Killer Thriller: A Dark and Stormy Night

Killer Thriller: A Dark and Stormy Night

From: Timeout Diversions

Reviewed by: Sitting Duck

As I noted in my Betrayal at House on the Hill review, seeking shelter in a Creepy Old House when stranded in the middle of nowhere is a well worn standard in the horror genre. Seeing as how Killer Thriller is all about reenacting cliché-riddled horror stories, it should come as no surprise that an adventure employing this chestnut was written.

From page 2:
“Have the driver make an Unwise check; otherwise he will leave the keys in the bus, figuring they’ll be safe there. The fortune teller will have a sense of impending dread.

A Dark and Stormy Night involves a touring bus getting bogged down by a massive downpour and the passengers seeking shelter in the first structure they encounter. This set up helps make the wide range of victim types included with the adventure more plausible (not that plausibility has ever been a huge concern in schlocky horror). In this particular instance, the edifice is inhabited by a wealthy eccentric of the sort who would probably be portrayed by Vincent Price if the movie’s budget could afford him. After the victims settle in, their host warns them not to go above the second floor. This is a decree which practically begs to be disregarded, but there are dire consequences for those who dare ignore it.

The bulk of A Dark and Stormy Night is what could be called an enclosed sandbox. The adventure is designed to allow the victims to wander about as they please. However, there are various deterrents in place to discourage them from leaving the house. Though, if the players are getting into the spirit of the game, these shouldn’t be necessary to employ. Each room in the house gets a description of what’s there as well as details on what events can be triggered in that location and how. The featured monsters also receive similarly broad overviews.

From page 4:
Have all adult female characters (except the fortune teller) make an Unwise roll to see if they want to take a shower. Then have them make opposed Unluck rolls to see who gets there first.”

While the details are overall quite thorough, there are a few instances of confusion. As noted in my review of Killer Thriller, Inability rolls possess an Alice in Wonderland logic, in that a “successful” roll is a failure in practical terms and vice versa. But when the text describes situations which call for an Inability roll, this is not always consistently applied. Ordinarily, I would regard this as a minor irritant and let it pass. However, there are a couple of instances where the author’s intent is rather ambiguous, and you can’t be sure if “success” means success or failure.

In conclusion, the confusion over the Inability rolls mars what is otherwise a top flight adventure with an immense amount of flexibility in how it can be played out. Even so, a director should be able to come up with his own interpretation of the text to implement a satisfactory fix.

Rating: 15

Product Summary

Killer Thriller: A Dark and Stormy Night

From: Timeout Diversions

Type of Game: RPG

Written by: David Creighton

Number of Pages: 23

Retail Price: $ ?

Number of Players: 3-4

Website: http://www.timeoutdiversions.com

Reviewed by: Sitting Duck