I am a big fan of the material that Matt Jackson comes up with. Normally he does maps, in fact he is prolific with his maps, but I came to know him through his fully realised game Edge of Space. A little while ago he came up with a map called Bloodnut Pass and I am going to be frank here, it is possibly my least favorite map that Matt had created as he was trialling a new style. Now, the other thing you need to know is that Matt is a huge Old School Renaissance (OSR) buff and through his love of the game Pits and Perils by Old House Rules I came to be pretty fond of the idea too!
Well Matt has taken the Bloodnut Pass map and has turned it into a mini-adventure approved for use with Pits and Perils. The beauty of this little gem, which you can pick up for a dollar at RPGNow is that it really would not be hard to fit it into any system (which is kind of a thing with OSR games). The map is supplemented with some nice art that is also done by Matt and the sordid, disgusting details of the pass are contained within, including a new monster (the Dark Dweller) and a head Cleric.
The adventure is not one that you are going to want to play with your children however. It focuses of dark material. The Dark Dwellers are torturers, rapists and eat the flesh of the local populace like it was an all you can eat buffet. The module suggests you take the descriptions as a GM and gory them up as much as you can. There are such lovely locales in this mini adventure as the Murder Room and the Shit Pit, so do not look here for a beautiful adventure featuring fey and faeries.
It is a short adventure designed to be slipped into an ongoing game that involves travel for the players. Do they take the longer route adding four days to their journey or do they risk Bloodnut Pass, rumored to be one of the most dangerous mountain passes in the area. Of course, being stout adventurers they will have to take the pass, won’t they?
The map, by the way, now makes sense. The style of the map mirrors the darkness of the adventure and I am now fully on board with its use. I have to say that the adventure is one that I really like too. I tend to prefer dark, gritty campaigns as opposed to clean beautiful and fantastic settings so this plays to my strengths. I really would suggest that you pick this up, regardless of the system you use, and keep it on hand. Just when the players need to make some quick travel this may be just the little side adventure that will throw them a curve ball and provide a great nights worth of entertainment. Five out of Five severed man bits for this one. Great work Matt!