DTRPG) – $7.50
Print (Exalted Funeral)- $15.00
A one-in-one-hundred-year event is nigh! The blood king’s manor materializes from the aether as the Blood Moon settles in the night sky. With its arrival, the balance of power in the surrounding area is sent into chaos as the blood king’s children haphazardly harvest tributes to refill the king’s blood coffers before he once again returns from whence he came. The Halls of the Blood King is one of a few official adventures from Necrotic Gnome for Old-School Essentials Retro Adventure Game.
Halls of the Blood King is an adventure for four to six 3rd to 5th-level adventurers, specifically written and statted for Old-School Essentials. Ownership of either Classic, Basic, or Advanced rules books is necessary. However, it easily adapts to other OSR or original rules from yesteryear. Spanning several levels above and below ground with 37 keyed locations, the Halls of the Blood King is setting neutral and can easily be placed in your existing campaign, only requiring a Blood Moon or similar astrological event.
With the balance askew, the story’s heroes must venture into the Halls of the blood king to address the situation head-on. However, they are not the first to do so. One hundred years ago, when the Halls last appeared, a courageous vampire hunter attempted to put an end to the vampire king once and for all, only to become trapped within the Halls when it faded from this world. Those venturing in will find a dangerous place filled with inhabitants interacting with each other and having their own objectives, which makes the Halls come alive. They will be met with challenges that might just be their undoing. This open-ended adventure allows for many possible endings depending on what draws them in, their success, and if they can get out before the Halls once again fade away.
Adventure awaits the brave!
Halls of the Blood King is available in hardcover (A5) and digital from DriveThruRPG. The layout of the book is very well thought out. On each two-page spread is a small inset map of the rooms corresponding to the description provided on the associated pages. This is a great feature that too few publishers use. The inside of the front cover contains a map that is easy to read. The editing is on point!
The artwork, beginning with the cover, has a dark and appropriate feel. That style is carried throughout the book and sets the story’s mood. Each of the smaller inset maps is labeled in color. At the bottom of each page, located near the page number, is a notation of the page’s contents, making navigating the book a little easier. The digital version of the book includes two sets of unlabelled maps for VTT use, one with a grid and one without.
Each of the 37 keyed areas is written in the standard streamlined format seen in other Old-School Essentials books, conveying all important information concisely and utilizing bullet points. All pertinent information is presented in each keyed entry, eliminating the need to flip back and forth. All generic information and several random tables are co-located at the beginning of the book for easy referencing. Two tables at the front, “Random Happenings” and “Vampire Traits,” are also reproduced at the back of the book on the endpaper and inside the back cover.
Halls of the Blood King is a strange and exciting adventure module written by the very talented Diogo Nogueira for one of the best old-school games out there. The setting-agnostic approach makes it easy to slip into any existing game. Several plausible hooks are provided to entice your players to venture forth; the Halls will fade away soon enough, making it appealing as an interlude adventure.
The relationships and interplay between the Hall’s denizens make it feel alive, unlike far too many adventures that just feel dead and dull and amount to little more than smash-and-grab operations. For those concerned about the vampire’s level drain ability, there is an option to reduce the overall deadliness of the vampire’s attacks.
If you are looking for another solid official adventure for Old-School Essentials or the Old-School Renaissance gaming space, Halls of the Blood King should be one you consider.
Read our reviews of the other Old-School Essentials official modules:
Scintillating Grottoes Await – The Incandescent Grottoes [Old-School Essentials]
For the Sake of Love – Dolmenwood: Winter’s Daughter
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