Horror!: Fantastic Playtest

I am so happy and giddy right now. I just finished a playtest of Horror! including character creation and then about a two-hour scenario sketched out ahead of time and then improvised. I went in with a premise but not knowing what kinds of characters the players would create.

Character creation went really well – a little slow in parts, but I didn’t print enough rules handouts for the group, and that didn’t help at all. I want to write a post in a few days about what went well, and some feedback I got in the character creation department.

The session also went well. They were actually frightened, disgusted, and felt despair. Hooray! That is exactly what this game is shooting for, and it delivered.

The big challenges now:

Integrating the feedback (which was wonderful and very helpful) on character creation, the game system, and how I the GM applied the game system. I’ll sketch this out in the next post.

Writing into the game what I do, what another GM might do – particularly my friend Arnold’s challenge – how to make a scenario like this into a module, when so much of it hinged on improvisation? I think that the Horror! system works specifically well at doing just that, but now I have to prove it. So at least one post will posit this idea of a meta-module for horror games using our system. We’ll see if it works…

2 thoughts on “Horror!: Fantastic Playtest

  1. Some thoughts on the table of random Hopes/Scars… I love the idea, and I think players will too. It will create rich interesting characters quickly and easily. Good and good.

    But I can see how it would be hard to get your hopes into the game sometimes, especially if they are too specific. I think to help this we need to retool the list a bit to make them a bit more general and able to be tailored to the story.

    For example – instead of “you have a big check you want to deposit”, something like: “you are expecting a financial windfall”. Then encourage the player to describe specifically what it is and how it relates to the situation at hand.

    Another question this raises for me is – do we want hopes or scars that can be “fulfilled”? What happens to that hope when the windfall actually arrives, or the relationship is actually repaired etc.. etc… ? Do they replace it with a new hope? I think it would be bad to have characters lose a crucial way that they generate virtue.


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