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Tips and Tricks
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Thread: Tips and Tricks

  1. #1
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    Tips and Tricks

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    I thought it would be a good idea to post tips and tricks we all use to bring out the horror in our horror games.

    I'll go first

    1. I like to use candle light or dim lights to give it that story around the campfire feel.

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    I like using the clarification question randomly with exaggerated emphasis: "So you are going to push that button?"

    It really keeps them on their toes and puts that tiny hint of doubt in the back of their minds.

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    This is sad but honest. I plan to build up the suspense while the PC's are tracking an unknown entity/person/whatever. They search the whole out and find nothing. I tell them that the entity has disappeared and it looks like they lost him for the night. Once I believe everybody believes there will be no hidden surprises and they're actually going to be moving onto the next part of the story... I scream "THERE HE IS!!!!! HOLY ****!!!" scaring the crap out of them. It is poorly executed but I simply can't help myself from doing that at least once

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    4. GM tracks PCs Health levels. PCs never know how much HP they have left and the GM can tell them "you feel very hurt, and similar stuff"
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


    "I'm beautifully hideous!" - Sven the Nosferatu

  5. #5
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    Well, there is always the old standby: use a GM screen and at random points roll dice and look at them and make a gesture like "hmm" or facial expression. When they ask, just reply "oh nothing" with an evil grin. It's an oldie but goodie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drohem View Post
    Well, there is always the old standby: use a GM screen and at random points roll dice and look at them and make a gesture like "hmm" or facial expression. When they ask, just reply "oh nothing" with an evil grin. It's an oldie but goodie
    *writes that one down*

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    If you happen to know that one of your players is creeped out by spiders, snakes, mice, earwigs, bats, rats, gingerbread people or whatever, it never hurts to have a few make an appearance. (And if you don't happen to know, experiment and take notes.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TAROT View Post
    (And if you don't happen to know, experiment and take notes.)
    Remind me never to drop in on one of your games. I can just see myself sitting at the table and a fat bucket of spiders is dropped onto the table from some time release contraption you have setup above the table. "Oh look, two out of the five players absolutely freaked when covered in pigs blood."

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    That reminds me of one of my players who finds the cat with glowing eyes candle holder I have very creepy.
    Playing: Pathfinder
    Running: infrequent VtM game


    "I'm beautifully hideous!" - Sven the Nosferatu

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    I think what usually work is very similar to the tricks horror novelists may use. For instance at a point in the story where you want players to freak out you should become focused on the PCs sensations and visions. Describe disturbing stuff at the periphery of their vision. When they try to elucidate what they think they saw they might find everything to be perfectly normal. Playing cat and mouse with what they think they know and make them realize a lot remains hidden.

    A good actor of a GM should be able to enact a scared NPC too. Terror is contagious. At first the PCs might mock the frightened peasant and consider he's afraid of superstition and stuff. But later when real clues of an abomination roaming around will show, then this scared character will have helped a lot settling the atmosphere of horror.
    Au gibet noir, manchot aimable, dansent, dansent les paladins
    Les maigres paladins du diable les squelettes de Saladins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by boulet View Post
    I think what usually work is very similar to the tricks horror novelists may use. For instance at a point in the story where you want players to freak out you should become focused on the PCs sensations and visions. Describe disturbing stuff at the periphery of their vision. When they try to elucidate what they think they saw they might find everything to be perfectly normal. Playing cat and mouse with what they think they know and make them realize a lot remains hidden.

    A good actor of a GM should be able to enact a scared NPC too. Terror is contagious. At first the PCs might mock the frightened peasant and consider he's afraid of superstition and stuff. But later when real clues of an abomination roaming around will show, then this scared character will have helped a lot settling the atmosphere of horror.
    Sound advice indeed. Describing the characters senses, sensations, interpretation of the setting, and other ways he is processing the scene, are all awesome ways to instill fear

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    Have the lights in the room hooked up to the clapper for easy shut off.

    Save the blood from latest sacrifices to splash about the room.
    Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.


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    A little Russian Roulette goes a long way to bringing suspense and fear to the table

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mulsiphix View Post
    A little Russian Roulette goes a long way to bringing suspense and fear to the table
    Watch Deerhunter lately?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drohem View Post
    Watch Deerhunter lately?
    Nope. No clue what your referring to

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