Scaring people in a role playing game can be tough. It takes a lot of the right elements to make players experience the fear and it really does not take much to have them removed from fear. A simple car alarm going off, a player just not into it, a phone call; anything can really take the players out of the horror game at least mentality. They can play scared, but it just is not the same as actually being scared. Sometimes a DM needs to just place in rules to effect the characters knowing that bringing horror to the players might be too much to ask for. There have been a few different systems that have tried this like Beyond the Supernatural and Call of Cthulthu have used different rules to do this in the past. I think Ravenloft for D&D as well as D20 also had similar fear like rules in them. Fear Effects once again brings the fear mechanics to the game.
Fear Effects is by a small publisher who really has been making an effort to bring horror back the game. 12 to Midnight has a few really nice adventures and supplements that move in the more traditional horror ways. Fear Effects is written by Ed Wetterman and this thirteen page book is well laid out. There is not a lot of art in her and it does consist of about half table but it is nicely organized and easy to use. The PDF has two formats one designed for printing and the other for one screen use. This is my preferred way to see the books as it gives me the best of both worlds. The on screen on is nicely book marked and should be really easy to use at the gaming table from a computer or lap top.
The book is fairly simple. It introduces fear checks that are basically saving throws into the game. There are different levels of severity in the saves and the tables cover a lot of bad things that can happen to a character. The check can be modified by some options and I really like what they have there. One gets a bonus if they experience fear with others but a nice negative if they are alone. That is simple and makes a lot of sense. The tables of effects are pretty complete as it covers about six pages of the book.
This is a very simple book to determine if one needs it and that makes things easy. If one needs horror checks or wants to experiment with them in one?s game then the book is what one is after. On the other hand if one sees no reason for adding mechanical and rule oriented fear checks to the game then the book is better left on the self. The table are good for other horror games as ideas for what to do to characters that experience great fear. World of Darkness and Call of Cthulthu games can especially benefit from more ways to mess with the characters but of course one will need to do more converting and figure out how these will exactly work in other rule sets.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Acceptable<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Satisfied<br>
[3 of 5 Stars!]