"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Book of Unremitting Horror, Cassandra's Veil of Friendship

The Book of Unremitting Horror comes in two versions at this time. The one I am talking about is the the D20/3.x version. The other is for GUMSHOE system which in used by Fear Itself and Esoterrorists both published by Pelgrane Press who published this book. This version predates either of those and was released in 2005.

The books comes in at 160 pages pages and contains twenty three types of horrors though because some have multiple entries the total count will be thirty distinct horrors. Want to try and stay away from calling them monsters because they are so much more than that. They have stats and can be killed but they go beyond your vampires, werewolves and demons. These are the creatures in horror movies that make your skin crawl.

Each horror is given its own write up and this is done in more of an investigative manner than a simple entry was what you would get in a monster manual. They usually start with reports of one type or another from witnesses. These will include diary entries, transcripts, newspaper articles etc. The horrors will also have a section dedicated to the thorough descriptions of their behavior  and details of the clues they leave behind that will help investigators including descriptions of that the autopsies might reveal. The write ups also describe the origins of the horrors and their motivations. These write up all feature what could be multiple plot hooks to be used by the GM.

I feel the need to insert a warning at this point. The artwork in the book in many cases is jarring and not something that you may be well received being seen reading in public. The write ups of the horrors and what they do as well as the fiction used to elaborate on this is dark and may offend some. Please be warned this is not for the squeamish or those offended by truly dark horror.  

After the write ups of the horrors the book contains descriptions of  "artifacts" that will be connected with some of the horrors. There are a total of fifteen of these and they are not artifacts as they are normally described in other D20 or 3.x books. These do not radiate magic but many have effects connected with them and these are often undesired. I always think of someone deciding the read the Necronomicon straight through as it was described in the AD&D Deities and Demigods and immediately going insane.

Next the books has several pages dedicated to running a horror campaign and how to best incorporate the denizens of the book. The discussion covers character types, the use of weaponry and also how magic might be handled. It builds of information in the introduction pointing out that the horrors are not intended to be encounters but the big bad at the end of the story. Finally there is an adventure that will get the GM started using the material in book.

I loved this book and can not recommend it highly enough to the right persons. If you can stomach not only the gruesome and the occult this is something for you to check out. If not then maybe you would be best to avoid it. The horrors described in the book may leave a mark and that is not always a good thing for some people. I wanted to pint out that there is an excellent write up of the GUMSHOE version of the book located over at Stargazer's World.

Spell:

Cassandra's Veil of Friendship


Level: Third
Range: None
Duration: Special
Ares Effect: Caster
Components: V,S,M
Casting Time: 1 Round
Saving Throw: Negates

The casting of this spell enables the magic user to appear to any one group of individuals that they may encounter as someone friendly to them. This will have the effect of making them favorably disposed to the caster.

The saving throw for this spell will be modified by the casters knowledge of the group that they encounter. The save is made as a group using the individual with the best save option. For a group that the caster has no knowledge of the save will be made at +4. Should the caster have slight knowledge about them (i.e. they are evil brigands) the save will be made at +2. For a group that the caster has average knowledge of (i.e. they are the guards for the evil wizard at Blacktop Castle) the save will be made with no pluses or minuses. If the caster should have better than average knowledge about the group including others they might know then the save will be at -2. Should the caster have extensive knowledge such as having met a friend of the group, or having interrogated one, the save will be at -4.

This spell will make the magic user appear exactly like a friend or someone friendly to the group. The spell will even make the caster sound as the individual should to be the person they are perceived to be. The spell does not impart any specialized knowledge enabling them to better act the part of the perceived individual though..

The spell will remain in effect until the caster leaves the presence of the group for longer than three rounds. Affected individuals who leave and return will still perceive the caster as a friend provided that part of the group remained. Should the caster act in some way foreign to the expected behavior of the person they are perceived to be or say something totally alien to what would normally be said the victims are entitled to another save this time at +2 regardless of the previous modification.

This spell will only affect a finite group of beings (e.g all the people in a given room regardless of size) and may not be used as a blanket spell such as to affect all the guards in a  town or city. The spell will also only affect those that were in the specified area at the time of casting. Should new individuals arrive after the casting they will not be affected and see the caster as they normally would.

The material of component of this spell is a silken veil that has been laced with blood from an illusionist. The veil is worn while the spell is in effect but is not apparent to those affected.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.

1 comment:

Trey said...

Everytime I hear about this book I think "I need to pick that up" and then I forget about it. Thanks for reminding me again!

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