Becoming the monster: Canadian horror RPG “They Feed on Fear”

by | Nov 30, 2022 | Web Archive

With the recent popularity of shows like Stranger Things and the spooky Halloween season coming to a close, some of you might be looking for something a bit darker for your tabletop events. While gathering information for this article, I stopped by Pe Metawe Games to have a chat with the owner, David Plamondon. We talked about a variety of games that fit into the horror genre and provide a spooky atmosphere.  Eventually, I landed on They Feed on Fear due to the easy entry-level, the lack of player powerlessness and the unique concept it offers.

They Feed on Fear is not only Canadian but independently created. Released in 2021, the game sees the players create monsters called Fear-Eaters. As Fear-Eaters, they terrorize a town or city that’s brought to life by the Provider (basically this game’s Dungeon Master). 

Art by Trevor Henderson

Essentially, the Fear-Eaters gather essence from members of the community throughout each session. Essence can be used for anything from taking actions during encounters to leveling up your Fear-Eater and gaining new abilities. But your power isn’t infinite. If you run out of essence while out on the hunt or if community members called Protectors find your lair and attack, it is possible for your Fear-Eater to die.

Overall, the game is astoundingly balanced. Fear-Eaters have to keep on their toes to deal with the community,  although their power is never truly removed. This game provides a perfect mixture of power fantasy and horror as the players are faced with describing how their Fear-Eaters terrorize the prey. Due to the loose-narrative take on the gameplay, the Fear-Eaters and Provider are encouraged to work together to weave an engaging narrative, creating a greater feeling of accomplishment once you’ve finished the campaign. The game also includes an option for solo play that utilizes randomization as a stand-in for an all-knowing Provider.

The artwork in the rulebook is absolutely beautiful and highly reminiscent of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Most of the full-page artwork in the book is by Trevor Henderson, an artist known for his horror artwork. In total, 16 different artists contributed their art to this game. I’ll forgive those that didn’t know,  but only because the game’s creator, Alexei Vella, did an outstanding job curating the manual’s visuals.

All the praise aside, there are a fair number of grammatical errors and misspellings throughout the current release of the manual. The errors don’t take away from the experience or make the players break from the game in any way, but I just expect more from an official release. This game also isn’t for the faint of heart or those who are uncomfortable roleplaying a terrifying and often sadistic monster.

They Feed on Fear is very affordable, costing only $12 for a digital copy or $30 for a physical copy (plus shipping if you order it online). You can pick up a copy near NAIT at Pe Metawe Games with a student discount or online through and

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