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Book of Broken Dreams $10.00 $7.00
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Book of Broken Dreams
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Book of Broken Dreams
Publisher: Bloodstone Press
by Gilberto L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/16/2004 00:00:00

The book itself deals mostly with mental and stress disorders, as well as personalities and gives a nice explanaton of everything it covers.

This is a great product not only for D&D, but for ANY setting. The artwork is below average but the quality of the content is top notch.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Broken Dreams
Publisher: Bloodstone Press
by Devon A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/18/2003 00:00:00

A thoughtful insight into the place of psychology in the D&D world. Great resource.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Broken Dreams
Publisher: Bloodstone Press
by Christoph B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 06/30/2002 00:00:00

The feel of this book is quite dark, and will specially be suited for dark-themed worlds. A game of Call of Cthulhu could certainly benefit from it, although the spells would need a bit of changing.

Taking each chapter one by one:

Chapter 1: Stress

An interesting idea, but a bit wierd in its mechanics. It brings in a new secondary ability score, representing a character's resistance to stress, as well as rules to determine how great a stress an encounter induces, and what the effects of great stress can have on a character. Could have been better.

Chapter 2: Personality

This was by far my favorite, and I'd have bought the book for this one alone. It presents a way to create deranged character mentalities in a rather quick way (once you understand the rules of course). There are a variety of personnality aspects, each possibly being more or less severe in someone's personality, and each includes a series of traits that describe a specific quirk of the character. There is also a section detailing a method to understand interactions between different characters, depending on their mentalities. This section contains barely any d20 rule, because it is not really needed. This means you can easily use this section for any RPG! One thing that nearly frightened me is that I found some traits that really fitted me very well. It was a kind of self-psychanalisys :) It looks very coherent and scientific. I grant you that I'm no specialist in this field, but I seriously wonder if the author is a doctor in psychology!

Chapter 3: Insanity

This chapters details various insanities, along with their game effects, such as anxiety, pschotic or sleeping disorders. The details are very interesting, but the game mechanics are really weird. They don't look very uniform, and I'm quite sure the DM will need to adjust some things.

Chapter 4: Spells

This section contains a spell list and then their description. There are nearly 50 of them and they are all more or less mental-related. There are spells for all levels, though unequally distributed. First noteworthy aspect: most spells are from the enchantment school, quite a few are illusions, with just one from divination, one from transmutation and one from conjuration. A lot modify the target's behaviour, or make it see things that aren't. Some also have physical effects, as a result of a mental disturbance. A few spell names that are quite evocative: phobia, insomnia, creeping shadows, mind probe, mass hysteria, masquerade, etc. Second astonishing aspect: all spells are for Wiz&Sor! Nothing for the others! Not even the bard?! Obviously, some spells could be appropriate for other spellcasters, but again, the DM will need to assign those, thus some more work is needed. The spells seem interesting though.

Chapter 5: Prestige classes

The dreamweaver, the lunatic and the mentalist are the three presented classes. The dreamweaver gets to do all sorts with dreams and the dream world... The lunatic draws power and abilities from his state (could have been a template in some regards, especially since this is more a condition than a training). The mentalist is some kind of inquisitor getting to manipulate other's mentalities. These are medium quality, nothing groundbreaking, balance looks okay on paper. There are quite a few abilities a character can get from spells anyways, so some of their levels look superflous to me.

Overall, the book is well organized and the text is on two colums. The artwork is mediocre. There are a few spelling errors. But nothing really distracting. One of the two main gripes I have, is the way game mechanics are treated. I sometimes wondered if it wasn't some 2nd edition stuff. Some rules just dont look coherent in regards to the other, or just plain weird. On the other hand, these could be left out in a lot of cases, since a lot of the material is here to give the DM additional tools to role (not roll) play characters, set the mood, and find inspiration for really disturbing encounters. The other negative point is the frequent reference the document makes to another product published by the same company, the Primal Codex. I don't own that one, so it kind of frustrated me. But at the price these are, I can't really complain.

As a conclusion, I will say that I really liked this book, and hope to use a lot of chapter 2 and 3, as well as some of the spells. For $5, this is really good value, considering the good quality of the non-mechanic aspects of the rules. I give it a little 4 out of 5 stars, mainly thanks to chapter 2.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Broken Dreams
Publisher: Bloodstone Press
by Mike B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/29/2002 00:00:00

This is an excellent resource for a Ravenloft or Call of Cthulhu campaign. It introduces a Stress reaction table and a list of mental disabilities with in game descriptions. These can be applied to many existing spells and monsters, like Mind Flayers.

If you use Psionics in your game, many of the spells presented in this book would probably make better psionic powers than spells. Of the three prestige classes presented, two would work for psionic PCs; the Dream Weaver and the Mentalist. On the other hand, the Lunatic is one of the few prestige classes that a NPC Commoner can take and become a threat.

Overall another great resource book from J.C. Alger

Mike Briggs (Dark Psion)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Book of Broken Dreams
Publisher: Bloodstone Press
by John K. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/24/2002 00:00:00

If you own Call of Cthulhu, you need to buy the Book of Broken Dreams from Netherland Games (who also did the excellent Primal Codex). This d20 supplement provides not only a real-world explanation of and usable game mechanisms for topics like personality types, stress, and insanity, but also includes a number of psychologically inspired spells, three similarly inspired prestige classes (the Dream Weaver, the Lunatic, and the Mentalist), as well as a template for Nightmare Creatures.

While the supplement is nominally written for D&D, almost everything is suited to CoC and could be used with little modification. Of course it will also add a darker and more realistic turn to a fantasy setting as well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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