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12:00 AM
he says Sleepy 10/10
max level apparently
 
anyone here have read the Animosity comics? it'a about a world were all animals gain "human" level intelligence and ability to "speak" !
 
I think I saw one once at a friend's place.
 
and the best talking dog movie of all time and also personal responsible for the birth of one of my favorite games (Fallout)... A Boy and His Dog!
 
@Anaphory Almost didn't notice you there, hi, how are you doing?
 
does anyone here had experience with "fantasy horror games" and can share it? i'm running Strange Aeons Pathfinder Adventure Path and would love some personal insight of other people!
 
12:16 AM
hmmm
horror, yes, fantasy, no
 
Not sure what's meant by "fantasy horror."
 
I'm afraid you might find my advice entirely useless in the context of your game.
 
Both terms are extremely broad and vague.
I've got a decent amount of experience and study in a variety of horror contexts, enough to know that you gotta drill down past "horror" to specify what kind of horror you're dealing with.
 
@BESW BESW, it's a Pathfinder adventure.
 
@eimyr And to me, every Pathfinder adventure is probably gonna be gore.
 
12:20 AM
@BESW it's "d&d" with horror elements!
 
What kind of insights are you looking for?
How to pace the tension and catharsis over the course of a session? How to get player buy-in so they aren't working to subvert the themes? Whether the d20 system is better suited for a game that's primarily dread, terror, or gore?
 
i guess how can you keep the horror tension and catharsis when players are all "magical x-men" (D&D and Pathfinder are exactly that hahaha)!
 
What horror elements does it contain? Body horror inflicted on the PCs through mutations or mind control? Existential horror that challenges the PCs' notions of their importance in the world? The nauseating horror of vivid descriptions of violence and carnage?
The d20 System isn't super suited for agency-loss horror of any kind. PCs tend to be able to bypass it, or the dice do on their own.
A good technique used by Cthulhu Dark is to not say no, but have that not matter.
 
and all of the above, it is "Lovecraft inspired", so there is some mind control, existential horror, fear of the unknown, powers from beyond, nightmares and dreamscapes, and as all D&D like tons of gore as you wisely pointed!
 
Erph, "Lovecraft inspired."
Let's assume they don't mean Lovecraft, but those who followed and expanded his Mythos into pulp adventure. Because D&D-likes won't play nice with Lovecraft's originals.
 
12:28 AM
hahahaha it's their words not mine! they even have some pages talking about it...
 
Lean into how awesome the PCs are. They can defeat the minions of the horror, they can heal the wounded, raise the dead, and call on the power of the gods to aid them in discovering the source of the horror.
They can enter dreams, pass through the worldwalls, and banish terrors with the flick of a wand.
...what you need to do to make that horrible, is one of two things.
First, you can make it not enough. They easily can fix what's done, but they can't easily stop it from happening in the first place.
Second, you can deal with the toll it takes on them. Probably with some kind of corruption or insight mechanic that accumulates over time.
The first strategy is about making them care for the world, and making them personally hate the evil behind the suffering they can't prevent.
The second is about turning the PCs into ticking time bombs themselves.
Handy hint: if you give something hit points, that means it can be killed.
The d20 System loves giving everything hit points and then pretending some other qualities can make it hard to kill, but that's not the point. Post-Lovecraft Mythos horror is about despair, and hit points give you hope. If the dice just roll right, if we can just get more levels, if we can find the right weapons...
In my D&D 4e campaign we defeated the Horror From Beyond Reality with an emotion cannon. Everyone took turns sitting in the chair and thinking about a strong emotion they'd experienced during their adventures, and the cannon shot that feeling at the city-sized monster crawling through a hole in the sky.
(The cannon had been invented by the evil empire; they'd planned to torture a prisoner of war in the chair and aim the cannon at oncoming armies.)
 
"(The cannon had been invented by the evil empire; they'd planned to torture a prisoner of war in the chair and aim the cannon at oncoming armies.)" I think the Dark Tower script writer must have been spying on your group!
 
Re: tension and catharsis. First, get group buy-in for the game.
No horror game works if the players aren't willing to be horrified.
 
And i loved all of your suggestions, some of them i had already implemented on the game, and very well said about hit points give you hope, players usually know that everything has a way to kill even if they don't know how yet"
 
Next, dread is how you build tension. Terror and gore are how you release it.
Dread is fear of the unknown. Tell them something's coming. Show them evidence of what it's done. Let them see its victims, find its tracks, meet its minions.
 
12:43 AM
the way the writers of those adventures tell people to add horror is through difficult encounters, and man that's some lazy writing!
 
Use gore to add to the tension while providing a small release. Gore is a tangible, understandable thing, something you can wrap your brain around--that's a catharsis. But if the gore is also asking questions like "what could have done this?" or "what does it want?" that builds the dread.
Quick example from Cthulhu Dark:
After hearing the lighthouse keeper's assistance rant about seeing a stranger moving in the dark even though there's no one else on the island, you say goodnight to the lighthouse keeper and go up to your room.
The door is unlocked; you remember locking it. Nobody's inside, but there's a strange smell.
You follow the smell to your bed, and pull back the covers to find the lighthouse keeper: dead for hours, carefully dissected with his organs neatly arranged on your pillow.
 
ttfn
 
- dread: hints of unknown actor
- dread: hints of unknown activity
- dread: evidence of something bad
- terror: there's a body in your bed!
- gore: graphic description of horrible thing
- dread: what did this and why? Didn't you see the keeper just moments ago?
You may find the Cthulhu Dark scenario-building advice generically useful.
 
tks a lot, do you have any recommended literature on storytelling (and creating a story) that can be used on RPGs?
 
Nightmares of Mine by Kenneth Hite is, in my opinion, the gold standard must-read for all GMs who are at all interested in horror gaming.
It analyzes and deconstructs horror stories in books and film, then rebuilds them for RPG use.
It's where I got the dread/terror/gore trifecta.
 
12:57 AM
nice, those kind of books never arrive in Brazil, i would love suggestions!
 
It's supposedly for Rolemaster, but almost all the content is genuinely applicable to any game context.
I've gotten benefit from reading the philosophy sections in games like Lovecraftesque, Call of Cthulhu, and Cthulhu Confidential, but they all require filtering through their particular playstyle lens.
I'm looking forward to Evil Hat's "Horror Toolkit" when it gets published.
Oh, don't explain things.
In horror, explanations are bad unless they cause people to ask even worse questions.
Also--gore isn't just about gross stuff.
Gore is any time you're asking the players (not the characters; horror is for the players) to endure something horrific for a period of time without a break.
 
@BESW yeah. there isn't much that'd squick me out, but a detailed description of someone getting cooked alive in a fire would...
 
I once had a gore scene just by forcing the players to endure a conversation with an NPC that really really got on their nerves but they needed his cooperation for the mission.
 
@BESW what game was that?
 
@RafaelSantos D&D 4e, but the scene was pure RP, could've been in any system.
The gore was about being forced to endure someone whose politics and attitude was totally at odds with the party's, but their own ethics said that they needed to support him.
It was very personally uncomfortable for one of the characters, because the NPC embodied a conflict between pride and loyalty.

Kamola the Prince-Maker

Aug 28 '13 at 10:46, 19 minutes total – 55 messages, 4 users, 0 stars

Bookmarked Nov 15 '13 at 17:39 by BESW

The elements of horror aren't limited to horror gaming.
"Horror" as a genre is just a way to say that those elements are central to the experience, rather than used for contrast and reinforcement of a different central experience.
 
1:20 AM
@BESW heh
 

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