What’s the Crock Pot? Just a simmering bowl of lentils and herbs, with a dash of DMing observations. Don’t be afraid to dip in your ladle and stir, or throw in something from your own spice rack.

The brew that is Gnome Stew is all about dispensing tasty GMing advice. Frequent readers know I tend to offer a nuts’n’bolts approach to such things. I’m not a gaming theory sort of guy. I’m a “let’s gather ‘round the table” and see what works sort.

So, for my D&D Burgoo posts this month, I’m going to offer components that you can plug into a horror-themed game. A batch of nifty ideas and monster choices that I hope make your job as DM a little easier. 

D&D ain’t Cthulhu

Tune into any number of podcasts on this subject and experienced DMs, when asked about their favorite D&D horror games, often will volunteer to describe a particularly fun and scary  “Call of Cthulhu” game. Fair enough. It’s a roleplaying game designed for horror, while D&D is about high adventure.

And while it’s an honest and frank admission, it’s a curious response, especially when it comes during a D&D podcast or the like. Is it possible that D&D just can’t emulate the horror experience? Is the gothic horror of Tracy and Laura Hickman’s 1983 breakthrough adventure “Ravenloft” the only genuine experience in this genre? 

What’s the big deal?

Surely our readers have had any number of ooky, spooky D&D experiences. 

Does the horror genre work at your table — and more importantly — why? What did you do to make it work? I’m curious to learn more.