Archive for the ‘Dead of Night’ Category

My good friend and Dead of Night contributor, James Mullen (he of the excellent Cold Fusion scenario in the second edition book and of a guest post on running a Dead of Night campaign on this very site) has started a new website, Groundhoggoth, which he describes as a “lair of good games.”

Amongst the many homebrewed micro games (many of them quite delicious) and scenarios is James’ pseudo-LARP Dead of Night scenario inspired by the The Mist. Now, whilst I’ve not had the pleasure of playing the scenario for myself, I’ve heard many a scare story about it so can recommend purely on that basis.

And whilst you’re over at James’ site, make sure you check out some of his other games – I particularly recommend Never to Die, which is best described as a “chav dungeon crawl.” Need I say more.

Advertisements

One of the games I ran last weekend at Concrete Cow was one of the scenarios I’m writing for a Dead of Night scenario supplement, Bad Signal.

The set-up was simple: it’s 1975 and Arizona is experiencing a record heatwave along with accompanying weird shit like electronics malfunctioning, tempers fraying and a weird signal in the static. Malc described it as Convoy meets the Crazies, although I like to think it had a fair bit in common with Duel too.

All of the players played truckers, all with complex personal lives of some sort or another:

(more…)

In a couple of weeks time I’ll be at Concrete Cow 10.5, a friendly little convention down in Milton Keynes. I’ve been plenty of times, but to celebrate the recent release of Dead of Night second edition, this time they’ve invited me as their guest of honour!

As part of my guestly duties I’ll be running a full panoply of games, including two games that will feature in the forthcoming Dead of Night scenarios book (which I talked about here) and a playtest of my Dead of Night hack, XVIIth Legion (which I’ll talk about soon).

Here’s a look at the games I’m running, and a link to Concrete Cow’s website. Hope to see some of you there! And if you can’t make it, I’m running the same games at Furnace in Sheffield at the end of October.

(more…)

In the appendix to Dead of Night, I present a selected mediography to the game, a sample of just some of the horror movies that I watched and books that I read when writing the second edition of the game. The movies presented in the mediography are those that I felt were most representative of the feel of the game, a whistle-stop tour of the influences and touchstones that give a reasonably good impression of how I envision a typical game.

In actual fact, this list was just the tip of the iceberg, for I must have watched scores of horror movies during the two or three years that Dead of Night was gestating. Most of these came from Scott Dorward’s big bag of DVDs, which he turned up with one Conception, and I must confess that there were some movies within the bag that even I could not face.

As I promised a complete mediography of influences and references in the back of Dead of Night, here it is in its entirety:

(more…)

One of the things I love about TV series such as Supernatural or Buffy is that they have their own mythology, their own way that monsters “work” within the confines of the setting. Movies do that too, but because they’re so focused on a single monster or a single premise, you rarely get to see it develop. There are exceptions, of course.

A demon in Supernatural works in a certain way, dies in a certain way. Likewise a vampire in Buffy. The audience is taught this, expects this, which – later, once this is established – allows the writer to mess with those expectations and create tension and drama in the process.

(more…)

A guest blog by James Mullen.

I’ve wanted to run a zombie apocalypse game for a long time and the release of Dead of Night, 2nd edition seemed like the ideal opportunity to do so. The game I had in mind would riff off Max Brooks’ World War Z and Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead, so it would be a long-running soap opera with Zombies, spanning weeks, months or even years of the characters’ lives in a post-apocalyptic world.

It was readily apparent that no one had ever run any sort of campaign using Dead of Night before, so the question was: would it work? My experience of running and playing in one shots suggested a high mortality rate and the rules only suggest refreshing 2 Survival Points for each character who survives to appear in a sequel session. If I was going to keep the characters alive for more than a session or two, I was going to need something extra to assist their survival.

(more…)

So Dead of Night has been out for a little over a month now, and thoughts have turned to the inevitable question: what next? Of course there are countless other games on the go, including a couple that will surface sooner rather than later, but that’s not really what’s being asked. It’s what’s next for Dead of Night.

Well, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought of it, as I have. Quite a bit. In the final stages of Dead of Night’s writing, both James and Scott suggested the same idea, which I’d also been mulling over – a book of scenarios.

(more…)