Michael Surbrook's Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems

by BlackWyrm Publishing

BlackWyrm Publishing wants some feedback on this project. What do you like? What could be better? Anything missing?

    1. Missing avatar

      wcw43921 2 days ago

      I was thinking that perhaps you could include the Weekly World News' "mascot" Bat Boy among the Twentieth Century Terrors. I understand that he is in the public domain, and I believe he would add a welcome measure of levity to this book.

      On a more serious note--since you're including Jack The Ripper, do you plan to include any other serial killers? They are, to my mind, the vampires of our era--and characters such as Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter are as well known as Dracula or Lestat, and can be just as deadly. You could even include real-life killers like the Son Of Sam, whose belief that a demon possessed dog commanded him to kill gives him a supernatural element consistent with some of the other monsters you propose--including Jack The Ripper.

      Hope that helps.

    2. Trentin C Bergeron 2 days ago

      Very nice KS page! You might consider adding in some of the options in Black-Eyed Kid level as Add-Ons. Add-Ons are very effective at pushing up total pledges. Some may not be able to afford $150, but could pitch in $25 for a book/PDF combo AND pick up another option they want for another $25. The mood music was a nice touch. :D

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About this project

(Pssst! Want to listen to some excellent mood music while reading about this exciting project? Then play Nocturne by the talented DJ Spooky to get in the mood!)

                                                 “From ghoulies and ghosties, 

                                                  and long-legged beasties,

                                                  and things that go bump in the night;

                                                  good Lord deliver us.”

                                                  - Traditional Scottish prayer 

Until the invention of reliable and effective forms of artificial lighting, the setting sun indicated the end of man’s control of the world around him. With no sun, he couldn't see, and when denied sight man was virtually helpless in the dark. It didn't help matters that there were animals who could virtually see in the dark and moved about with ease in the middle of the night. So, man began to assign magical powers to those creatures able to do what he couldn't. And with time, he even created new denizens of the supernatural from his own imagination and religious beliefs.

Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems is a roleplyaing game guide to these darkness-dwelling creatures of folklore and myth for the Hero System, Savage Worlds, and Mutants & Masterminds. Emphasis has been placed on presenting these creatures as close to their traditional descriptions as possible - although a few “cinematic,” Hollywood-inspired versions of some of the more popular entries are included. In this book you will find information on vampires, lycanthropes, ghosts, ghouls, wights, and zombies, as well as more obscure creatures like the old hag and the witiko. In addition, there are dozens of "monster" sheets, each representing a basic creature template you can further customize as desired. Finally, there are a number of monster sheets for such infamous beings a Dracula, Jack the Ripper, and the Beast of Le Gévaudan.

What’s In This Book?

Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems is divided into nine sections of various lengths. They are as follows:

Section One:  Things That Go Bump In The Night, looks at the most classic of supernatural entities, the ghost. The presentation of this section sets the pattern for most of the sections to follow, in which the general nature of ghosts are discussed, then a number of famous hauntings are presented, followed by a descriptive list of ghosts from around the world. The section ends with three character sheets, one for a generic ghost, one for a poltergeist, and one for the night terror known as an "old hag."

Section Two:  Blood Brothers, discusses vampires. It follows the same format at Section One, mentioning not only historical cases of vampirism, but also a few more modern cases where murderers went so far as to drink the blood of their victims. The section ends with character sheets for a traditional Slavic vampire, an American cinematic vampire, a dhampir (the human child of a vampire), the Greek lamia, and Count Dracula (as seen in the Bram Stoker novel Dracula.)

Section Three:  The Beast Within, examines lycanthropes and other shape-shifters. While it concentrates mostly on accounts of werewolves in Europe, attention is also paid to various forms of theriomorphic beings from around the world. Character sheets include one for a traditional European werewolf, an American cinematic werewolf, and the horrific Beast of Le Gévaudan.

Section Four:  Back From The Grave, is all about zombies, wrights, and other forms of animated dead. It is divided into two small parts, the first detailing various type of zombies, the second discussing wights. The included character sheets are for a traditional zombi, a cinematic zombie, and the Norse draugr.

Section Five:  Eaters Of The Dead, looks at the Arabic ghul, a corpse-consuming form of djinn.

Section Six:  “It’s Alive!”, details man-made monsters and other artificial
life. While most of the creatures listed aren’t as unpleasant or inimical as the average vampire of werewolf, they still provide a wealth of ideas for GMs of all genres. The sample characters include the Ebony Horse from One Thousand Nights and a Night, Frankenstein’s Monster (as seen in Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein), and the Jewish golem.

Section Seven:  Witiko, examines the legend and lore of the North American Indian creature of the same name (better known to most as the wendigo.)


Section Eight:  A Pair Of Jacks, discusses two individuals of the Victorian era, both named ‘Jack.‘ They are Springheeled Jack and Jack the Ripper.

Section Nine:  Twentieth Century Terrors, presents several unique beings from the Twentieth Century. They are the alien Greys, the strange Mad Gassers, the eerie Men in Black, the frightening Mothman, and the Internet meme Slender Man!


Ghost ($10): A PDF of Michael Surbrook's Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems. Savage Worlds and Mutants & Masterminds conversions will be included as separate PDFs in the same ZIP file.

Ghoul ($25): Same as Ghost, only you get a physical copy of the book as well!

Golem ($50): Same as Ghoul: you receive a physical copy and the zip file. But your copy is numbered 11-50!

Bete of Gevudan ($75): You receive a physical copy numbered 3-10, the zip file, and you will also receive a physical and electronic bonus copies of Michael Surbrook's groundbreaking Kazei 5 and Fantasy Hero Complete!

Springheeled Jack ($100): The electronic Michael Surbrook Library! You receive a physical copy, the zip file, and bonus electronic copies of Michael Surbrook's Kazei 5, Aaron Allston's Strike Force, Fantasy Hero Complete, Asian Bestiary One, and Asian Bestiary Two, and all three versions of Larger Than Life (Hero, Mutants & Masterminds, and Savage Words)! Plus all of the project's Add-On's and stretch goals! A great value!

Black-Eyed Kid ($150): The physical Michael Surbrook Library! You receive a physical copy, the zip file, and bonus copies (physical and electronic) of Kazei 5, Strike Force, Fantasy Hero Complete, Asian Bestiary One, Asian Bestiary Two, and Larger Than Life: HERO System Version. Plus all of the project's Add-On's and stretch goals! Another great value!

Witiko ($200): Same as Black-Eyed Kid, only you receive signed and numbered physical copy number two!

Slender Man ($250): Same as Black-Eyed Kid, only you receive signed and numbered physical copy number One! Also, you can schedule 3-5 Skype conferences of 60 minutes each to discuss gaming, research , projects, and so on.


Add-On #1: Hero Designer Character Pack

If you are backing this project at any level, add $5.00 to your reward tier to receive access to the Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems Character Pack for Hero Designer: the character creation software for the HERO System. Hero Designer is all you need to start creating, printing, and sharing characters for your games, and the Character Pack -- containing dozens of different character sheets for heroes, villains, and  monsters -- will allow you customize the characters in the book to suit the needs of your individual campaign!

Add-On #2: Hero Lab Character Pack

If you are backing this project at any level, add $5.00 to your reward tier to receive access to the Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems Character Pack for Hero Labs. This gives you dozens of files you can use in Hero Labs for Mutants and Masterminds and Savage Worlds!

Pathfinder and D&D conversions: If we reach $4,500.00 we will provide *all* backers of this project with character sheets for Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition in the form of additional files zipped into the final electronic product!

Michael Surbrook has been developing games professionally since 1999. He’s worked with several companies, including Fantasy Fight Games, Hero Games, and High Rock Press. His published work includes material for Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader, as well as Fantasy Hero Complete, Kazei 5, Larger Than Life, and Aaron Allston's Strike Force. Michael is the author of this project.

Jason S. Walters is an author, essayist, and publisher best known for running Indie Press Revolution (IPR), a distributor of micro-published roleplaying games. He is also one of a small group of investors that purchased Hero Games in 2001, and serves as its CEO. He is the developer of numerous roleplaying games, including Champions Complete, Fantasy Hero Complete, and At The Hands of An Angry God. Jason is the publisher of this project.

Melanie McClenahan wants to live in a world filled with implemented progressive design ideas and often is the pioneer trail blazer to getting things done Fast and Badass. When asked what she will be doing in the next five years she answered, “Yes! Absolutely!” Little known fact about Melanie; Her alter ego superhuman prowess “Calm” wears NO CAPES! Melanie will be the graphic designer and art director for this project.

Brent Holtsberry has been running and organizing roleplaying games for over 35 years. Probably best known for helping to establish Pathfinder Society in the Sacramento area as the Venture Captain there for a few years, he also helped get the Dungeons and Dragons Adventurers League organized in Sacramento. While Brent has worked on various writing and editing projects, his favorite is The Kobolds of Tzarker Mines from his own studio Bad Moon Games. Brent will be creating the Savage Worlds, Pathfinder, and Dungeons & Dragons conversions.

Ruben Smith-Zempel was made in Oregon. He showed his creativity at an early age, charging his 3rd grade classmates 25 cents for paper and cardboard army vehicles (for the G.I. Joe’s, of course). Thus was born an artist who would never shy away from creating things important to his hobbies. Ruben will be handling the Mutants and Masterminds conversions for this project.

Risks and challenges

As of now, the writing of Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems is already complete! We have the Hero Designer files and Hero System character sheets. However, the author, editor, graphic designer and printer have yet to be compensated. The main obstacle is creating material for other systems. Converting characters to them will take time, as will the editing of the manuscript.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About

    Ghost

    A PDF of Michael Surbrook's Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems. Savage Worlds and Mutant & Masterminds conversions will be included as separate PDFs in the same ZIP file.

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    Ghoul

    Same as Ghost, only you get a physical copy of the book as well!

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    Golem

    Same as Ghoul: you receive a physical copy and the zip file. But your copy is numbered 11-50!

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    Pledge $75 or more About

    Bete of Gevudan

    You receive a physical copy numbered 3-10, the zip file, and you will also receive a physical and electronic bonus copies of Michael Surbrook's groundbreaking Kazei 5 and Fantasy Hero Complete!

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    Pledge $100 or more About

    Springheeled Jack

    The electronic Michael Surbrook Library! You receive a physical copy, the zip file, and bonus electronic copies of Michael Surbrook's Kazei 5, Aaron Allston's Strike Force, Fantasy Hero Complete, Asian Bestiary One, and Asian Bestiary Two, and all three versions of Larger Than Life (Hero, Mutants & Masterminds, and Savage Words)! Plus all of the project's Add-On's and stretch goals! A great value!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About

    Black-Eyed Kid

    The physical Michael Surbrook Library! You receive a physical copy, the zip file, and bonus copies (physical and electronic) of Kazei 5, Strike Force, Fantasy Hero Complete, Asian Bestiary One, Asian Bestiary Two, and Larger Than Life: Hero System Version. Plus all of the project's Add-On's and stretch goals! Another great value!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About

    Witiko

    Same as Black-Eyed Kid, only you receive signed and numbered physical copy number two!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About

    Slender Man

    Same as Black-Eyed Kid, only you receive signed and numbered physical copy number One!

    Also, you can schedule 3-5 Skype conferences of 60 minutes each to discuss gaming, research , projects, and so on.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 0 backers
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