A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement #30 Haunts for Houses

#30 Haunts for Houses by T. H. Gulliver is a role playing game supplement published by Rite Publishing. This is a supplement for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, one in their ’30’ series, and as such is covered by the Open Game License with some of it being considered Open Game Content. This is a collection of 30 different haunts, which were introduced originally in the Rise of the Runelords adventure path and are covered in the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game GameMastery Guide, that can be used in houses.

#30 Haunts for HousesThis is a fourteen page bookmarked PDF. The supplement is available from RPGNow at the regular price of $2.96 but was purchased at the discounted price of $2.07. One page is the colour front cover, one page is the front matter, one the Open Game License and there are two pages of adverts for other products.

It begins with a brief overview of haunts, covering the cycle of a haunt, common haunts and minor haunts, as well as a sidebar on persistent haunts. Reference is made to the GameMastery Guide for more detail on haunts in general. Common and minor haunts do not pose the threat that more powerful haunts do, and are for setting the scene.

There are some minor haunts that have ghost story staples such as slamming doors, areas of cold and minor object movement. In what look like the minor haunt section – which mostly consists of CR1 and CR2 haunts, eight in total – are two more powerful haunts, CR7 and CR8, although these are not hugely dangerous.

Next is a section on Associated Haunts. Associated haunts look to be a new concept and are haunts that work together in some way. An example is given of three haunts, all based around the same fireplace. These are CR2, CR4 and CR7. If the first haunt succeeds in causing the fire to be lit, it triggers the second. The second causes smoke which then causes the third to manifest.

The final section is Haunts with the remaining seventeen ranging from CR3 to CR15. Some of these haunts are quite deadly in nature.

Lastly, there is an NPC, linked to Rite’s setting of Questhaven, one who has an extensive library relating to the restless dead in that city.

#30 Haunts for Houses in Review

The supplement is well bookmarked for its length, with every section covered. Each haunt is also in the bookmarks, ordered by their CR. There is no contents, but this isn’t really needed. Overall, navigation is above average. The text maintains a two column format with no errors noticed. There are a number of black and white illustrations related to ghosts; these would appear to be public domain reproductions – one would appear to be Scrooge being confronted by Marley’s Ghost from A Christmas Carol.

The minor and common haunts are, generally, minor. They are generally scene makers that can be used to add ambience to a setting without really being dangerous in and of themselves. This doesn’t mean they can’t be effective in creating a creepy ambience, but they aren’t going to kill anyone.

The associated haunts concept is novel and interesting. This is probably the most interesting part of the entire supplement; it’s a shame that there aren’t more of these in it. An entire house could be filled with groups of associated haunts to great effect.

The rest of the haunts are typical enough, yet well done. They are fairly evocative in nature and do the job well. These are not as generic as the minor and common haunts, which could be dropped anywhere, but as a result are more interesting. This is really what would be expected – the minor haunts are intended to be dropped anywhere.

The non-player character can easily be dropped into another setting; the only thing linking him to Questhaven is a mention of that city. He can be used as a source of information on haunts for players.

Some of the destruction methods for the haunts seem a bit, well, excessive. One minor haunt – one of the higher CR haunts – requires the death of one of two affected creatures for it to be destroyed. This makes it unlikely that the haunt will ever be removed, and it isn’t the only one that requires a death.

Bar that quibble regarding some of the haunts, and the deliberate commonness of the common haunts, this is a nice collection of haunts for any Pathfinder game. #30 Haunts for Houses can be found by clicking here.

 

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