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 assigned magical powers to creatures able to do what he couldn't. With time, he even created new denizens of the supernatural from his imagination and religious beliefs.
Ghosts, Ghouls, and Golems is a roleplaying game guide to these darkness-dwelling creatures of folklore and myth for 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. There are dozens of "monster" sheets, each representing a basic creature template you can further customize as desired. Finally, there are a number of sheets for such infamous beings as Dracula, Jack the Ripper, and the Beast of Le Gévaudan.
What’s In This Book?
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 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 theriomorphic beings from around the world. Character sheets include one for a traditional European werewolf, an American cinematic werewolf, and the Beast of Le Gévaudan.
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 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.
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!
Slender Man ($150): Same as Springheeled Jack, 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!
Add-On #3: Michael Surbrook Library
If you are backing this project at any level, add $100.00 to add physical and electronic copies of Kazei 5, Strike Force, Fantasy Hero Complete, Asian Bestiary One, Asian Bestiary Two, and Larger Than Life: Hero System Version to your pledge! (United States backers only please.)
Add-On #4: Asian Bestiaries
If you are backing this project at any level, add $25.00 to add physical and electronic copies of Michael Surbrook's Asian Bestiary One and Two. (United States backers only please.)
Add-On #5: Kazei 5
If you are backing this project at any level, add $20.00 to add physical and electronic copies of Michael Surbrook's Kazei 5. (United States backers only please.)
Add-On #6: Fantasy Hero Complete
If you are backing this project at any level, add $25.00 to add physical and electronic copies of Michael Surbrook's Fantasy Hero Complete. (United States backers only please.)
Add-On #7: Strike Force
If you are backing this project at any level, add $40.00 to add physical and electronic copies of Aaron Allston's Strike Force. (United States backers only please.)
Add-On #8: Larger Than Life
If you are backing this project at any level, add $25.00 to add physical and electronic copies of Larger Than Life: Hero System Version. (United States backers only please.)
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!
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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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