Review: Triple Ace Games – Leagues of Gothic Horror (Leagues of Adventure)

Leagues of Gothic Horror
Leagues of Gothic Horror is a Gothic horror setting guide for Leagues of Adventure, written by Paul ‘Wiggy’ Wade-Williams and published by Triple Ace Games.
By Aaron T. Huss

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Leagues of Gothic Horror is a setting guide for Leagues of Adventure that provides all the mechanics and environment necessary to play the type of Gothic horror found in novels and various fiction since the Victorian era. It does not cherry-pick certain elements from Gothic horror and place them within the context of the pulp steampunk of Leagues of Adventure; it actually creates a whole new environment design for you to play in. This is done in extensive length such that character types are detailed within to coincide with Gothic horror that would not be usable within the core Leagues of Adventure, despite the artwork depicted on the front cover.

Leagues of Gothic Horror details a fair amount of content for creating Gothic horror games. It starts with the standard character-build mechanics and moves on to the mechanics needed for accommodate horror mechanically (terror, shock, sanity, mental disorders, etc.). It then moves on to stylized magic more aligned with the Gothic horror genre and then jumps into GM-only territory. This includes a large collection of Gothic horror adversaries and locations plus a wealth of GMing material for creating the Gothic horror ambiance. Wrapping this all up is a collection of adventuring information including game styles, adventure seeds, and a bit of reference information.

I am not going to hide my excitement over a book like this. First, I am already a fan of the Ubiquity system and really like the alternate history depicted in Leagues of Adventure. Add to that my desire for fantasy-like horror, Gothic elements, and not-quite-as-heroic characters and you have a bundle of excitement that I thoroughly enjoy. There is only one drawback though… Leagues of Gothic Horror resides within Leagues of Adventure and does not really stand completely on its own. It’s almost like a mini-setting within a setting that adds special flavor to adventures that happen to fall within those areas rather than standing completely on its own. I do believe this is by design and this is not a failure of the setting, but rather personal taste. I would love an entire campaign that delves across an alternate history of all of Earth covered in Gothic horror flavor. However, I would also love an entire campaign of globetrotting where you venture into all sorts of environments and some of them just happen to be oozing with Gothic horror. Either way, it’s a win for me, but I would take the extra time to figure out how to create the Gothic horror alternate history.

Again, just a personal preference.

Leagues of Gothic Horror is a great addition to Leagues of Adventure, but only if you like that style of game. If you don’t, then you won’t find much here unless you find a need to incorporate the horror mechanics or want to throw a Gothic horror adversary at your players every now and then. The content is great, the book looks amazing, and the artwork is fantastic!

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