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.
So at Furnace the other weekend I ran Salford’s Lot (I’ve got an actual play report of the game in the works so keep an eye out for that), which posited the victims as members of an amateur cabal out to cause trouble of an evening. I had the group create their own characters as normal – complete with complex relationships (I’ve got a post brewing about this too) – but gave them the option to take Sorcery as a power. In game I treated it as any other specialisation but with a vastly expanded remit, albeit at a price to use – a survival point per attempt.
This worked rather well, albeit rather painfully for Elaine’s character, who ended up nearly burning herself out trying to hex the witch hunter during the climax. This was pretty much what monsters did in 1st edition – burn through survival points trying to use their cool powers – but I didn’t find it such a problem for a player to have to endure as it limited their supernatural nature to when it mattered.
I’d like to try it another way next time, perhaps actually throwing open the Monstrous Specialisations section (p73 of Dead of Night 2nd ed) to the players, or else inflicting a price of some sort – perhaps like a Bad Habit. What do people think?
And while I’m on the subject of Dead of Night – don’t forget the PDF is only $5 over at RPGNow until Monday.