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. 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.