Review by C.J. Bunce
The darkest of superhero films, The Crow starred Brandon Lee, son of martial artist Bruce Lee, and it was going to be the role to propel him into stardom like his father. But an accident on set resulted in his death, adding a chilling spiritual aura to the release of the film in 1994, a story of violent murder and a spirit led by a crow returning to wreak havoc on the murderers. For fans of the movie–and all things dark and Goth–earlier this year Evil Genius Games released The Crow: A Cinematic Adventure (reviewed here at borg) an add-on to the RPG company’s Everyday Heroes roleplay game system for adult players.
Now for Halloween gaming fun, Evil Genius Games has released a limited edition three-act, one-shot, movie tie-in adventure called The Crow–Foresight’s Folly. The digital download is only $4.99, but you need to act fast because it is only available through Halloween here at DriveThruRPG.
The dead will walk the earth once more.
Intended to be played in a single session Foresight’s Folly can also be used as a prequel to the Prayers of the Past adventure presented in The Crow Cinematic Adventure. In the adventure the player characters–the heroes–are already dead. A necromancer is able to breach the line between the living and dead and pull the heroes back, where the action plays out in Chicago as the heroes learn of their newfound powers.
Pre-generated characters are available for quick play, or players can build their own. Like Brandon’s character in the movie, this is a journey about revenge for a wrong committed against the character. If you enjoyed the Australian TV series Glitch (reviewed here), you’ll appreciate the mechanism and purpose behind the one who brings forth the dead–and what is behind the entities influencing the outcome.
As in the movie and like the characters of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials novels, the heroes are paired with an animal spirit: a cat, mastiff, moth, owl, spider, or crow, each carrying its own defining characteristics, skills, traits, and powers. But it’s the second act where the real surprises happen.
For this Everyday Heroes tie-in, you can try to play without reference to either the main module or The Crow adventure, but it’s intended as part of the continuing story.
The 26-page adventure includes character stats for all the key NPCs and pre-generated characters. It’s a dark mystery in the streets of the city waiting for anyone willing to learn its secrets. The movie was Rated R and that’s probably a good guide for this game. The RPG spins itself out of the original movie and its first sequels, The Crow: City of Angels, The Crow: Wicked Prayer (which co-starred Edward Furlong, David Boreanaz, Tara Reid, Dennis Hopper, and Danny Trejo), as well as the comics, but skips over The Crow: Stairway to Heaven (which starred Iron Chef’s Mark Dacascos), and The Crow: Salvation, which co-starred Kirsten Dunst and William Atherton). Darker than Tim Burton’s Batman and Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, the stakes here are life itself and the souls of anyone with evil in their being. Director Alex Proyas would later make Dark City starring Rufus Sewell and Knowing starring Nicolas Cage–both are close to the dark vibe of The Crow. Put The Crow: A Cinematic Adventure next to the depths of Dungeons & Dragons’ Van Richten’s Guide to Ravenloft (reviewed here) as far as horror trigger warnings are concerned. For those willing to confront their own personal demons, it’s a detailed revisit to the movie and its dark, yet hopeful, world, as we approach the film’s 30th anniversary next year.
For players that enjoy this one-shot adventure, The Crow: A Cinematic Adventure includes one three-act adventure, Rick Heinz’s The Crow: Prayers of the Past, for Level 5 or 6 players, which this story leads into. Available through Halloween 2023, check out The Crow–Foresight’s Folly and don’t miss the underlying RPG The Crow: A Cinematic Adventure now here at Amazon or in digital format at DriveThruRPG.com.