Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Horror Adventures

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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

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Spooky Fun, Can't Wait to Curse My Players

5/5

I am in love with this book. The themes for archetypes are spot on and everything goes beyond horror basics, it's much more than vampires, werewolves, and zombies (though they are included). Some of my favorite elements are the Deep One corruption (corruptions in general are sweet, this seems like a well balanced mechanic for horribly warping the PCs into monsters, while still giving them a way to fight it) and the Gingerbread Witch. The Deep One corruption is a great example of the depth of horror this book includes, this plays on a less often used horror theme of the paranoia of harming oneself (in this case, by drowning). This reminds me so much of elements from the book The Boy Who Drew Monsters, and the mom's terrible fascination with people who drowned in a shipwreck a hundred years ago. You could adopt this same corruption for vertigo or even a bodily harm thing. On a lighter side, the Gingerbread Witch made me so, so happy. It's a well thought out archetype, I'm not sure they'd be great as a player character (but there aren't evil restrictions, so have at!) but I can't wait to insert a horrible Gingerbread Witch near some unassuming town, with her creepy haunted gingerbread house and evil delicious familiar.

I just can't say enough good things about the mechanics. They are flexible enough that you don't have to have a horror specific campaign to use elements from this book. The fear and sanity rules can be used with any campaign to add realism or more of a gritty fantasy feel. If your level 1 characters just killed a person for the first time, maybe they should lose some sanity and wrestle with that emotion. If they are in a dank, creepy dungeon with skeletons, maybe some of them would be spooked. The rules for adapting fear resistant characters like Paladins are also nicely balanced and I appreciate that attention to detail - your paladins don't have to yawn at the sideline, they're vulnerable too, just in a way less debilitating way that actually paints them as more of a hero around evil and undead.

Lastly, the warning about needing consent before using this book in a campaign was a very nice touch. That totally hooked me when starting to read this book. I kind of thought I'd just have spooky themed elements, but that paragraph inspired me to try to take this to the next level. How fun would it be to have a session that turns your actual living room into a haunted house, or to be the director of the scariest experience your friends have had all year?

If Halloween is your favorite holiday or you love low, gritty fantasy, I highly recommend this book. I will be reading this one cover to cover and am excited to use its elements for many, many sessions.


An Endzeitgeist.com review

5/5

This massive hardcover clocks in at 255 pages - if you take away editorial, index, etc., you still arrive at 249 pages of content, which is A LOT.

I was gifted a copy of this book for the purpose of a fair and unbiased review. My review is based on the hardcover of this book.

Now, the first thing I'd ask you to do, is to read the series of Miscellaneous Musings I wrote on horror gaming in general. Or least the last one. Why? Because it is my firm conviction that one has to establish realistic expectations in order to review a book such as this.

(The articles are fully linked on my page.)

Alternatively, if you already own it, there is a sentence in the advice chapter on running horror games that should be taken to heart: "Pathfinder is not designed with horror in mind." I'd like to elaborate on this, at least briefly. As I have established in my long, long rants on the subject matter, it is my firm conviction that you can run horror in PFRPG, even purist horror, but that the base system per se is more conductive towards playing the angle of pitting horror against the angle of heroism, of allowing PCs to have a shot against the darkness. While you can modify PFRPG to play akin to CoC, the game is simply more conductive towards the heroic angle.

It is a testament to PFRPG's versatility that horror of any way works in the first place, in spite of the focus of the game. Now secondly, I'd like to address two aspects of the game and what we can expect, with the first being character options. We are all aware of the vast array of built-options available for PFRPG and thus, it should come as no surprise that yes, we do receive a significant array of player- (or at least character-)centric options. Which would bring me to the first observation: It is my firm convictions that players should stay out of this book.

No, really. You see, quite a lot of the new class options, like the blood alchemist, elder mythos cultist, hexenhammer or medium spirit-variants like the butcher or lich (for champion and archmage, to give two examples) scream "NPC" for me. I know, it is perhaps not what you'd expect me to do, but ultimately, I consider the material here to be mostly intended for the GM. Yes, we have martyr paladins with stigmata and bloody jake slayers and serial killer vigilantes. Yes, some players will want to play these...but from my experience as a horror-GM, it may actually make sense restricting these...or simply not telling the players about the rules. Before you're asking, btw.: From a min-maxing perspective, you'll probably find better options anyways...but if that's a consideration for you when playing in a horror game, I'd strongly suggest thinking about priorities and of what makes for a fun game for everyone - see my long, long posts on the necessary contract/gentlemen's agreement between the GM and player.

That being said, there is one aspect I am holding against this book, in spite of the aforementioned previous considerations, and that would be that there is no dividing line between content obviously designed for players/good guys and that for villains - it does show in the archetype-section and, more than that, in the feat-section, where we can find REALLY cool Story-feats alongside a bunch of feats intended for evil characters or monsters - in the latter case often enhancing universal monster abilities and providing further numerical escalation - which would be less of an issue, if PFRPG didn't have this many options to gain access to precisely these abilities. In short, we are catering to a mindset here that kinda undermines the horror premise the rest of the book is trying hard to set up. In short: We also get a lot of alternate racial traits for the core races, which generally fit with the themes of horror, though the fortification they offer against these challenges don't really fit my personal vision of what I like to play in the context of such a campaign, but your mileage here may obviously vary. These are my least favorite aspects of the book.

But let's move back to the very beginning: The advice given for players when making characters for horror adventures is extremely sound and should most certainly be read carefully - the book spells pretty much out what I did, minus the advice on Achilles heels, but I guess you can't have everything. The notes on making a compelling personality etc. makes sense, and so does the advice of roleplaying fear. I am a big fan of the note that the book emphasizes conspiration and communication with the GM here.

One of my favorite parts herein would be the more diversified take on Fear: We are introduced to a 7-step progression tree of various states of fear, including rules on immunity to fear and how it should be used in conjunction with this system. It works pretty seamlessly, though I honestly wished the already widely in use cowering condition had been implemented here as well - considering the effects of the highest fear-level "horrified", the differences are not that pronounced. And yes, I am aware that this adds a bit of potential complexity to some options, but here at least, I consider the trade off worth it.

Sanity...is a bit more clunky. We get a relatively simple system: Add mental attributes together and you have the sanity score; half of that is the sanity edge. This determines the severity of the madness incurred when something exceeds your sanity threshold - which is equal to the bonus of the highest mental attribute bonus. When you incur a sanity attack and its damage exceeds the threshold, you gain a madness - simple, yes...but it does ultimately reward characters that are SAD on a mental attribute, whereas in my opinion, sanity-shattering effects often are made worse by understanding them properly, perceiving them properly, etc. The system is not bad per se, but it requires managing three scores and for that, it doesn't deliver the results I'm personally looking for in such a system. Your mileage may vary, obviously, but yeah.

The star-subsystem here would be basically PFRPG's take on dark powers-checks, so-called corruptions. These tie in with character flaws of the PC and represent a dark and malevolent stain on the character that slowly mutates them, granting benefits, while at the same time driving them further down the dark path. Where previously, in Ravenloft, you ultimately became a darklord, corruptions now have 3 stages, with the final stage usually turning you NPC. Progression along this path is via a variety of actions and they generally have a catalyst to first spring them on a character. These corruptions also feature tempting powers, so-called manifestations, which also come with a stain, a drawback, that is in relation to the behavior in question.

Now, first things first: At one point, I wrote a pretty long essay on how to tempt both players and PCs at the same time with horrific power and the psychological reasons to do so - while it has been cut and never been published, let me summarize: I argued that a weakness of the monster-transformation aspect championed by Ravenloft was, that on the one hand, the PC should be horrified by what he does, while craving the power in question. Similarly, the player should feel the same.

If there is a disjoint between player and PC, roleplaying suffers. The corruptions, when looking at them, are surprisingly tame - not in their visuals, mind you: The hive, for example, is really icky. Still, it is somewhat surprising to see the heavy penalty of corruption stage 3...and at the same time, the significant array of manifestations each corruption offers. Now, some folks have complained about the risk of being turned NPC being too high (it's a sort of game over, after all), but from a meta-design perspective it can be a motivator for munchkins to take heed.

There is another aspect to the system pretty much every review I read did not pick up on - and I don't get why. In my third essay on horror gaming, I talked about the realities of being a big publisher and not one of the underground one-man operations. I also talked briefly about the witch hunts our hobby is subject to, one that continues in some regions and circles. More than that, moral and aesthetic limitations vary within persons - more so between folks. As the big dog that Paizo is, it is pretty hard to sell "play a monstrously vile thing and the descent into evil" to a part of their demographic - though, in particularly the hardcore horror fans will want exactly that, the teetering on the edge of damnation experience, for from this precipice, the best redemption stories are woven.

Here's the beautiful thing about the corruption system: The increase of manifestations is not tied to the corruption stage progression. At all. You can retain the whole save mechanics, variants and the whole rest and just throw out the three stages. You can introduce as many stages as you'd like (perhaps 7 or 5, as previous editions of the game did - perhaps 13, if you want to go an occult angle...) - the system's validity remains. And yes, I'll confess, my kneejerk response was like that of many out there, to complain and curse about the 3 stages - but know what? This is by far the best and most detailed (and balanced) such system I have seen for a d20-based game. It covers the company and at the same time, easily allows for PCs and NPCs, for GMs and players alike, to enjoy a system I never expected to see in this shape or form from a big publisher. Now personally, I would have actually increased the potency of the corruptions if you're running with the stage-limit and NPC-threat...but, once again, that is if you're planning on playing a relatively tame campaign. The fact that each manifestation has its custom gifts and stains, completely divorced from the stages, means that you retain maximum control when tweaking the system to your needs. The fact that the save to resist progression is tied to compulsive behavior means that even it, as an aspect, remains valid, its tie to further manifestations in the save-calculation providing a roleplaying catalyst even without the presence of the threat of NPCdom.

The chapter on magic provides a wide array of thematically fitting spells that range from the subtle to the in-your-face blunt - sleepwalking suggestions, massive, gory blood effects and cursed terrain generally make sense and even otherwise pretty standard damage spells included herein sport nice visuals: Screaming flames? Yes, I can see that working. I am honestly more in love with the fact that we get a 5 pretty neat occult rituals here that all are amazing in their own way, with each having the potential to act as a proper plot-cornerstone. I wished we got more of them!

Now, I mentioned that I consider this to be a GM-book and indeed, the GM-section is a bit of a treasure trove in some aspects: We get a couple of new curses and advice on making more, as well as notes on cursed lands and items - if the topic interests you: Both Legendary games and Rite Publishing have released whole supplements dealing with curses, often in really creative ways, but that as an aside. Curse templates allow for the customization of curses herein. Now, the disease chapter gets my full-blown applause for disease templates - and e.g. the one named "incurable." It actually does what it says on the tin! (minus the usual wish/miracle-caveat) - this is amazing. I mean it. Diseases have, in pretty much every d20-based system, been afterthoughts, crippled, lame and ultimately were the lame brothers of poison. This changes that. The sample diseases like "brain moss" or "gore worms" also make me tingle and twitch in a good way.

Speaking of things I like: We get a vast number of cool terrain hazards, haunted spots and the like to add to encounters, allowing for quick and easy eerie customizations. Domains of Evil can also be found. You know. Domains. With dread fog. That modify how magic works. With hazards and potentially different flow of time. That are haunted. Yeah, let's stop teh pretense here: If you're like me and a sucker for Ravenloft, then this chapter will have you smile from ear to ear, even before the rules on nightmares and the couple of traps. These, btw., unfortunately are the roll to see and disable kind - particularly in a horror game, team effort, complex traps that require multiple tasks make for the more compelling option, but I digress.

Now, the next section of rules is something that I was looking forward to, since it had been featured, but never codified properly in rules at least not by Paizo (there are a couple of 3pp-forays into that territory)- fleshwarping! And yes, it is cool. It sports a ton of nice effects, but the system is, to a degree, a double-edged sword: On one hand, fleshwarping works really well and on the other, its price is perhaps a bit too high: Let me elaborate: Fleshcrafts can either be permanent grafts or temporary mutations, instilled by an elixir that requires succeeding a Fort-save to gain the benefits. The temporary prices and benefits and being keyed to slots etc. makes sense for the elixirs, but since the effects also sport a penalty, the price for the respective fleshcraft grafts is still pretty high when compared to magic items - baseline for the grafts seems to have been 1/2 of a comparable item's base price to make up for the drawback. Considering the disfiguring nature of these options, that may still be pretty high, though. It depends a bit. Chaotic fleshwarping mutations can also be found - and unlike the chaositech mutations of yore, these generally are detrimental.

The extensive section on haunts that follows includes templates for them (called haunt elements) as well as variants like dimensional instabilities, maddening influence, magical scars and psychic haunts. The array presented ranges from humble Cr 1/4 to CR 20, including classics like being buried alive or the twisted wish. Madnesses are codified in lesser and greater madnesses - big plus here: For once, a supplement does not confuse schizophrenia with dissociated identities. (Seriously, if I had a buck whenever I saw that being confused...)

Now, one of the most useful sections regarding GM-considerations would be the massive chapter that deals with running horror games - which not only classifies and quantifies horror sub.genres, their tropes, etc., but also mentions all the classics like lighting, music, creating an undisturbed environment, etc. - tricks for dealing with various snags, how to encourage horror roleplaying etc. - and it is sad, but obviously necessary that, beyond talking about what does and does not fly with individual players, overdoing it does not work. HOWEVER, I do actually disagree with one aspect - involving outside people. To have an unrelated accomplice like a spouse play with the light on e.g. a stormy evening - not all the time, but once or twice, can be rather effective...but I generally get why these disclaimers are here. This section, obviously, is targeted at less experienced GMs in the genre - and in particular such GMs will also appreciate the section on improvising rules for e.g. being buried alive, crumbling structures, etc.

Part II of my review can be found here!


Subpar book, mostly for GMs

2/5

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!

5/5

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

3/5

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.


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Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

Just wanted to point out that corruption doesn't mean evil.

a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity

b : decay, decomposition

c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery)

d : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct


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Duncan7291 wrote:

Just wanted to point out that corruption doesn't mean evil.

a : impairment of integrity, virtue, or moral principle : depravity

b : decay, decomposition

c : inducement to wrong by improper or unlawful means (as bribery)

d : a departure from the original or from what is pure or correct

Yep, that means you are on the "Highway to Hell"! So becoming evil is not far behind with all those definitions.


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Chainsaw wielding murder hobos... and then there are the monsters.


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Pathfinder Companion, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Oh, I also hope there's a ritual or a spell to allow a curse to be passed on from one member of a family to the next, or to curse an entire family. Then again, maybe that sort of thing will be covered by the expanded rules for curses. I also think it would be interesting if they had a type of curse that tried to modify your behavior, granting you some bonuses if you did things that pleased the curse, and punishing you with penalties if refused to do what the curse wanted...though possibly with a terrible end if you continue to do as the curse desires. Then again, maybe that's how corruptions will work instead...

I also wouldn't mind some lesser curses that are more humiliating or inconvenient than lethal, like cursing you to be clumsy around people you find attractive, or cursing them to utter profanity whenever they say anything, or cursing them so that their feet swap places with their hands. Or some curses that have benefits as well as disadvantages so that someone might be tempted to not get the curse removed and putting up with it for the sake of the benefit. That was one thing I really liked with the perks, quirks, and flaws aspect of Dynamic Magic Item Creation from Pathfinder Unchained (one of my favorite parts)...you might wind up with a magic item with a weird quirk or flaw but put up with it anyways for the sake of the item.


ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:

1.Full stops please. commas are not the same a full stops.

2.Roleplaying insanity doesn't mean you are in control of your character. their actions are normally predetermined so i already know the segregation is there. If its actions taken due to lycanthrope or vampiric blood-lust, that the player failed to make the will save against doing, that's okay in my book too. The player knows their character would be acting, and can make a suggestion for what to do.

However where I firmly draw the line (and start handing out big corruption and evil alignment marks) is when the player is actively(as in the player directly stating that they are say ripping off someones head, without me establishing what kind of actions the player is trying to not have happen, like the urge to rip a civilian to shreds with their claws) choosing to do these things. As a GM, its kind of part of the role you fill to determine what happens, and try to steer the story in a firm but fair manner. The players control how their character reacts to thing and what actions they take accordingly.

If the characters start acting like evil, monstrous bastards(like committing mass murder, genocide, Rape) because of the players action outside of the gm's actions, I will be marking them down for it. The players are supposed to be the heroes of the story they are in, not being the villains(unless they are supposed to be the villain's, to which I still think the players shouldn't be absolutely dickish, petty, anarchist,sadistic,or stupid evil all the bloody time.)

1) English isn't my primary language, and I suck at punctuation regardless of the language.

2) We are talking roleplaying being under the effects of something, not players finding s***ty excuse as of why their alignment shouldn't change after doing certain things.

2.5) DM/GM using a madness effect on the PC =/= PC being hit by a madness effect literally out of no where.

Project Manager

13 people marked this as a favorite.

Folks, we have people from all over the world, and from myriad backgrounds and native tongues, posting here. Let's lay off the grammar nitpicks.

Community Manager

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Jessica Price wrote:
Folks, we have people from all over the world, and from myriad backgrounds and native tongues, posting here. Let's lay off the grammar nitpicks.

What Jessica said. Please be civil, folks.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:

1.Full stops please. commas are not the same a full stops.

2.Roleplaying insanity doesn't mean you are in control of your character. their actions are normally predetermined so i already know the segregation is there. If its actions taken due to lycanthrope or vampiric blood-lust, that the player failed to make the will save against doing, that's okay in my book too. The player knows their character would be acting, and can make a suggestion for what to do.

However where I firmly draw the line (and start handing out big corruption and evil alignment marks) is when the player is actively(as in the player directly stating that they are say ripping off someones head, without me establishing what kind of actions the player is trying to not have happen, like the urge to rip a civilian to shreds with their claws) choosing to do these things. As a GM, its kind of part of the role you fill to determine what happens, and try to steer the story in a firm but fair manner. The players control how their character reacts to thing and what actions they take accordingly.

If the characters start acting like evil, monstrous bastards(like committing mass murder, genocide, Rape) because of the players action outside of the gm's actions, I will be marking them down for it. The players are supposed to be the heroes of the story they are in, not being the villains(unless they are supposed to be the villain's, to which I still think the players shouldn't be absolutely dickish, petty, anarchist,sadistic,or stupid evil all the bloody time.)

1) English isn't my primary language, and I suck at punctuation regardless of the language.

2) We are talking roleplaying being under the effects of something, not players finding s***ty excuse as of why their alignment shouldn't change after doing certain things.

2.5) DM/GM using a madness effect on the PC =/= PC being hit by a madness effect literally out of no where.

Look. Let's just wait for the book to come out/more confirmations to be made on what the corruption/insanity rules entail. As for the PC getting hit by a madness effect...lycanthropy isn't strickly madness. It's a transformative curse/disease that brings a more bestial mindset along with. It's like a split personality that is trying to assert dominance over the afflicted so it can do its own thing. For most, it's an urge to kill and slaughter the innocent when transformed. The host can try to resist these impulses, hence why I think the players should get a will check to act against the impulses. When they fail that check, the other personality is in control, and the player receives control after the deed has been done. The players DON'T directly control that personality, but I would allow for the player to give a voice to it while it's active.

Were bears are a slightly different matter though, since most were bears voluntarily accept their strain of lycanthropy and tend to cooperate with it. It doesn't dominate them like a werewolf, or otherwise take power using cunning, authority, or trickery like some other were-types might do.


ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:
Nutcase Entertainment wrote:
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:
2.Roleplaying insanity doesn't mean you are in control of your character...

2) We are talking roleplaying being under the effects of something, not players finding s***ty excuse as of why their alignment shouldn't change after doing certain things.

2.5) DM/GM using a madness effect on the PC =/= PC being hit by a madness effect literally out of no where.

Look. Let's just wait for the book to come out/more confirmations to be made on what the corruption/insanity rules entail. As for the PC getting hit by a madness effect...lycanthropy isn't strickly madness. It's a transformative curse/disease that brings a more bestial mindset along with. It's like a split personality that is trying to assert dominance over the afflicted so it can do its own thing. For most, it's an urge to kill and slaughter the innocent when transformed. The host can try to resist these impulses, hence why I think the players should get a will check to act against the impulses. When they fail that check, the other personality is in control, and the player receives control after the deed has been done. The players DON'T directly control that personality, but I would allow for the player to give a voice to it while it's active.

Were bears are a slightly different matter though, since most were bears voluntarily accept their strain of lycanthropy and tend to cooperate with it. It doesn't dominate them like a werewolf, or otherwise take power using cunning, authority, or trickery like some other were-types might do.

Agree on the "let us wait".

Just don't mix Role-Playing with Roll-Playing, and remember some are bad at either or both, be they players or DMs/GMs.


Oooh O_O You guys are taking a crack at "Heroes of Horror"? Nice :D

I keep thinking that it's kinda hard to "scare" players. You can affect their characters with fear effects and such, but the players often shrug it off with "bah, it's just a game afterall." I don't know if it's because we have been accustomed to it or if the horror genre in fiction has simply diminished in effectiveness.

Undeads, aberrations and evil outsiders have the horror/fear aspect imprinted on them, but I feel like they became stale over the years.

Few things I'd love to see in this book:
- How to make each monster type scary? Sure, appearances and fear effects can work for undeads and dragons, but what about animals, vermins, oozes and monstrous humanoids? I think it would have to go with their actions more than their abilities.

- How to hook players in? Look, you cannot have too many campaign hooks in Pathfinder, you just can't, so feel free to throw us as many bones as you guys can come up with. Pick a region, pick a plot and pick a twist. Occult Adventures and its related products often deal with horror-themed adventures, so I'm begging you to cover that in this book ^_^

- How to expand occult rituals? While the current rules do a decent job, I feel like some elements are missing. What if I want to summon a monster? What's the Check DC Modifier according the monster's CR? Fiend summoning is often associated with horror, so... Ok, granted, you cannot have every single outcome of a ritual, but I'm sure that you expand the rules.

- Will there be new monsters? You guys talking about new templates, but will new monsters be added? Qlippoths and Sahkils have a horrifying appearance; there are more Fleshwarps that are rumored to exist; Neh-thalggus are gruesome aliens (also detailled in Iron Gods); Undeads come in all shapes and sizes; Lycanthropes are numerous depending on the animal selected (vulture, seal, squid, snake. So yeah, I'd like to see new monsters in addition of templates.

- How to make a scary villain? Speak for itself ;) Maybe you could throw in popular villainous archetypes in the mix, like the stalker, murderer, insanity victim and such.

- How to make good-aligned creatures scary? Yeah, you've read it correctly. If I want to make a paladin of Iomedae, a silver dragon or a trumpet archon scary, how do I proceed? Sure, "horror" is often associated with grotesque appearance and evil, but fear is also keyed to that, so yeah... how to make a paladin scary with guidelines would be nice ;)

I'm eager to see this product ^_^

Dark Archive

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JiCi wrote:
Neh-thalggus are gruesome aliens (also detailled in Iron Gods);

[tangent] Neh-thalggu are super-fun horror beasties. Imagine that the brains they absorb are still alive and conscious, being tapped for their arcane power by their devourer. When the spells prepared or slots possessed are finally expended, that brain is no longer useful to the neh-thalggu, as the brain can't 'rest' and recover spell slots (or prepare new spells), so it ejects it like a spent shell casing, and goes hunting for a new wizard, sorcerer, etc. to de-brain.

Meanwhile, to resurrect a friend killed by one, you have to remove the brain from the neh-thalggu before the creature dies, as the brains it has stolen 'go down with the ship' and die with it.

There's also the horror aspect of allowing the neh-thalggu to tap into the brain in other ways, using it's knowledge and memories to traumatize it's former friends or family, perhaps even allowing the person whose consciousness is trapped within it's brain-sacs to speak to people through it's voice, offering it moments of 'freedom' like this in exchange for cooperation in other ways (perhaps it can't pillage the brain's memories willy-nilly, but can coerce or manipulate information out of the brains it has in storage?).

Also the potential that a brain in the neh-thalggu's sacs is particularly old, or has some vital knowledge needed for the current crisis, and having to find a way to get that information, either by bargaining with the neh-thalggu itself, or by incapacitating it and freeing / resurrecting / re-embodying the captive brain of some aeons-dead sorcerer from a half-forgotten culture. (For instance, we are going up against a Runelord, and discover in researching her that one of her more knowledgeable apprentices got eaten by a neh-thalggu. Finding and being able to question that disembodied brain could reveal secrets about the Runelord that will give Team Good a chance against her!)
[/tangent]

TL,DR; Neh-thalggu. Love 'em! Great for body horror stories.

Liberty's Edge

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It would be interesting if they have things like brain containers designed to keep the brain alive for some after the original hosts passing. think a situation like in 'the man with 2 brains' where you have a mad scientist/wizard using a specialized fluid to preserve the brains lifespan until the consciousness/brain proper can be transferred to a new host via spell/mad science device.

Imagine an alien archive which held the still living brains of their victims so they can study and understand the species they are encountering even after the host dies, or an insane collector that not only collects artifacts from around the world, but also the minds and memories of their creators and owners. And what more horrific fate could an enemy suffer than to have their brain carried away in a glass jar as a trophy or warning to others that might cross them, to be psychically tortured, harvested, devoured, experimented on, or discarded.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
ErisAcolyte-Chaos jester wrote:

It would be interesting if they have things like brain containers designed to keep the brain alive for some after the original hosts passing. think a situation like in 'the man with 2 brains' where you have a mad scientist/wizard using a specialized fluid to preserve the brains lifespan until the consciousness/brain proper can be transferred to a new host via spell/mad science device.

Imagine an alien archive which held the still living brains of their victims so they can study and understand the species they are encountering even after the host dies, or an insane collector that not only collects artifacts from around the world, but also the minds and memories of their creators and owners. And what more horrific fate could an enemy suffer than to have their brain carried away in a glass jar as a trophy or warning to others that might cross them, to be psychically tortured, harvested, devoured, experimented on, or discarded.

We already have those in Golarion canon - The Mi-Go create Brain Canisters which essentially do exactly what you are asking for ;-)


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I really hope the werewolf options in this book are playable, but the way they're described and the way players who want to play werewolves have been spoken about in the past makes me fear they won't be

Lantern Lodge

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I hope we will have archetype or feat similar to the fleshwarper Prestige class in Lord of Madness.

And much much more.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
lazulin wrote:
I really hope the werewolf options in this book are playable, but the way they're described and the way players who want to play werewolves have been spoken about in the past makes me fear they won't be

From what I've read and heard the Corruption rules are specifically for allowing people to play a descent into lycanthropy :3


Rysky wrote:
From what I've read and heard the Corruption rules are specifically for allowing people to play a descent into lycanthropy :3

Whether these rules to let you play as them are actually "playable" though remains to be seen... I am optimistic since I like the design team, but "The only cost is your very soul!" can go very bad very quickly from a playability standpoint.


Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

The corruption rules might make for an interesting, better mechanic for persistent murderhobo Paladins to have them gradually slide into Antipaladinhood.


I can't wait to see what the corruption system is like.

I wonder what else will be in this book.

Silver Crusade

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Milo v3 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
From what I've read and heard the Corruption rules are specifically for allowing people to play a descent into lycanthropy :3
Whether these rules to let you play as them are actually "playable" though remains to be seen... I am optimistic since I like the design team, but "The only cost is your very soul!" can go very bad very quickly from a playability standpoint.

Going off of Dragoncon (so this might have completely changed since then) was that at specific points as your Corruption progressed you could choose to fight against the Corruption (gaining bonuses and penalties) or embrace it (also gaining bonuses and penalties).

So here's hoping.


Hopefully we will find out more during or even before Paizo Con.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Rysky wrote:
Milo v3 wrote:
Rysky wrote:
From what I've read and heard the Corruption rules are specifically for allowing people to play a descent into lycanthropy :3
Whether these rules to let you play as them are actually "playable" though remains to be seen... I am optimistic since I like the design team, but "The only cost is your very soul!" can go very bad very quickly from a playability standpoint.

Going off of Dragoncon (so this might have completely changed since then) was that at specific points as your Corruption progressed you could choose to fight against the Corruption (gaining bonuses and penalties) or embrace it (also gaining bonuses and penalties).

So here's hoping.

So even if corruption starts to take you, you can still fight the pull into the darkness to save your self/soul. Even if you start becoming a monster on the outside, you can still remain of a sane and 'human' mind. Alternatively, you can always embrace the monster you are becoming to gain even more power. It's a good way to allow for players and GMs to police their changes into monsters and even open up some doors interesting character encounters, like a vampiric matriarch that supports one of the players dealing with vampirism to slake their bloodlust in a more 'ethical' manner, or a wendigo that has learned how to control their cannibalistic urges to help their community.

Sovereign Court

I am so excited for this product! It looks amazing!


What would be amazing:

1) From the classic "Heroes of Horror" book - a Paizo conversion of the legendary Archivist.

OR

2) A Great Old One/Outer God cultist Cleric archetype

Come on Paizo you know it makes sense!!


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I am so looking forward to this. Horror can be really difficult to pull off. I actually think it is one the hardest genres to pull off. It needs buy in from the players as well as a GM who knows how to craft the adventure/narrative.


Anyone fancy helping design a dark tapestry cleric archetype the..... Dark Apostle ?


You know, I got a lot out of Heroes of Horror's stuff on dreamscapes. Any chance we'll get something similar here?


Kobold Cleaver wrote:
You know, I got a lot out of Heroes of Horror's stuff on dreamscapes. Any chance we'll get something similar here?

Huh? *Looks at the already existant dreamscape rules*


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I mean I want more.

Liberty's Edge

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I mean I want more.

I'm hoping they give some more too. How else am i going to do my crazy lucid world of mechanical terrors, insane monarchs, Abberant Organic entities and locations, and surreal logic, reasoning and physics.

Yes i am wanting to make something like if the worlds of American Mcgees Alice, H.R Giger, the Miskatonic, Pathfinder, Surrealist art, and pathfinder all got stuck in a blender and were gruesomly puree'd.

No, I am not ashamed to admit that. And I am aware of the harrowing but i still want more Surreal lucidity or chaotic power at my finger tips.

LET THE MANIA AND HORROR FLOW AS A MIGHTY TIDE OF BLOOD AND TERROR OVER THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD AND LET THEM KNOW THAT THEIR GODS ARE BEYOND THEIR COMPREHENSION!!!


Hmmm...if this is a horror setting type manual will we be getting rules / info for gothic horror settings (aka vampires, werewolves, etc), apocalyptic horror (zombie plagues, full-scale invasions from Hell, the Abyss, or Abaddon), or lovecraftian horrors (aka great old ones, the Dominion of the Black)? Possibly all three?


Eris Vandavil wrote:
LET THE MANIA AND HORROR FLOW AS A MIGHTY TIDE OF BLOOD AND TERROR OVER THE PEOPLE OF THIS WORLD AND LET THEM KNOW THAT THEIR GODS ARE BEYOND THEIR COMPREHENSION!!!

...you haven't been taking your medication again haven't you Eris. ^_~

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Sorry about that, the lunatic hasn't been able to get out and actually have any of the adventures she so desperately craved to gain gold, treasure, levels and rep.

I hope i can find a game soon or she'll probably start slicing up the couch again.

Liberty's Edge

IGNORE THE JESTER!!! I AM COMPLETELY FINE. THE VOICES IN MY HEAD TELL ME I AM AND I BELIEVE WHAT THEY TELL ME. THEY ALSO SAY THE PEOPLE IN THAT ORPHANAGE ARE BEING EXPERIMENTED ON BY GOOD PEOPLE SERVING BAD GODS, AND BAD PEOPLE SERVING BAD GODS ARE AMONG THEM. I KNOW I CAN KILL THE BAD PEOPLE AND HELP MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE.

JUST GET THE CLOWN TO UNDO THESE STRAPS!!!!!


Berselius wrote:
Hmmm...if this is a horror setting type manual will we be getting rules / info for gothic horror settings (aka vampires, werewolves, etc), apocalyptic horror (zombie plagues, full-scale invasions from Hell, the Abyss, or Abaddon), or lovecraftian horrors (aka great old ones, the Dominion of the Black)? Possibly all three?

Well heres my contribution to the Lovecraftian....

Dark Apostle

Liberty's Edge

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Considering what kind of content we are getting in ultimate intrigue, I wonder if we may get to see how magical girls/knights interact with a horror setting. My guess is the setting becoming like Madoka Magika, but I think it still could be a ton of fun.


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Yeah, I'm wondering if Horror Adventurers will have notes on integrating less horror-oriented options—like that spell that shoots money, or gnomes, or bards.

#NotAllGnomes; but seriously, my point is that many aren't aware of the horror potential of these options. Some underlining of how to adapt things that people may assume are less creepy would be welcome.

Dark Archive

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, I'm wondering if Horror Adventurers will have notes on integrating less horror-oriented options—like that spell that shoots money, or gnomes, or bards.

A version of the rod of wonder (the rod of horror?) that always produces grotesque and macabre random effects, could be on-theme.

Grand Lodge

Just take my money!


What about a twisted version of a puzzle cube that is a gateway to a horrible dimension or a machine that brings the dead back to life but turns them into monsters.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Dragon78 wrote:
What about a twisted version of a puzzle cube that is a gateway to a horrible dimension or a machine that brings the dead back to life but turns them into monsters.

Like flesh golems, ghouls, or some other horrors capable by Mad science/magic. I personally hope there are interesting magic weapons based on some memorable iconic killers/heroes. Maybe when weapons that have commited such horrorable atrocities and crimes for long enough, some of the killers essense and intent gets infused with the blade. Now that might make you think twice about that magical weapon you just looted off that psychotic murderous cult leader or warlord.


No I said brings them back to life but changes them ether physically or mentally. so they are alive but changed into psychos, monstrous humanoids, or maybe aberrations in some cases.

Dark Archive

Set wrote:
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Yeah, I'm wondering if Horror Adventurers will have notes on integrating less horror-oriented options—like that spell that shoots money, or gnomes, or bards.
A version of the rod of wonder (the rod of horror?) that always produces grotesque and macabre random effects, could be on-theme.

I thought a wand of wonder was pretty much already a wand of horror.

Sovereign Court

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Knowing the Paizo team, if anything's coming out of a puzzle box... it's probably kytons. ^_^


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Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Yeah, I'm wondering if Horror Adventurers will have notes on integrating less horror-oriented options—like that spell that shoots money, or gnomes, or bards.

#NotAllGnomes; but seriously, my point is that many aren't aware of the horror potential of these options. Some underlining of how to adapt things that people may assume are less creepy would be welcome.

Given that gnomes have to indulge in ever-greater and more intense experiences or they either die or become bleachlings, I'd say it's a poor GM who couldn't think of many ways to make them nightmare material. Heck the fey in general can be creepy as all get-out if you ever read the old stories about them, before writers began to cut the venom with syrup.

Liberty's Edge

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What kind of horror spells/rituals do I want to see in this book. Well a spell that enables the caster to physically absorb/engulf other people for a limited period of time could be frightning prospect.

If it had the added benefit of enabling the caster to have access to the absorbed person's memories and some other abilities(or their form), that would even worse to deal with.

Naturally there would be some limitations. Paizo wouldn't simply let you absorb a Dragon or tarrasque and then gain all their abilities(now that might break the game), or let you absorb a town full of people and get all their skills and abilities.


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Kalindlara wrote:
Knowing the Paizo team, if anything's coming out of a puzzle box... it's probably kytons. ^_^

Yes and they'll get Doug Bradley and/or Clive Barker to help out some how. ;)


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Kalindlara wrote:
Knowing the Paizo team, if anything's coming out of a puzzle box... it's probably kytons. ^_^

We have such sights to show you.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Axial wrote:
Kalindlara wrote:
Knowing the Paizo team, if anything's coming out of a puzzle box... it's probably kytons. ^_^
We have such sights to show you.

That or evil sadistic violent genies(the kind from wishmaster or some of the ancient arabic tales of the djinn told for morality purposed.) Either way, expect what happens after to be among some of the worst things to ever happen in your life.

After all, the genie/jinn doesn't have to grant your wishes, and might be pissed/hungry after XXXX000 years of being cooped up in the box(or bottle, jar, lamp, mirror), and may simply decide to kill/eat the idiots that released it, and then go back to whatever evil schemes it has been planning.

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