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Friday, September 18, 2015

Jump Scares!

Love them or hate them, jump scares are a key component to any horror movie.

Jump scares are those moments when the music ramps up and something stupid suddenly happens, causing you to involuntarily spasm. They aren't really scary, but it's hard to stop your body from reacting. They appear in every horror movie, and I swear a cat is the most common cause of them. 

In Horrors, Jump Scares can happen one of two ways: organically ( often with the players unknowingly setting them up) or caused by the Horror itself.
Organic jump scares can be anything from something nearly falling on you, stumbling on a gruesome sight, or that stupid cat jumping in front of you.
However when a Horror causes a jump scare it weakens the fabric between realities and causes a minor haunting. This can cause almost anything to appear to happen, from faces appearing in mirrors, walls to start bleeding, or objects to suddenly fly at your head.

No matter the source, all Jump Scares come in three categories:
  • Messy - These are generally the gross jump scares. Vomit, blood, and body parts can all be involved. Defend with Vigor.
  • Dangerous - These jump scares have the illusion of causing physical pain, usually by objects flying directly at you. Defend with Reaction.
  • Frightening - Despite the name, these jump scares happen for the stupidest reasons, like someone suddenly touching your shoulder, or that damn cat again. Defend with Thinking.

When you fail a jump scare you will take Willpower damage, and when your willpower get's too low it starts affecting your dice pools. Ideally, the Horror wants you good and scared before it goes in for the attack, but using too many jump scares may affect it's ability to use it's other traits.

The key thing to remember is that a jump scare only appears threatening, they can't cause any actual damage. Unless, of course, the Horror has the Trap Maker trait. That trait lets Horrors' like Jigsaw or the Gremlins cause jump scares with a bit more bite to them. Or less bite, in Jigsaw's case. 

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