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Soft Serve
12-11-2008, 01:22 AM
Or is horror/dark future the like, most unappreciated pnp gametype on this site?

There are a total number of TWO threads in the Campaign Resources section, and only 4 pages of threads in general discussion.

Theres a thread in "General Chatter" where some people think Pen and Paper games are dieing, or their gone from their golden age or whatever they happen to think I'm not going to speak for all the posters there BUT I'm fairly positive that the death bell for pen and paper gaming will be when the weaker genres start to go...the weakest genre apparently being horror/dark future...

There will be little pockets of underground groups playing horror/df games by candle light in their basements, when fellow RPG-ers kick in the door, turn on the lights, point and laugh at the dieing breed!

On what level do we survive if the kids everyone laughed at in highschool are laughing at US!


-for the record this thread is here to make you laugh...I'm going to be on a plane tomorrow and I'm a bit nervous, and also considering making that one of my next advents for my group..or something airborne...idk. Anyway just enjoy this I needed something to joke about. :biggrin:-

Etarnon
12-11-2008, 01:45 AM
Not at all.

I just have had limited time to dive into discussions of the backslide of morality amidst advancing technology... focusing more on D&D, Recruiting for my Upcoming Sc-fi game (via openRPG most likely) (that nobody has seen fit to reply to despite 40+ views), and posting in the wat's a DM to do, and what's a player to do on wotc forums, plus personal life BS.


You want to talk? Have at it.

I've got:

Friday night firefight
Cyberpunk 2020 by R Talsorian, and a near complete collection
GURPS cyberpunk and Cyberworld
ICE Cyberspace
Some D20 supplements for firearms
D20 Modern and Future and the cyberspace booklet.

A few Novels by William Gibson, Walter Jon Williams, and a few others lesser well known.

I've run and played in some really col Cyberpunk 2020 games via openRPG.

What did you want to discuss?

mrken
12-11-2008, 07:50 AM
Hey Bunny Man, travel safe. Back in my younger days I had to do a pile of travel by air. For me it was an adventure, for about the first five or ten trips, then it became pretty much routine, then it became a door to pass through. Except the trip to Japan., that was an ordeal, thirteen hours in the air. That made my bones stiff as we were stuffed in an old stretched DC-8. Plane flights have been and still are by far the safest method of traveling.

As for Horror and Dark Future being a dying game, I donít really think so. They have always been a bit on the fringe of the rp sport. :lol: I have played in both and enjoyed them both. Just remember the 800 pound gorilla in the room has been from day one the fantasy game. It reaches the widest audience with sci-fi coming in a rather distant second. Dividing the pool of role players always leaves you with a smaller number of possible players. You just prefer a more self-selecting game.

Something you might like to keep in mind is how difficult it is to GM a horror game. The pacing is sometimes rather difficult to do. Building up the tension is almost impossible to do if you or any of the players has a sense of humor. One joke or wise crack and itís over.

This last group of players was planning to get together for the first time a few days before Halloween. I thought it would be great to go with a Halloween theme. Induce a bit of horror into the game. Well, to make a short story even shorter, we didnít get the characters finished until that day and people got there late and had to leave early so the actual game was rather short. I (who canít remember my own dogís name sometimes) didnít do a very good job of frightening any of the characters. In fact, that was one of the worst games I had ever run anyone through. Yeah, you gotta bring your A game if you want to run horror. The story is not enough.

GoddessGood
12-11-2008, 09:55 AM
Horror RPGs have always intimidated me, mostly because I'd have had to be the one running them. I only moved to Dallas in the last year and it took me most of that year to get an Exalted group together (Exalted is the game I'm most comfortable with and it's the easiest for me to run on a weekly to biweekly basis). Now that I do have that regular group, I'm picking my head up to look at other RPGs. I've considered CoC since it was suggested to me by one of my group members, but I've also been longing for a LOTR game ... and it seems like either way I'd have to run the game if I want to experience it at all.

For the very reasons mrken mentioned, I've been hesitating to pick up a horror game. Also, I'm lazy ;)

Skunkape
12-11-2008, 09:59 AM
Personally, I really like zombies, and quite a few other things horror, also am a big post-apoc fan, but my current group doesn't have any interest in anything beyond fantasy at the moment. I've finally gotten them to accept a weird west campaign, Deadlandsish, but that was a big fight.

Course, I won't start running that until after I finish my current, fantasy campaign, so while I really like that kind of thing, I don't have much time or info to input into those sections of the site. Once I start my western campaign, I'll probably be more active there.

Webhead
12-11-2008, 10:02 AM
I like horror RPGs but don't get to play them very often. All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Deadlands, Cyberpunk 2020 and Call of Cthulhu are a few of my faves.

Getting some players to play anything but fantasy (or, more specifically, D&D) can be a chore sometimes.

Oh, and Goddess...if you're in the market for trying CoC, I've got a campaign that's been in the back of my head for years but I've never gotten to use (one of my players refuses to play CoC). I'd love an opportunity to run a group through it, time and schedule permitting. ;)

Skunkape
12-11-2008, 10:05 AM
I like horror RPGs but don't get to play them very often. All Flesh Must Be Eaten, Deadlands and Call of Cthulhu are a few of my faves.

Oh, and Goddess...if you're in the market for trying CoC, I've got a campaign that's been in the back of my head for years but I've never gotten to use (one of my players refuses to play CoC). I'd love an opportunity to run a group through it, time and schedule permitting.

:DI have to partially agree with that one player about CoC. I've had some bad experiences playing the game. I know it was because of the GM, but I just don't have that great an interest in the game type. Now, AFMBE & Deadlands, I'm good with those!

Webhead
12-11-2008, 10:10 AM
:DI have to partially agree with that one player about CoC. I've had some bad experiences playing the game. I know it was because of the GM, but I just don't have that great an interest in the game type...

It really is all in how you play it, but I'm not one to force a game on anyone. It's sad that it means I never really get to run CoC, but them's the breaks I guess.


...Now, AFMBE & Deadlands, I'm good with those!

Me too! I'm longing for something in that vein in the near future.

Windrider687
12-11-2008, 10:19 AM
I'm actually a Horror RPG fan, again, like the others have said, it's a smaller, harder niche to play.

I'm not a big fan of the "Let's kill endless hordes of mindless zombies, where we five people are somehow magically the only people that survived!"

I'm more of the small-scale extreme realism "There's a serial killer in a medium-sized town, and you've all recieved letters from him, marking you as the next target" type game...

...or something akin to 'X-Files', or my new favourite show of the genre 'Fringe' (which I'm biased to like, it being set in my favourite state :p).

...if it must involve the undead...I like vampires over zombie; vampires are usually cunning, smart, and very hard to kill...and they are oft-encounter in the deepest dark of night.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-11-2008, 11:44 AM
I've never played a horror campaign per say, but would like to. Closest i have gotten was to inject horror into my WFRP campaigns, for there are plenty of opportunities in that system to do so.

placebosonly
12-11-2008, 12:31 PM
its not so much dieing or a smaller group of people as it is a DIFFERENT group of people who play... at the hobby shop i go to there are actually more horror players between the 2 horror campaigns actually played at the store compared to the one 4e dnd game ran there and from what i hear from the owners the horror books seem to sell better than the high fantasy i dont know maybe it depends on where you live :)

mrken
12-11-2008, 03:27 PM
Yeah, I'm not really a big fan of horror games, but every now and again I will run a session that just gets scary. Back when Aliens came out the first time I saw it I thought someone that had played my game had copied it and sole it for the movie. It just had that feeling of a game I had run. And sometimes when running a fantasy game the session will just turn out that way, scary, though not very often, I really prefer the more gritty historical fantasy stuff.

tesral
12-11-2008, 04:17 PM
Horror, like passion difficult to engender and oh so fragile. When my set of players it isn't happening. I have one guy that would find humor in a bloodbath, somehow. Humor banishes all horror.

Dark Future holds no interest. I find the present dark enough. I like bright futures.

gdmcbride
12-11-2008, 06:22 PM
Some of the best campaigns I've ever been associated with were horror campaigns. Further, some of the best RPGs ever written have been written in the horror genre -- Call of Cthulhu, Beyond the Mountains of Madness, Delta Green. Consider giving horror a try.

But I agree that horror is fragile. I have three points of advice:

1. First, a little humor isn't a bad thing. Don't go too far. Don't make it wacky. But if you've managed to create a true horrific atmosphere, a little humor can break the relentless gloom.

2. Make the horror intellectual. A two hour movie can do visceral, gut-level horror. RPG campaigns need something more. For example, the boo-something-leaps-out moments work well on film. In RPGs, they are quickly boring. What isn't boring is realizing that everyone you know and love is now trying to claw your eyes out and if you don't kill these flesh-eating zombies before they make it off this military base, humanity is doomed. Actually, horror NOVELS are probably better fodder for horror rpgs than horror movies.

3. Horror is descriptive. When an orc dies in D&D, it dies. Fine. Reward XP. When something dies in horror it bleeds and twitches. Death can be casual in lots of genres. Death is never casual in horror.

Anyways, hope it helps!

Gary

Etarnon
12-11-2008, 09:47 PM
Oh yeah, I think Conspiracy X is a great modern day horror / conspiracy game. ConX 2.0 (via Unisystem by eden studios, or GURPS by sjg), easier to run, but use the data and grittiness from the first edition.

I had a blast running that game. Kind of like "24" meets "X-files".

Windrider687
12-11-2008, 10:45 PM
'24' meets the 'X-Files'?! One man fights off an alien invasion? :p

TAROT
12-11-2008, 10:54 PM
"Horror" by itself doesn't really mean very much. There is an intent to cause fear, but it really implies nothing about the setting or system. There is horror in fantasy (WFRP, Earthdawn, Agone) and in science fiction (Dark Heresy, Rifts, Obsidian) and everywhere in between. It is a story element, and even in a campaign that is largely happy and optimistic, horror can be used in an episodic manner (like that Star Trek: TNG episode with the steel table and the clicky-clicky noises).

Elements associated with horror are a staple of fantasy games, of course, it takes more than a few zombies to make a game scary. On the other side of the coin, even games that have "horror" written on the cover, aren't necessarily played in that style. Listening to people talk about a particular Vampire or Werewolf campaign, often sounds more like superheroes than anything else.

White Wolf's World or Darkness, is the second most popular RPG. (Whether or not they are proportionately represented here or not, I can't say.) Horror is difficult to maintain over a long-running campaign. The inclination is to keep upping the ante to generate a response, and it really doesn't take very long to reach the proverbial "busload of nuns." AFMBE has an advantage here, as it is really intended to be used to run short independent stories.

You have to be careful with the pacing, you need to give the characters a respite, so that they feel safe, and so that they feel violated when that safety turns out to be ephemeral (and it has to be done in a way that doesn't seem petty, vindictive, arbitrary, etc.).

And you need every single player to be on board. One player just going through the motions or disinterested or making OOC wisecracks can quickly destroy it for everybody else.

As for "Dark Future," fantasy tales (including the horrific ones) have been told for five thousand years, cyberpunk has been around for 25.

Webhead
12-11-2008, 11:09 PM
...AFMBE has an advantage here, as it is really intended to be used to run short independent stories...

Indeed, horror is generally best served by short, urgent, impactful campaigns. One of the central themes of horror is that the heroes are desperate and are in urgent need of answers. Give them time to relax and the horror begins to break apart.


...As for "Dark Future," fantasy tales (including the horrific ones) have been told for five thousand years, cyberpunk has been around for 25...

Ah, Cyberpunk. Great game. I really need to play it again soon. There's no other game quite like it (not even Shadowrun).

Etarnon
12-12-2008, 03:05 AM
The deal with conspiracy X is:

You get to play "The Smoking Man", and his minions.

It is not Mulder, trying to prove the existence of aliens and the chupacabra.

It is having an alien craft hover invisibly overhead taking over the mind of the team's clairvoyant, while the rest of the team analyzes the carcasses of the blood-drained cows, trying to guess what new avenues of research the Greys or Saurians are up to.

It is weird, paranormal experiences, looking back into time to the Kennedy assassination with remote viewing, and figuring out which branches and subdepartments of the CIA, DoD, and FBI have been infiltrated by Aliens, other governments, or the Atlantean Survivors.

What does this all have to do with the Templars, and the Trilateral Commission...

And just how much does the Project for a new American Century's plans have to do with any of the above.

Only played straight, not like National Enquirer "Quest for the Loch Ness monster in Lake Erie"... although cryptozoology is a part of the setting...

More like who hired the guy that paid the cutout that just offed your supervisor at the Agency, and why?

GoddessGood
12-12-2008, 08:46 AM
Oh, and Goddess...if you're in the market for trying CoC, I've got a campaign that's been in the back of my head for years but I've never gotten to use (one of my players refuses to play CoC). I'd love an opportunity to run a group through it, time and schedule permitting. ;)

Heh, sure. Let me know what system to pick up and when :cool:. I don't have any of the books, but I do have a great Half-Price Books near me so I may be able to get a book.

placebosonly
12-12-2008, 10:17 AM
i recomend all of you get promethean the created (come on guys frankenstein's monsters who do alchemy im so there)

darelf
12-15-2008, 10:32 AM
The problem my players have is that every game I run ends up with a lot of Horror elements. Zombies, vampires, etc. always feature prominently in one way or another. I like using Abyssals as the antagonists in Exalted, I prefer bio-whatever-run-amok in my SciFi, vampires in my modern horror, and on and on....

Sure, I like to run Nemesis as much as the next guy, but horror just permeates all my gaming... even when I run D&D ( which is not very often ) the bad guys either are or heavily use undead.

I like creepy, scary, mysterious games.

Soft Serve
12-15-2008, 11:45 PM
My plane ride wasn't as bad as I hoped. I wanted something i could complain about later and I was actually pretty comfy.

I did get inspiration from the indianapolis airport for a scenario in my game though. ;)

But yeah if I was in the habit of caring what people thought I woulden't play pnp games...being 15yrs old people with closed minds in high school kinda put pnp games down, along with the people who play them.


My honest friends came through, I'm 17 until May, and I'll be playing horror/shadowrun/dnd/ and whatever else so long as I can entertain myself with them.

It'll never die!:biggrin:

Life*Angel*
12-16-2008, 09:30 AM
wait wait wait.....stop the tape.....now press rewind....
horror is a dying breed? thats a load of horse dung man. i can not...WILL NOT accept it! i just became a part of the rpg games i have seen people play in the library. i would stare at them with the oddest look and they would ignore me and my umm....."comments"...... but i now know what it feels like to play in these games....and i must say..... HORROR IS ALL ME!
if it must die then give me death! ill die rolling the dice to try to "save" the breed lol.:D:lol:
--- Merged from Double Post ---
now hold on i need to put down m footbal so i can play my hooror game :biggrin:

MortonStromgal
12-16-2008, 03:56 PM
i have seen people play in the library. i would stare at them with the oddest look and they would ignore me and my umm....."comments"......

5 stars, I think everyone sitting anywhere near me heard me chuckle

Soft Serve
12-17-2008, 04:03 AM
haha!

Nah pnp's can't die. All I'm saying is if they do. Everybody will know because horror will be the first to go...

at least in my opinion...ACTUALLY


I should make this a pole in general discussion...

Life*Angel*
12-17-2008, 08:50 AM
5 stars, I think everyone sitting anywhere near me heard me chuckle

lol i think anyone sitting near me was about ready to pull out thier wands and start casting spells on me:D

but now i get ahead of them and beat them to it:lol:

Farcaster
12-17-2008, 04:13 PM
My most recent campaign, The Damned, has had a lot of horror elements despite being a D&D fantasy game. It's amazing what a twisted mind and a little descriptiveness can accomplish. My group had a pretty good inkling after our second session when one of the characters was briefly captured and questioned (with "enhanced interrogation techniques" as the US would probably call it). It actually took amazingly little to freak out the player. :biggrin: Up to this point the player (on behalf of the character) was resisting the questioning:

GM: The tiefling pulls out a strange three pronged device that forms a bulbous, pear shaped implement. Extending out of the "top" of the pear is a screw. The tiefling demonstrates that the bulb opens up and expands as he twists the screw. He asks the character, "Do you know what this is? ... Itís known as a pear. It can be put in all manner of unsavory places, but today, I am going to put this in your mouth."

[The player is still not convinced]

GM: The tiefling forces your mouth open and shoves the device in. He twists the screw slightly and even with the slightest twist you can feel your jaw stretching uncomfortably. The tiefling says, "The first thing you are going to hear is your teeth cracking."

Player [now suitably unnerved]: I tell him whatever he wants!
Good thing for him, the tiefling had telepathy and didn't feel like twisting the pear further... LOL!

What is critical though, I found, is that the players must be willing to suspend their disbelief. They must put themselves in their character's place and as a GM you must facilitate that.

GoddessGood
12-18-2008, 09:33 AM
Oh eegads, no. I'm so squeamish I can't even look at the needle when I'm getting my blood drawn. Something about the whole job of my skin being to keep things out and the needle completely bypassing my biological security system. I watched Resident Evil again not to long ago. Throughout the bloody, gory zombie movie I'm more or less ok. Then it gets to the part where they have to inject the antivirus and I can't look! My boyfriend laughed when I told him that the needle was the scary part because it could actually happen to me.

Webhead
12-18-2008, 10:41 AM
Oh eegads, no. I'm so squeamish I can't even look at the needle when I'm getting my blood drawn. Something about the whole job of my skin being to keep things out and the needle completely bypassing my biological security system. I watched Resident Evil again not to long ago. Throughout the bloody, gory zombie movie I'm more or less ok. Then it gets to the part where they have to inject the antivirus and I can't look! My boyfriend laughed when I told him that the needle was the scary part because it could actually happen to me.

I get a little light in the stomach when I see such things as well. Seeing the needle doesn't bother me. Seeing the needle penetrating the skin makes me feel uncomfortable. In films/TV, I can most often stomach it, but in person, I have to look away and find the experience unpleasant. Psychoanalysts unite! Perhaps it has something to do with the sense of the intrusion of personal space and the privacy of one's body, perhaps even a symbolic resemblance to rape. Yeah, I'm probably over-thinking the situation.

Dark
12-18-2008, 05:58 PM
Dark Conspiracy (By GDW) is a great Dark Future rpg I have considered perhaps starting a play by post game if I could find some players.

Etarnon
12-19-2008, 04:19 AM
The last thing that really made me sick was the prison riot scenes from Natural Born Killers. I was surprised that a film affected me that much.

And I've seen all sorts of RL gore and violence.

Soft Serve
12-20-2008, 03:34 AM
I haven't been sicked out by any movies yet. I get sick off the swings at friggin' Kennywood sometimes though...

tesral
12-20-2008, 10:09 PM
I can handle blood. I'm diabetic, so needles, as much as I don't like them, they had better not cripple me. Vomit? Can't take it. I'm too much of a threat to add to the mess.

hueloovoo
12-21-2008, 01:55 AM
Weirdly, the last movie to really freak me out (aside from like half of anything they ever show on Lifetime) was Dee Snider's Strange Land. I can handle gore and blood, I can handle most psychological horror stuff, but for some reason that movie hit my like a brick between the eyes.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
12-21-2008, 10:22 AM
Reason 5002 for loving dnd: Something about being eaten by a predator gets my adrenaline going. Now if i inject the possibility of a giant spider doing the hunting, well, scarrrry.

I saw Jaws when i was a youngling, and i can say it did have an effect on me. Of course, so did Alien. Scarrry.

Dark
12-21-2008, 01:59 PM
Weirdly, the last movie to really freak me out (aside from like half of anything they ever show on Lifetime) was Dee Snider's Strange Land. I can handle gore and blood, I can handle most psychological horror stuff, but for some reason that movie hit my like a brick between the eyes.

Now THAT was a great movie very well done.

Soft Serve
12-21-2008, 05:16 PM
haha movie inspiration ideas. Awesome.

hueloovoo
12-21-2008, 08:45 PM
No kidding, Dark. I judge movies by the emotional response the elicit from me, and Strange Land is right up near the top.

Xionicist
12-28-2008, 03:55 AM
Some of the best campaigns I've ever been associated with were horror campaigns. Further, some of the best RPGs ever written have been written in the horror genre -- Call of Cthulhu, Beyond the Mountains of Madness, Delta Green. Consider giving horror a try.

But I agree that horror is fragile. I have three points of advice:

1. First, a little humor isn't a bad thing. Don't go too far. Don't make it wacky. But if you've managed to create a true horrific atmosphere, a little humor can break the relentless gloom.

2. Make the horror intellectual. A two hour movie can do visceral, gut-level horror. RPG campaigns need something more. For example, the boo-something-leaps-out moments work well on film. In RPGs, they are quickly boring. What isn't boring is realizing that everyone you know and love is now trying to claw your eyes out and if you don't kill these flesh-eating zombies before they make it off this military base, humanity is doomed. Actually, horror NOVELS are probably better fodder for horror rpgs than horror movies.

3. Horror is descriptive. When an orc dies in D&D, it dies. Fine. Reward XP. When something dies in horror it bleeds and twitches. Death can be casual in lots of genres. Death is never casual in horror.

Anyways, hope it helps!

Gary

That last piece of advice I find especially pertinent. I'm scheduled to GM an episode of Unhallowed Metropolis at TempleCon (http://www.templecon.org) in February, and I'm looking forward to getting a chance to really spook the players.

I can safely say from my own experience as a player that the best campaign that I have ever participated in was also the most unnerving - a live-action game of Wraith called Death's Door, set in a maximum security prison up in Maine. Anyone who knows me has heard me rave repeatedly about it. I have never had a game get so thoroughly under my skin before or since, and as a result, everything else pales in comparison.

If I can achieve something even remotely close to what those storytellers achieved in my Unhallowed Metropolis game, I will be very happy indeed. So obviously, I thoroughly appreciate useful advice/reminders about what makes for a great horror game. :)

Soft Serve
12-28-2008, 05:32 AM
I've learned from recent games sense are fun to play with too. Put them in a room full of monsters that react to sound and sound only. The floor is covered in 2ft of water. And your expecting the radio to flare up from your pocket any time soon.

Also the door you came in is stuck shut and the only door to leave is not only across the room, but creaks when you open it.

I love GMing in horror. It's just fulfilling. Unlike dnd where you basically expect your players to swing at the orc or whatever, not that there aren't windows of sporadic events, but I mean damn. Horror you can just put that giant blue eyeball filled walking mouth you just woke out of your nightmare from and throw it at your players! It's just beautiful!!!