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. See the complete reviews to date here 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 […]More...
Fear Itself includes fearsome new opponents for your PCs. More creatures and two great Fear Itself adventures can be found in the Ennie-award nominated GUMSHOE Book of Unremitting Horror.
Mystery Men drive people mad for pleasure. A
Mystery Man seeks out individuals, often in a group,
who he deems susceptible to psychological breakdown,
yet of sufficient depth and interest to make the effort
entertaining. Once he targets a victim or victims, he
loses (or perhaps only willingly abandons) the ability
to interfere directly with their minds.
Ovvashi are humanoid demons who prey on society’s
refuse: drug addicts, the homeless, and the down-and-
out. Shuffling through places where the homeless congregate, they quickly
find new friends, ensuring a warm welcome with their
dirty plastic bags laden with cheap booze and smokes.
Having won their confidence, they draw tales of woe
from their newfound mates. To seal their allegiance,
they withdraw from their bags the objects their victims
most desire. The ovvashi are also capable of materializing
very specific items, like an exact replica of a longlost
memento, or even a particular photograph of an
abandoned loved one. But this is is just a tool of enslavement.
Fear Itself is a stand-alone game, based on the GUMSHOE system first introduced in Esoterrorists. GUMSHOE is modular, and Fear Itself offers new options for the GUMSHOE system which can also be used in Esoterrorists or other GUMSHOE games.
Fear Itself Characters
Characters in Fear Itself have numerous hooks which make them perfect for horror adventures.
- Risk Factors determine why your character goes down into the dark basement. If you don’t follow your risk factor, your sanity can suffer.
- The CSI-style skill set of PCs in Esoterrorists are simplified to reflect the background.
- The useful Fleeing ability can get you away from the fearsome creatures which pursue you.
- Stability – your resistance to insanity – has been more thoroughly detailed, and linked to your sources of stability, friends, family, beliefs and pastimes.
- Optionally, you can include psychics with powerful but sanity threatening abilities such as Premonition, Remote Viewing and Synchronicty.
- Each player defines The Worst Thing they Ever Did, which the GM and players can use to inform the characters behaviour and fears.
- Each character describes their initial attitude to the other PCs, including who they like or dislike. This can be based on initial impressions or intimate knowledge.
Creating and Running Adventures
The looser structure of a Fear Itself scenario still consists of an investigative line, in which the characters pursue a series of core clues until they achieve a resolution of some sort. The GM or players can introduce flashbacks or directed scenes usually to address a character issue (for example The Worst Thing They Ever Did) or relationship with a source of stability or PC. Additional Unremitting Horror creatures including the fearsome Mystery Man are offered as foils.
Fear Itself includes masses of advice for the GM and players on how to run a horror game, and a detailed adventure The Ocean in the Forest.
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- Ashen Stars
- Dying Earth and Gaean Reach
- Fear Itself
- Fear Itself Core Rulebook
- Book of Unremitting Horror
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- The Seventh Circle
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- Owl Hoot Trail
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