Halloween draws near, and you have still 19 days and a handful of hours, at the moment I’m writing this, to get hold of the Leagues of Gothic Horror bundle at Bundle of Holding.
For about ten bucks you can get the basic set-up including the Leagues of Adventure roleplaying game handbook, and the two books, Leagues of Gothic Horror and Mordavia: Land of Horror, that will allow you to play a solid game of Hammer-style horror.
No emo vamps here, no horny werewolves… just the good old game of the sharp stake and the silver blade. Can it get any better?
Now, I know I am going against my interests here, as I do have a steampunk adventure game out these days, and it’s called Hope & Glory and you can buy it either in digital format or in hardcopy through DriveThruRPG… but I like steampunk, and I like original, quirky, intelligent steampunk – so Leagues of Adventure is my go-to one-stop handbook for building Victorian adventure games. The game runs on the Ubiquity system (the same used for the wonderful pulp game Hollow Earth Expeditions) and it’s fast and lightweight, and it includes all the things you need to play a steampunk adventure – weird tech, unusual skills, strange people and places. It also provides one of the best crutches for players out there in the form of an organization of explorers and adventurers that gives the characters a good reason to go out there and risk life and limb.
Leagues of Gothic Horror adds a layer to the basic game, introducing… Gothic horror.
For my money, this is the best Hammer-style setting ever this side of the old Ravenloft, and comes with the extra bonus of not being cluttered with elves, dwarves and hobbits.
Granted, Savage Worlds players can go for Rippers, but that’s more of a macabre superhero game with a Victorian setting. Leagues of Gothic Horror is more straightforward, but leaves a door open for steampunk tech to be added to the mix. If you plan to play the old Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter, or a take on recent films like Hansel & Gretel Monster Hunters or Van Helsing (great opportunity to do it right, this time), this is the game for you.
And Mordavia, as a venue for your adventures, is just what the doctor ordered. Sort of Transylvania with the plates changed, this is a perfect chunk of classic Gothic horror tucked in the map of Eastern Europe. You get the history of the place, the locations, the denizens, the horros.
Just add adventurers.
I have been re-reading the Mordavia sourcebook because of two projects I am working on.
One of them is the next Hope & Glory sourcebook, and I needed to go and see how a concise, in-depth but agile sourcebook is done. And this is it.
As for the other… well, should something good come out of it, you’ll be the first to know.
This Bundle of Holding is perfect for the season and a great value for money.
You can also go for the Bonus Collection that will set you back 20 bucks but will throw in Cthulhu too, plus a guide to The Ministry of Unusual Affairs, expansions on Gothic Horror (in case you needed more), Wicked Science (so you can feed your Frankenstein… or your Mister Hyde), Black Magic and guides to Shapeshifters, Apparitions, and Mummies. Ever since good old doc Van Richten retired, we missed such a wealth of gaming horror goodness all in one place.
AND, part of the proceeds go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, those brave guys that work to make it possible for small blogs like mine to survive unmolested.
These are good guys, and they need support.
Check it out.