Saturday, September 2, 2023

OSR Thoughts on Cities Without Number & Judge Guilds House on Hangman's Hill By Jon Mattson

 "Lincoln had run as fast as he could even with his cybernetically modified legs going full out. The thing whatever it was gaining on him as he rounded the ancient wall. He only thought about the dripping icor, the fangs, and those glowing all too human eyes!' 
And it was the last thing he ever thought about! The claws assaulted his flesh as a pair of scissors slices through fabric.His brain didn't immediately register the pain as his cyber claws exitted thier sheaths on biological instinct like a computer program misfiring. 
His last thought was about his team mates even as the blood ran down his arms and chest from his torn throat.

I've been thinking about classic Judges Guild modules lately & specifically Judges Guild's 'other haunted house module. House on Hangman's Hill was  published by Judges Guild in 1981 &  is a scenario for character levels 3-4. One of my fellow dungeon masters calls it Judge's Guild's other haunted house adventure withe classic Tegel Manor of course taking the lead.  But after a classic Hammer horror film marathon the wheels started churning in our heads. The adventure plot on House on Hangman's Hill from the Wiki entry is classic haunted house;"House on Hangman's Hill is a scenario for character levels 3-4 set in a haunted house of the classic type.[1]

Near the village of Hedgehill there is a sprawling mansion, haunted by its unjustly-executed owner. The player characters enter by one of six doors and wander through 38 rooms of illusions, fun house effects, and encounters until they destroy the offending revenant or run away." 

Imagine if you will that group of lower tier characters specifically a group of lower tier Cyberpunk PC's from Cities Without Number stumbling into this 'haunted mansion'. Hear me out here, imagine if you will that this is a rival plane hopping haunted mansion. And over the decades of it's existence it has crossed many planes where it's undead & horrors feed on poor fools who stumbled into it's clutches!  JG's House on Hangman's Hill gets transformed into a sort of rogue free will adventure location roaming about the plains murdering victims within its halls. And trapping their souls within! And now it's the cyberpunk adventurers turn of Cities! 

And in point of fact because House on Hangman's Hill is only thirty two pages long & it's perfect to use as an introduction to the setting book of Wretched Darkness second edition. 

The house itself is a prime adventure for conversion over to Wretched Darkness second edition.  Even though 'House on Hangman's Hill' was  originally for Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. 
The random events, the monsters, the whole cloth could easily be adapted into Wretched Darkness. Ian L. Straus reviewed the adventure in The Space Gamer No. 52 & his advice about 'House on Hangman's Hill is super critical; " "True to the horror-movie theme, some eerie events who no consequences are included just to make the players jump. There are also NPCs, rats, werewolves, and plenty of undead. Some of the worst fights can be avoided, so players who automatically charge will be punished. The room paragraphs are well-organized, and the map is amply detailed."[2] He continued: "However, a haunted-house atmosphere may not suit all players. If you break the mood, the map becomes another generic dungeon with a few more exits. D&D players always partook more of horror movies than Conan, and the players may see no difference. The DM should add marginal reminders (to himself) to mention cobwebs and creaking doors. The floor plan is a 400' x 280' ranch house; it would match both the cover art and horror movies better if it had three stories. I suggest you rescale the map from 10' to 5' squares before you run it. I also suggest you encourage the party to walk around the outside. It is a house, not a burrow; give the players a grid sheet with door and outside walls marked."
Because of this JG's House on Hangman's Hill is primed to be used also
 with Wretched Epoque & Wretched Country both in thier second edition incarnations. 
And it can easily be slipped into the back bone of Wretched Vigilantes. 

House on Hangman's Hill shows up in your campaign, people go missing, the local undead population reaches & all time high, & murderous rival demonic & vampire slayers start killing everyone in sight. Suddenly there's a campaign!
Having run House on Hangman's Hill your probably talking about three or four months of a mini campaign at best & a two or three session one shot at worst. This is a deadly little thirty two page module. And I literally present this adventure as the rival to my planar traveling version of Tegel Manor.

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