The Esoterrorists is a role-playing game published by Pelgrane Press in Mongoose Publishing. ISBN ^ “Esoterrorists 2nd edition”. The Esoterrorists has 18 ratings and 4 reviews. Jason said: The suggested setting that takes up half the book (Station Duty) didn’t do much for me, but t. Dissonance – Music for The Esoterrorists, folder The Esoterrorists (2nd ed).pdf, , KB. file, The Love Of Money. pdf.
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I received a print copy of this book for the purpose of providing a critical and unbiased review. This book was moved up in my review-queue due to this fact. The Esoterrorists is the game that originally introduced the GUMSHOE-engine, which has esoterrorosts then been used in quite an intriguing array of systems that provide some overlap and options to combine them.
Pathfinder, for example, excels in complex builds and combat simulation.
The Esoterrorists (2nd Edition) by Robin D. Laws
If you take a look at the investigative aspects…well, not so much. GUMSHOE is a roleplaying game defined by a focus on the story and roleplaying investigations, as opposed to tactical encounters. From a didactic point of view, this book does a great job explaining the system — to the point where I tried handing it to someone not familiar at all with GUMSHOE.
The lady cooked up a character and understood the system almost immediately.
Investigative abilities contain e. Cop Talk, Document Analysis, Flirting — you get the idea. You have one point in an investigative ability? I know, w-t-f, right? But what esotsrrorists degrees of success?
The Esoterrorists – Wikipedia
Expending points from the esoterroriets abilities can open new venues of investigation, provide short-cuts -the system pretty much enforces well-written investigations: This is pretty much genius. Yes, abilities spent regenerate. The abilities not related to the field of investigation directly would be general abilities: These follow different rules and contain melee via scufflinghealth, stability, etc.
You spend ability points and roll a 6-sided editioj to see whether you succeed. To keep a character from investing all in one score, the second highest score must at least be half the highest. So esoterroristd would be the basic system — it is simple, elegant and, as you may note, bereft of e.
While this makes the rules-frame of Esoterrorists less intriguing than that of comparable GUMSHOE-titles, 2dn does provide a crucial advantage — adaptability: But this is not simply a rule-book — it is also a campaign setting. I do not own the Fact Book which is a player-handbook, or so I believebut all you actually need is in here. The basic premise is pretty simple: The investigators work for the OV, the Editioon Veritatis. This organization is an ancient secret-service-type of order that seeks to protect the unwitting mortals from the dread creatures that seek to invade our world from the Outer Dark.
No, the OV is not going to inevitably betray the investigators. It is pretty interesting to note that the book actually contains editoin information on how investigations are handled — for the esoterroriss Procedural protocols, if you will, with different levels of staffer-experience for the analysis backdrop of the OV, add a significant level of awesomeness to the campaign setting as presented and provide further options for tight, fun roleplaying — you want your capable support-guys back at home to live, right?
Veil-outs are crucial…for a reason. Basically belief and perception shape our world and what we have achieved with our enlightened society means that the laws of physics are strengthened. If belief in them fades, the veil gets thinner. Horror, breakdowns of how the world works etc. The intriguing component from an academic point of view here would be the fact that this echoes perfectly the idiosyncratic perceptions of reality we all are subject to, the psychology of our weltanschauung.
Where in Cthulhu, the default assumption is that ignorance constitutes bliss, here, it is an ideology that keeps esoterroists alive.
The Esoterrorists (2nd Edition)
And yes, this means that you actually can blend both in intriguing ways. This simple set-up lends a level of believability and concise motivation to the default campaign setting that is absent in most similar games. It also provides a superb justification for the procedural protocols of dealing editlon the creatures from the outer dark. Another analogue, beyond the Silent Hill-one, would obviously be Hellraiser — and indeed, the creatures from the outer dark sport, at least in part, overlaps with these beings.
However, what truly sets them apart would be that they get esoterroriats horror is all about.
The esoterorists sport, in some way, relatable motivations — while esoherrorists and insane, there are some sample cells that resonate with esoterrorits deepest, darkest parts of our psyche: From violent bikers beaten into submission by an entity of twisted bones and jagged thorns to collectible-card-game-players conjuring twisted images from the cards to those looking for deviant sexual experiences with beings from the outer dark, the cells and sample adventure-hooks provided are nasty and diverse.
What about a club of serial killers who meet once a year to engage in a particular vile tradition? Or a nasty international financial conspiracy? From the personal to the geopolitical level, there are a lot of intriguing hooks here. But they fall short of the creatures introduced in this book. The beings here are truly horrific in that they play with human fears, are both iconic and innovative and still sport a level of personal connection that is downright genius.
Know how in Silent Hill, the monsters are visualizations of anxieties, guilt-complexes and traumas? Well, this one kind of goes one step further. There would be the Discarnate, for example — a shapeless, incorporeal entity, a ghost in the machine in the vilest sense of the word.
Not only is the dread potential of these creatures vast, their means of creation and stopping them is downright disturbing: To create a discarnate, a cell of editipn has to build a tomb r tunnel, then ritualistically slash their wrists and collapse the tunnel upon themselves — the entity then takes some components of the personalities and minds of the targets and begins its assault.
How do you stop it?
What about the Nester? Creeping towards sleeping victims preferably obese or pregnant peoplethese creatures jab their hooks into the target, scoop out the abdomen and crawl inside, sealing the belly behind them. Or what about a creature that essentially is an outer dark variant of an STD, urging its victim to infect even more targets?
Yes, these creatures are disturbing, and delightfully so. Words clearly fail me esoterrorits, for however hard I try, I fail to properly evoke how exceedingly well-written 2n creatures are.
But perhaps one example of artwork esoterrrorists within the book helps me make my point:. The prose is even creepier than that. And yes, there is a creature-book on these beings, but alas, I do not own that one.
Advice on clue-structures and the like help create structures that make the respective scenarios easy to run. Char-sheets are provided alongside an extremely handy investigator matrix that helps the GM keep up to date with agent esoterroridts and skills. A massive esotetrorists index also makes using the book very easy on the GM.
Well, while the default assumption is one of supernatural agent-gameplay from case to case akin to Millennium or X-Files, the other default game-style is that of station duty: Essentially, there are some places where the membrane threatens to thin — agents of the OV are then sent to the area for long-term operations.
With copious amounts of NPCs to interact with and hundreds of possibilities: Almost each character has several optional story-threads you can or cannot follow, threads which may turn into pure horror. Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. After more than 15 years of obsession with vampires and the cthulhu-mythos, both themes have become kind of predictable to me.
We fear what we do not understand. As soon as we get our oomphteenth Mi-Go or Yithian, their horror is lost, they become predictable foes. Similarly, vampires can, in the long run, lose their fascination.
This is, ultimately, what made me turn my back on the GUMSHOE-system for a while and eesoterrorists primary reason I did not start reviewing books of the system sooner — I was burned out on the subject matter and so were my players. What I did when this book hit my shelves, was something different: I added creatures of the outer dark and the station duty town to my trail of cthulhu games.
And suddenly, they were new esotwrrorists disturbing, fresh and diverse. This understands horror to a point that bespeaks not only the vast talent of Robin D. This is not blood and guts, this is psychologically disturbing in the way that only great horror is — where the true ramifications are slowly build up.
This is the antithesis of the jump-scare-movie — this is smart horror that sticks with you. This is not only a game — Esoterrorists is basically, a gigantic, awesome template that can be applied to just 2nf any horror game you can conceive.
It works in a plethora of contexts because its theme resonate with our very basic, human psychology. It is my firm conviction that this book belongs in the library of any self-respecting GM looking for inspiration regarding horror-settings and how to create compelling set-ups.
The concepts within this book are so incredibly compelling and fun, they managed to re-ignite my spark for cthulhu-related material by virtue of the means by which you can use the content herein to enhance the world of the mythos.
While my Top ten-list of the year usually is restricted to Pathfinder-supplements, I will grant this one status as a candidate — its contents and ideas are simply too compelling and can be a vast inspiration editino ANY context you can conceive.
I firmly believe that simply reading this book makes you a better horror-GM, even if you ignore the rules and setting. If horror interests you even in the slightest, if you even tangentially like smart, psychological horror, if you even remotely enjoy Twin Peaks, Silent Hill, The Evil Within, X-Files, Millennium and if you really want some fresh wind in your respective horror of preference, then this book should go right to the top of your to-buy list.
You can get this superb book here on OBS! A Free preview can be found here! Want a free supplemental recruitment book for OV-agents? You can get that here on OBS! More articles you may enjoy: Revelry in Torth OSR.
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