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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Are There Any "Legit" Old School / OSR Horror Settings?

Ravenloft was NOT a horror setting, no matter the trappings. It was more of a "horror fun house".

Tainted Lands for C&C looks like Ravenloft with a different set of paints.

Midnight (for 3e) is a dark setting, not horror.

Is there a horror setting for Old School gaming that I've missed?

20 comments:

  1. The surest setting for horror that I can think of is that presented in Better Than Any Man.

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  2. I guess it depends on what you mean by horror.

    Dark Sun has a strain of post-apocalyptic survival horror in it.
    Same with SSS's 3.x Scarred Lands setting.
    There is Gaslight for d20 from Battlefield Pres and the AD&D and d20 Ravenloft Masque of the Red Death, all set in Victorian England.

    But for real Old-School horror you have have to move out of the D&D world into CoC or even Chill. Or just use those ideas in AD&D.

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  3. Not necessarily a campaign setting, but many of the Lamentations of the Flame Princess modules are excellent for scary games. The God that Crawls, Better than Any Man, Death Frost Doom, etc.

    Also there is a guy writing a horror-hack for DCC RPG called Transylvanian Adventures. He's got a module on RPGNOW called "The Winter Home." Have not read it but it's reviewing well.

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  4. I've never read it, but I always hear Carcosa brought up when people start talking about fantasy horror.

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  5. It's pretty subjective, I have to say, since horror as a genre is so diverse. Torture? Gore? Zombies? Ghost? Scary monsters? I think a typical D&D adventure plays out as horror for the characters, maybe not so much for the players.

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  6. Now that I think about it, not really. However, I think that's because Call of Cthulhu dominated the horror genre and people didn't see a need or desire to make a D&D adaption.

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  7. I quite like Tainted Lands, even if it doesn't quite meet what you're looking for. I think it's more than just a Ravenloft wannabe.

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    1. Also, forgot to mention that this could be combined with the very dark stuff (spells/monsters/class) presented in Dark Libram of Nartarus. Also, there's some good stuff in the Freeport setting (insanity and what not). Which is also available for C&C.

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  8. Goblinoid Games has the Realms of Crawling Chaos supplement for Labyrinth Lord. It presents the Cthulhu Mythos (or at least, that portion in the Public Domain) for use to run a Lovecraftian LL game. It is not really a setting, but makes it easier perhaps to create a true Horror setting for LL.

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  9. Quentin Bauer is doing Raiders of R'lyeh as Edwardian-era BRP-inspired old-school, and that's due out in a few months. My own Silent Legions for SWN is modern-day, but I'm not expecting to see that until Q2 next year or so.

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  10. I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a horror "setting." Horror generally works best in mundane, familiar settings into which the horrifying element is injected.

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    1. Agreed. Settings that set out to be self-consciously "scary" usually fail in my opinion. There's no contrast, so the horror elements lose their impact.

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  11. Honestly, I don't know if a true horror setting is possible in roleplaying games. The main conventions of horror are isolation, life being cheap and almost impossible odds against the unknowable enemy. The teamplay, balanced rules of rpgs makes that very hard to do. Plus a lot of the effect of horror can get lost with a bad GM.

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  12. What about Jack Shear's Gothic Earth stuff?

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    1. Agreed, that is some scary stuff that can be adapted to most any game.

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  13. I'd say Chill / Cryptworld would be your best bet. I've been a Chill fan for years, but I think I actualy prefer Cryptworld's generic approach. If you haven't read it it's worth checking out.

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  14. Check out our free to download adventure at www.RPGnow.com, search for Wrath of the Morning Star

    http://www.rpgnow.com/product/120697/Wrath-of-the-Morning-Star-Hargraves-Tavern

    We'd love to have your thoughts. Thanks!

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  15. Scott Mathis just came out with Transylvanian Adventures for DCC RPG. It's horror in the Universal Monsters/Hammer Horror vein...

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  16. Scott Mathis just came out with Transylvanian Adventures for DCC RPG. It's horror in the Universal Monsters/Hammer Horror vein...

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