Excerpts 10/07/2005

Heroes of Horror Excerpt
By James Wyatt, Ari Marmell, C.A. Suleiman

Add a frisson of fear to your game with Heroes of Horror. This supplement goes over the techniques of terror within D&D and can become a valuable resource to both DMs and players who prefer a more chilling side to their adventures. Heroes of Horror provides everything players and Dungeon Masters need to play and run a horror-oriented campaign or integrate elements of creepiness and tension into their existing campaigns. Players can develop heroes or antiheroes using new feats, new spells, new base classes and prestige classes, and new magic items. The book presents new mechanics for different types of horror, including rules for dread and tainted characters, as well as plenty of new horrific monsters and adventure seeds. Different types and genres of horror are discussed in detail. Our sneak peek gives you a look at villains, the archivist class, deformity feats, summon undead spells, and the cadaver golem.


What's In This Book

Chapter 1: Dread Encounters
Stand-Alone Encounters
Introducing Horror
Setting the Stage
Creating Horror
Creepy Effects
The Villain of a Horror Encounter
Villainous Traits
Sample Encounter: "To Grandmother's House"
Sample Encounter: "Annalee's Baby"
New Demigod: Cas

Chapter 2: Dread Adventures
Horror Adventures in Nonhorror Campaigns
Designing a Horror Adventure
Plot and Story
Villains in a Horror Game
Techniques of Terror
Splitting the Party
Don't Show Everything
Threaten Friends, Allies, and Loved Ones
The Evil Duplicate Ploy
Finding the Achilles' Heel
Introducing New Elements to the Campaign
Sample Adventure: For Hate's Sake

Chapter 3: A Horror Campaign
The Basics of Horror Gaming
Plot in a Horror Campaign
Unhappy Endings
Sample Campaign: Nightwatch
Other Campaign Models
Dreams and Nightmares
Constructing Dreams
Dreams as Plot Devices
Adventuring in Nightmare Realms
Dream Magic
Monsters of the Dreamscape

Chapter 4: Rules of Horror
Illness and Despair
Alternative Degrees of Fear
Escalating Fear
The Taint of Evil
Effects of Taint
Physical Symptoms
Mental Symptoms
Taint and Alignment
Cleansing Taint
Horror Environments
Tainted Locations
Dread Effects
Haunting Presences
Mortuary Terrain
Campaign Rules
Death and Resurrection
Violence and Taint

Chapter 5: Heroes and Antiheroes
Dread Necromancer
Prestige Classes
Corrupt Avenger
Death Delver
Dread Witch
Purifier of the Hallowed Doctrine
Tainted Scholar
New Feats
Tainted Feats
Vile Feats
Feat Descriptions
Archivist of Nature
Bane Magic
Blood Calls to Blood
Corrupt Arcana
Corrupt Spell Focus
Debilitating Spell
Debilitating Strike
Deformity (Skin)
Deformity (Tall)
Deformity (Teeth)
Deformity (Tongue)
Disease Immunity
Draconic Archivist
Eldritch Corruption
Font of Life
Forbidden Lore
Greater Corrupt Spell Focus
Haunting Melody
Improved Oneiromancy
Lunatic Insight
Mad Faith
Master of Knowledge
Pure Soul
Spirit Sense
Surge of Malevolence
Tainted Fury
Touch of Taint
Unnatural Will
Willing Deformity
Dread Magic
Evil Spells and Taint
Corrupt Spells
Spell Lists
Spell Descriptions
Bestow Wound
Call Forth the Beast
Chain of Sorrow
Cloak of Hate
Detect Taint
Dream Sight
Dream Walk
Dreaming Puppet
Familial Geas
Fire in the Blood
Harm, Greater
Harm, Mass
Imprison Soul
Manifest Desire
Manifest Nightmare
Mantle of Pure Spite
Master's Lament
Oath of Blood
Pact of Return
Plague of Undead
Pronouncement of Fate
Resist Taint
Restful Slumber
Rigor Mortis
Summon Undead I
Summon Undead II
Summon Undead III
Summon Undead IV
Summon Undead V
Vile Death
Magic Items and Artifacts
Rod of Sanctity

Chapter 6: Creatures of the Night
Villains in Horror
Beyond Gothic
The Vampire
The Wolf-Man
Frankenstein's Monster
The Mummy
Animals and Vermin
Monstrous Humanoids
New Monsters
Bane Wraith
Bog Imp
Corruption Eater
Elemental, Taint
Giant, Dusk
Golem, Cadaver
Gray Jester
Bleak Ones
Phantasmal Slayer
Tainted Minion
Tainted Raver
Unholy Scion


Heroes of Horror is a rules supplement for the Dungeons & Dragons Roleplaying Game. It's a player resource that gives players the tools they need to build characters with dark secrets in their past, paralyzing phobias, or an irresistible urge to explore the forbidden side of magic. DMs can use this book as a toolbox to build a horror encounter, adventure, or campaign for the D&D game.

What's In This Book

Heroes of Horror contains information for DMs and players alike. The first three chapters focus on advice for the Dungeon Master on incorporating horror elements into a campaign. The last three provide a variety of new mechanics to help bring those horrific visions to life.

Dread Encounters (Chapter 1): Every horror campaign starts with a single encounter. This chapter describes how to make a D&D encounter horrific rather than simply challenging. It also discusses suitable villains for such an encounter and provides two sample horror encounters, "To Grandmother's House" and "Annalee's Baby." Finally, this chapter presents a new demigod whose influence can provoke horror encounters: Cas, the demigod of spite.

Dread Adventures (Chapter 2): Sometimes an entire adventure will revolve around a horror theme. This chapter describes moods, settings, and plots that make for horrific adventures, as well as discussing ways of creating villains who can dominate an entire horror adventure. Finally, after several techniques to make an adventure more frightening for the PCs, it provides a sample short horror adventure, "For Hate's Sake."

A Horror Campaign (Chapter 3): An entire campaign devoted to horror requires special trust between the DM and players, since the PCs may not in fact end up saving the day. This chapter describes ways to establish that trust, as well as describing settings, plots, and villains that work well in horror campaigns. Finally, after outlining a sample campaign, "Nightwatch," it provides rules for adventuring in dreamscapes and nightmare realms.

Rules of Horror (Chapter 4): This chapter describes new ways to use the rules of D&D to evoke a sense of dread. It also presents a new rule set, the taint mechanic, to represent ways in which exposure to evil eventually causes both physical and moral decay, known respectively as corruption and depravity. Other new rules describe tainted locations, haunting presences (poltergeists), and mortuary terrain, as well as alternative alignment rules more suited for horror gaming. Finally, it discusses ways that divination magic and resurrection magic can be warped by the pervading horror of the setting.

Heroes and Antiheroes (Chapter 5): This chapter presents two new standard classes, the archivist and the dread necromancer, as well as half a dozen new prestige classes, from the fiend-blooded, who embraces the evil inherent in her ancestry, to the purifier of the Hallowed Doctrine, who strives to stop the spread of taint. This chapter also details more than thirty new feats, some of them powered by taint and others useful in fighting tainted creatures, and a like number of new spells, including corrupt spells that inflict ability damage upon their caster and oneiromancy spells, which allow the caster to manipulate the dreams of others. Finally, a brief section on artifacts and magic items describes one useful item, the rod of sanctity, which might prove a lifesaver to PCs due to its ability to cleanse taint, and three malign artifacts, including the sinister Acererak's robe, which enables its wearer to convert the living into the undead with simply a touch.

Creatures of the Night (Chapter 6): This chapter is divided into two parts. The first describes ways in which to use traditional fantasy and horror monsters, such as a vampires, giants, and dragons, in new and unsettling ways. The second part details thirteen new monsters and templates suitable for horror adventures, from the taint elemental and the dusk giant to the tainted minion and the unholy scion.

Adventure Sites:Heroes of Horror contains eleven maps depicting various environments in which a horror encounter or horror adventure could occur. Most of these maps, such as the lich's shrine (page 49), have supporting text that describes locations within the site. Two of the maps, the vampire lord's castle (page 32) and Shadow House (page 70), are stand-alone maps that a DM can use for any appropriate purpose.

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