Blackvine Manor. Ask any of the townsfolk in the nearby town of Mourvède and they’ll tell you: that place is cursed. They’ll tell you that the vineyard and the manor are forever tainted by the black deeds of its former mistress, the Lady Arabella Odain who, in a fit of madness, slaughtered the servants, her husband, and her own children before burying herself alive in the crypts beneath the house. Sunlight is loath to shine upon that gruesome and grisly place; legions of crows and rats and teeming chitinous things are the only creatures that make their home there. And the grapes in the vineyard grow black and bulbous, like plague sores upon the gnarled and withered vines.
Something lurks beneath Blackvine Manor — a entity of unsurpassed malevolence and cruelty whose influence grows and spreads like a weed. It seeps into the soil, poisoning the land and the minds of those who dwell in the nearby village of Mourvède. The remaining townsfolk who do not already call the darkness beneath Blackvine manor “Master” are beset by nightmarish visions and a rash of violent demonic possessions.
Now, with the prodigal heir to Blackvine returned (for reasons even he does not yet understand) and the corruption from the manor spreading like dark, red wine over silken sheets, it will take all that brave adventurers have to give if they hope to unlock the secrets of Blackvine Manor, stop the sinister conspiracy of The Children of the Blessed Vine, and prevent the return of The Dark That Feasts.
About This Adventure
The Dark That Feasts is an adventure steeped in the traditions of haunted houses and black magic, packed with depraved cults and their nefarious schemes, exorcisms, old magic, buried trauma, corrupted creatures foul and fell, and small sparks of humanity and of hope, inspired by old school roleplaying modules and gothic horror.
This book contains a mystery that a party of 3-5 clever adventurers between levels 2-4 can be expected to complete in roughly three sessions of play. A party of lucky adventurers might even be expected to survive.
This adventure is inspired by the style of play characteristic of older roleplaying game modules. The focus is on careful exploration and NPC interaction as the mystery is unraveled. Combat encounters are not balanced, and reward creativity and cowardice more than sword and board heroism.
The design of this adventure is such that you should be able to convert it to any (modern or otherwise) rule system that you choose, and most of the encounters, puzzles and traps have been made so they interact with as few rules as possible.
The Dark That Feasts is an adventure that engages with themes of horror, and draws on material like The Omen, The Devil Rides Out, The Conjuring, and The Exorcist for inspiration. Content warnings for: Implied violence against children, suicide, body horror, demonic possession, rats, insects, and human sacrifice.
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I played my first tabletop RPG (Pathfinder 1e, specifically) in college. I rocked up late to the first session with an unread rulebook and a human bard called Nick Jugger. It was a rocky start but I had a blast and now, the better part of a decade later, I play, write, and write about tabletop RPGs (mostly 5e, but also PBtA, Forged in the Dark and OSR) games for a living, which is wild.