Dread [Dread] Jenga beat up my dice! My results from the indie horror RPG. - Page 5




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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian
    Having loaded questions is part of the Questionnaire according to the game. And not everyone should have the same questions now will players know what each others questions are.
    Each of my questionnaires was totally different. The first thing I did was decide in what ways I needed to steer each character. For instance, let's take the middle-aged son. Here's each question I asked, and why I asked it.

    1. You are over 40. Why do you still live with your mother? A loaded question. I wanted to establish that other people might see him as a mama's boy, even if he doesn't see himself that way. Just asking this question says a ton about the character.

    2. What first triggered your interest in photography? The adventure has a cool payoff for someone taking and developing photographs. I wanted to open this possibility, as well as establish a hobby in the classic British eccentric mode. Like trainspotting, only different. It's up to the player how important this becomes.

    3. Have you ever experienced true love? The first non-loaded question. This fills out his romantic past, especially considering that he now lives with his mother.

    4. Why didnt you enlist during the Great War? Another non-loaded question. Maybe he's sickly, or a coward, but answering this defines personality. It also does something even more important -- it reminds the player that the game happens just after WW1, and that other PCs may be veterans who resent his non-enlisting.

    5. Whats your worst habit? It never hurts to list weaknesses that the GM can then prey on.

    6. Why do those people hate you? A totally random question. Is he racist? Classist? This establishes that at least one group of people doesn't like him for some reason.

    7. Do you like your relatives? This particular scenario is all about family relationships, so knowing whether he likes or hates his family is important. this makes the player consider this issue.

    8. How do you spend your days? character-defining fluff.

    9. Have you considered hospitalizing your mother? This relationship is an important one, since the mother is a PC. This establishes whether he's resentful of her or not.

    10. Do you believe in spirits? The game is a ghost story in part, and his mom believes in spirits. Does he share her interests?

    11. What scares you the most? Fodder for the GM.

    12. What are you looking forward to? Character-defining, once again.

    13. Is it worth having a go at Camille, your mothers French maid? Another Pc. This establishes Camille's existence, and possibly sets up some tension. It also suggests that the PC may have lust as a secret sin.
    So, about half and half on focused vs general questions.
    Last edited by Piratecat; Sunday, 29th April, 2007 at 05:34 PM.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now Kickstarting TimeWatch, a time travel game - please go check it out!

 

  • #42
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    It sounds great, but the Jenga tower thing kinda kills it dead for me. It is innovative and I appreciate what it did in your example (and the 'metaphor of the tower' from the rules exerpt).

    I might have to actually play it a few times to appreciate it, but I really, really suck at things like Jenga. I don't like having my own inadequacies translated into inadequacies for my character; it's one of the reasons I play RPGs. It would be kinda like 'OK, to succeed at this task, get up and run around the block in less than x amount of time'.

  • #43
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    So, I've been thinking about how the jenga tower could be translated to D&D or other systems... I think the key is to not tie it to a mechanic. Use it for what it's good for: Creating tension and as a "variable timer." For example: Can the heroes defeat the mooks and stop the villain before his nega-cannon is fully charged and destroys Washington DC? Everyone takes a pull on their initiative.

    Problem with this is it could easily take 20-30 or more pulls for the tower to fall, excepting accidental knocks of course. This can be mitigated by having some "seed" pulls at the beginning, like you do in Dread if you're playing with fewer than 4 people.

    Oh, and thanks for posting the questionnaire, PC. That's very illustrative.
    Last edited by Asmor; Sunday, 29th April, 2007 at 07:32 PM.
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  • #44
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    I think this sounds like an absolute blast!

    I'm going to play a game of it with my sons when the eldest returns from school in a few weeks. If it goes as well as I expect, I'll definitely buy the book.

    To the game designer: I foresee the biggest weakness being my lack of creativity in coming up with scenarios. I suggest selling a line of scenarios, just like the ones you have for free on your website. I would gladly pay $5 each for these in PDF.

  • #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vigwyn the Unruly
    I foresee the biggest weakness being my lack of creativity in coming up with scenarios. I suggest selling a line of scenarios, just like the ones you have for free on your website. I would gladly pay $5 each for these in PDF.
    Interesting. I'd say that plots are actually easier than D&D. Think about it; no stats are needed. All you need is some conflict between PCs, a setting, and a baddie.

    Example of the top of my head:

    PCs are Frank & Joe Hardy, Chet Morton, Nancy Drew, her friend Bess, and her boyfriend what's-his-name. In the questionnaires you set up some tension with the Hardys being jealous of Nancy (and vice versa), some jealousy of Nancy's boyfriend, and envy from the sidekicks. Then you say that there's a carnival in town, something has been stolen from the town museum, and a tiny smudge of white grease paint will lead the heroes to the carnival.

    After that it's totally open for you. Someone local could be pretending to be with the carnival, setting a false lead. But there's a psycho killer with the carnival who gets nervous about the kids snooping around, so he stalks them through the tents. Lots of possibilities there!

    Not needing stats plays to my strengths.
    - Piratecat, EN World Admin. Now Kickstarting TimeWatch, a time travel game - please go check it out!

  • #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by WayneLigon
    I might have to actually play it a few times to appreciate it, but I really, really suck at things like Jenga. I don't like having my own inadequacies translated into inadequacies for my character; it's one of the reasons I play RPGs. It would be kinda like 'OK, to succeed at this task, get up and run around the block in less than x amount of time'.
    I felt the same way, but then I had a brainwave... I don't have to play it, I can run it! So I may just be sold on this.
    Kaf's Creation Index

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  • #47
    I'm reading this thread with a great deal of interest, Piratecat. Thank you.

  • #48
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    Any chance these products will ever be available as PDFs?
    Still running a great game

  • #49
    Quote Originally Posted by greuh
    A problem I've still got with the system is the combat. AFA I've understood the system, players pull for attacks and then pull again for dodges. I think I've been mistaken, and I'm going to change this in pulling for both attack/dodge and more pulls if the PC need to dodge more than one attack. I don't know, I need to reread the book or to have some insight from Epidiah (if you still read this).
    I have some thoughts on combat written out over here, but the long and the short of it is, try not to think of combat in role-playing terms. When there is combat in a horror film it usually falls into one of four categories:

    1. The characters are fighting among themselves (which often puts them in great peril).
    2. The characters are being overrun by a mob of near mindless monsters, such as zombies or Aliens.
    3. The characters are being hunted by one terrifyingly exceptional being.
    4. Fighting that is not scary.

    The rules for case 1 are clearly spelled out in the book. Case 4 doesn't really belong in a Dread game. Unfortunately, I did not mention cases 2 and 3 in the book.

    For case 2 I would treat the monsters more like a force of nature than an army. The characters can certainly pull to shoot some zombie brains, and pull to avoid being eaten if they are in the midst of them. But it is doubtful that such actions are the goals of the players. Usually the combat is just to buy some time as they rush for safety, or try to retrieve some medical supplies from the pharmacy in the overrun mall. In this case, I would make the players pull to hit (which keeps them temporarily at bay) and pull for something defensive if the monsters are upon them. Also, I would give characters whose questionnaires indicated some appropriate training or experience (such as a military background) some sort of circumstantial edge--maybe they don't need to use as much ammo to hit something.

    In case 3 the characters are in combat as much as a deer is in combat during hunting season. The link I gave above is mostly about a case 3 situation. Basically, the nemesis should never spend enough time with the characters to engage in round-by-round combat. A swift, gruesome attack that may not kill a character, but will drag out enough pulls to at least convince the players that it might. And then the nemesis disappears into the darkness.

    Does that help?
    Proud father of the ENnie award winning Dread, founding member of the Imagination Sweatshop and now a publisher: Dig a Thousand Holes.

  • #50
    Quote Originally Posted by BryonD
    Any chance these products will ever be available as PDFs?
    That is in the works, but not in my hands, so I can't give you an accurate prediction on when it will be available. I'll look into it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vigwyn the Unruly
    To the game designer: I foresee the biggest weakness being my lack of creativity in coming up with scenarios. I suggest selling a line of scenarios, just like the ones you have for free on your website. I would gladly pay $5 each for these in PDF.
    At the moment I have another project in front of me, but that is definitely something to consider.
    Proud father of the ENnie award winning Dread, founding member of the Imagination Sweatshop and now a publisher: Dig a Thousand Holes.

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