Book Review : Classic Horrors Revisited
Title : Pathfinder Chronicles - Classic Horrors Revisited
Publisher : Paizo Publishing
Paizo's $19.99 books are some of my favorite books on the market. The ability to drop $20 ( less than the price of a meal at a sit down restaurant in my town ) on a book that I can not only use for my various gaming projects but that is just high quality and a good read speaks to me as a consumer. So with that said let's jump into a quick review for Classic Horrors Revisited.
One of the Revisited line of books that Paizo puts out, this tome goes over 10 classic horror monsters, giving you stats for them as well as variations on the themes. It explores all your old favorites like vampires, werewolves, the walking dead, ghosts, mummies and more.
I love this book because it starts out with notes on each of the monsters on the inside cover that give you film and fiction examples of where you could find such creatures. As an example the walking dead fiction lists "The Case of Charles Dexter Ward" and "World War Z", and for its film listing it has "Army of Darkness", "Creepshow", "Re-Animator", and a handful of others.
Out of the gate, inside front cover, this book already had my attention. I love that it went that little extra mile for new Storytellers who may want to know more about the monsters and would be willing to find films or written word examples to explore more about them. It does this for all ten but I won't go into all the listings or this review would be very, very long and I know you guys have stuff to do today.
So let's move on to the content of the book itself. It starts with a well crafted introduction from an elderly woman named Alison Kindler. She is the "author" of this book and a former pathfinder. This is a nice touch to the immersion of the book. You are getting this really nicely put together letter of warning from a fictional character who honestly would make an amazing NPC in any tabletop game. It very much reminded me of the older Ravenloft guide books that I adored as a child ( and as an adult, let's be honest.)
The book offers really deep looks into the ten monsters found within its pages, as well as giving a sample version of each of the fearsome foes for you to plug into your game if you wish. I think the most enjoyable parts of this for me as a Storyteller ( and lover of monsters ) was that each chapter reads like an more in-depth version of a listing from the Monster Manual or a bestiary. You may get one page of description with art taking up 1/4th of the page in a bestiary, but in this book you get a full chapter outlining important facts and features of these creatures. Notable gargoyles, campaign roles of flesh golems, habitat and society of hags, and so much more.
I run a pretty monster heavy horror themed home brew world called MYA and all of this info was just fuel for me to ponder deeper and take steps to evolve the creatures that go bump in the night in my games.
For a new DM looking to explore more horror based themes this is a must. For a more experienced Storyteller I would also recommend picking this one up. It offers a lot of fun and useful information and really gets the wheels spinning about a lot of classic creatures that may be left behind for more flashy new monsters in the latest bestiary. For the price point and content of this book I would highly recommend it.
Ask your local bookstore if they have a copy or you can pick up the softcover or snag the PDF from Paizo.com