Death on Tour (1985)

I didn’t know Anne Rice was into tabletop RPGs. And, honestly, I still don’t. But I suspect she was playing Chill, because I just refuse to believe that two stories about vampire rock bands came out in the 80s without them being somehow related.

This is Death on Tour (1985) and it is the most Scooby-Doo of the Chill adventures I have read and it functions as a sort of mini-campaign. The first part involves a series of deaths at the concerts of the rock band Van Helsing, in which a person in the crowd suddenly drops dead, empty of blood. The culprit is the guitarist, Jackson Jammer (can’t decide if that name is the worst, or the best), a time stopping vampire. After dispatching him, it becomes apparent that two other monster bands are touring the country – the Carnivores, a new wave band made up of ghouls, and Felicia Fey, a jazz pianist who is also a werecat. Their manager, the big bad, is a werewolf named Max Mogul. Woof.

This one is good fun, probably the Chill scenario to best capture the campy fun of B-movie horror. There are some cool ideas, some decent spoops and plenty of silliness. It is also one of the earliest examples of a music-centric RPG scenario. Other games that prominently reference music subcultures were still years away: TMNT Adventures (1986), Cyberpunk 2013 (1988), Shadowrun (1989), Nightlife (1990) and Vampire: The Masquerade (1991) all come to mind. And Queen of the Damned, the third of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles, in which Lestat forms a rock band called The Vampire Lestat, came out in 1988. For what it is worth.

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