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Eldritch: The Book of Madness: A Review

Welcome, fellow adventurers and aspiring Dungeon Masters, to another thrilling deep dive into the world of Dungeons & Dragons. Today, we unravel the malevolent secrets and twisted lore of Eldritch: The Book of Madness. Buckle up, because this tome promises a journey into darkness that will chill your spine and warp your mind. Grab your sanity checks and your favourite stuffed owlbear—you're going to need them!

Eldritch Book of Madness

Eldritch: The Book of Madness is not for the faint-hearted. This deluxe edition brings forth a universe where the lines between reality and nightmare blur, and the darkness holds sway over all. It's an expansive resource for DMs looking to inject their campaigns with a healthy dose of horror, corruption, and the sheer unknown. If you've ever wondered what it would be like to run a campaign where your players beg you for a simple goblin ambush, this book is your new best friend.

Overview of the Content

The book is meticulously structured into thirteen chapters, each delving into different aspects of the eldritch horrors that lie beyond the veil of reality. From the malevolent entities of the Dark Place to the insidious effects of Dread and the horrifying creatures of the Monstruum, this book is a treasure trove of dark fantasy content.

Key Highlights

The Endless Darkness


The first chapter introduces the Dark Place, a realm of claustrophobic darkness where the rules of reality do not apply. This chapter sets the tone for the entire book, describing the nature of the entities that dwell in this nightmare realm and their relentless attempts to seep into the Mortal Realms. The concept of the Irraeleon Veil, a barrier separating the realms of light and dark, is particularly intriguing and provides a rich backdrop for any campaign. Picture your players' faces when they realise the cute kitten they just adopted is actually a harbinger of the end times. Fun times!

The Dread Mechanic

Chapter Two introduces the Dread mechanic, a unique system that adds a palpable sense of fear and corruption to the game. Dread is a supernatural force that afflicts characters, eroding their willpower and filling them with an all-consuming fear. The detailed rules for gaining, tracking, and burning Dread points add a layer of psychological horror that can profoundly affect the gameplay experience. Imagine your most fearless barbarian quaking in their boots at the mere sight of a shadow. That's the kin d of delicious terror we're talking about!

Descent into Madness

The third chapter deals with the effects of madness and corruption, presenting mechanics for sanity checks, short-term madness, and various forms of corruption. This section is invaluable for DMs who want to portray the mental and emotional toll of facing eldritch horrors. The list of corruptions and the rules for willpower and dread insanities provide ample tools to challenge even the most stalwart heroes. Wheth er it's a quick bout of gibbering lunacy or a full-blown transformation into a tentacled nightmare, this chapter has you covered.

Profane Addictions and Cults

Chapters Four and Five explore the theme of addiction and the dark allure of profane cults. From the addictive substances that offer temporary power at a terrible cost to the intricate details of cults worshipping the entities of the Dark Place, these chapters enrich the setting with morally complex and deeply disturbing elements. The detailed descriptions of substances like Dusk Ale and LichRoot Cake, as well as the machinations of cults like Vaelich and Chanaguur, are particularly noteworthy. Ever wanted to run a storyline where the local tavern is pushing more than just a strong ale? Now you can, with deadly consequences!

The Monstruum Bestiary

Chapter Eight is a bestiary of nightmarish creatures, each more horrifying than the last. From the lowly Ageruus Creeper to the formidable Vivimancer, this chapter offers a wide array of monsters to terrorize players. The inclusion of creatures with varying Challenge Ratings ensures that DMs can find suitable threats for any level of party. Ever fancied throwing a CR 128 Eye of Xenn at your players? It’s in here. Good luck explaining that one to the local cleric!

Grab Your Favourite Stuffed Owlbear!

Scary Monster Page

The themes of fear, corruption, and the unknown are expertly woven throughout the book. The foreboding tone is set right from the foreword and is maintained through the evocative descriptions and lore. The book doesn't just present monsters and mechanics but tells a story of a world slowly being consumed by an insidious darkness. It's like a bedtime story if your bedtime story was written by H.P. Lovecraft and read by a whispering shadow creature.

Eldritch: The Book of Madness is a masterful addition to any DM's library. It offers a wealth of content for creating dark and twisted campaigns that will test the mettle of any adventuring party. The n ew mechanics for Dread and madness, combined with the richly detailed lore and bestiary, make this a must-have for those looking to delve into the darker side of D&D. So, light those black candles, whisper dark incantations, and dive into a world where every shadow hides a new horror.

Spooky Eldritch Church

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