Game: Seeds: Horror
Publisher: Expeditious Retreat Press
Review Dated: 28th, November 2004
Reviewer’s Rating: 5/10 [ Perfectly acceptable ]
Total Score: 6
Average Score: 3.00
There is a host (a garden, if you will) of seeds from Expeditious Retreat Press and Seeds: Horror is the 5th product.
Seeds: Horror (which I always refer to as Horror Seeds) is a quick hit from the d20 publisher. You’re looking at a mere US $1.35 in exchange for the PDF. That’ll be below the minimum checkout of e-tailers and must be bought as a “top up”.
At best, Seeds: Horror is a top up. Each seed suggestion is a couple of paragraphs and there five pages of them (the sixth page being gobbled up by the demon of legal foo).
The first thing to note – and perhaps the only note of significance – is that Seeds: Horror is best used with d20 Modern and not the fantasy core rules.
The PDF appears in landscape (long edge along the top and bottom and short edge on the sides) and has green grass sidebars (which are removed in the print friendly version). The style immediately makes me think of Ronin Arts/Ronin Studios products. The inclusion of a printer friendly version is nice and perhaps not something I’d take for granted at the sub US $2 price range.
Seeds have a wide scope; some are campaign world suggestions – where demon possession is a fact of life and a style choice, whereas others are scenario based – such as a start up coming designing trading cards based on unfortunately accurate runes and some of the seeds are one off games – like haunted zoos.
I think Expeditious Retreat Press would benefit from tightening up on this. Let’s have seeds for campaigns, seeds for scenarios and seeds suitable for time consuming/filler scenes. Although the current series is divided by genre it doesn’t feel like quite enough. Since there are no new game rules here or any pre-made NPCs, plot twists or even resources (such as ready to print handouts of Runic CCGs) you have to make the most of the high level suggestions. If these high level suggestions can be discounted at a glance then you quickly whisk through the PDF. It’s easy to be left wondering what you’ve paid for here.
There’s a nice mix of horror in this short product. As someone who plays plenty of World of Darkness as well as d20 (as well as other systems and settings) I’ve a bugbear about horror. Gore and splatter is just a sub-section of horror. In fact, gore and splatter is possible without any horror at all (the movie Starship Troopers springs to mind). If you want “chiller” horror (the best, but hardest to write for, I think) then there are seeds for that. It would have been easy to succumb to a series of splatter suggestions and I’m glad Expeditious Retreat Press held off on that.
I can’t imagine paying for anything less than Seeds. In fact, it seems a bit like paying for the easiest and most fun part of being a GM and that’s a little strange. On the other hand at less than $1.50 Seeds: Horror is practically a give a way. It’s hard to grumble. If all you need is a couple of ideas to toss around the Seeds: Horror is spot on.
In short, Seeds: Horror does what it promises it will do and you get what you paid for. Don’t go out to buy this as you’ll have to stock up your cart with other products but if you’re trying to make the checkout value and especially if you’re buying other horror products then toss this PDF in and you can’t really regret it.