I am getting ready to run my first session. We are going to run a game of Dread. I have read the Dread book and am planning on running the first published scenario.

What kind of pitfalls should I be looking out for? What are the kinds of things that could break my game if I do or don't do them? What are the common errors for first time Game masters either of Dread or of other narrative heavy games?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is this your first time as GM, or your first time running Dread? \$\endgroup\$
    – Ryre
    Apr 19, 2012 at 16:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes to both. game went swimmingly. I've since run a couple of more sessions of dread, and also several sessions of 4e. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Apr 19, 2012 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


I haven't played the published scenario in Dread, but I have played my share of original games. This question is somewhat hard to answer, as anyone can make any kind of "mistake", but here are somethings I'd advise you to keep in mind:

  1. Kill 'em - If someone knocks it over, don't take it back or try to "soften the blow" people need to die.
  2. Watch the pace - I alluded to this in your other Dread question (How do you handle an early death in Dread?), basically your main task as a GM is to have the right number of pulls going on. I've found starting slow and then speeding up later is a good way to build to an exciting, bloody climax
  3. Don't try to complicate it - Having a lot of variability in the number of pulls to make or trying to add in other mechanics slows down the flow of the game. The simplicity of the rules is part of what makes it so much fun.
  4. Let people willingly fail - If someone wants to not pull and just fail a task, let them. In general a party of people daring each other to go down the scary hallway is one of the great moments of a Dread game.

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