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#30 Haunts for Objects (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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"It's cursed? No, worse. It's haunted."

Dolls and Mirrors that haunt you nightmares, folk tales of deathtraps that hunger for new prey and possessive panes of glass. All of this you will find within the pages of #30 Haunts for Objects.

Brought you by T. H. Gulliver the same designer that brought you the best selling #30 Haunts for Ships and Shores this product brings you something the game has never had before, Haunts that are no long trapped in one location because these objects can be moved.

Author: T. H. Gulliver
Cover Art: Arthur Rackham
Pages: 10

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Product Reviews (5)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 5 ratings)

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Step right up...plenty of haunts to go around

*****

Ok, so what can I tell you that the previous reviewers haven't already covered...the page count has been handled, the amount of those pages dedicated to cover, OGL, etc..The fact that this PDF is part of the #30 series should be a pretty big clue as to how many Haunts your getting...so how about we discuss the ones that really stood out to me, and why.

First off, the concept of Gaze triggered haunts, as Paizo gives us only the two triggers, proximity and touch. This was easily the first part of the crunch that caught my attention, coincidentally it's one of the first real pieces of crunch offered in the book...I like the idea of simply letting your eyes lead you into dark places you should not go.

The Possessive Pane Loved the story of this, the sickly old man literally wasting away waiting for his sons to return from war, infusing that through which he gazed with all that loneliness and longing..See so many uses for this particular haunt.
The Shaitan's Shadow Imagining our toys becoming dark and scary things in the night is something most all of us can relate to, so the story of this Haunt's origin was a solid winner for me. The fact that a "child's fear" has now translated into a very real danger for all, love it.
The Tyrant's Toy Puzzle Palace I remember asking my cousin about her doll house when we were children, I asked her "do you wonder if they ever walk the halls at night, while you sleep, wishing they could find a way out?" (Yeah, I was that kid, lol). All these years later, I see I'm not the only one imagining trapped beings in a dollhouse.
The Tenacious Trap Pure genius..I mean, honestly..how many times in a ghost story do we see the "heroes" of the story escape certain death, just to have "something" trigger certain doom anyway?? Brilliant!
The Worm God So, there's a lot to work with here, as we are presented with his "temple" with a handful of different haunts presenting their own problems for a playgroup. We're also given a fully stat'ed Worm God, ready to terrorize and dominate.

The art ranges from good to ok, and invokes a feeling of classic old world paintings, with a much darker feel. A few of them didn't quite fit the haunt they were attached to, like The Greedy Garden, but overall there was a nice flow to them.

Found a few grammatical errors, not enough to miss the meanings though, and a few punctuation errors as well. They were few and far between though, so they weren't a huge distraction.

Overall, there was a nice mix of items here when it comes to trying to find something to appeal to everyone. That twisted little kid in me was very much happy to see items touching on haunted toys, as well as a solid handful of the horror genre staples. All in all the material outweighs the few minor infractions I saw, and I am happy to give this PDF a 5 star rating.


4.5 star review, great idea, great objects but needed a little more polish.

*****

30 Haunts of Objects by Rite Publishing

This product is 15 pages long. It starts with a cover and credits. (2 pages)

Introduction (1 ½ page)
It starts with a IC introduction and then gets into the different types of haunts etc.

Haunted Objects (8 ½ pages)
In this section we get 30 haunted objects, they range from a jewelry, paintings, mirrors, to larger objects like beds etc. The range from CR 1 to 11. There is 27 single haunted objects and one with several haunts tied to it. A few of the ones that caught my eye.
The Cruel Crop – causes animals to be afraid of the crop.
The Doomed Diary – made by a young artist that joined a death cult, those that read it start to gain the memories of the diary.
The Hellish Hot Handle – a door knob gotten from a old house that burned down. It can make those smell smoke and those gripping feel panic for those trapped inside and the knob heats up like heat metal spell.
The Necromantic Necklace – very cool story to it, it can cause the dead to rise as undead.
The Tarots Terror – a haunted tarot card deck. There is 4 different effects based on the cards drawn during a reading.

It ends with a OGL and ads. (3 pages)

Closing thoughts. There is a mix of color and black and white art in this product. They style is older style of art that Rite Publishing is becoming known for. They range from fair to pretty good. Editing and layout was pretty good but I did notice a few minor errors such as a * in the middle of a word for no apparent reason, but all and all nothing that made the product hard to understand and use. I honestly could have listed a lot more examples I liked virtually all the haunted objects to one degree or another. Though a few of the objects I felt could have used a bit more history and or explanation to them. I also felt a few of them could have gone a bit further. That and I wish there had been a lot more of them, especially of the smaller more personal objects one could place in a dungeon, haunted house etc and expect the PC's to maybe pick up and keep. So what's my rating? I thought it was very good but could have used a bit more polish so I am going to settle for a 4.5 star review.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.


Surprises my players need to keep them on their toes

*****

First off, I absolutely love the picture of Pandora opening the box on the cover. It is an excellent bit of art and sets the tone for the remainder of the product. Once again, this newest addition to the #30 series has all those little touches which delight the reader, whether the contents are ever used in a campaign or not. I do recommend, though, that you find a way to add these haunts in your game. Just as with the Haunts for Ships and Shores, I intend to find a way to include some of these in my game, though I will have to include a side-trek adventure to do so.

As has become tradition, this addition to the Haunts series includes an in character discussion which is entertaining for the game master. In this is a note, which could be provided to players whole or in pieces as a prop for an adventure. What follows is a brief set of notes on types of haunts in this booklet, the most interesting one being the Gaze-Triggered haunts, which add to the types of haunts listed in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: GameMastery Guide. This type of trigger makes it more difficult for cautious PCs to avoid and thus more interesting to me as a GM.

What follows are a series of 27 Haunts of varying difficulties from CR 1 to CR 9, some of which are associated with one another. I need to find a way to add “The Cruel Crop” and “The Determined Device” as well as a number of others which are not really very dangerous for my players, but will add some fun to otherwise ordinary encounters. “The Fascinating Flute” is another one that I want to include, if only because flutes have become somewhat of an in-joke amongst my players. Any chance I get to personalize adventures for my players I will take. Short of actually designing adventures around them (something I have limited time to do), using things like these haunts is the next best method.

There is a series of associated haunts which go specifically with the letter hand out at the beginning of this booklet. The Temple of the Worm God is in fact a mini-adventure and could be used to spice up an otherwise boring over-land trek through farming communities from one adventure site to another. This includes short background story and 4 haunts of CR 10 to CR 11. I love to surprise my players with something they were not expecting and the Temple of the Worm God does this well.

As in the rest of the #30 series by Rite Publishing, Trevor’s prose is fun to read. These haunts for objects do an excellent job of making an otherwise mundane scene more interesting for both GMs and players alike. I can see my players becoming wary of any object they might come across as a result of this book. Only a few such instances of a haunted object and months, perhaps years, of cautious behavior and entertainment for all could result. I can’t wait to spring these on my players.

Excellent layout, interesting art and wonderfully well-written and designed haunts receive 5 of 5 stars.


An awesome book on haunts - the worm god's haunts alone are worth the price

*****

This pdf is 15 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages of advertisements and 1 page SRD, leaving 10 pages of content, so let's check it out!

Following the format of the haunts-books, we are introduced to the thematically-linked haunts by a well-written introduction of Pers Veilborn. After the well-written prose, we are introduced to different types of haunts: The basic concept is expanded upon by introducing a type of haunt which may be triggered by gazing upon it. Advice on chaining haunts together as associated haunts is also provided.

Dolls or similar items which are possessed have been a staple of fantasy and horror literature and movies for quite some time and the addition of haunts to the objects is something that had to be done sooner or later - I'm just glad T.H. Gulliver did it. The haunts we get span the CRs from 1 to 11 and contain mirrors seeking to trap souls, bloodthirsty beds, wardrobes haunted by a conjurer's wife's deceased lover - you name the creepy stuff, it's there!

If you thought cursed items were bad news, wait till you get a taste of haunted ones! Alternatively, the content of this pdf makes for an excellent addition to mansions, haunted castles or really any location inhabited by civilized humanoids you can conceive, adding further twists to your designs. Even better, the little stories of how the haunts came to existence make for neat little adventure hooks and often inspire narratives of their own. Take the unfaithful conjurer's wife, whose lover was slain by the wizard in her wardrobe via vermin. What if said man's family is haunted by dreams of crawling death, slowly subverting their collective will to live? (Perhaps via another haunt?) To save them, the haunted wardrobe has to be found and purified, but the unfaithfulness of the conjurer's wife and his rage-driven murder first have to confirmed. Worse, what if the two are actually the best defense the town has against marauding threats? Depriving the town of the two by meting out justice might spell doom for the settlement...

My personal favorite's though, are the extremely deadly 3 haunts that make up the "Worm God's Temple", a dark and desolate place devoted to a primal and rather cruel spirit and essentially provide a rough frame for a great adventure in combination with the introductory narrative. Even better, the CR 10 Worm God makes for a ready-made villain and mastermind for said encounter/adventure.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are good - I noticed some asterisks where none should be and a superfluous break along some very minor punctuation errors. Layout adheres to the full-color-2-column standard we know from the free Pathways e-zine and the art, albeit stock, has been expertly compiled to render a coherent and fitting ambience to the pdf. T.H. Gulliver has proven time and again a mastery of haunts and traps and this latest installment is no different, providing excellent content at a very affordable price.

However, I do feel that the items, while cool could use further expansion and maintain that 101 of them would have been better than 30, especially due to the quality of the associated haunts. In "#30 Haunts of Ships & Shore", the hauntings could be easily strung together into a whole adventure by providing a frame-work and more associated options. I would have loved to see something similar to expand upon the worm god's dread influence. However, I can scarcely hold the quality of the predecessor against this book - it still is an excellent offering that only falls short of my seal of approval due to the minor glitches and said lacking framework. With them, this would be straight 5 + Endzeitgeist-seal of approval. My final verdict will be 4.5 stars and a hearty recommendation, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform. The only question that remains to me is, when we'll see a full-blown horror-adventure or "Super-ECS" by T.H. Gulliver - the talent seems to be there...


An RPG Resource Review

*****

Haunts have been one of the most intriguing and (from my side of the GM's screen, anyway) entertaining additions to the panoply of challenges to throw at characters... and here they take another novel yet classical twist: the haunt that is associated with an item rather than a location.

The work opens with a pseudo-scholarly account, the sort of thing you might cast before the more intellectual kind of adventurer to send them haring off into the horrors you have prepared for them. This leads in to the promised collection of some 30 haunted objects, by way of a note on persistant haunts, which can be a bit puzzling. As haunts duplicate spell effects whatever they do has a duration which can be 'instantaneous' or it can last for a set period. A persistant haunt with an instantaneous effect is one which hangs around firing it off repeatedly, while ones whose effects last longer are considered persistant only if there's a variation in the normal spell duration, it is triggered anew each round, or it is an effect that if you were creating it by casting a spell, you'd need to concentrate for the entire duration of that spell. A new 'trigger' is introduced as well. Haunts are normally triggered by proximity or touch, but some of the ones described herein are triggered by a gaze, by being looked upon. You defend against these in the same ways as you might protect against a gaze attack... but of course, you only take those sort of precautions if you are expecting one! Blindfolds and averted eyes can be very inconvenient when exploring...

The actual haunts are associated with a selection of items familiar to anyone who likes spooky stories, particularly those of a darker turn. Charred corpses, bloodied beds... and each one, of course, has a specific method of destroying the haunt, one that is not always obvious so if you use it you will need to work out how to present appropriate clues so that those characters who manage to stop running away and screaming long enough can figure it out. A delightfully sneaky one called the Determined Device, for example, resets a trap which the characters have already disarmed... as well as more classic examples like a flute that forces you to dance, a blisteringly-hot door knob, or a mirror that traps souls.

This magnificent array is followed by a description of an abandoned (and of course haunted!) temple and the ghost that masquerades as the resident deity. This location is the one described in the opening flavour text, complete with its own set of apposite haunts, and the whole could be used as a minor adventure in its own right.

The haunts are all well-developed, with coherent reasons as to how they came to be as they are, and logical ways to dispel and destroy them... can the characters but figure them out! Plenty to play with as you design your next game and pick one or two to terrify, annoy, or distract the characters. Build their stories into the plot you are weaving, and add atmosphere to your game.


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