Monthly Archives: October 2011

The Cardinal Rule of Horror: Cheat

As the last post on Horror Week, let’s get into some GM talk. It’s all good and well to design a horror game — really, it’s fun! — but the heart of the horror game is the same as in any game: the performance.  The playing. The GMing. And my Cardinal Rule of Horror: Cheat.

Sanity Systems and Emotional Beats

More Horror Week! Now that we have the beginning of a foundation for talking about emotional beats, let’s talk about one of the darlings of horror gaming: Call of Cthulhu‘s Sanity system. I’m only been a RPG player since 1995, so Call of Cthulhu predates my history with the hobby. Still, I know the history

On Mechanics and Rational & Emotional Brains

For my third post on Horror Week, I’ll get deeper into something we’ve only been talking about on the surface: the twin steams of rational & emotional output. Role-playing games are thing we do to craft story or celebrate an idea or IP or to enjoy triumph — all things that are emotional at their

Horror, Die Mechanics & Risk Management

Yesterday, I started off Horror Week with a discussion about dice mechanics in horror games. There were some comments about how to do a variant on Fate that would work, which got a “it won’t work” reply from me. Today, I’ll talk about why it doesn’t work for horror, because on the surface it seems

Horror Games & Die Mechanics

Welcome to Horror Week here on my blog! :D I played a lot of GURPS back in the day, and I was particularly drawn to GMing horror games. I couldn’t tell you why that was; at the time, I hated horror movies. (This was before I watched the Alien franchise, and began understanding horror went

On Success, Unpredictability, Patience

Success is unpredictable. Enough said. Wait, you need more? Heh. I did as well years ago, before I crossed into the Fog of Achievement. I saw some stuff lately that’s caused me to write about this. First, the image to the left, reading “i do not fail, i succeed in finding out what does not