Oh the Horror


  • Pitcrew

    A few questions for anyone interested in answering!

    How dangerous/deadly do you like your mortal horror? Should scenes with a monster always carry a real risk of death?

    Would having supporting characters (NPCs) under your control be something you'd take advantage of? Some might be good at things you aren't, or have a special ability that makes them useful. They can also be used to do the risky/dangerous things you might not do with your PC.

    Monster of the week or ongoing plots? Or both?

    If there were Plots in a Box, where all you have to do is read it and run it, would you consider running PrPs (if you otherwise usually don't)?

    If workshops were held to teach players how to run scenes (the dice system, conflict resolution, etc.), would you attend?

    Instead of XP, would a system where you can save points you get IC (that you normally spend on rerolls and such) to buy Special Traits interest you? It wouldn't raise stats, but they could add bonuses, special abilities and items, etc.

    I'll add more questions as I think of them!


  • Pitcrew

    1. Moderately dangerous! Scenes with monster should always carry a real risk of death, especially if you try to fight without preparation, but I like when running away is an option.

    2. That would be very cool!

    3. Yes, both! I would prefer ongoing plots to be stuff that hits the institutional/overarching horror, so few 'big bads' but an ongoing corruption that has to be continuously fought, but never conquered, that sort of thing.

    4. Yessssss.

    5. Sure!

    6. Yesss. That would be wonderful. I'd love to see something like that in a horror game.


  • Coder

    I like danger, but it depends on how fatality works on a system. If a single bad roll of the dice determines if I lose a character, I am less inclined to join a scene without being damn sure I can probably survive it. Like, on the 100, @Seraphim73 and @GirlCalledBlu had it set up so when you got KO'd, the next turn if no one else attacked or did something to the guy that got you, the NPC would go in for a kill shot. I liked the balance of this: no single action can end you, but if you're abandoned (or don't have a luck to bring yourself back into the scene) it could be fatal.

    I would not mind a roster of support NPCs to help fill things out.

    MoTW can get boring after awhile. Plots don't have to be big, super long running, but some cohesion to keep the world going forward is important to me. That said, MoTW is important especially for people who can't commit to schedules well.

    Plots in a Box: Yes

    Workshops: If needed.

    XP/Save Points: As long as there's some way to change and grow over time, or to feel like I'm having an impact on my development, I don't need it to be XP and for all my numbers to get bigger every week.


  • Pitcrew

    How hard is it to make a character and get approved?

    That usually determines how willing I am to have a PC death.



  • Make it like CoC. You WILL die/go insane. The measure of success is how long you last (or you just hide under your bed too much).


  • Pitcrew

    @ixokai said in Oh the Horror:

    I like danger, but it depends on how fatality works on a system. If a single bad roll of the dice determines if I lose a character, I am less inclined to join a scene without being damn sure I can probably survive it. Like, on the 100, @Seraphim73 and @GirlCalledBlu had it set up so when you got KO'd, the next turn if no one else attacked or did something to the guy that got you, the NPC would go in for a kill shot. I liked the balance of this: no single action can end you, but if you're abandoned (or don't have a luck to bring yourself back into the scene) it could be fatal.

    Our system allows for others to stabilize fallen characters, so dead isn't always dead, which sounds similar to what you mention.

    XP/Save Points: As long as there's some way to change and grow over time, or to feel like I'm having an impact on my development, I don't need it to be XP and for all my numbers to get bigger every week.

    Stats don't change, but you can expand on qualities (specialties) and, as proposed, buy some special stuff.

    @krmbm said in Oh the Horror:

    How hard is it to make a character and get approved?

    That usually determines how willing I am to have a PC death.

    A couple sentences of a BG, five minutes in cgen on stats, and a desc is all you need.

    @tnp said in Oh the Horror:

    Make it like CoC. You WILL die/go insane. The measure of success is how long you last (or you just hide under your bed too much).

    Heh. No, not THAT heavy.


  • Pitcrew

    My go-to for horror tabletop is CoC, so generally I lean more towards the inevitability of death and aim for one character dying per two sessions.


  • Coder

    My go to is every time combat is entered, there should be the possibility of real bad juju happening.

    That applies to every type of character though, not just mortals.

    Mortal horror to me should be horrific, and without that fear of character death or other drastic consequence, there is no fear, there is no horror.



  • My one consideration for higher mortality rate games is that the world, the NPCs, treat it as such. They don't want to die either. They will peace out or surrender, or try to find a way.

    That is what makes some people so dangerous seeming, they are too dumb, or too desperate, or unable to contain themselves or their forces, and they march to their doom.


  • Pitcrew

    @misadventure Absolutely, but that's true in most D&D games I run too. In a horror game the threat to the PCs shouldn't even be from a regular Joe NPC. If you're referring to the use of NPCs as allies for the PCs, then, yes, they should 'nope' right the fuck out the moment things get spooky.

    Addressing the monster of the week vs. long running plot question, a mixture of both seems ideal for most MUs (and TV shows). Having a long term threat running in the background is good, but you need to throw the occasional, easily averted Boogeyman at the PCs now and then to mix things up.



  • @ominous I mean smart monsters as well. Just because a demon can't die permanently, doesn't mean it wants to pay the price to get back here again, etc.


  • Pitcrew

    That depends on the mindset of the antagonist. If this is Song of Ice and Fire RPG or old-school D&D with morale rolls, then, yes, antagonists flee and surrender, because death sucks. If it's CoC, Nyalarthotep thinks it's what you call funny that you expect it to have this human emotion called fear. That's the thing about horror - it deals with things with alien mindsets. Even a human psychopath is so outside the norm that they're barely comprehensible to regular folks. What scares you shitless is a Tuesday to them.

    So, no, in your example, I would say the demon doesn't care about you sending it back to hell. The fact that you can't reason with it or intimidate it is part of the horror.


  • Pitcrew

    @ominous I'd argue that a cunning demon would rather stay and not have to claw their way back again. Why work harder than you have to just to look fearless? Why give a shit what it looks like when you can still win?


  • Coder

    I would say that would depend on the personality of the demon. Why can't we have both?