Darkness & Dread vs. Heroes of Horror




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  1. #1

    Darkness & Dread vs. Heroes of Horror

    Well, I have Heroes of Horror. It is... okay. While it does not fill my heart with joy it will do the job, but somehow does not wow me. I was much happier with Heroes of Battle (the main reason I picked up HoH.) Nothing jumped up and down yelling 'use me! Use me! Taint will likely find use, but I already have the rules for it twice - Oriental Adventures and Unearthed Arcana.

    How is Fantasy Flight's Darkness & Dread by comparison? I do not yet have it, though I will likely be picking up the PDF before too very long. And how well would the two products work in tandem?

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    Darkness and Dread is a great book, one of my favoret d20 books. It actualy modifies the game for lower magic horror campaigns rather then shoehorning the RAW into it.
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  3. #3
    I'm tired of the assumption that horror doesn't work in standard Third Edition games. There are more ways to instill fear and render the PCs powerless than to take away their flashy spells and magic swords. :\
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by mhacdebhandia
    I'm tired of the assumption that horror doesn't work in standard Third Edition games. There are more ways to instill fear and render the PCs powerless than to take away their flashy spells and magic swords. :\
    Indeed there are. The majority of Darkness & Dread's pages are actually dedicated to assisting GMs utilise those other ways, in fact.

    That said, I believe taking away their flashy spells and magic swords is a good additional measure to take, 9 times out of 10. It's not necessary, and good players, a good GM, and well. . . horror elements are all far more important. Even so, I believe that it helps, in the majority of cases.

    In D&D (RAW), magic is cheap and easy. It's everywhere, it's fire-and-forget. So too then is miraculous healing, easily dealing with undead, resurrection, outright annihilating entire sections of foes and/or the surrounding countryside (without so much as a flick of the hand, sometimes), etc. etc. etc.

    Also, the lack of wounds, the abundance of HP, and the lack of such things as infection, bone breakage, limb loss etc. don't exactly add to the horror experience, in one sense at least.
    Last edited by Aus_Snow; Monday, 21st November, 2005 at 04:23 AM.

  5. #5
    It just seems to me that you're talking about a kind of horror that works best at low levels and saying it's difficult to do at high levels. Well, duh.

    There is more than one variety of horror, after all. They don't all entail monsters, injury, and death.
    Christopher Adams - Sydney, Australia

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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mhacdebhandia
    It just seems to me that you're talking about a kind of horror that works best at low levels and saying it's difficult to do at high levels. Well, duh.

    There is more than one variety of horror, after all. They don't all entail monsters, injury, and death.
    No, low-magic and lethality (in comparison with D&D, RAW, which is very high-magic, and very low-lethality by default) have nothing to do with low-level. I mean, duh.

    I wasn't saying horror was difficult to do at high level, not in the slightest. Reread it if you want to make sure.

    I had time constraints when posting before (as I do right now), and couldn't list all the things I perhaps should have. Later, when I truly have the time, I might.

    Another missing thing, though? Terror, madness, etc.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhacdebhandia
    I'm tired of the assumption that horror doesn't work in standard Third Edition games. There are more ways to instill fear and render the PCs powerless than to take away their flashy spells and magic swords. :\
    I agree. "Powering Down" is too much of a cop-out for me. While it's easy to justify a certain amount of it in a horror game, because horror frequently comes from the unknown and powerlessness, a much better book would retain all the divinations and magical shininess and say "there are still ways to make the PC's feel horrified."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhacdebhandia View Post
    I'm tired of the assumption that horror doesn't work in standard Third Edition games. There are more ways to instill fear and render the PCs powerless than to take away their flashy spells and magic swords. :\
    While I can agree that dropping power levels is one way to help induce horror in RPG gaming, I also agree with you that it isn't necessarily the only or best way to do it.

    Kaidan is a Japanese horror setting designed for use with PFRPG, thus can work well with 3x rules. While some new mechanics have been introduced to help convey the unique horror aspects of the setting, in no way has the Pathfinder rules been lowered in power to fit. There's absolutely no need to alter Pathfinder in any way to achieve the horror aspects of Kaidan.

    Check out The Curse of the Golden Spear trilogy of adventures that introduce the setting to a party of 5th level standard adventurers to this land of curses and Japanese horror.

    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenGMiller View Post
    I think that they are aimed at two different styles of horror game. Darkness is a more hopeless, gritty game with low levels, low magic, low hit points and almost a CoC feel. HoH is more true fantasy with a horror feel. I got them both and I like both, but I don't think I would try to integrate them for the same game, though there are some rules from both you could pick out and plug in, like the hit point rules from Darkness and the taint mechanic from HoH.
    There is plenty of gritty, dark hopelessness in Kaidan, especially in adventures 2 and 3 of the trilogy.
    Last edited by gamerprinter; Monday, 1st October, 2012 at 08:19 PM.
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  9. #9
    Darkness & Dread contains a fair few 'deadly & low-magic' rules changes (in amidst everything else) to better faciliatate true horror / dark fantasy etc. : Fear ratings, madness points, professions (low-key classes), a more lethal HP equivalent, and so on.

    Some nice monster rules, good GM advice.

    All round very nice book actually. I'm glad it was recommended to me, and I therefore recommend it in turn.


    edit --- Sorry about the delay. More or less what they said, then.

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