Low Fantasy / Gothic Horror TTRPG ?

  1. How the fuck is this so far down and there's a post suggesting AD&D further up? OP wants to play vampires or werewolves, that's basically what White Wolf is all about.

  2. Agreed that this seems to be what OP wants. I'm still baffled by the question itself... İf you want to play as vampires and werewolves, why are you looking for a "horror" system in which vulnerable PCs fear monsters? You're clearly looking to play as the scary thing in the setting!

  3. I would not consider Warhammer Fantasy to be low fantasy. Dark fantasy, yes, but not low fantasy. Though I guess dark fantasy is what OP was actually asking for, considering them mentioning The Witcher :P

  4. It's dark and gritty fantasy, but how on earth do you call dragons, elves, undead, wizards, demons etc "low fantasy"?

  5. You should check out Trophy Gold! It's a dark fantasy game about "treasure-hunters on an expedition to a haunted environment that doesn’t want them there." The full version isn't quite out yet, but the quickstart is still available through the

  6. I believe any OSR might do that, they usually have good fantastic powers and spells but very limited on how much you can do, besides the fact that OSR combat tends to be very deadly so quite probably that the characters won't become demi-gods at that.

  7. Some OSR such as Sword of Cepheus might work, but unfortunatley most OSR use the "additional HP per level" mechanic which removes all potential for horror in my opinion.

  8. Hell yes! I spent the first ten years of my GMing career running Ravenloft almost exclusively and I love it. The setting was done so poorly in the recent reboot.

  9. V:tM is the poster child for "System does matter". V:tM went on for ages about what the game was about - politics, intrigue, and personal horror. Then presented 150 pages of combat rules.

  10. I am here to sing the praises of Genesys. Only downside is you'll need to do some world building type work.

  11. I'm split on this. On the one hand, I think Genesys is a brilliant system and I would happily play a gothic horror game using it. But I think a well built Genesys character is still pretty powerful and that might run counter to what OP wants.

  12. I absolutely love Genesys! Easily my favorite full system! It may be a bit powerful though, it could take some tweaking to get to the low power/high danger OP wants.

  13. Both the Witcher and ASOIAF have rpgs out. You could also try WFRP, or if you want a non licensed book, Zweihander.

  14. Ironsworn. Is known for it's solo components, but it runs just as well for group play. The setting is easily adjuster for what you want it to be, and the gameplay supports this playstyle very well. Oh, and it's totally free, which doesn't say anything about the quality. It's one of the most praised PbtA games in recent years.

  15. Mork Borg might work for you. It's horror, low fantasy, medieval-ish, and you can play as at least some kind of corrupted-style human. There are spells but not overpowered ones.

  16. Knave RPG. Magic is limited by encumbrance. Each character can only carry so many spells before the weight of all those books, scrolls, and spell components becomes a problem. One of players said "Magic in this game is heavy, man!"

  17. I think Shadow of the demon lord from Schwalb Entertainment might be a good fit. There are vampire and werecat ancestries.

  18. I recently downloaded and read the free prologue book for Shadows if Esteren from Dtrpg, which might be what you‘re looking for. Medieval gothic horror with some magic and weird science. The setting is Celtic inspired (and I don‘t own the actual core books, so what do I know), so it‘s probably low on classic gothic monsters.

  19. Do you have a preference for ‘type’ of system? Do you want something class/level-ish like D&D, such as an earlier edition or a retro-clone, for example? If you do, those are lower powered than 5e, and it is easy to tweak them so as to be lower powered still. After all, you can decide what classes are available, what magic is available, and so on.

  20. If you want monster PCs like werewolves and vampires in a minimalist package, I'd love to get your thoughts on my game

  21. Symbaroum, eyes beyond the torchlight, Grim world, Mork Borg, When the Moon Hangs low, or Zweihender could work for you.

  22. You might like 1E or 2E D&D. Players in those early editions are faced with the need to seriously decide if they need to fight or flight more often than in 5E.

  23. Low Fantasy Gaming is a D&D variant, It is just that a low fantasy variant, where spell casters are rare, magic is dangerous. There is an active community and lots of character options. I do believe there is a Vampire and Werewolf option in downloadable content. there is a free SRD (though it has less than the full version).

  24. I have this exact same issue (plus I'm not the biggest fan of sword and sorcery/Tolkien esq fantasy), so I just finished cooking up a homebrew for Call of Cthulhu 7e. The only race however is human so no playable monsters.

  25. Worlds Without Number could work for this. I am going to be using it to run Ravenloft using the AD&D materials. The system though feels familiar to 3e/5e but much lower on the power scale. It does provide optional rules to have more powerful characters though. There is a free version of the core book that is actually the majority of the book on DriveThruRPG.

  26. It doesn't sound like this is what you're looking for, but we can't possibly allow a thread where someone requests "gothic horror" and no one mentions Call of Cthulhu...

  27. Yeah they do they the CofD version of the dark ages are called the dark eras. They cover everything from Arthurian to Victorian, Rome to feudal Japan. They are quite good

  28. I left D&D specifically because I thought it was a poor mechanical match for Ravenloft, my favorite setting.

  29. Is it my turn to mention GURPS? Because GURPS. You can control how much fantasy to add in and there are several sourcebooks for horror (Horror, Screampunk, Voodoo: The Shadow War), vampires (Blood Types, Undead), and all manner of monsters (Spirits, Creatures of the Night). You're really well-covered with the resources to mix up exactly the blend you're interested in.

  30. Well the world of darkness and the chronicles of darkness are the quintessential Gothic horror games and they are all about being vampires, werewolves, mages, etc.

  31. I used Dragon AGE to run a long term fantasy game that started with the PCs all getting bitten by a werewolf in their own individual session zeroes.

  32. Mörk Borg and Symbaroum will do great here. Both are from the Free League Publishing which have experience with creating such low-fantasy setups, rich in the storytelling.

  33. There is a Witcher TTRPG. I haven’t gotten the chance to play it yet but it honestly looks really cool, I’ve read through but and pieces and definitely curious.

  34. There is also a old ASOIAF rpg as well that was made in the early 2010’s. Haven’t looked into it too much yet.

  35. There is both a game of thrones RPG (Song of Ice and Fire RPG) and a Witcher RPG. Take a look at those

  36. Well, while you can't be a vampire or werewolf I really enjoyed running Shadows of Esteren. It's kinda like a combo of games of thrones and call of Cthulhu. My players were mixed on it as it's I think a French game and some of the translations are weird but I think it's a hidden gem.

  37. I agree with the folks that suggested Warhammer fantasy. There’s also a number of GURPS variants that are low fantasy.

  38. Chronicles of Darkness with limiting people's choices for what 'races'/gamelines they can bring and potentially wound back a bit to the appropriate time period could be a decent fit. The system isn't particularly crunch heavy to adapt if you wanna run lower tech than modern day.

  39. Some people mentioned Call of Cthulhu… but if you want a tone closer to medieval fantasy, you should look at Cthulhu Dark Ages and even Magic World (which has the same BRP basis as Cthulhu, but is designed for Fantasy). Personally, if I tried to build anything along the lines of the Witcher, I would probably use Call of Cthulhu 7th/Dark Ages as a basis, and use Cthulhu Pulp options to model any supernatural powers of characters.

  40. Having played both the latest edition of Warhammer fantasy roleplay and zweihander, I end up liking Zweihander way more. The system feels more evocative of horror fantasy. Not sure I would call it low though.

  41. There can be some negativity around restricting player options, but you could stay with 5e and just restrict it to half and partial casters.

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