Van Richten's Guide to the Walking Dead
Authors: Rucht Lilavivat and Ryan Naylor
Summary of content: The Weathermay-Foxgrove twins continue in the tradition of the well-known Van Richten's Guides, this time covering animated corpses and other lesser undead, including skeletons, zombies, ghouls, wights and more.
Chapter One: Necrology (undead psychology, physiology, states of Preservation)
I was thrilled and disappointed when that book was announced. Thrilled, because I was working hard for a year and a half on a huge USS article on a similar theme, the 'VRG to the lower undead' (released in the USS netbook 2002). And disappointed for the same reason :), as I feared my article could be obsolete when it came out. That said, both are quite different and I still stand proud of my 'lower undead' article today!
The intro of the VRGttWD was quite surprising for me: I had lost my grandmother in the week before, so a story on a creepy grandmother-turned-undead was, ahem, unexpected …
The salient abilities are amazingly good and creative. Just plain amazement! Low hit dice undead will never be boring again. The accompanying text is great read, and can be served almost directly to players as monster hunter conversation.
A high point of the guide was the return of Ratik Ubel and Alanik Ray. Two new evil villains are introduced in the book: one of them being Toben the Many - what a genius NPC concept! In section seven (Hunting the Walking Dead), the Glutton of Gehena is another good idea, and the description of the hunt can easily be inserted in a campaign.
4,5 on 5 for the whole book, and 6 on 5 for usefulness! Strongly recommend it to DMs in any setting.
One of the best Ravenloft Books I have ever read. 5 out of 5 stars!
Tons of Salient abilities to make this 7th level wizard and his 20 - 30 zombies and skeletons memorable.
Not to mention that for the "academic" people that want to talk about undead with their friends (not just variations, but habits, nature etc.) this book has much to offer.
I loved this book.
I have used this book extensively in all my campaigns with great success. I recommend it to anyone even remotely interested about the undead.
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