An Earthdawn Sourcebook
- Writers: Robin D. Laws, Teewynn Woodruff, Greg Gordon, Sam Witt, Allen varney, Chris McCubbin, Caroline Spector, Fraser Cain
- Number of Pages: 111
- Year of Publication: 1995
I remember constantly threatening my player characters with buying this book. They would often suggest that one of the other sourcebooks would be much more useful (like the Earthdawn Treasure Sourcebook?). Strangely enough I didn't buy this sourcebook until I found it on special. Much of the reason for this was that I entered Earthdawn fairly late in the piece when there was a fair amount of material available. My interest swung mainly in the direction of the eight character races and later to the political situation between Throal and Thera.
Which is a shame really because a lot of the early Earthdawn material revolved around the horrors -- the cause of the Scourge. This book covers the Horrors in a fair amount of detail, including detailed coverage of fifteen individual horrors. This forms the bulk of the book and is presented in the typical Earthdawn fashion. They are introduced via the standard fictional report or account by a name-giver that has encountered the horror. The game information gives the Games Master enough detail to use the horror with statistics for using the horror in gameplay.
This forms the bulk of the book, but there is more here. There is the obligatory introduction that gives a background on "how the book came to be". After the main course (Regarding Named Horrors) we have Minor Horrors, Constructs and Horror-Cursed Items and Game Information. The former is just what you expect: six minor horrors, six horror constructs and five horror-cursed items. The later provides some additional game information including more about the nature of horrors, horror powers, using horrors in campaigns and a new horror stalker discipline. There are colour plates (with a nice collection of the grotesque) and the artwork is often and varied.
Summary: Its a good book if you want to use horrors, but does it offer more than that? Note really. It feels a little padded in areas including the explanation of Earthdawn statistics (which should be second nature to Games Masters by now) and the repetition of old horror powers. The horrors are a big part of Earthdawn and this book provides you with everything you need. What it comes down to is how big a part of Earthdawn do you want the horrors to play. In post-Behemoth Throal the horrors seem to have taken the back burner. By all means use horrors, but follow the guidelines. Don't over use them. These guys eat adventurers for lunch.