A collection of 30 magic items by our all-star Design Team for use in a gothic-themed Adventure Path campaign. Includes items with thematic links to ghosts and haunts, mad scientists and constructs, werewolves, eldritch horrors, vampires and witches, and liches and the ancient dead.
Designed by Jason Nelson with the Legendary Games Design Team of Neil Spicer, Clinton Boomer, Greg A. Vaughan and Clark Peterson. Who better to provide you with alternate magic items for your Adventure Path campaign than the very writers of those adventures themselves? Answer: no one. And in keeping with Legendary Games’ tradition of excellence and focus on story, these items are not mere cardboard cut-out items with gothic names, they are interesting and brilliantly designed items in their own right, each of which could be the focus of one of your own adventures.
Download includes TWO files: a full color version AND a stripped black and white version for easy printing.
So check out these gothic-themed items and Make Your Game Legendary!
Meant to accompany the Carrion Crown adventure path, and Legendary Games' other publication "Gothic Heroes", this PDF is a collection of some very different in a good way magical items for a campaign focused on Gothic horror.
The items come in six 'themes' for ghosts, mad scientists, werewolves, alien horrors, vampires and witches, and liches. There's nowhere near enough room to cover them all, so a few high points will have to do:
Galvanic Neck-Bolts: the classic movie Frankenstein's Monster bit of getting powered up by electrical attacks. Weird yet clever.
Skeleton Cage: Pretty much what it sounds like, your very own cage of bones with arms that can snatch people and hold them inside.
Elder Talisman: The Elder Sign, anyone? A very, very powerful tool to be used against aberrations and other nameless horrors. Sadly, it uses some information from the unreleased "Tomes of Ancient Knowledge" PDF from Legendary Games. You can use it just fine, and everything you need is here, but it's a shame about the PDF.
Guardian Moppet: a dolly that defends children against monsters and witchcraft. Okay, it's unlikely to be used by your PCs proper, but if they have or know any kids this would be very useful.
Mesmeric Mask: Renders you immune to charm and dominate effects while making it easy for you to pretend that you are. A very nice and nasty surprise to spring on mind-control happy vampires.
Fearful Knocker: Attach it to any door and not only does it magically lock it, it wards it with a magical trap that will scare away unwanted guests. Great for those annoying salesmen.
The rest of the magical items within are equally enchanting. Really worth the price they ask and it would go very well with any gothic horror setting or campaign.
This pdf is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/ToC, 1 page SRD, 1 page author bios and 1 page back cover, leaving 12 pages of content for the new magic items, so let's check them out, shall we?
This little treasure trove of items contains 30 different items ranging from 600 GP to 58000 GP and even an artifact specifically designed to complement the Carrion Crown Adventure Path or any similar gothic setting.
All the items come with information on their auras, construction requirements etc. and the imaginative potential is quite astounding - from anatomist's scalpells to veils that let you infuse other worldly terror into your illusions to items to manipulate constructs, a powder to throw lycanthropes off your trail to electroshock gauntlets, enchanted neck-bolts, shackles to chain ghosts, guardian dolls, séance candles to the Elder Talisman, an artifact to stand against the creatures of the mythos, these items are all killer, no filler. (And I want the supplement hinted at in the section!)
There is not one bad item among them. Not one. All of the items are appropriate for even low-magic gothic horror campaigns like Ravenloft and serve as disturbing, imaginative tools that thankfully go beyond "creepy armor" or "bloodsucking sword". Instead, we get an array of unique items that can be categorized best by the word "unconventional" - in the best of ways.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a BEAUTIFUL, Paizo-level quality parchment-like look with bloodstains and a horizontal, easy to read two column standard and the artworks of the items stand up to this quality, being on par with Paizo. Stunning!
The pdf is extensively bookmarked and comes with an extra printer-friendly b/w-version. I'm a sucker for gothic horror. I love the genre. It's what my home game is mostly about. But even if you don't like the genre, you have to admit that this is the apex of what one could hope to see from a 3pp, any rpg-publisher, really - both in quality, writing and presentation, this pdf is stellar. Yes, it's not cheap. But it's worth every cent and I'd argue that it's well worth the price. Try as I might, I can't bring myself to saying anything negative about this first offering of Legendary Games - my final verdict will be 5 stars with the Endzeitgeist seal of approval. Legendary indeed, Legendary Games! I'm looking forward to more supplements!
This is up there with the Book of Drakes as my favorite third party product. The quality of the writing, and the creativity of the content are both amazing. What seals the fifth star for me is the effort that went into presentation, art, lay out, background graphics, etc. All the treatments you would expect from a primary publisher lovingly applied to some macabre magic items.
As a GM getting ready to run Carrion Crown this accessory is a must have.
As has been mentioned below, there are 30 magic items with a gothic or horror inspired feel. All of the items are good, the vast majority are falvourful as hell and will fit well with the gothic adventure path this is designed to support.
However, as the title implies, there is one thing that lets it down from a 5 star review and that is that hardly any of the magic items seem to occupy slots. Masks, crowns, helmets, gloves, apparently all of these float aorund like ioun stones. Given the standard of design for the product, and the standard expected given the creative talent involved, this is severely disappointing on an otherwise excellent product.
As the title of this review implies, Treasury of the Macabre is a wonderful plug-in to any gothic horror campaign, such as the Carrion Crown adventure path published by Paizo, allowing GMs to add even more depth to their story while gifting players with fun tools with which to fight their enemies.
The book is the first in what is hopefully a long series of plug-in products for the Paizo adventure paths. The idea is to expand on the adventure paths with various material, in this case magic items, that follows the theme of a particular adventure path. In the case of Treasury of the Macabre, that theme is gothic horror and the 30 items presented in the book will certainly add another layer to such a game. Each item is written with a specific theme in mind, be it cosmic horror a la H. P. Lovecraft, vampires, or ghosts as seen in classic ghost stories. This means that the magic items can be plugged into one of the six adventures in an adventure path with VERY little work on the part of the GM.
The book is very well laid out. The background, font, and general layout of the book reminds me of a good ol' Paizo book. One major difference between Treasury of the Macabre (and, I assume, the rest of the series) and Paizo's books is that Treasury of the Macabre is laid out in a landscape format. I think it works well for screen use but it may present some issues for those who prefer to print their PDFs. The book makes great use of links, making it very easy to get to a specific item. The artwork in the book is very good and all color (assuming you're viewing the color version of the PDF, of course). My personal favorite is the artwork for the elder talisman.
As mentioned earlier, the book contains 30 magic items divided into 4 groups: Rods (3), Weapons (2), Wondrous Items (24), and Artifacts (1). I would have liked a few more weapons and possibly a suit of armor or two. That tiny complaint aside, there's a good variety of items spread out over a large price range (600 gp - 58,000 gp). My personal favorites are the cruciform icon, the ghost shackles, the sanguinary torque, and the witchblood stylus, purely based on the flavor they bring to the game. Mechanially, all of the items I've read so far (which is nearly all of them) seem mechanically sound.
Treasury of the Macabre is a must-have for any GM running a gothic horror-themed campaign and it feels very much like it's a natural extension of the Carrion Crown adventure path with 30 items just screaming to be plugged into such a game. This product is a prime example of the level of community that surrounds Paizo and their work, with 3rd party publishers expanding on what is already top-quality material.