#RPGaDAY, Last Year: Day 28 – Scariest Game Played

Ah, for Scariest game I’ve played, there’s not many to choose from — I usually run the games. Last year, when coming up with an answer to this topic, I went with the Don’t Rest Your Head game that my friend Brian ran. When preparing to run it, he asked each of us for a recurring nightmare we had. We told him, because we trust each other. We knew that the nightmares were going to manifest somehow in the game, so it would be interesting to see how they would come about in that dream world. Brian went away and came back next week to run the first of two DRYH sessions.

That first session was incredibly tense. He didn’t incorporate our nightmares in the game. All that game, we were wondering When? When is this going to happen? What is it going to be like? and it kept getting delayed and stretched out and… Suspense.

That whole session was crazy spooky.


Anything to follow-up on that topic, Thomas?

Most of the games I run also aren’t horror games, but there have been a few. We did a Chill one-shot in Venice which had some horribleness happening that creeped out the players, with a Headless Horsemen-like creature that could only be seen by the person it was going to kill (yes, concept stolen from Doctor Who, sure). The Lacuna game I mentioned in an earlier post. My friendly guy-next-door character in the Shadowrun/CthulhuTech mashup game where he kept his “wife” locked up in a room in the basement whenever he went out of the house.[1] Oh, and The Armitage Files, but I’ll talk about that in just a little bit.

Horror is like comedy in a game. You can’t force it. It just happens.

Unless you’re playing Dread (which has that Jenga tower in the middle, threatening to kill your character off) or you share secrets, like we did in Don’t Rest Your Head.

  1. I actually played in a game! []

#RPGaDAY2015, Day 3: Favorite New RPG of the Past 12 Months

The third entry in #RPGaDAY2015 is the favorite new RPG of the past year. Not favorite RPG, but favorite new RPG. Newly released? All-new game? A bit tricky, but the graphic used for the writing prompts doesn’t include much space to break down the minute details of the topic. I’m taking it to mean the favorite RPG I picked up or played in the past year that was new to me. (Granted, I haven’t played much this past year, either.)

I mentioned Chill for Day Two’s answer, and am tempted to go back to that for all the same reasons, but I’m not going to do so. Instead, I would have to pick the 5th Edition of Dungeons & Dragons. We’ve got the whole line so far and I’m impressed with the game. When it was winning ENnies a few nights ago, it was the first year I thought it won because it deserved to and not because there were people voting for it, dismissing everything else out of hand, as if they were rooting for their regional sports team because that’s what one does.

onsvh9apbgixtgjpik0k-300x212I hadn’t played D&D proper since AD&D 2nd Edition — third edition (and Pathfinder) seemed like an overwrought mess, fourth edition seemed to stray even further afield yet devolved into an overly-complex miniatures battle game. By the time 5e came out, I was done with fantasy roleplaying, but the new edition brought me back to the land of make-believe. And WotC’s campaigns, borrowing heavily from Paizo’s Adventure Path concept, have been…more or less good. The Elemental Evil campaign book could be a complete setting guide for the middle/interior of the Sword Coast. It’s just fantastic. The Starter Set’s adventure is also crazy fun. And we’ve been playing (off and on) as a family. It plays quickly, reminding me of the best of AD&D2ed with some goodness from the past decade of gaming. 4e didn’t feel like D&D to me. 5e does.

#RPGaDAY2015, Day 2: Kickstarter Game You’re Most Pleased You Backed

The second #RPGaDAY2015 topic is Kickstarter Game You’re Most Pleased You Backed. I would reword that topic to “Crowdfunded Game…” because there’s some fantastic stuff coming out on Patreon and IndieGoGo. Every three weeks at Purple Pawn, I write a Crowdfunding Highlights article (4-6 things that have caught my attention) in rotation with two other staff members, and there’s more to crowdfunding than just Kickstarter.

But Kickstarter has the best interface for finding things to throw money at, which is part of the reason why I’ve backed many more things on that funding platform than all others combined.

I’m going to go with a game that I worked on: Chill, 3rd Edition. I backed this at a dollar, which is something I do when I’m brought on board a project before the campaign ends. I really I want to see the backer-only updates and the backers’ comments. (And, if need be, respond to the comments if it’s cool with the campaign creator.) There are about seven of them in my backing history, and Chill is one of those one dollar backings.

chill-openI’ve played Mayfair’s edition of Chill and loved it. When I heard of a potential 3rd Edition, I contacted Growling Door Games, and after a little bit of discussion, there I was, creating the graphics for the KS, laying out the quickstart, and designing the rulebook. And by designing the book, I mean actually designing the book — I had just come off of Firefly, where I was working from Daniel Solis’ design. While Firefly was a fun gig, I wasn’t as free to lay down some design work for a full product. The physical book arrived just three days ago, and it came out looking even better than I thought it would. I’m still amazed — here’s this thing that I did and it’s right here. It’s so…awesome. It makes me smile. Chill, 3rd Edition, is the most pleasing game I’ve backed.

Honorable Mentions: Posthuman Pathways for the ENnie, Primetime Adventures because it’s my favorite RPG, and Play Dirty 2: Even Dirtier because John Wick is John Wick.

Aside: I also backed a book at a level that would have gotten me the PDF of the it. After the campaign, I came on board during production to finish laying out the book. After it was done — meaning, I had all the book files from here — I received a download code to get my free copy of the book. Crazy!