Posting mode: Reply
Password(Password used for file deletion)
  • Supported file types are: GIF, JPG, PNG
  • Maximum file size allowed is 3072 KB.
  • Images greater than 250x250 pixels will be thumbnailed.
  • Read the rules and FAQ before posting.
  • ????????? - ??

  • File :1239038852.jpg-(91 KB, 296x410, 1238974557996.jpg)
    91 KB Elle LAWLiet !WcAM9JBPo. 04/06/09(Mon)13:27 No.4201710  
    Sup /tg/

    I'm having trouble with coming up with plans for a horror campaign. I can't seem to grasp my head around the idea of horror in written form, it really doesn't seem like something that would be able to give someone chills.

    I realized, when watching Friday the 13th (the remake in theaters) that horror movies freak you out by giving you SUDDENLY LOUD SOUNDS at random parts to make you jump. Cover your ears? No sudden jolts.

    But anyway, my point being, I can't figure out how to make my writing creepy without just making it gore (ala Saw) and freaking my players out that way (disemboweled children anyone?). I can set the mood by playing at night and dark ambient music playing low in the background, with a barely light room, but...

    tl;dr how to make writing creepy, pic somewhat related
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:35 No.4201772
    Make it so something just seems WRONG. Upside-down rooms. Disembodied whispers. The sound of movement but nothing there. People who seem to be there at first glance but are gone with a double-take. Creepy messages written into the wall.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:35 No.4201774
    As a GM, if your players remotely know you, are friends with you or dislike you, any sort of vocabulary you come up with to describe a scene won't work. Here's the few things that have made my players shudder:
    - The players heard the sound of a screaming baby inside a flat and entered the room, in a post-apocalyptic campaign. I said in plain English that when they entered the room, they saw a gigantic, filthy parrot with a blood-stained beak standing on the edge of a cradle, over an infant's carcass, mimicking its death-cries.
    - When I didn't describe a dolgrim well enough. They demanded an image. I showed it to them. They didn't like it.

    Those are the only things they didn't like.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:36 No.4201778
    >>I realized, when watching Friday the 13th (the remake in theaters) that horror movies freak you out by giving you SUDDENLY LOUD SOUNDS at random parts to make you jump. Cover your ears? No sudden jolts.

    that's not scary, that's just surprising
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:39 No.4201809

    that parrot is really fucking creepy
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:40 No.4201815
    Signs of life without people, a half eaten meal, with the candle still lit but no one could of possibly been there.. right?
    >> I use several approaches Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:42 No.4201831
    Describe sensory details. The taste of the air, the sound of steps, even dizziness and nausea in the extreme, enable the levels of immersion you need to create shocking situations. If they get a hint of what's coming, when it's already too late to avoid it, they will dread it even more.

    Absurdity and surrealism make us doubt our concept of reality. This is where fear creeps in. If the sweet and fragile maid who makes beds and serves meals with a shy smile removes human intestines with the same smile, it tends to unsettle people.

    Create contrasts. Perversion and decay can only fully bloom, if they have innocence and beauty to feed on.

    Create reoccurring patterns. This will either provide a false sense of security, or reinforce the expectation of horror.

    Provide comic relief. Again to contrast emotions for greater effect.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:43 No.4201842
    There was something in a thread I read here yesterday...give them an NPC they like, someone cool, useful, and then after they get attached, have him start violently vomiting up blood to the point that they have to kill him so he stops suffering. Then he shows up later and asks why they left him behind.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:46 No.4201860
    Lovecraftian stuff won't work, you're not an incredible author.
    Shock won't work. You've simply got to draw on things that make them feel ill, that offend their morals.

    They'll expect you to have massacred men scattered all over the place. You'll need to get them to meet a girl, boy or woman and at least get them to get slightly close to the NPC after their first meeting. Give it a likable personality. Wait until one player smiles and says "Hey, this kid's kind of cute."
    Then butcher it undescribable. Somehow reaches out from the shadows and tears her throat out. She waves goodbye and runs back home, only to suddenly have her brains blown out all over a wall. Sure, it's cheap thrills but it's enough to make the players that like her frown and go 'what the fuck'.
    Be gory, but in a special way. Make sure your gore breaks every taboo. Kill women and children. Fuck corpses. Defacate on corpses. A combination of these will disgust and horrify your PCs.
    Have the subject of horror collect 'tokens' from all its victims. Faces, hair, nails, even photographs will do. Sometimes photographs will be more effective. Have massive collections of them, emphasizing just how sick, demented and disgusting the BBEG is.

    To experience horror, they must be horrified.
    Horrify them.
    >> Elle LAWLiet !WcAM9JBPo. 04/06/09(Mon)13:48 No.4201872
    I like where this thread is going, you are all awesome.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:49 No.4201878
    Everyone loves to twist any RPing session into exalted or a comedy, so you have to play a horror session with people capable of getting into their characters. The only other possibility is all your planning will go to waste.

    The next thing is to expose the PCs to the unexplainable and unknown. It also helps if they feel completely helpless. Fighting against a horror spawn from dimension X is not scary if your carrying around an m-16 with depleted uranium exploding ammunition. You have to force them to hide and run to live, and when they hide in that closest they can smell the thing moving outside, looking for them. If they so much as breath too loudly, that thin sheet of wood will give way and and they will die.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:49 No.4201881
    horror isn't about gore, or surprise, or describing something that is totally shocking - it's about suspense and timing. Suspense alone can make your players go "fuck fuck fuck fuck oh shit oh fuck oh shit oh fuck", and then when there's the final moment, where the suspense gets relieved, it's that much better.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:49 No.4201883
    Make them go places they don't want to go, filled with threats that put them at a severe disadvantage. Make them crawl through waist-deep, murky water that might or might not have a fucking huge monster in it.

    Make them shimmy through a very narrow tunnel, and then tell the last guy in line that there's something crawling up the tunnel behind him.

    My hgorror tends to be about creating a sense of helplessness, which naturally bleeds into fear. You want to give them the impression that there IS a good solution, and they just can't find it and they're stuck with the bad ones.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:50 No.4201888
    The best way to create fear is to put the players in a situation they can't kill their way out of. Call of Cthulhu does this by making the monsters mostly invincible, but there are other ways. I like paranoia and distrust as a vehicle, myself. Let it slip that the ghost they're after was an excellent actor in life, and has a penchant for possessing people...suddenly, the PCs aren't sure who to trust anymore... is that friendly inn keeper plotting to murder them when they sleep? What will that little girl they just rescued do if they turn their back on her? What if one of them is possessed, or has been from the very start. It might help if you have a player you can get to play along with your scheme without telling the others. Kind of a tag team sort of thing.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:50 No.4201893
    Also, don't overdo monster encounters and creatures, because things just become mundane. I don't know what type of campaign you're going with, but having two or three tough and persistant enemies goes a long way when they can suprise you at any point. That creates suspense and tension for everything else, even things that would otherwise be mundane. Furthermore, like what was mentioned, every so often describe things of interest that aren't really there when you actually attempt to interact with them: like a sobbing girl in a burnt-out room, not actually there, but a clean spot in the otherwise ashen floor where she appeared to be.

    I agree wholeheartedly with the parrot. Bravo.
    Also, check out /x/ every so often for ideas, the board was practically meant for things like this.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:52 No.4201910
         File :1239040374.jpg-(290 KB, 824x1200, 01_046.jpg)
    290 KB
    Eh, not a fan of horror or gore. Fear, really scary elements that may just as well keep your players awake at night however...
    Those things don't need gore. Not even blood, actually. I remember a few threads where we just threw ideas around and few even needed dead bodies.
    There's that japanese comic artist... I forgot his name. /x/ throws out a few of his comics every now and then. Fuan No Tane or something. Take a look at it right now. Kept me from looking outside the window at night....
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:53 No.4201912
    As has been said, describe things with a visceral tone, not with an artsy tone. It might sound accurate to describe something as "nebulous being, covered with disorienting and gibbous protuberances, loathsomely begrimed", but that doesn't invoke disgust or fear. It's just a sentence with long words to most players. Fluff.

    Now, if you instead describe something as "a blurry figure covered in shit and filth, with wriggling blood-slick tentacles that flick out of the darkness to bury into what surrounds it-- making it hard to tell where it ends and where the mound of meat it sits on begins.", you invoke both disgust and fear. You want to get revulsion from your players and maybe instill a bit of healthy respect for it by demonstrating its powers through scenery or a lead-up to the creature itself showing its victims.

    Sudden scares aren't as effective as disturbing images (like Silent Hill, where the fear wasn't so much the sudden appearance of the creatures as their weird-ass look). Try a good amount of body horror (I ran a game where the players entered a normal mental hospital which slowly became more disturbing as they continued into it-- patients had fingers jutting out of their shoulders, eyes in odd places, strange surgical marks, etc. Freaked them the hell out.) and maybe something a little bit more. Paranoia adds to suspense. Make it possible that nothing is real, make it seem like anyone could be out to get them. Fear should follow.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:54 No.4201918
    The thing with horror is that sudden scares ARE scary, but only when used sparingly. Best example is Doom 3, which was really scary for about the first 30 minutes, until you realized that you were guaranteed a scare every minute at least, at which point it stopped being scary and started being a chore.

    True dread comes from anticipation. You KNOW something is going to jump out and fuck your face up, but you don't know when. And you wait, and you wait, and the tension builds, and the atmosphere darkens and darkens, and then at the appropriate moment the payoff arrives and the scare is delivered. The trick is in keeping the atmosphere of dread alive without extending it so long as to kill off the anticipation.

    Think about those scary dreams where something is chasing you and you can't run away, but you never get caught. Scary as hell because the threat never materializes, but it's always just a step behind. But if it lasts too long the dream devolves into something else and the effect is lost.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:54 No.4201919
    I always feel like horror monsters are really the WEAKEST close-combat battlers in most movies, it's just people are so SCARUHD by the time they're close they can't go in for the piledriver, and they have to use ONLY GUNS ALL THE TIME.

    I want a pro wrestler horror game.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:54 No.4201921
    This. Recurring, unstoppable enemies can make players shit bricks if done right. It especially helps if the creatures have a specific theme song, or a calling card that shows up in game. That way you can get your players sweating by playing some music, or having them run across something that MIGHT OR MIGHT NOT indicate the beast's presence.

    Careful though, this can frustrate players if handled improperly, especially if they're the sort of assholes who always try to kill their foes no matter what (you know the type; they cut the heads off of EVERY ENEMY after a battle, chase a fleeing bad guy long after it would be appropriate, and crack open the rule book all pissy like when you have circumstances allow an important villain to escape due to plot). A good way to prevent this is to give them a nice reward every time they escape, or temporarily incapacitate the unstoppable beastie. Like how you'd get special weapons if you stayed to fight against the Nemesis in RE3.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:55 No.4201926
    Try being subtle. Not everything creepy will be obvious to the pc's, some will be minor notes in your descriptions.

    Some pc's will recognize it, some will just let it pass on, until eventually things keep occurring and they realize that this whole time some fucked up shits been going on around them.

    The realization that you've been completely unaware of something/someone creepy as shit for a very long time is good to get them unsettled.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:58 No.4201945
    >I realized, when watching Friday the 13th (the remake in theaters) that SHITTY horror movies freak you out by giving you SUDDENLY LOUD SOUNDS at random parts to make you jump.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:58 No.4201948
    Jump moments, especially in a game, do not work. Neither does gore because people become used to it. The most terrifying thing is a sense that something is off, unreal, and you have no idea what it is. Hallucinations, dreams, and just a simple off-ness should do it -- but keep it simple.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)13:59 No.4201952
    This, this, a hundred times this. Description is everything.

    Actually, go listen to Aqualung, it is one of the creepiest songs in the world, just in the selection of words.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:00 No.4201968
    >>Also Signs
    >>Fuck Signs
    >>I hated that movie
    >>I mean what the fuck
    >>I like greentext
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:01 No.4201972
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:01 No.4201975
    >I realized, when watching Friday the 13th (the remake in theaters) that horror movies freak you out by giving you SUDDENLY LOUD SOUNDS at random parts to make you jump. Cover your ears? No sudden jolts.

    Slasher movie fright is very visual an cheesy thats its appeal. For written horror you need to focus on suspense and confusion. Your imagery should be disturbing and gruesome. Also highly detailed. Color, smells, texture and sounds should get be highly focused. Use words that sound gross and upsetting.

    "The wet viscera slapped onto the floor in an unctuous heap. The rancid scent of Tom's exposed bowels merged with the metallic twang of blood in the air. Blood gurgled up out of his mouth from the depths of his wrecked frame as his eyed focused briefly on yours. A look of fear and despair reached out to you. His last plea for help. His last living act a futile effort begging you to do something anything to help him."

    Also when mundane things are changed in a way completely different and different then they're supposed to it can really upset a person: People without faces, Cats that scream like a person. Or strange things that happen happening more frequently: fish jumping out of fish tanks, birds hitting windows.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:01 No.4201976
    Vicious imagery; read some lovecraft.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:05 No.4202000

    This picture reminds me: The primary source of true fear is the unknown. Throw creepy details at your players are are inexplicable. A room their friendly npc was staying last night has every single inch covered in blood and the NPC is gone, but there are no other signs of violence or anything else unusual.

    Or like that picture, there's something following them around. They don't know what it wants, they don't know what it is. They might not even actually see it at any point. Just hear it in the next room, or just outside the door. When they get a breif glimpse of it at any point, all they can tell is it's definitely not human.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:06 No.4202006
    To make someone feel horror, you have to horrify them.
    You must fill them with distaste, you must make them feel disgusted, you must make them uncertain.
    Making them jump is not what you want to do.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:08 No.4202023
    And when he woke up in the morning she was STILL IN HIS BED AHHHHH!

    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:09 No.4202028
    >>"The wet viscera slapped onto the floor in an unctuous heap. The rancid scent of Tom's exposed bowels merged with the metallic twang of blood in the air. Blood gurgled up out of his mouth from the depths of his wrecked frame as his eyed focused briefly on yours. A look of fear and despair reached out to you. His last plea for help. His last living act a futile effort begging you to do something anything to help him."

    BLECH this is awful. And no, you don't need to go into excruciating detail, you don't need to stuff adjectives into every god damned noun.
    A little detail is fine, but imagination is the tool here. You have to build them up till they're focused on the story, get them interested, then start making things creepy.
    >> Elle LAWLiet !WcAM9JBPo. 04/06/09(Mon)14:10 No.4202041

    Any particular suggestions? I found a site where I can read all his stuff.

    Also, keep it up guys. I love this thread and it's an amazing help.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:12 No.4202059
    the rats in the walls is a good, relatively short introduction to lovecraft. of course, if it is a stormy night and you live by the coast you could read shadow over innsmouth...
    >> Elle LAWLiet !WcAM9JBPo. 04/06/09(Mon)14:14 No.4202077

    That's really creepy because it's been storming all day and I do live by the coast :(
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:15 No.4202081
    "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear. And the oldest and the strongest kind of fear is the fear of unknown."

    Also, try to get to know your players better. You know, stuff such as what they like and especially what they fear. I've managed to get some of my players scared without actually even trying to describe anything scary. I know I could seriously freak them out if I wanted by using those things.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:16 No.4202094
    I know but things like "The wet viscera slapped onto the floor" and "The rancid scent of Tom's exposed bowels merged with the metallic twang of blood in the air." describe the event in unpleasant detail. Highly detailed gore can be good. Lovecraft and his I'll describe everything but the bad stuff isn't the end all be all of horror fiction.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:17 No.4202106
    The only time I've ever really scared my players was when one decided to piss in the toilet in a creepy house's bathroom...and nearly got his bladder ripped out of his body by a water spirit inhabiting the toilet. His opinion of the game went from "This is kinda of cool" to "GET ME THE FUCK OUT OF HERE"
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:18 No.4202121
    Since everyone at my game has a cellphone, I send text messages of things only they see...they usually have reaction glances back at me as if they saw/heard something.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:19 No.4202123
    then go. Read Innsmouth. do it now.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:19 No.4202132

    Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:23 No.4202158
    Real scares people, in my experience. Combat especially is a parade of disgusting and terrible ways to die. In a horror game nothing 'dies' or 'drops', it bleeds, cries and whimpers. It crawls for the door. If you want to kill whoever it is, you're going to have to give it a good proper hit when it's down - a cold blooded finish. You're not 'at -1 on all rolls', your kneecap is pouring fluids onto the floor and you're in shock. Your tongue feels dry and you can't understand why you keep crying. Ending life is serious, scary and horrifying. Does it slow down gameplay? Yes. This is why in horror games, combat in horror centric is so short when someone hits, and about to get shorter.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:24 No.4202168
    /tg/ you are sick and I think I see why /x/ likes you
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:24 No.4202173
    Have you looked at WoD? Even if that's not your setting, the book should be able to give you some ideas.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:25 No.4202181
    A DM of mine was running a mortals WoD campaign, all the characters were invited to stay at a mansion for a night to get an absurd amount of money, and there was a mute butler that I thought was pretty neat. The most memorable aspects of the campaign were when we found the mute butler tied to a chair with his eyes scooped out, incapable of yelling out in pain, but still trying. A faceless doppelganger of my character that got me when I was alone (he wasn't very trusting of the others). And a fridge with several human body parts.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:27 No.4202201
    >you don't need to stuff adjectives into every god damned noun.
    Actually you can, if you do it a la Lovecraft and be very vague in your excess of adjectives.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:29 No.4202213
    If you start getting too fancy with your words, you can't scare anyone because they won't know what you're talking about. And they might start joking about your incomprehensible sentences.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:29 No.4202215
    yes, cut out the sugar and padding. Death should be an upsetting experience for everyone involved. Realism in situations where movies and games like to ignore because thinking about it makes people uncomfortable.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:30 No.4202222
    >>"The wet viscera slapped onto the floor in an unctuous heap. The rancid scent of Tom's exposed bowels merged with the metallic twang of blood in the air. Blood gurgled up out of his mouth from the depths of his wrecked frame as his eyed focused briefly on yours. A look of fear and despair reached out to you. His last plea for help. His last living act a futile effort begging you to do something anything to help him."

    "The rancid smell of blood and guts hits you hard and fast as Tom slumps to the floor, gore pouring out of the place his stomach used to be. He stares up at you pitifully, his gaze filled with horror and fear and with his last breath, he tries to plead for his life only for a bloody gurgle to spill past his lips instead."
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:31 No.4202230
         File :1239042680.png-(184 KB, 403x480, tg and x.png)
    184 KB
    You know who'd be able to help you OP?
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:32 No.4202236
    Sounds like your DM ripped of House on Haunted Hill
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:33 No.4202243

    Cut out the "instead" at the end.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:35 No.4202261
    That's good. I'm no writer and I just threw that out there as a crude example. Though,I miss the wet viscera slapping. I'm very fond of that imagery.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:36 No.4202266
    Yeah, I looked at that when I posted it and thought "wait, why did I put that there?"
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:36 No.4202270
    See, the thing is, you're writing as if it's a story. Which is good, for a story. But you're going too heavy into description. Players get bored easily without action, so instead of saying what you did, try to describe actions, not pure surroundings. Use passive voice sparingly.

    “Tom stops and jolts in place. A concerned look crosses his face before his stomach bulges forward and, with a wet pop, explodes, covering the ground in front of him with a spray of blood and shit. He stares at you for a second with a pleading glint in his eyes, mouthing what looks like ‘Help’, before reaching out and falling forward into his own offal. Behind his shredded body stands….”
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:38 No.4202281

    Protip: Lovecraft is not great for DMing. He's hard enough of a read for people who aren't well versed in vocabulary. He was great with ideas. Bad with his verbosity.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:40 No.4202295

    This is not neccessarily a bad thing. That's one of very few horrors movies that's actually managed to disturb me.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:42 No.4202319
    Man, Ruby is going to be pissed.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:45 No.4202349
    'Shit' is good. Vulgar language helps the event impact much harder.
    Remove the bit where he mouths the word 'help'. That bit makes me want to giggle.
    Replace that with something else then in my opinion, it's pretty much perfect.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:52 No.4202390

    Admittedly, though, it doesn't really fit the OP's request for non-gory scares.

    I still endorse body horror though. Body horror and paranoia are basically the main staple of modern horror. Fear of the unknown is difficult to conceptualize sometimes unless you give it one of those themes.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:53 No.4202399
    Non-gore horror doesn't really work though - at least, not when you're a socially enept fa/tg/uy trying to describe it.
    >> Elle LAWLiet !WcAM9JBPo. 04/06/09(Mon)14:53 No.4202404

    I should not have discounted gore so easily, I mean, it's acceptable, but I don't want to have to resort to JUST gore to freak out my players. Poor Tom there is a great example of something to do, but too often and it would become dull or desensitize my players (who are already pretty desensitized to gore/violence).
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)14:59 No.4202433
    Then make the gore personal.
    One of your PCs goes MIA? Have him turn up horribly mutilated. That lovely, smiling woman who is ever so nervous about everything that happens? Gets decapitated. The wonderful kid who hugs all of you and calls you all 'papa'? Ends up hanging from a meathook after being drawn and quartered.
    Eventually, they'll become immune to that too. Then your horror games will become metholodical monster hunts.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:02 No.4202460
    Depending how long the game goes, you'll have to use a bit of EVERYTHING that can possibly scare your players. If they ever think "well, we need to rest, so be ready for something to creep into the room like the other 3 times..." then you've lost the atmosphere.

    Unless you want to lull them into a pattern and suddenly break it.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:10 No.4202530

    This kinda represents their characters in a way. Eventually they become dull to the terrible things happening around them, or go insane. Either way, most people would become seriously fucked up after this kind of stuff happening to them.

    As a note, you don't always need to show what's happening for ear. People can get dragged off into the darkness. The sound of their death can be more disturbing than seeing it. Especially if you leave some hope that they might still be alive, i.e. the person crying helplessly in the background throughout the rest of that dungeon/mansion/game.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:14 No.4202561
    In the end, players can't help but mold their characters partially around themselves.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:17 No.4202589
    if you're looking for genuine horror and creepiness don't look at horror movies for help ,they're generally the worst.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:20 No.4202623

    Indeed. Though B movie style scares can help relieve tension and make the game a bit less "trudgetrudgetrudge deathbloodgutshorror why are we playing this again? trudgetrudgetrudge".

    If your players are anything like mine, they will not be into their characters if their characters are essentially doomed. Try to lighten things up every once and awhile or they'll try to get a different campaign going because they just aren't having fun anymore.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:25 No.4202654
    blood guts and death aren't horror they're gore.

    you're right about losing a players will if it's all doom and gloom,

    the best way to give your players a fright is to just build tension. it doesn't even have to lead anywhere, just a big build up of tension
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:33 No.4202740
    One thing I did that scared my PCs...

    They all took a break after exploring the house, and couldn't find anything wrong with it- because there wasn't anything. It was just a normal house. They got an anonymous tip that something was going down there that needed to be stopped.

    "Is this the right house?" one PC said.

    "Not sure."

    "I'll go check the address- I walk outside."


    "You open the front door and before you is the living room. The door closes behind you."

    "...wat, go back to everyone else."

    "You open the door up again and walk back where you came from. Everybody is gone."

    I find that isolation is one of the scariest things that can happen to somebody- for a while I had him explore the "house" (it actually pulled a Silent Hill, shit was about to go down) by himself, with more and more strange things happening. Just as he was about to get fucked (the closet blew open and a cultist figure lurched out of it), he reappeared with everyone else.

    Got him scared as shit.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:34 No.4202746

    Give them hope, give them lasting rewards, better chances, let them beat something once in awhile...sometimes only by luck, to make sure they know they aren't in control, just trying to survive.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:34 No.4202751

    Hence paranoia. When the players begin to suspect each other due to the DM handing secret notes unsubtly, things get fun. And tense.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:35 No.4202758

    Lemme elaborate- we were doing it over AIM and Vent (so I could keep some of the ambience), and moved everyone other than him into a different chatroom, so it basically was just a one on one with me and him in the silent hillhouse while the others tried to find him.

    He thought he had found the others, but the truth was that they ALL ended up in the silent hillhouse. That's where stuff started getting really creepy.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:37 No.4202775
    > I find that isolation is one of the scariest things that can happen to somebody-

    this this this. I can't figure out how to incorporate it into games, but the idea of the odds suddenly turning against you as you alone face the horror scares the crap out of me.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:40 No.4202809

    For this reason, I usually have them having to fight police officers or serial killers or something along those lines rather than the actual monsters which are causing all the shit to go down. They get a sense of success without actually feeling like they relieved the danger.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:42 No.4202825
    Get GURPS: Horror, it's rather detailed about building and keeping suspense and horror within an RPG.

    You can always strike them with uncanny stuff they cannot influence - like as far away as seeing people dance on distant roofs or on some distant hill at night. Or as close as every person on the street turning and laughing at them for no apparten reason. Or something always being slightly faster than them. Maybe mots suddenly gather even though there's no visible source of light, or the dogs start barking.
    Other unnatural stuff could happen, like the arms popping out of walls and ciellings and pulling away their blankets.

    Maybe some villager will tell them about a two-headed sow that's been born somewhere, they decide to take a look at it for the lulz and end up in a colours from outer space-type-situation.

    >Lovecraftian stuff won't work, you're not an incredible author.

    Lovecraftian horror's easy. It goes like this:

    I am not a believer/cannot believe in god anymore BECAUSE I'VE SEEN THINGS, but I'm going to die and you silly christians are going to hear my confession...sorts of.
    I travelled to some far-off, exotic location, be that spatially or temporally for SCIENCE, there I found increadible things.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:42 No.4202829
         File :1239046970.png-(528 KB, 1068x1098, tg and x.png)
    528 KB
    It's the little details that invoke suspense and fear in your players. Think about it--suspense of the unknown provokes the most fear. Gore and perversion can become mundane after it is encountered after a few times. The truest fear comes from the impending doom of a situation that isn't quite clear but the only thing that is clear is the feeling that something is upon the players...they can't see it, hear it, or pinpoint when it will happen, but the walls of their defenses are clearly open to something that will certainly bring their lives to an end. Helplessness is a scary thing.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:50 No.4202879

    You have to realize that in his correspondence Lovecraft himself often made fun of his writing and explained that a large amount of the silly tricks like that were things he pulled so he could finish the story and send it off to get money. (Best example: Herbert West: Reanimator)

    DMing a Horror Campaign is a mixture of the subtle elements mentioned above in the quoted post... and the striking elements also mentioned above, in other posts. Just try not to get so campy that the players contemplate letting their characters get killed for lulz. Or just saying "Fuck this" and locking their characters in a saferoom (especially considering most campaigns I run will make this the WORST CHOICE EVER and end in a TPK)
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:51 No.4202893
    I was running a Traveller game awhile ago. It was set on a space station that was deserted. The engineer, who was also a marine, was walking about the station, trying to bring the systems back online. When he entered the station's dining room, I told him that it was pitch black (No surprise there, some rooms had lighting, others didn't). So he turns on his suit's lights and finds the room seemingly empty. I mentioned how his light caused the glasses still on the tables to sparkle and cast some really nice figures from the refraction of his light.
    Then at the other end of the room, beyond his light's reach, he hears glass break. He stops walking, and then takes a few more steps, seeing if he can just barely make out what caused the sound, and finds pieces of broken glass on the ground. He hears then a small crackling sound like that of bubblewrap. The sound grows more frequent and much more louder. The engineer immediatly makes a 180 and darts out of the room.

    After the session, I asked him why he didn't explore that room more (He is the kick-in-the-door type of player). He gave me a response of, "Are you kidding!? I don't know what's over there and I'm only one engineer!"

    tl;dr Horror is based upon the unknown, keep the danger there but out of sight and make the players feel vulnerable.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)15:55 No.4202923
    RULE 34 ON THAT PARROT! (Yes I know I am a fucked up individual)
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:04 No.4203009
         File :1239048290.jpg-(1.13 MB, 1600x1200, 1230964423747.jpg)
    1.13 MB
    "what have I done" moments are pretty good for horror too. It's interesting to make the PCs the true monsters kinda like I am Legend. It's hard to pull off so I don't do it much admittedly

    The creepy being safe and normal being dangerous is also one of my favorite (Saya). I had a village where one "haunted" house in the middle with magic circles and bloodstains was the safe spot while the entire village was sinister with illusion veiling it.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:19 No.4203136
    A similar thread from months ago said there should be no "safe room". Safe rooms take the uncertainty out of the situation. If your PCs barricade themselves inside solid room make the horror(s) attack relentlessly until they are forced to flee. Now when they sleep in the part way collapsed room filled with human remains let the night pass with out incident. If you PCs figure this out then change it up. If nothing is safe then neither are they.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:24 No.4203197

    Not to be pedantic, but that's terror. Horror can be about gore, inasmuch as horror is about things that are happening and terror is about things that might happen.

    But this is all good stuff.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:28 No.4203235
    ... What the fuck, man.
    You want a picture of a huge, disgusting female parrot making baby screams while fucking the carcass of a toddler in front of a trucker, a German mechanic and Doctor Ninja?
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:37 No.4203335

    I vote yes.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:39 No.4203356
    Sorry, too demented.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:40 No.4203358
    Occasional /x/phile here.

    Google Lovecraft's "Commonplace book." It's basically his idea notebook. There are a bunch of things in there that can be either minor elements of the story or the main premise itself.

    Most of them are just single-sentence descriptions, but some of them manage to give me the creeps anyway.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:52 No.4203472
    I dunno guys, none of this stuff is really scary to me. I'[ve read most of lovecraft, and while he's good for a chuckle now and then, I've never found him really scary. Same for all of the rest of this. Interesting imagery, kinda offbeat ideas, builds suspense, but none of it scary. I can't really say how you would go about making something frightening or horrific, but I can say these methods are not going to do it.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)16:59 No.4203545

    Horror is like a drug. Some people get off on really small amounts. Some people, not at all. YMMV.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)17:04 No.4203578
    >Most of them are just single-sentence descriptions, but some of them manage to give me the creeps anyway.

    Yeah, there's some good shit in there.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)17:15 No.4203662
    Please and thank you!
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)17:21 No.4203710
    Things should be kept small so the PC scare the shit out of themselves.The less the PCs see going on the more their own imagination will scare them more than anything you could do.Something little like a dead body disappearing changing minor features of a room or waking up in the morning and finding windows where those scary paintings were last night will scare them more then Freddy chasing after them spouting one liners

    One time i scared accidentally the hell out of a group of PCs by putting them in a city in the clouds.The party was mostly Neutral and got half of them got worked up into a frenzy thinking they were on some outer plane filled with bad ass CR30+ angels ready to rain flaming sword death on their heathen ass.It was never my intention but the PCs felt separated from what they understood in a foreign environment they didnt understand and things took off from there in their heads.I guarantee they would have been LESS scared if i flat out said "You are in the 7 Heavens eat Angelic death heretic" or "Welcome to the 9 Hells"
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)17:22 No.4203721
    tip: play the campain on a dark night, then all on random shout BOO! they'll shit bricks

    Experience may differ.
    >> Maus 04/06/09(Mon)17:23 No.4203724
    Have the same issue. The problem, I think, is that I'm reading too much 4chan. Tolerance is high as hell by now.

    Only the holes thing still freaks me out.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)17:26 No.4203762

    I think this qualifies as a dick move. But I think it'd only work if you spoke quietly throughout most of the game.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)17:55 No.4203973
    Gore and death work in extreme moderation, just like in a movie.

    If someone's going to get gored to pieces, don't do it soon, but lead up to it later, and make other deaths quick, and unseen. Real fear comes not from gore, but from questioning everything.

    Make them wonder...why is there a puddle in the middle of the room...is it safe? And after hours of questioning it, they finally test it by sending someone to step in it, and nothing happens. Then, have someone walk through a shadow at some point and not come out the other end...and they will never want to step in another shadow again. Make them question everything. Key to this is not caring about game speed. Let your players be completely in charge where they go, and what they do. Don't say "make a listen check" if there's something to hear, but make your players realize they are in charge of all their actions, and that this is not on rails, and then it's not the DM who will get them killed, its something they do, or don't do. Then, they'll be afraid of everything.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)18:30 No.4204245
    We'll we ARE their neighbour
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)19:57 No.4204972
    Immediately I think of Zangief. The only way to play against him is to continually push his slow advances away.

    Fighting Zangief in ST is like escaping a slasher movie monster.
    >> Anonymous 04/06/09(Mon)20:19 No.4205109
    based entirely on the cover art of the book, I downloaded a pdf for Pathfinder: Rise of the Runelords, and was intending on running it instead of a homebrew for a change. Although I got lazy and stopped reading it, I read enough to inspire some fear-related gaming ideas that work rather well. Example being the goblin that eats one of the children if the PC's don't react fast enough, if you truely wanted to be horrifying with this sort of thing, have the child somewhat eaten even if they ARE fast enough, describe in great detail the amount of blood gushing from the wounds, the agonising screams of pain that the child cries out, and finally the unbearable death, as this sort of quest is geared toward low level players, hoping they have no means of healing.

    Delete Post [File Only]
    Style [Yotsuba | Yotsuba B | Futaba | Burichan]