In Progress


Horrors: The Scary Story RPG - Finishing Up

TRA: Troubles In Two Worlds - Still the early stages

Pick Up Group- Card Templates in progress

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Horrors First Playtest

We finished up our first full Horrors play test this week. A few things need to be tweaked, new mechanics introduced, and some skills were added while others removed. Overall, things went well and people had fun.
Click read more for the breakdown of the game.

This will be more of a recap of what happened without going into details of mechanics or rolls. This early anything can change so mechanics will be kept vague when possible.

So for the first play test we did the classic teenagers at camp. The camp had a dark past, and part of it was closed off, but none of the PCs knew any of this going in.

The PCs

  • Lara the Adaptive Explorer who brought her camera with her and planned to explore the forest.
  • Alex the Emotionally-Numb Burnout who brought so many drugs to camp.
  • Sabrina the Curious Witch who had friends at the camp
  • Mike the Aloof Monster-Hunter who was sent there so he would stop making up crazy stories about monsters.

 The Horror 

For this game I went with a ghost from the camp's past. It was the Immortal archtype who targets campers and has a weakness to weaponized Fire. The Horror took the following traits:

  • Invisibility- Active ability, cannot be seen but cannot attack
  • Incorporeal - Active ability, can pass through walls and cannot be hurt by non-weakness
  • Darkness - Active ability, can turn out lights in immediate area
  • Far Reach - Passive, increases the difficulty of Jump Scares
  • Unsettling- Passive, Jump Scares do 1 extra willpower damage
That is on top of the innate traits all Horrors get that allows them to cause Jump Scares, take less damage from non-weaknesses, scramble video, etc.

So fairly standard ghost. 

The First Day

The beginning of the session was to introduce the characters to each other and the camp, keeping things fairly quiet except for a few harmless Jump Scares to try and lower the group's willpower early.  These are known as "Frightening Jump Scares" that take the form of someone jumping out from a corner, a cat running into view, and the other stupid stuff that shouldn't really frighten anyone. Alex, who was already high, was the one to fail these rolls.

The Red Herring

The next day the group split into three groups.
Mike went to investigate the closed off section of the camp, learning that a kid was stabbed to death there last year. After breaking into the head office he found a file saying the camp tried its hardest to cover up this death.
Sabrina and Lara went into the woods and encountered "Messy Jump Scares" in the form of ghostly bodies hanging from the trees. They failed their rolls and ran, but kept their camera on the scene for as long as possible. The Horror, still at full power at this point, spent the point to scramble the tape. 
Alex found an empty cabin and got high. He was also the first to be attacked by the Horror. The ghost swiped at him with a pocket knife, barely missing flesh as Alex tried his hardest to open the door (failing due to the presence of the Horror making every action more difficult). He eventually realized it would be easier to go out the window and escaped the ghost. 

 This lead to the group looking into the death of the camper last year, not realizing he was just the first victim of the ghost, this allowed the Horror to pick off NPCs to recharge.

The Ending

Eventually this lead to Alex and Mike discovering the truth about the ghost and Sabrina and Lara gathering information about the camp to give to the police.
Alex was nearly stabbed to death, barely staying conscious, while Mike set the ghost on fire at its original site of death thus destroying it.


Like I said it was just a short test game, mostly to make sure the mechanics work and fit the theme. No one died, but the ghost was designed to do more willpower damage than physical damage. Next play test I will try something similar to Jason and see how many hits the PCs can take.


  1. Hey, im curious, sabrina is listed as a witch? does that mean that players might have the option of unlocking magical powers? Even if it is minimal

    1. Yes they can! I will probably go into them more in a future update, but player characters can get access to what, in other games, would be considered low level spells. Things like orbs of light, seeing ghosts, or force push.
      Of course, Horrors get much stronger magic. And if a player can find a Horror's spell book....?