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Horror for the Pathfinder RPG: Do you get excited about jump scares?

[Drinks Potion of Thundering Voice] *ahem*

Greetings Count Lowl, Barawyn the Beguiling, Briarstone Witch, Dead Larry, and all other esteemed ghosts and ghouls of Tatterman Manor. Can everyone hear me OK? Good.

I didn’t call this meeting to get sign-ups for the upcoming eerie potluck. Nor do I wish to talk further about last week’s controversial haunted raffle.

Furthermore, there will be no more discussion of the marketing slogan for this year’s spooky ice cream social: “Treats so cold, they’re chilling.” I understand your various complaints, but the t-shirts have been printed and there is no turning back now.

No, I have called this meeting to order to discuss an unfortunate circumstance: my sources tell me that three paranormal investigators–Estra the Spiritualist, Mavaro the Occultist, and Erasmus the Medium–are on their way to Tatterman Manor as we speak.

Please, please. Everybody. Hold your laughter. Especially you, Dead Larry. I understand this doesn’t sound like a very pressing issue. I know that we’re used to haunting, and that spreading insanity is in our bones, especially yours, Dr. Rattling-Bones.

But this visit is different. The paranormal investigators are quite competent this time and generously outfitted. Yes, that’s right: these adventurers have Holy Water, garlic, and the like, but they also have entirely mundane items like hooded lanterns. That means we can’t do the thing we always do, where the investigators wave their torches slowly throughout each of the Tatterman Manor’s 90 rooms and two sub-level dungeons before turning to leave, satisfied there’s nothing there, before finding one of us RIGHT BEHIND HIM!

Sorry, I didn’t mean to shout. I just get so excited about jump scares. And I just knew that would get the blood pumping! Figuratively speaking, of course. Except in your case, Mrs. Blood.

Paizo Publishing makes the wonderful Pathfinder roleplaying game and they know how to do horror. Here is a little taste that will make the hair stand up on the back of your arms:

  • Pathfinder’s setting of Golarion has has an entire nation dedicated to gothic horror, Ustalav.
  • Paizo published a hardcover fully dedicated to running a horror RPG: Horror Adventures.
  • A second hardcover–Occult Adventures–got even stranger and added several new classes, such as the Mesmerist, Medium, Occultist, Psychic, and Spiritualist.
  • The latest monster book, Bestiary 666 6, featured a menagerie of demons and devils.

But the latest spooky-themed Pathfinder product is the Strange Aeons Adventure Path. Strange Aeons is seeping with Lovecraftian horror. In fact, Strange Aeons has sanity rules that tracks a player’s mental state as they level up. It’s no feel good lollipop adventure.

Currently, the Glass Cannon Podcast crew are playing through Strange Aeons on their live shows. RPG fans can get a ticket and watch as the GCP crew test their sanity against the creeps and thrills of Strange Aeons. (Word is that the live content will be released as a podcast later.)

If you re looking for horror roleplaying, you can’t do much better than Pathfinder.

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