Archive for the ‘Dead of Night’ Category

Surviving Horror

Posted: April 19, 2012 in Dead of Night
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I saw this post on Geektyrant the other day and thought it might be of use for anyone trying to survive a game of Dead of Night!

Here in England we have a tradition that at Christmas, ghost stories are told and read. I think it dates from the Victorian era, for the Victorians liked a good ghost story, and made the transition to the television in the 70s with an excellent series of ghost stories by the BBC (including Charles Dickens’ The Signalman, pictured). M0re recently, BBC4 has revived the tradition with a mix of fresh adaptations (such as Whistle and I’ll Come to You) and new stories (Mark Gatiss‘ excellent Crooked House).

I’m also partial to a ghost story or two, and as my friend Mark leant me an audio book featuring a variety of ghost stories I’ve been scaring myself into the Christmas spirit every night on the way home. So, what better way to mark the yuletide than with a post about running a traditional Victorian ghost story using Dead of Night?

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Just a quick one today and it’s a link to my friend Gaz’s post about writing scenarios – notionally for Hot War, but many of the techniques he describes for setting up complicated relationships would work wonderfully for other games, including Dead of Night. I used something similar with both Bad Signal and Grendel, AP, although with the latter it was the players who complicated the relationships.

I posted part 1 of my actual play in the last post. I set the scene before character creation – two nights ago your teenage coven summoned something it could not put down; last night Salford was swept by a wave of rioting and looting; tonight two of the coven haven’t shown up – so we kicked into the game straight away. The coven scrabbled around Simon’s flat, determining that yes, the grimoire was indeed gone, before breaking into his bedroom where they found it crawling with cockroaches and a strange, sentient blood-like ooze that Ann-Marie insisted on taking a sample of.

They then fled the flat, where they ran into a group of rioters including the now-infamous Billy Hunt, who tried to bully Alan into holding the big tv he’d just nicked. This scene was great, as it set up Billy as a hard case, as well as putting Alan’s own bluster and bullish manner into perspective (Billy bullies Alan, so Alan bullies Ollie). Cops arrive, coven flees, only to find Simon’s body crucified in an alley, his phone filled with frantic voice mail messages from Julianne telling Simon she’s hiding out in the derelict flats.It’s about this time they first notice the car with blacked out windows and an Italian number plate following them.

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I mentioned the game of Dead of Night I ran at Furnace the other week, Salford’s Lot, in my last post, so thought I’d post a quick actual play about what happened as it was a great  fun game. The premise of the scenario was a simple one – the victims were all teenage members of a coven, dabbling in things that they do not understand. Last night they summoned something they could not put down. Tonight two of the coven have not turned up and riots are sweeping the town. Go!

Partly because I hadn’t had time to prep characters, and partly because the last time I had the players make up a relationship map to tie their characters into the story – Grendel, Alaska, from Indiecon a few years back – it created an awesomely compelling game, I had the players create characters to fit the premise. As they created characters, I made them tie themselves to each other on a relationship map in the middle of the table, to the two members who had not turned up, as well as add additional NPCs to the map too. (more…)

One of the things I’ve wanted to try for a while is a game of Dead of Night where the victims are all monsters – or at least have access to Monstrous Specialisations (aka cool powers). I know Scott has tried this a few times, so I hope he’ll pop up in the comments to talk about his experiences, but I’ve only ever tried it a couple of times in the past, and never with the whole group.

The idea I had was to run a game inspired by the Craft or the Covenant – you know the schtick, a group of teenagers mess around at playing witches, end up summoning something bad and getting into trouble. I wanted to run that game, with the players all as witches with supernatural powers, running from something worse.

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To celebrate the awesome zombie series, the Walking Dead returning to our screens, coupled with Halloween next week, PDF copies of my horror game, Dead of Night, are half price over at RPGNow for the next week – just $5 instead of the usual $10.

Dead of Night is the roleplaying game of campfire tales, slasher movies and b-movie horror. It’s designed to be quick and easy to play, with rules that help you tell horror stories without getting in the way of the fun. The rules are simple and straightforward to learn, yet offer all the options and depth to allow you to customise the game however you like.

Dead of Night is perfect for Halloween horror gaming – with character creation taking no more than 5 minutes and a host of advice and resources for running games on the fly, you can be playing in no time. And, if you’re really impatient to go, there are four ready-made scenarios in the book and downloadable PCs available on our website.

Go on, give us a scream!