Dread [Dread] Jenga beat up my dice! My results from the indie horror RPG. - Page 45




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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat View Post
    "Okay, professor, you've found the reference book the dead man had been checking. You can make a pull to find the relevant section on necrotic flesh, or take two pulls to do it so quickly and knowledgeably that it's clear to everyone around that you must know your stuff."

    I guess the odd side effect for pulling for Difficult or Flashy reasons rather than Dangerous reasons, is if the tower does fall right then (I have seen early topples in Jenga where the puller feels really stupid).

    Drag racing or trying to lose a tail in a car has a pretty easy explanation, you crash the car and die. Anybody else in the car could be asked to pull to escape unharmed (thus priming the tower right after the rebuild).

    Reading a book, barring an Lovecraftian tome, not normally so dangerous. CP mentions dead man walking as one solution. I guess if no super obvious explanation is handy, the bad guy must've laid a trap or is hiding in the duct work to jump out and kill that person right then.

 

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janx View Post
    CP mentions dead man walking as one solution.
    In my experience it's the best solution. Way more fun than the alternative early on in a game. I never run a game that doesn't consider how to treat someone who knocks the tower over early. I prefer methods that make them an integral part of the plot, possibly as the villain's catspaw.

    For example, in a haunted house adventure, the Dead Man Walking player has accidentally broken through the spirit veil. They start seeing ghostly hallucinations that no one else can see, and start showing signs of a breakdown. At any time they may be possessed. At some point they may die and a ghost may possess their body -- but the PC continues to walk around with the other PCs. The dramatically appropriate point when you say "make a random pull," they do, and they notice their friend isn't breathing? Pure gold.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Wednesday, 24th August, 2011 at 04:32 PM.
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    One of the design goals of my 'Soul Riders' scenario was to explicitly accommodate the 'Dead Man Walking' option.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat View Post
    In my experience it's the best solution. Way more fun than the alternative early on in a game. I never run a game that doesn't consider how to treat someone who knocks the tower over early. I prefer methods that make them an integral part of the plot, possibly as the villain's catspaw.
    So to sum up:
    ask for a pull when the PC is doing something that they are not skilled at or is risky or hard

    if the tower falls early, or for a "non-dangerous" pull, use the Dead Man Walking to keep the PC in the game longer and to allow for a better use of their death.

    if the PC refuses to pull, they suffer a non-lethal failure with possible complication comensurate to the significance of the challenge. Refusing a pull to read the book simply means they don't get the answer from the book. Refusing to pull versus the zombies means they will likely be injured, but not killed, thus slowing them down, etc.

    for combat, a successful pull might be described as dodging an attack, escaping the attack or even a successful hit or kill, whatever seems appropriate to the situation.

    Does all that sound about right?

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    Janx, that sounds right on the money.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now writing TimeWatch, an investigative time travel game.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratecat View Post
    In my experience it's the best solution. Way more fun than the alternative early on in a game. I never run a game that doesn't consider how to treat someone who knocks the tower over early. I prefer methods that make them an integral part of the plot, possibly as the villain's catspaw.
    How awesome was the look on Elaine's face when you told her that her head came hurtling out of the darkness to roll into the torchlight on the beach during Separation Anxiety!? She'd been dead woman walking for at least 45 minutes by that point!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rel View Post
    How awesome was the look on Elaine's face when you told her that her head came hurtling out of the darkness to roll into the torchlight on the beach during Separation Anxiety!? She'd been dead woman walking for at least 45 minutes by that point!
    here's a curious point, doesn't the dean man walking know they are a dead man walking? They did know the tower over, and were allowed to continue anyway. Wouldn't the players all remember that and be waiting for the big reveal?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janx View Post
    here's a curious point, doesn't the dean man walking know they are a dead man walking? They did know the tower over, and were allowed to continue anyway. Wouldn't the players all remember that and be waiting for the big reveal?
    That was the beauty of the moment. She knew she was dead woman walking but her character was still in the game. She was interacting with the rest of the PC's and NPC's and generally enjoying what was an amazingly fun game. Then suddenly, horribly, she was decapitated. The look of shock on her face as she realized she was dead (even though she knew it was coming) was priceless. Actually the rest of the group was pretty flabbergasted as well.

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    I'm going to be running a game of Dread this weekend, and thought of this thread. Just wanted to get it back into the loop, to see if anyone has anymore Tales of Dread to share.
    "The only thing worth writing about is people." -Harlan Ellison

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    For all the many times I've played Dread, I finally ran my first session of it a couple of months ago. Rather than it being a one-shot, I ran it as a session of my ongoing Savage Worlds game when the party briefly ventured into the spirit realm. It worked extremely well as a way of changing the game when they radically changed setting. Because of this, there were some variations from standard Dread, but I'm very pleased with how it all worked.

    First, knocking over the tower did not result in death but rather the PC in question being ejected from the spirit realm. Since they were there to accomplish a very important mission this was still a serious consequence.

    Also there was no need for questionnaires since we already had a very good grasp on who the PCs were. Their capabilities, strengths and motivations were all very clear by that point of the campaign. But I did want to add in a further bit of mechanical differentiation so I borrowed a concept from Dread House: The Courage Pile.

    The Courage Pile starts as one block per player that is set to the side of the tower. Any time a player made a pull for an action in game that was "their main thing", I allowed them to optionally place the block they pulled on the Courage Pile instead of back on the tower. When I say "their main thing", I mean that I designated a particular kind of action that I felt exemplified that PCs role in the party. For one PC it was physical attacks, for another it was using magic and for a third it was diplomacy/persuasion.

    Then, as a way to combine this with Savage Worlds, I allowed players to spend a Bennie (sort of like Action Points/Hero Points) to, in lieu of making a regular pull, take a block from the Courage Pile and place it on the tower.

    What this effectively does is to split a pull into two "half-pulls", making things a bit easier on the players when they both play to their strengths and also use up a limited in-game resource. I liked the way it put additional choices into the hands of the players but I do note that part of the reason it probably worked well was that I only had three players. If I had had six players pulling blocks into the Courage Pile all the time then it might have gotten dicey because less blocks in the tower makes the game harder for the players. Of course then again that might ratchet up the tension fast too.

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