Thursday, March 3, 2022

Review: GURPS Infinite Worlds: Nightreign

 GURPS Infinite Worlds: Nightreign is a setting book for the larger Infinite Worlds setting and is specifically a Horror themed work.

The Infinite Worlds setting was designed to showcase the versatility of GURPS by letting adventurers travel from world to world. It is both a time travel and a parallel worlds type setting, allowing the creative GM to create all sorts of genres and mix it up to keep a campaign fresh. GURPS Infinite Worlds: Worlds of Horror written by the popular author Kenneth Hite is a broad setting book with a lot of small horror settings seeds. This book is a full length worked horror setting based in a divergent history of 1700's America, after the American Revolution.


During the American Revolution an opening into another dimension was created that infected the eastern seaboard with a dark miasma called "The Bleak", plunging the region into darkness or twilight. The classic horrors emerged and slaughtered thousands, forever changing that worlds history.
Magic is available to the PC's, though it often has a dark price.

Nuts and Bolts

I really liked this setting, its dark but teases some hope and in some ways is post apocalyptic. The Bleak is a good well explained concept that makes use of the Corruption mechanic described in GURPS Horror, though you wont need that book to understand its effects.  GURPS Magic is the default assumption but rules are included to use Ritual Path Magic, Book/Path from GURPS Thaumatology, and some other subsystems. In my opinion it currently has the best description of shamanism as well. The authors worked with existing material from GURPS Thaumatology, GURPS Monster Hunters 6: Holy Hunters, and even my book GURPS Powers: Totem and Nature Spirits that works out very close to my own Shamanic Powers based magic (not published or even approved yet). Though we disagree on a few points, such as the implementation of Spirit Empathy the overall feeling is very similar, which I appreciate and have been waiting to see in print for a very long time. The authors also expanded on modifiers found in GURPS Powers which is a welcome addition and I may implement some of those ideas myself.

Included is a good explanation of the history since the divergence with a good explanation of its effects on the political situation and of course life as a whole.

The Enemy

The obvious enemy here are the unhuman and other types of monsters, but plenty of other options exist as well.  From rival world jumpers to local politics a campaign in this setting can go in many directions and keep things fresh. I like the set up here if the Bleak, its effects (subtle and otherwise), and the various monsters. Vampires and Werewolves are given a page or so each with enough information to give the GM ideas and references for the actual stats. A few new monsters are introduced as well but the bulk of this supplement is background material. It really leverages prior works such as GURPS Horror to fit in as much new content as possible.

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