Questions tagged [horror]

For questions regarding the horror genre, and horror themed games, campaigns, adventures and so on.

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67
votes
11answers
11k views

How can I invoke actual fear in my players?

I'm a DM that focuses heavily on story, description and setting. My goal is to send players home wanting — no, longing — to actually be part of the mythos I've created. The ultimate goal for me as a ...
53
votes
6answers
8k views

Preventing saturation in a horror campaign

I am currently designing my first horror campaign and what I've come up with so far is pretty dark and gruesome. I worry that if it is gut wrenching the whole way through, eventually the players will ...
49
votes
5answers
9k views

Why wouldn’t I just run away from the eldritch horror?

I am struggling with character motivations in Call of Cthulhu or similarly investigative horror settings. For some reason I seem to have issues imagining the reasoning behind characters who really ...
36
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the Five Layer Model of horror scenario design?

I'm designing a horror part of my campaign. I've heard of the Five Layer Model for horror scenario design but I'm not sure what it is. Has anyone heard of it and if so can you either explain it or ...
33
votes
16answers
2k views

How do I get the PCs to visit scary places at night?

Sometimes when I design scenarios, I realize that my mental image of the adventure is only exciting because it takes place at night. When the players actually play through the adventure, they might ...
32
votes
12answers
5k views

Tried all the existing advice, but players still never roleplay fear

I've read some other posts on here about how to telegraph danger to my PCs and how to make them flee. The problem is, I believe I am actively using all the strategies in both of the posts and my PCs ...
24
votes
5answers
8k views

How to make a dense, immersive horror atmosphere?

I'm currently narrating a horror-esque campaign set in a dystopian future based on the Lovecraft Mythos. My problem is that my players break their own sense of immersion often, making the game seem ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

How to deal with players breaking the game mood by overplaying their characters

Following this question Imagine, that you are trying to create a dark and scary situation: haunted mansion, spooky forest, ancient crypt... There is something out there that definitely is malevolent ...
22
votes
7answers
9k views

How to make combat encounters terrifying?

I'm running a 5e, self-written, horror/psychological themed adventure for a group of experienced players this weekend. Noting that many players have the mindset of "meh, if this character dies I'll ...
21
votes
6answers
464 views

How to fight the unseen, and still keep things interesting?

In a horror themed campaign with a Lovecraftian feeling, a big part of the game is a constant feeling of threat, but without any visual stimuli other than glimpses, or sounds vaguely heard of things ...
21
votes
6answers
1k views

How to implicate the players in the horror?

Good horror implicates the watcher/reader, at least in drama. There is always moment when the audience should cry out, "no, stop, don't!" but of course we don't because we're a well-behaved audience, ...
18
votes
8answers
3k views

How can I deal with a “goof-ball” player in my WoD group?

I am a storyteller in a World of Darkness group, and I'm about to start designing a new scenario. However one of my players (let's call him Eric) is worrying me. Eric usually goes the goofball route ...
15
votes
5answers
1k views

What could replace the fear of dying in a spirit world?

I'm planning an adventure where after death, the PCs go to a kind of shadow world, as spirits. What would replace the fear of dying when you're already dead? What should I do to avoid a horror ...
13
votes
4answers
821 views

What kind of SF horror does Eclipse Phase lend itself to?

Assume I know only the barest minimum about Eclipse Phase: just read a blurb or two. What kinds of horror stories does Eclipse Phase lend itself to? (What are the 'signature' horror elements of the ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Can Lovecraftesque do one-room horror?

I'm planning an adventure which seems very suited to Lovecraftesque except for this one thing: all the horror takes place in a confined space which the Witness never leaves. This seems like a problem,...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I convey and sustain a level of realism in a given horror campaign? [closed]

TL;DR: How to convey to the players, beyond explicit statements (which sometimes doesn't work), a level of realism that you as GM expect for a given horror campaign? How could this level of realism be ...
12
votes
12answers
2k views

How do I design a Christmas-themed horror adventure?

'Tis soon the season and I want to treat my players to a Christmas-themed adventure as part of my ongoing horror campaign. I want to keep the horror element, but I don't mind mixing in a bit of humor ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

How can I discover if players would react positively to a change of tone for a game without them knowing of the change?

I'm currently running a game of Cyberpunk 2020 for a couple of friends. Things are incredibly silly so far and the group seems to really like it. To get an idea of what I've run them through so far: ...
11
votes
9answers
645 views

What monsters can be interesting as PCs? [closed]

I believe that the premise of the player as the monster of the game quite compelling. Vampire: The Masquerade is obviously the pioneer in this genre, and other creatures such as werewolves, ghosts and ...
11
votes
3answers
411 views

Isolation and the unknown in modern horror/investigative scenarios

I am currently planning my next long term game and intend to run a Cthulhu based campaign set in the modern era. I have experience of writing scenarios for the 1920's, but am having issues with some ...
11
votes
3answers
733 views

What can I have the players do in my surreal horror scenario?

I'm gonna have the vast majority of my campaign take place in a large strange misty forest and I'm not gonna have any friendly human NPCs around too explain things. Here is the premise: After a ...
11
votes
3answers
986 views

How do I keep a horror-like feeling with supernatural powered PCs?

I'm going to use Savage Worlds to run a horror campaign in a modern day setting; think X-Files or Supernatural. My players all agree and are excited about the horror concept, but they want to be able ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

What is this 1990s horror game of otherworldly PCs dealing with monsters on modern Earth?

In the 1990s I once played a horror RPG. I'd like to track it down again but I'm unable to figure out what it was. As best I can remember: The PCs are powerful, almost alien beings. Players had a ...
10
votes
5answers
9k views

How to GM a zombie-apocalypse game? [closed]

I was asked, not a long time ago, to GM a zombie-apocalypse one-shot. Being versed in horror-GMing, I decided to approach the genre as I approach most other genres of horror, but I've encountered a ...
10
votes
2answers
722 views

How to execute horror when there is safety in numbers

Questions such as this one and this one cover how to execute horror in a role-playing game fairly thoroughly. This process must be modified, however, when the traditional trappings of a game session ...
10
votes
2answers
881 views

Where can I find a horror adventure/campaign writing guide?

I seem to remember an old (ebook format?) book I read, with instructions on how to write a quality adventure based in the Ravenloft universe. The book was distinguished by writing in a general style, ...
10
votes
2answers
753 views

Atmosphere of alienation and horror — halloween game

It is Halloween soon and I am planing to run a horror game featuring zombies. Lots of zombies. In fact, hordes of zombies. The setting is akin to Walking Dead than Shawn of the Dead and set in the ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Where can I find a non-Lovecraftian medieval religious horror game that will inspire dread in my players?

I am looking for a game which explores the Horror genre, specifically by instilling Dread in my players, I also need the game to focus on religous horror and Magic Realism. I would like the mechanics ...
7
votes
4answers
9k views

Are there any mechanics for tracking sanity or performing sanity checks?

I am playing DnD since 3e and recently my fellas and I bought the 5e books. I already DM them in some eldritch-horror style campaigns. Back in the days of 3 and 3.5, characters used to have sanity ...
7
votes
1answer
435 views

Do consent forms genuinely contribute to safer playing environments in practice?

The new hype this year seems to be consent forms for RPG Sessions, especially in the contexts of horror games. There are many kinds of consent forms, but their function is in letting people provide a ...
7
votes
5answers
519 views

Modern or future polar horror adventure [closed]

I'm looking for a contemporary or sci-fi horror adventure (for any such rpg), set in a polar – Arctic or Antarctic or alternate planet – environment. Mind you, I'll be trying to come up with my own ...
6
votes
2answers
240 views

How can I simulate paranoia in a Call of Cthulhu One-Shot?

I'm a new GM to Call of Cthulhu. I want to play a One-Shot where paranoia and hallucinations play a big role (English isn’t my first language, so sorry if some phrases are weird). My idea is ...
6
votes
2answers
332 views

Are the dreamlands compatible with the Cthulhu Mythos-like RPG?

Reading the stories of H. P. Lovecraft always felt like glimpsing a dark realm in which mankind is insignificant. The greater powers (mythos creatures) at work are so powerful and alien to us that the ...
6
votes
1answer
10k views

Creating Horror Atmosphere [closed]

I'm relatively new to DMing/GMing. All the people that I play with have DMed at least a few times. The only thing I've run is a prefab from Tales of the Yawning Portal. My problem I want to make a ...
5
votes
1answer
593 views

Where can I find free horror-themed stock audio for zombie campaigns?

Does anyone know where I can find free stock audio to enhance my campaign? I am working of my first zombie RPG and all the places I normally go for stock sounds don't have any horror stuff. I'm ...
3
votes
0answers
167 views

Looking for a specific horror gaming podcast

This is a bit of a shot in the dark, but I'm trying to find a specific horror gaming podcast I listened to a few episodes of way, way back. Things I know about it: It had one, male, speaker. It ...
3
votes
0answers
175 views

Good system for Jekyll and Hyde games? [closed]

You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain. Two-Face in Batman. The Incredible Hulk. Jekyll and Hyde. Green Goblin. I'm looking to build a game revolving ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

What is a thematic way for a Horror Antagonist to wager with a PC? [closed]

The PC's need to get some information from an information broker in a Horror game. (Think of it as an information demon.) The stakes are dire but not deadly. I want some way for them to compete/wager/...
1
vote
0answers
261 views

What mechanics from other rpgs could I introduce into my Call of Cthulhu game to make it scarier? [closed]

I will use an example to illustrate my question. If I wanted to make my player`s characters more complex and support/motivate my players to actually role-play, then I would take the char belief ...
0
votes
0answers
158 views

Could the Banishment spell be used to separate an NPC from an aberration growing inside it? [duplicate]

Backdrop: A horror-themed campaign that heavily draws upon the Lovecraft mythos, using the Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition ruleset. Situation: The party has encountered a story arc inspired by the ...