Horror RPG : What to play

With it being so close to Halloween, I am reminded of the times we would have special RPG sessions that were one-shots in new game systems. Often time we would spend time in the wee hours of the following day resolving the fun we had started the night before. So I wanted to share some of my favorites for the Halloween RPG session that you might have planned.

White Wolf Products

This includes everything from Vampire: The Masquerade to Demon: The Fallen. I group them as all one gaming system because they are all interchangeable. My favorite version is 2nd Edition so here are some of the 2E subsystems.

  • Vampire: The Masquerade
    • Play as Vampires trying to rule the world or causing chaos in the world. The game is all about the vampiric clans and how the PCs deal with “normal” day to day lives of the kindred. Plenty of Archetypes to choose from.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse
    • If Vampires aren’t your think try the other side, were beings. Your clan is your family and you are just trying to survive in the world of darkness. Not to mention you can pick up some of the sub books and become other were creatures besides the default werewolves. I personally like the Bastet, the were cats.
  • Mage: The Ascension
    • if Vampires and Werewolves aren’t up your alley try mages. Choose your coterie careful though and when you cast spells you better think it through because paradox is no joke.
  • Wraith: The Oblivion
    • So none of those is your thing, try ghosts. See how the undead “live” and learn about the afterlife with having to be dead. Just be careful who you trust, because some of the wraiths can turn you into currency and no one wants to live eternity as a piece of cash.

One of the fun things we use to do is put pieces of paper in a hat and then have people draw what kind of character they would play. I also randomly choose it for my group one game session and they started out as humans until some of the obvious signs of their race came out.

Chill

One of the scariest game sessions I have ever played was with the gaming system Chill. You are part of an organization that hunts things that go bump in the night. The game revolves around a beautifully crafted story system and done right you can feel like the evil is just around the corner, waiting.

All Flesh Must Be Eaten

Zombie Apocalypse. Plain and simple your characters are trying to survive and all you have is your wits and friends ship. The merits and flaws system, when RPG right, can make even the simplest encounters hard. Top it off with hundreds of variation on the zombie archetype and suddenly those surviving the story might end up as zombie chow.

Fright Night

Looking for a campy B movie game system. Look no further, Fright night puts you in the role of the survivors and one of you as the killer. The simple game system can be picked up easily and the “killer” will have just as much fun as the survivors. The game is played in scenes and as the “movie” progresses there is more and more likely that the hunter may become the hunted.

Call of Cthulhu


Looking for something more Lovecraftian? Here is where you stop. Play in the 1800s as investigators looking into paranormal events. Just be careful what you read. The games system is based on a percentile dice system. So no further dice needed than a pair of d10s. Romp around London in the 1800s trying to figure out why people are being and killed and what is doing the killing.

Summoning it all Up

No matter which system you choose, make sure you set the mood right. If you are the DM play the system for all its Drama. Remember that Vincent Price and Alfred Hitchcock were more about the suspense than the gore, which makes these games even scarier.

As always if you have suggestions or comments, please post below.

-Archon Del Noche

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