Puffin Books, £3.99, ISBN 0-14-037245-8
Like sequels tend to be, Revenge of the Vampire is nowhere near as good as Vault of the Vampire. This is a poorly designed watered-down version of the previous campaign, only with maddeningly increased difficulty and an inability to obtain an important special item without cheating.
Count Reiner Heydrich, the evil vampire lord of Mortvania, is back. Don’t ask me how – apparently it had to do with his immortal soul apparently being locked away in a gem or something like that. You, a hardy adventurer, only stumbles upon the plot when you came across a blind man slain by the Count’s agents in an inn. Clearly, you are not the same bloke who slew the Count the first time around because in this campaign you are not too familiar with him or his background. At any rate, the now dead blind man was one of the few men who attempted to stop the Count and his henchmen from carrying out some foul grand plan, and now it’s up to you to locate the other now-scattered allies of this dead blind men and seek their help before facing the Count.
An annoying problem that I personally dislike with extreme prejudice here is the necessity of converting alphabets in a word or phrase into numbers and adding up the numbers to turn to the correct passage. The thing is, many of these phrases are long, requiring an annoying use of at the very least a sheet of paper if you are not one of those people who can do all these things in your head. Let’s just say that my Character Sheet is supremely messy by the end of the campaign. Also, you need to keep track of names, numbers of distinguishing marks on an item, and sometimes, apparently trivial details that you may accidentally ignore until it’s too late and you begin scrambling to look for that passage to recall the information. Don’t we have a better way of keeping track of things? Between numbers, conversions, names, and the types of diseases your character may get, you may just end up feeling like the unpaid slave of a demanding rules lawyer.
You also must cheat to get a very important item in this story. It takes me a few times to locate this item, and even then, it’s annoying to realize that, thanks to the author’s carelessness, I can’t actually get that item without cheating.
Revenge of the Vampire is a tedious and often badly designed attempt at repeating the magic of the original. What this book does, the previous book did it ten times better.