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The Book of Unremitting Horror (d20 version) $9.99
Publisher: Pelgrane Press
by Shane O. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 03/02/2007 00:00:00

The Book of Unremitting Horror is a monster supplement from Pelgrane Press, though calling this book a "monster book" isn?t doing it justice. The zipped file is just over eight megabytes, and has a single PDF. The PDF file has no bookmarks or hyperlinks, though there is a table of contents.

The Book of Unremitting Horror is fairly replete with artwork. Beyond the covers, all of the art is black and white. All of the new monsters here have a single full page rendition of them that opens their section. The quality of this art is notably high, making these horrors truly frightening for how well they appear. Seeing creatures like the Blood Corpse or the Organ Grinder is sure to send a shiver down your spine. The pages themselves tend to have lines on them, with three holes and sometimes spiral rings at the edges, making it appear as though these entries were written in someone's personal journal. Even the text font is the blocky type usually associated with typewriters. All of this means that the lack of a printer-friendly version could be somewhat daunting.

The BoUH opens with an in-character letter from someone who witnessed one of these monsters, and is now desperately trying to get someone else to believe him. This sets the tone for the entire book, as the author explains the dawning horror of realizing what he has seen, and what it means. After this is the book's table of contents, followed by a single page introduction.

The introduction, while brief, thoroughly outlines how this book is meant to be used. It lays out that these monsters should not be reduced to mere combat encounters. These creatures work much better if used in an X-Files like manner, beginning with an investigation that slowly leads up to a horrific confrontation. The introduction also notes in a sidebar that the horror mechanic from Mongoose's OGL Horror is used here; this is a minor point though, and is easily ignored if you don?t have that book.

There are a total of twenty-three monster entries here, though some have multiple monsters in one entry (such as The Practice detailing the Mortician, the Nurse, and the Surgeon). All but one of these creatures has some type of framing fiction opening their entry, though this is different every time. These entries, like the artwork, pull no punches in the horrors they present, such as the transcription of a police interview of a little girl who's been driven mad due to being impregnated by the Blossomer she helped summon. Most then have a few paragraphs describing what is left of the victims of these creatures.

The monsters themselves are then given in the familiar d20 monster format, with a few paragraphs of metagame description, followed by their stat block, and then expanded information of their special powers. While the mechanics here are meant for a Modern d20 game, they use the 3.5 rules. In a few places, some minor points are omitted (several Outsider-type creatures don't have subtypes, for example, while others are tagged as being Native Outsiders), but these are both rare and miniscule. The monsters themselves have Challenge Ratings ranging from 3 to 12 (though one, the Mystery Man, cannot be defeated). It's worth mention that while some of these creatures could conceivably be used in a Fantasy d20 game, many of them are too closely tied to the modern world, such as how the Sisterites magically seduce and compel their victims over the internet, or how Snuff Golems are formed during the production of snuff movies.

After the monsters entries is a relatively short section of fifteen artifacts. Unlike standard artifacts in 3.5, these don't radiate a school of magic or have a caster level. Rather, each of them is somehow associated with a monster in this book, and has some sort of effect related to them. The Black Metallic Liquid, for example, psychically sends a person who drinks it to the Outer Black (think of a universe designed by H. R. Giger) which can cause some of the denizens there, such as the Torture Dogs, to notice you and follow you back when it wears off.

Several pages are then dedicated to discussing running a horror game. This largely builds off of the quick advice given in the introduction. Discussion is given to various character types in such a game, the use of magic and weapons, character hooks, and adventure design, among other things. Finally, an example adventure, The Final Case, is presented.

All in all, The Book of Unremitting Horror lives up to its name. From the art and fiction to the abilities and motivations of the monsters, this is more a book of nightmares than of creatures. The sections on how to use this book present great advice, and the creatures here are disturbing and twisted enough to make even the players scared, to say nothing of their characters. If you think your PCs and your campaign can handle it, you'd be well-served to inflict some Unremitting Horror on them. <br><br> <b>LIKED</b>: The creatures presented here are all truly terrifying, thanks to the incredibly ghoulish artwork and the chilling writing. The notes on how to run a horror game work very well with these new monsters.<br><br><b>DISLIKED</b>: This book should have had a printer-friendly version. Also, bookmarks would have been helpful.<br><br><b>QUALITY</b>: Excellent<br><br><b>VALUE</b>: Very Satisfied<br>



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The Book of Unremitting Horror (d20 version)
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