Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque II Review & Commentary

My working copy of the book so I can play with it with my pizza loving players.

Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque II
New monsters, spells, house rules, setting details, magic items, adventure sketches, etc. with a Gothic Fantasy slant for old-school fantasy role-playing games Right so right off the bat we're going to dive into the deep end of the pool with Jack Shears Second volume of
Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque & where its going & what its trying & succeeding to do. I was a bit disappointed in this volume of the series though. I was hoping for more actually. Is this stuff the same as the first volume? Nope not really at all. There seemed to be more of a Lovecraftian/Howard flavor to the Gothic setting. This actually added to the material without taking anything away.

 This volume builds on the first by providing yet more house rules but that's not a bad thing at all. The author knows the material & that material is quality. The horror material is again backed up with examples of the genre. I wish more volumes of horror did this. It makes things very easy for the DM to see where the author was going. Its little details that make a fan out of me. The setting reeks. Of lots of lore of the forbidden & nasty. This volume provides a bridge & background to the material found in the first volume but I was left wanting more. I do think its worth the 12.00 dollars for the material. 
 The second volume of this series of books puts out some truly weird stuff into the Gothic horror setting started by the first. The second volume is steeped in the same sauce as the first. The book provides a bridge gap to the world of Mr. Shear & beyond. There's still the same gallows humor that we saw in the first. There are a butt load of new classes, lands, worlds, & spells. 

The lay out is very clear, clean, & crisp. It provides the user many options for running a gothic horror game. 

This volume is a solid add to the first & gives the horror DM even more options & if you follow the author's blog there's valuable insight you can glean from this volume. 

Using & making use of Tales of the Grotesque and Dungeonesque II 

  1. Bottomline is this book worth the price of admission? Yes I believe it is & then some. The author is either A. A deranged lunatic or fanatic about all things Gothic or he really,really knows his subject. I believe its a bit of both & that only adds to the volume. 
  2. There are buttload of useful tables in this book. I couldn't wait to subject my poor players to some this stuff. The author seems to still have that Warhammer fantasy rpg vibe running through his Gothic world. You could throw this into a game of Warhammer fantasy first or second edition with little to know problem. 
  3. This volume seems to really have more of a focus on the other planes of the setting with an assortment of really weird & horror filled gods, spells, & npcs 
  4. A quick note on the NPCs their really quite lethal & your going to want to use them some what sparingly even for a horror game unless your going gothic/survival horror. 
  5. The magic items are nasty, dangerous, and generally reflect the setting pretty well these however seem to have a more Lovecraftian twist to them. 
  6. It occurs to me that this setting might be used as a bridge gap between the Dreamland of HP Lovecraft & OD&D as well. 
  7. The material is horror but not excessively so. It is far more reflective of its Gothic or pulp roots.
  8. The  pacing of this volume along with the encounters are solidly done & are certain to bring your players right into the world of horror & the authors vision of it
    As I said before you really should take a look before buying.  

    You buy the book right Here or visit his blog where he continues to pour out more material  for this fantastic system. Look you can even go there & download a FREE COPY Here  Do yourself get a print copy. Between ink & paper its worth it.

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