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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Horror Adventures

***½( ) (based on 12 ratings)
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Horror Adventures
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There are things that dwell in the dark places of the world, in long-abandoned crypts or musty attics—terrible things that can destroy your body and shatter your mind. Few individuals would think to seek out such nightmares, but those drawn into the darkness often find it infecting them, corrupting them in ways both subtle and disgusting. Some believe those who die facing such horrors are the lucky ones, for the survivors are forever scarred by their experiences.

Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures gives you everything you need to bring these nightmares to life. Within these pages, you'll find secrets to take your game into the darkest reaches of fantasy, where the dead hunger for the living, alien gods brood in dreams, and madness and death lurk around every corner. Rules for players and GMs alike pit brave champions against a darkness capable of devouring mind, body, and soul. To prepare to face such torments, the heroes can take new feats, learn powerful spells, and even acquire holy relics—for they'll need every edge possible to survive!

Pathfinder RPG Horror Adventures includes:

  • Corruptions that can turn your character into a powerful monster, from a blood-drinking vampire to a savage werewolf. The only cost is your soul!
  • Character options to help heroes oppose the forces of darkness, including horror-themed archetypes, feats, spells, and more!
  • A detailed system to represent sanity and madness, giving you all the tools you need to drive characters to the brink and beyond.
  • Tips and tools for running a genuinely scary game, along with an in-depth look at using horror's many subgenres in a Pathfinder campaign.
  • Expanded rules for curses, diseases, environments, fleshwarping, haunts, and deadly traps.
  • New templates to turn monsters into truly terrifying foes, from creatures made of living wax to a stalker that can never be stopped!
  • ... and much, much more!

ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-849-6

Note: This product is part of the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscription.

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Non-Mint: Unavailable This product is non-mint. Refunds are not available for non-mint products. The standard version of this product can be found here.

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Product Reviews (12)
1 to 5 of 12 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | next > last >>

Average product rating:

***½( ) (based on 12 ratings)

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Subpar book, mostly for GMs

**( )( )( )

This book has a lot of systems, mechanics, archetypes, feats, spells, environment challenges, haunts, curses, etc. While most of it is clearly presented and has enough flavor text to give you some ideas on how to use it, everything just seems to fall flat.

My two biggest gripes (I have more than just two):
1) The sanity system is horribly balanced, heavily penalizing martial characters, and it's effects are easily cured by powerful spells. Really poorly executed, why make the gap between martials and casters even worse?
2) Most of the Archetypes are realistically for GM use only, as they are very niche. I wanted to give my players a lot of cool horror themed archetypes to play with, instead they got a scant few.

This book really could have been SO much better. Disappointed.


Paizo Knows Horror and Here's Their New Toolkit!

*****

Paizo reviews come in two forms: players that whine because they wanted something other than what was in the book (^^^)and then gamemasters/players that actually review the material provided. This is a review from the latter.

Paizo has created some of the best horror themed adventures for Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons over the course of their existence. In this book, they round it all up and spell out all of the tricks and tips they use to make it happen.

I have written everything from adventures to comic books to film scripts and I would easily hand this book over to a non-gaming writer that needed advice on how to create horror. This book goes to great lengths to provide players with archetypes for classes to use in horror themed adventures as well as giving gamemasters tools they need to create horror in session after session.

Players get archetypes, feats, spells and new gear with which to battle the horrific forces of the multiverse. GMs get a ton of new tools including a nifty new Bestiary that brings us Pathfinder versions of Alien-style xenomorphs called the Hive AND a nice analogue for the Slender Man called the Unknown. Horror requires more than monsters, so you also get new rules on corruptions, curses, diseases, horrific environments, fleshwarping, haunts, madness and more!

Creating horror is more than giving players more 0's they can add to their attacks. It involves setting, tone, atmosphere and management of expectations. If you want to run a game that makes your players fear for their characters lives, then pick up this book and give it a read. Follow up with the recommended reading and required viewing and you'll get a feeling for how to instill dread in everyone sitting at your table.


More Like Evil Adventures

***( )( )

This book feels more like Pathfinder's version of the Book of Vile Darkness then horror themed adventures. Also this is a very DM heavy book though I thought it would be 70% player 30% DM but is actually the other way around.

The Good
-I loved the Dread Lord, Hive, Trompe L'Oeil, Unknown, and Waxwork Creature.
-I like the Corruptions.
-I like the reprint/expanding of madness rules.
-I like some of the magic items like mantle of life, monster almanac, and elder sign.
-I liked a few archetypes like the two for witches.

The Bad
-Too many evil archetypes, spells, etc.
-Do not like the sanity rules.
-Do not like the fleshwarping rules for characters.
-Most of archetypes were lacking or unusable for players.
-Very few interesting spells that are player friendly.
-Very few interesting feats.
-Not enough character options related to specific class features like wild talents, bloodlines, rogue talents, oracle curses/mysteries, etc.

I feel this book was a missed opportunity for same great horror based player character options. Such as expanded options for void kineticist like fear effects, controlling/creating undead, etc. new psychic disciplines, sorcerer/bloodrager bloodlines, oracle curses/mysteries, hexes, phantom emotion focuses, etc. I could even see some interesting ideas for rogue talents, rage powers, slayer talents, etc. I would have been fine with reprints like the pestilence sorcerer bloodline, kineticist void element, and other fitting options from past books.


A huge missed opportunity

*( )( )( )( )

For the most part, I liked this product, though I do have a few concerns. I was a little disappointed that so much of the material presented is for the DM only. There is some stuff for the Players, and plenty that Players could use if they wanted to, but it's clearly there for the DM's to use against them.

One of the main issues overall is that this book, designed for running horror games or introducing horror elements into gaming just doesn't stand out from other products from other systems well. For DM's that do have other experience and products to draw from, there just isn't much here that is needed or that they couldn't do themselves with relative ease, or just port in. However, for DM's that don't have much experience with horror games, I could see this being a decent intro guide. Not so much for players though.

Primarily that there just are not a lot of options for Players to fight against "horror" monsters or encounters, and in particular one would think that there would be plenty in here for Clerics and Paladins. Unlike many other hard cover products that introduce a new system or theme of play, this one is pretty lacking on ways and methods to incorporate the basic game into the style of play, except for some very basic RP suggestions, (what is your character afraid of?).

I was also pretty disappointed that so much Occult Adventures material was included here, especially when there really isn't a great deal of crossover themes between the two products and Occult Adventures was already kind of poor at doing it's own thing or being very inclusive of much of the core material itself. It really felt like Paizo couldn't get a lot of the Occult Adventure's stuff finished on time for that product and so sort of inserted it here, except a good deal of it arbitrarily has "psychic" prereqs, meaning only some of the Occult Classes can take those options, which is stupid.

I also found it kind of annoying that there was little for the CRB classes, but also just gear in general, magical or otherwise was pretty uninteresting.

All in all, these things just make the book feel very incomplete, which is a trend I see being repeated in Pathfinders Hardcovers since the ACG was rushed out.

I wasn't terribly impressed with the Insanity Damage concept, and I don't really see how looks, power of persuasion, or book learning relate to your sanity or resistance to loosing it. I thinking going off of Con would have been a better idea than Int or Cha, and the system is just odd, because really, even in the book, it seems the only attacks that relate to insanity deal Wis damage, (or as an alternative Sanity Score Damage). I'm not a fan of either implementation or the intention here. It really felt like someone had a pet peeve that their high Cha or high Int character didn't want to worry about Wis, (or maybe to show that high Cha characters are more sane?), and tried to force the system to work around that, but it doesn't actually seem to work. Why wouldn't a high Int and/or high Cha be a NEGATIVE insanity modifier.

The book kind of comes in as a combination of 3.5's Book of Vile Darkness and the more DM focused sections of Heroes of Horror and Ravenloft, (the later two I'm extremely bias towards, so that is certainly boosting this books star rating, maybe more than it deserves). The main problem though, as that it really takes a bit more from the former, which was, well, not so great. The later two are some of my favorite d20 based books out there, but I think this could have used an injection of player options to make it glorious rather than good.

As a Player Book, this one is a 1/5, though as a DM book, a solid 3/5. The lack of much for Players, the majority of the population just really hurts this book a lot, and honestly, I think that it would have been better to focus on the Player's side for this book, and break tradition to make the normal Player's Guide that follows (Haunted Heroes in this case) the DM focus book for this case. Especially as it would have done a lot to keep the DM tricks and tactics concepts out of the Player's hands in general.

I'm just going to go ahead and say it. I hated Occult Adventures, on it's own merits. It felt forced, unready, and didn't mesh at all with Golarion, much less generic fantasy in the same way that non-transparency Psionics didn't. A lot of the issue was how little interesting material, or how incomplete that book was for it's own new classes. Horror Adventures was mainly a hugely missed opportunity in that it seems Paizo tried so hard to fill the gaps from Occult Adventures by putting them in here, except for, well it doesn't work. Too little, too late, and too not for players.

EDIT: Honestly , this is probably my 4th or so edit of this review, and the more I read it, the more the stars just keep dropping (4 to 1 at this point). I want this to be better. I really, really do. But after further reading, giving things little time to sink in, and reexamining it, (and this is including with Strange Aeons), this book just doesn't hold up. For either Players or DM's. It's doubtful, but hopefully Paizo will take this all into consideration, and just redo the book. It's very hyped up, but just doesn't deliver. You CAN do so much better.


Necros, Dagma, Atra, Krona...

****( )

First purchase on the Paizo's store: I couldn't wait a month to have the print edition and... OMG, I LOVE IT!

I am a fan of Ravenloft setting and Carrion Crown AP, and this manual is really amazing for me. Eight chapters of sheer terror, and my favorite chapter is the 6th. About the horror rules (news haunting/curses/fleshwarping/sanity/etc.) I am satisfied.

So, why only 4 stars?

* Chapter two: I appreciated the archetypes presented in the chapter, but I would have preferred find archetypes for ALL Core classes (only five out of eleven: barbarian, cleric, druid, paladin and wizard), and also to antipaladin and summoner

* Chapther eight: I enjoyed the templates (finally I can create Dread Lords of Ravenloft!)... but about real monsters I see only one of them, which it is presented in three variants

But I can't say disappointed. I am *REALLY* waiting this book for a year, and I can say that the wait was well rewarded. And I cann't wait to get my hands on the print edition!


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