Fear Itself plunges ordinary people into a disturbing contemporary world of madness and violence. Players take the roles of regular folks much like themselves, who are inexorably drawn into confrontation with the creatures of the Outer Black, an unearthly realm of alien menace. With or without its distinctive mythology, GMs can use it to replicate the shudders and shocks of the horror genre in both film and literature.
Fear Itself uses the GUMSHOE system. It serves as an ideal platform for one-shot games, in which, like any self-respecting horror flick, few, if any, of the protagonists are expected to survive the climax. It can also be employed to run ongoing campaigns in which the leading characters gradually discover more about the disturbing supernatural reality hiding in the shadows of the ordinary world. Over time, they grow more adept at combating them—or spiral tragically into insanity and death.
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This product sets itself apart from other Horror Rules because of the way everything interacts with the entire GUMSHOE system in a meaningful and immersive manner. The Risk Factors provide believable, character driven motivations for adventuring; Stability Sources provide opportunities for backgrounds that have meaning to the characters and affect them in a very real way; and the Psychic rules bring my first experience with a subtle use of “powers” that enhances creepiness and provides players with alternative avenues of information gathering and action (perfect for real world settings).