When playing in a horror game we often rely almost entirely on the GM to set the stage and indicate the emotions that our superheroes must fight through. I'll talk more about horror stories when we get to the system blogs, but right now I want to talk about playing in a horror game. I think the ultimate goal of the player in a horror game is to help the GM by playing into the fear instead of ignoring it. To do this, we must understand fear.
With Halloween approaching we are often tempted to play a one-shot horror scenario, or even a campaign horror game. There are many RPGs and supplements out there―from Call of Cthulhu to Ravenloft―to facilitate your horrible needs. Unfortunately, most of them focus on creating heroic characters that are ill-matched for a horror game. While we all want to be heroic as players, we need to play into the genre. With that in mind, below are some basic archetypes you can choose to play in a horror game.
When I first started following APs, I began with a CoC game of Horror on the Orient Express, and earlier this summer I watched Encounter Roleplay do a video stream of the same campaign on Twitch. Both showed how horribly things can go downhill as people encounter the horrors and insanity of the game. Other podcasts, like Happy Jacks, have complained about the failures of running the Malkavians in Vampire games. Insanity, it seems, is problematic.
As part of a gaming shopping spree, I picked up a book I'd heard was great as a GM's tool, Robin D Laws’ Hamlet’s Hit Points. I finally got around to reading it and instantly wanted to share my thoughts about Laws' ideas.
I genuinely like the book. I only wish for more explanations, especially related to role-playing, in exchange for one of the analyses that’s not Casablanca. I also feel this book would be a great guide for players, and it's these last two points I want to talk about.
A while ago I created a podcast list in effort to produce a topic outline of many, many shows and episodes. I haven’t had the time to complete that outline, so I think I'll try my hand at podcast reviews!
With what I've got assembled, I'm all set to do reviews of Actual Play games on Youtube or Twitch, plus book reviews and yes, game reviews.
In the early days of my gaming career, I went through three Frodos before I got to 3rd level. This wasn’t the only time for me, and I'm sure many others over the last forty years have suffered similar fates. Mages died from single rat bites, investigators went quickly insane, and ex-space marines died alone in nondescript alleys. At the early stages of characters’ careers death and failure come swiftly, often shattering players’ dreams for their characters. Or did they?