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Author Topic: [ Horror ]How do you get it in a game?  (Read 759 times)


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[ Horror ]How do you get it in a game?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2008, 07:33:49 PM »
For Horror in any of the games I run I stick to the following:

Amplify the unknown/unseen - Essentially I over describe ghostly activities; as RChandler pointed out. Have characters hear odd things but never quite see them. Use typical ghost story ploys of bloody messages dripping down the walls that fade when others come to investigate, etc. Or as jibbajibba said: possess the children (that is a personal favourite. Typically I find with most players, if they can't hit it or see it to hit it, they start to freak out and panic (in game of course).

Make it personal - I don't know about others, but my players tend to the bloodthirsty lot. If it isn't happening to them or something that matters to them, the tension is lost. More than once they have looked at the plight of the villagers and then quietly walked the other way, whistling jaunty tunes .. terribly heroic lot ;)

Make a firm (and short) deadline - For my players at least, giving them a limited amount of time to complete their objective (i.e. have to stop the ghosts killing their families by tomorrow night) greater increases the tension and their frustrations so that when the spooky stuff does occur, they are more receptive to it.

Most of the rest of the stuff I do has already been clearly stated by others, but the best comment I can make is: Don't overuse the same ploys. It's a trap that I fall into sometimes and since I largely play with the same pool of people, sometimes they cotton on real quick on what is happening.


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[ Horror ]How do you get it in a game?
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2008, 07:06:27 AM »
Quote from: jibbajibba
Excellent post agree with all of it.

Let me second that opinion.:)

So atheists have been abused, treated badly by clergy or they're stupid.They're just being trendy because they can't understand The God Delusion because they don't have the education, plus they're just pretending to be atheists anyway. Pundit you're the one with a problem, terminal stupidity.


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[ Horror ]How do you get it in a game?
« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2008, 09:55:43 PM »
I'm new to this forum, so hi to you all (though some of you seem familiar from elsewhere). Running horror is a bit of a specialty of mine, so I thought I'd start here.

Horror can be defined as a genre, but the word horror also refers to the visceral reaction we have to the violation of the body (be it ours or someone else's). Because it's tied to our survival instinct, it's an almost universal fear. Just as description in a book can produce horror, so can it in a rpg.

When it comes to game mechanics, however, terror (the fear that something really bad is going to happen and there's nothing you can do about it) is much easier. Terror can be reinforced by using a mechanic that presents an inevitability, but builds up to it while not revealing exactly when it's going to happen. The Dread rpg uses Jenga to good effect this way.

Horror isn't so easy because a lot of games reduce injury to math or over-focus on the physical aspects of injury while overlooking the psychological aspects. Just having a psychological trait doesn't work, unfortunately, because the mechanic needs to reinforce the horror's effect upon the player, not just mirror it in the character. Unfortunately, I have yet to figure out how to make a mechanic that does this and had to rely purely on description to achieve the effect.
Humans should have been assigned a wisdom penalty.