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From Unformed Realms is a 2016 release from Just Crunch Games. It is written by our own Paul Baldowski and the cover is by Apolonis.
The PDF is available in two different formats but is 19 pages either way. The pdf is clean and well laid out and the editing is excellent. There's not really an internal art. The layout is two large columns per page.
This treatise is a system-free series of tables for creating unnamed horrors and abominations. There are some quick guidelines for using the tables with The Cthulhu Hack, but honestly the guidelines are the same for using them with many other games so it does remain neutral.
The book is a series of tables mostly aimed at being resolved with d6 rolls. Inside each table there are chances for additional rolls and variations. At the high level we find 1 Extremities, 2 Senses, 3 Skeleton, 4 Fluids, 5 Appearance and 6 Other features.
Once you roll on the main tables, you can roll again to determine more specific effect. The author suggests using multi-colored dice to help make the progress quicker, which seems like a pretty good idea.
Inside thos categories, you can find additional subcategories. Fluids for example, splits evenly between voluntary and involuntary fluids with a half-dozen options for types of fluids for each type and then additional effects of those fluids ranging from the predictable acidic to things that decompose plastic or turn those who contact them into zombies.
After the charts, the essay includes a brief appendix which can help the GM to set up an adventure using the creature. This is another set of charts which allow the GM to roll for ah hook, location, reason and organization which might involve the players. There's also a set of charts for determining the horror's motivation.
First things first, Paul offered me a free copy of this product, but after I read it, I went back and paid for it. I expect to make use of it in a few different ways and the price wasn't exactly going to break the bank anyhow.
The charts here are well-organized and useful. They include some options you'd probably consider mandatory for a horror game (like tentacles) and some things you might not have thought of (like acquired - a creature which steals limbs from previous victims). The same goes for several of the other categories. Some of the categories go pretty far-afield, like creatures which excrete urine or semen at will, but honestly those are both pretty horrifying.
For myself, I kind of see a couple of places where I can use this quickly. I'm running a Champions game were some of the villains are playing with magic they don't really understand. Using these charts to generate the creature will make it easy for me to then stat out the character. With the release of Horror Adventures for Pathfinder, there's going to be even more call for creatures and this might help me make them.
Overall this is a great collection of tables with some very inventive options as well as some of the expected options. It's a great product and I'm glad Paul suggested I check it out.
- Last edited Mon Aug 8, 2016 11:10 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Mon Aug 8, 2016 3:02 am
Re: The Short Version? From Unformed Realms is a horrifying collection fo tables and that's what it's supposed to be.
Some of the categories go pretty far-afield, like creatures which excrete urine or semen at will, but honestly those are both pretty horrifying.
I don't know. My cat, Malcolm, pretty much shoots urine off at will - so, in many ways, it's both horrifying and yet everyday. Thanks for the thorough and honest review - I hope you get a modicum of use out of the Realms.
(Small spelling mistake in the header - a tale of horrific adventures in stationery?)