It's a tough week for the Fat Goblin crew, with many of us evacuating in front of Hurricane Irma or worrying about family in the storm's path. But, for me, the worst unearthly horrors have a way of making our problems feel a little more manageable. So why don't we take a deep dive into the worst Vathak has to offer?
Many in Vathak, even in Ina'oth, would point to Khrota for that honor. The Spawn of the Old Ones are so thick on the ground there, it's hard to tell where cosmic horror stops and survival horror begins. Cities like Urvind have to be unparalleled fortresses just to survive and the vindari military loses countless lives even trying to contain the worst of the horrors in Khrota.
The cosmic horror of Khrota is a good example of exactly what happens when the "stars are right." There's no question that the Old Ones are very real, all that remains is the struggle to hold them back for another year, another day, or another hour.
And the survival horror is also front and center. Khrota is a great place to run survival horror if you don't want to start from "oh, we're just regular Joes and something terrible has happened." Everyone in Khrota knows the risks and prepares the best they can, letting players prepare as well without worrying they're metagaming.
The horrors of war take the form of a constant siege in Khrota, with the claustrophobia giving ample cause for psychological or slasher horror. When your whole city is bottled up like a cabin in the woods, a killer on the loose both seems more likely and more threatening.
More even than other parts of Vathak, I think the biggest risk with a Khrota game is laying the horror on too thick and sending players over the edge into hopelessness (the long-term boring kind). It's important to find bright spots, whether that's a city that serves as a beacon or humorous NPCs to break the worst of the tension.
Landon Winkler, Shadows over Vathak Line Developer