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Creepy...

Rechan

Adventurer
Stormonu, I'm really curious if you actually read that full description aloud, or how you presented that to your players. Going in such detail about a room, I would think some players might stop paying attention.
 

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Desdichado

Adventurer
A few things I've done or seen since posting in this thread originally:

Anthropomancy: In a lawless pirate city dedicated to an evil god, the PCs needed some clues on where to find evidence of a mounting army of undead. Locals recommended going to a diviner for help in finding stuff. The diviner was a little girl who lived on the edge of town. She was cute: blond pigtails, pink dress, cherubic smile... and solid black, "shark eyes." Also: turns out she'd been divining for this town for more than fifty years.

She told them that her divination method required a dying man's entrails; did they have anyone in their group they were willing to sacrifice? No... but one character snuck out at night, went to the slave market, bought the weediest, sickest, (and cheapest) little gnome or halfling he could find, and took him to the little girl. With her arms elbow deep in the gnome's innards as he croaked out his death rattle, she gave that character a number of actually quite useful tips.

This all happened between sessions. When it became obvious to the other players that what he had done... priceless.

The Eye Thief. I had a weird little fey creature that was invisible most of the time, but who could be seen in mirrors. He turned up one night while the PCs were sleeping in an inn... he had attacked a young NPC woman in her room and scooped out her eyes with a spoon. Of course; they couldn't see him, and couldn't figure out what had happened exactly, so they went uneasily back to bed. Then, it tried to attack one of the PCs in her room.

It actually was pretty easy to defeat, as it turned out, due to some really good luck, but they were pretty seriously creeped out by that little blighter.

To top it all off, one of the PCs made some kind of Knowledge roll, and figured that if the eyes were recovered from the little fey (who popped stolen eyes into his own sockets) and if a remove blindness spell were cast with the eyes back again, you'd actually have improved vision and the ability to see invisibility sometimes. One character volunteered to take the poor young woman out to get healed. When he comes back, his formerly brown eyes are now green...

Accidentally sold your soul. After defeating a few really creepy demon-dogs (no Thundarr jokes, please) who had a breath weapon of... yep, you guessed it... maggots, the bodies melted and coalesced into a demonic princess. She was trying to assume a humanoid form, but it had been so long since she'd seen one that she didn't quite get it right. Too many eyes... too many breasts... her... nether regions had long needle-like teeth and a long, barbed, slurping tongue that hung to her knees. She took one look at the female PCs and adjusted her form, becoming the most painfully beautiful woman imaginable. Then she healed the party for them, including the womanizing swashbuckler who was in negative hit points and thus had missed her introduction. He immediately leapt into action, promising to be at her service. She accepted their offer to become her emmissaries and disappeared.

I guess that's really more great roleplaying than creepiness, but the aghast looks and "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?!" dialogue was truly priceless. :)
 

Spareknikov

First Post
Skeleton behind the stone.

My brother ran an adventure once that he was always proud of. There was a locked door in a dungeon with a little girl's voice behind it begging for help. It was very well barricaded, and the PC's had trouble getting in. The little girl's voice eventually turned into a demon screaming "RELEASE MEEEEE!" It helped that the sound fx he used were from real people. He said his players were terrified as they were taken completely off guard.

It's funny you should say that, Nebulous, because I've done something similar as a DM.

The adventurers I was playing with in our last dungeon were venturing down a long, twisting corridor to find it was a dead end. The Dwarf player noticed the unusual brickwork of the wall there. It was as if someone had bricked up the rest of the corridor for some reason, and had left one brick out at about the height where an average human's face would be. One of the characters reluctantly put their hand in the hole (after an argument and rock scissors paper!).

I described the feeling to him of something toothed, like a saw and he correctly worked out that it was teeth. When he worked this out, something brushed his hand and I told him it felt like anothers hand and he quickly pulled his hand out.

All the characters at this point could hear a young lady (no more than 14) weakly ask 'help me?' At this point all the characters rushed to open up the corridor again and free her, only to find a lever and long dead skeleton with another tiny skeleton cradled in the skeletons abdomen remains.

There was no other clue and the adventurers were creeped out enough to tell me to go and see a doctor.

Great thread guys! Keep them coming, I love the ideas!
 

malcolypse

First Post
wow

this thread has kept me entertained for hours now.

you are all evil.

hobo. you are the most prolifically cruel, twisted, and ingenious monstrosity to walk the internet, and i supplicate myself before your terrible creativity with equal parts fervor and trepidation.
 


malcolypse

First Post
indeed.

also, i meant to post this up earlier, but was distracted by shiny baubles.

in a science fiction setting i intend to run someday: i plan to steal a bit of tech from william gibson. it's essentially an off switch for your consciousness. you take a little nap, and the programed personality takes over for a specific amount of time.

after many adventures, they would run into their employer's resident doctor out on the town, who will have doubtlessly patched them up many times, maybe gone on a date with a pc, and be well liked by all. except she wouldn't recognize them.

when they start explaining that they know her and how, she would explain to them that she always wanted to be a doctor, but couldn't stand the sight of blood, so they must be thinking of someone else. knowing my players, they will prove they know her by revealing intimate details about her life, likes, and dislikes, which will creep her out to the point that she refuses to talk to them any more.

come the next session, another of their bosses employees will flip out at the office and go missing. after they track him down, he will (now drunkenly) tell them that he just came too in a building filled with strangers who knew his name and kept acting like they new him until he managed to get out of there and made his way to the bar they found him in.

a few sessions after that, they are talking to the boss when someone bursts into his office and starts shooting up the place, screaming "what have you done to my mind, you butcher?" the boss is injured before they can take out the attacker, and is rushed to the hospital wing of his builing.

they get the call that he's awake and asking to talk to his rescuers a few hours later. when they arrive, he asks if they're the ones who saved his life. when they confirm it, he thanks them and introduces himself.

as some point later, one of the characters will have some traumatic event set off some kind of repressed memory of someone saying to them that after today, the nightmares will to away. (my fiance has terrible nightmares with fair regularity, so i'll probably target her with this one so that she'll be likely to think that maybe this was something beneficial that her character volunteered for, and may not tell the other players about it for a while.)

don't know what the ultimate payoff of this will be, it's still just an idea that pops in occasionally to say hi and ask when i'm running a science fiction game at this point. i just know the goal, and that's to make the pcs crazy trying to decide what's going on.
 

Sirarbee

First Post
Resurrecting hor Halloween 2010!

The thread that never dies....

A few years ago, I merged a couple of stories I found off the internet for an adventure. Basically, the party was at camp in the woods on a dark and stormy night. During a lightning flash, they see a tiny rag doll standing at the edge of their camp, staring at them with litttle dead black eyes. As they approached it, it turned and walked slowly further into the woods, turning to see if the party was following.

The party eventually came upon an old abandoned manor house, complete with evil treant guards they had to defeat as the storm raged. They then saw the doll walk into the house and followed it. I can't recall what all was inside the home, except that there was a possesed painting that had to be destroyed. I believe there were ghosts in the house of the family that had lived there that were murdered somehow by the painting's influence. Once the painting was exorcised, it exploded, taking out half the house. Finally, the party saw the doll, singed and tattered, go into a ruined bedroom, lay down on an old bed next to the remains of a long-dead, small female child, and go forever still.

They were veerrrryyy creeped out by the tiny, silent rag doll.

edit: If anyone recalls either the doll or the painting storyline and can provide a link to the originals, it's be much appreciated. I believe one or the other had one some online contest, but cannot find them (this was going on 8+ years ago tho.)
 
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TheAuldGrump

First Post
The village is silent, not even birds sing in the trees. A white X has been crudely painted on the the marker at the road.

Within all the people, men, women, and children, have been turned to stone, dust gathering on their limbs. Some few have their books of common prayer open upon their laps, the page turned to prayers against diseases and against that which walks in darkness. An old woman faces a mirror, her stony hair combed and brushed, a faint smile on her lips, yet the brush and comb are on a table by the door, well away from the grasp of her hand. A mother cradles her infant, both now cold stone.

And each petrified villager bears the buboes and lesions of plague....

This one was fun in play - the petrification of the town was a redemptive act of sorts by a lich not far away. Too paranoid to leave his phylactery unguarded, but unwilling to let the people of 'his' town die the lich had no access to magics that would remove the disease, but he could turn them to stone until a cleric arrives in town.

The plague itself is magical - treat Remove Disease as Dispel Magic against a spell of Caster Level 18....

The Auld Grump
 

Jon_Dahl

First Post
Once my DM had an adventure where we had to free some slaves. We defeated the baddies and then he started to describe the slave pen's inhabitants:
"There are lot of women there, some of them are underage girls..."
At this point he drooled on his shirt. It was considerable amount of saliva right there.

He's about thirty and weights more than 150 kg.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
Once my DM had an adventure where we had to free some slaves. We defeated the baddies and then he started to describe the slave pen's inhabitants:
"There are lot of women there, some of them are underage girls..."
At this point he drooled on his shirt. It was considerable amount of saliva right there.

He's about thirty and weights more than 150 kg.
Creepy players is a different thread. This thread is for scary/ creepy scenarios, not things that make you throw up in your mouth.

The Auld Grump
 

tombshroud

Explorer
I can't complete with the last couple of posts but...

...creepy players aside...

Hopefully this will be a litte palate cleanser:

I recently had the pleasure of honeymooning in Vegas and visiting the marina at The Mandalay Bay with the Octopus and jellyfish displays. Watching these creatures that so many "monsters" have been based off of really gave me a sense of how these creatures move - slowly, languidly, dreamlike until a single strike then nothing but swirling debris and remnants of whatever was there. Octopi is the slow, languid, creeper only striking when all conditions are in it's favor. The jellyfish is the uncaring, drifting, unthinking danger drifting along with no set course. (ghost jelly fish anyone?)

Just something about the slow, languid way these creatures moved and their utterly alien appearance can put off almost any player.

I'm definitely planning a future trip to a large abandoned museum of sea life, possibly with a few ghosts/ghouls/various undead sea version present.
 

TheAuldGrump

First Post
...creepy players aside...

Hopefully this will be a litte palate cleanser:

I recently had the pleasure of honeymooning in Vegas and visiting the marina at The Mandalay Bay with the Octopus and jellyfish displays. Watching these creatures that so many "monsters" have been based off of really gave me a sense of how these creatures move - slowly, languidly, dreamlike until a single strike then nothing but swirling debris and remnants of whatever was there. Octopi is the slow, languid, creeper only striking when all conditions are in it's favor. The jellyfish is the uncaring, drifting, unthinking danger drifting along with no set course. (ghost jelly fish anyone?)

Just something about the slow, languid way these creatures moved and their utterly alien appearance can put off almost any player.

I'm definitely planning a future trip to a large abandoned museum of sea life, possibly with a few ghosts/ghouls/various undead sea version present.
One thing that I have discovered is that actually meeting octopi kind of killed the 'creepy' factor for me.

Friendlier than you might expect, the small ones very shy, the larger ones not above hitching a ride on a passing scuba diver.... Enormous Grapple bonus, but no damage, just hangin' on for the ride....

Also creepy, has anyone ever read the short story Deadmen on Parade? A deep sea diver opens the hatch on a ship full of deadmen, and their bodies begin drifting towards him, carried by a current through the open hatch.... Add some luminescence and you can have a ghostly parade with no ghosts....

The Auld Grump
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Friendlier than you might expect, the small ones very shy, the larger ones not above hitching a ride on a passing scuba diver.... Enormous Grapple bonus, but no damage, just hangin' on for the ride....

OTOH, I know of a young female (and smallish) aquarium intern who got too close to a quarantine tank and the octopus inside nearly dragged her in...
 

Memnoch3434

First Post
Man O man now this is some necromancy here. I am truly sorry but I just read through all these forums and I had to share my favorite horror moments.

My first CoC game took place in 1920's Detroit. In that game I was a cop and I ended up at the police station alone. Out of the corner of my eye an 8 year old girl stabs me in the gut with a hook knife. I pulled my gun and blew her head off (without even thinking for a second). Suddenly little Tina's mommy comes around the corner.

Mom: "OH TINA!" *glares at me, holding her daughter's lifeless body* "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!?"
ME: *looking for hook knife that is nowhere to be seen* "She came at me with uh...." *begins explaining the story so far*
Mom: *not paying attention still holding the lifeless daughters body in shock, and her even younger son enters the room*

we go to another group and my DM asked me what i was going to do. I told him i had no idea what to do now. Just then little billy pulls out his hook knife and sticks me in the leg. The mom disappears and now its just me, the first girls corpse and the little boy. I blew his head off too. The cop that finds me (another PC) and i run for the hospitial after we hear more laughter from down the hallway.

Of course at the hospitial we got attacked by some slug creatures in our beds after surgery. Of course I did the only logical thing finding a hook knife as the only weapon around, I beat my slugs to death with a bedpan.

Since My DM was a nurse he always talked about getting me a +3 bedpan of bravery (a bedpan with the words +3 bedpan of bravery engraved on it). Still hasn't tho.

I am sorry for the shameless necromancy but this was the coolest thread I have seen in a while
 
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RobShanti

Explorer
For my FATE of the Rings game (set in Tolkien's 2nd Age), I have lately been using TSR's old "Keep on the Borderlands" module, with the kingdom of Carn Dum (what Angmar was called before it was Angmar) and the Witch-King (still a Man at this point) in place of the eponymous keep and its Castellan. I've been waiting for my players to figure it out...they haven't yet.

Anyway, they recently visited the Caves of Chaos (I called them the Caverns of Darkness...a thin veil, but the players still didn't figure it out) and they fought the goblins and hobgoblins, etc. Anyway, the floor of one goblin lair collapsed, and the party fell into the depths of Angband, or at least what's left of the easternmost tunnels that didn't fall into the sea when Beleriand sank.

And just like in Caves of Chaos, the big bad in Angband (for now) is an evil priest and his three acolytes, rendered in my game as an Easterling necromancer who gets his powers from worshiping Sauron. His three acolytes are his three sons.

The PCs got embroiled in the conflict among the Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins and other denizens of the caverns of Angband (as in the Keep on the Borderlands module), and eventually subdued the big dog, the Orc king Boldog. But he was treacherous...they asked him where they could get some water, and he led them to a pool in which lived a Watcher in the Water that dragged them down a submerged tunnel into a vast underground saltwater sea (an extension of the Belegaer). They managed to slay the Watcher, but almost drowned.

That's when the game became more influenced by the short story "Necromancy in Naat" by Clark Ashton Smith. This is where it got "really creepy" as the players described it. One of the PCs, an Elf who was drowning, got rescued by her son...who had died a thousand years ago in the fall of Gondolin. He was a wight, and he dragged her to shore and led them into a dark castle in which resided many wights, ghosts and, finally, the necromancer and his three sons.

The necromancer invited them to dine, and the PCs sat around the table with the necromancer and his three sons, served by wights. One of the sons was a mummy who just sat there, almost immobile. He just turned his head every once in a while, but otherwise, never spoke or did anything.

The necromancer's wight servants escorted a savage cannibal to the table, and he sat and dined and drank with everyone...until the necromancer summoned a 4' long black mink that came out of a hole in the floor and killed the cannibal and drank his blood. The necromancer seemed to be in a state of euphoria as the mink did this. (The mink is the necromancer's familiar, so he was essentially vicariously feeding on the cannibal's blood.)

The PCs were treated as guests, but I kept describing the dark castle and the dark shore it was on as being really oppressively silent and isolated. Since they were underground, there were no stars, and the air was fetid and steaming. They languished there as guests for days, with the necromancers cloistered away doing their respective studies. The PCs felt like they were prisoners there even though they were permitted to freely roam. There was just nowhere for them to go.

I think what they found particularly creepy was the constant description of the castle and shoreline, and my impersonation of the mummy son.
 

A single use of those spider monsters from Ravenloft that looked like human heads. Think the severed head "thing" in Carpenter's The Thing. The Ravenloft take on them was just larger spiders that decapitated people, inserted themselves into the neck, transformed their abdomens to look like the severed head and then animated the body. At the most disturbing moment possible the spider with drew its body from the corpse and attacks other people, while its abdomen still looked like a head.

Good times, good times...
 

RobShanti

Explorer
WHEW. Read through this entire thread. And aside from anything involving children, here is what I found interesting in the thread, for those who don't want to spend the time reading it from beginning to end:

HOW TO BE CREEPY:

Inversion: take something that is otherwise cute and associated with purity, and turn it on its head.

Mystification of the Mundane: take a commonplace event or item, and attach a strange event to it to make players search for meaning (e.g.: the party finds an old maypole, streaked with corrosion. As they approach it, the sky grows darker and the wind catches in the tattered banners.)

Reversion: erode feelings of control by undoing what the players have done (e.g.: the party has found an old dagger on an altar, and pick it up. The next time they look back at the altar, the dagger is still there, the altar undisturbed).

Progression: build a sense of foreboding (e.g.: an old, faded tapestry hangs on a wall. In the torchlight, it appears normal, but when viewed from shadowy illumination, faint traces of silver can be seen. By dimming the lights, the players can see these silver lines growing brighter and sharper. The process is reversed once light is applied, but starts up again when darkness falls. If they watch it in the darkness, the lines shift and flow, forming an archway - and a figure seems to loom within, head bowed in shadow. The figure slowly looks up).

Communication: cryptic messages, especially connected with the unknown (e.g.: a locked door in the back wall of an old, abandoned cellar is made of warped wood, and covered with flaking paint. As the party works to open it, the pain slowly flakes away, revealing a scrawled word: "No". Will the party still try to open the door?)

Omni-sensory Perception: Use all the senses, half heard voices, fleeting images, the smell of flowers wafting, the smell of deep earth and rain on stone. A wall slick with fat. Use their associations, and turn those associations around.


Some very creepy elements to add into your games:
(or "The Random Creep Table")

1. spewing, wriggling maggots (or giant, hairy maggots, the size of small ponies, indifferent to the PCs)
2. strange, ubiquitous buzzing of flies
3. strange-looking bag with splotches on it, the skin of human-being with all the stuffing sucked out except for desiccated bones & organs
4. glimpse in the mirror of a grayish humanoid form leaning over PCs even though nobody could see it, and caressing the back of one PC's neck with a tentacle. It disappears from the mirror as soon as PC raises the alarm
5. invisible, intangible webs, which were moving very gently in a non-existent breeze
6. victims turned into wights while still alive (still had a soul and still aware of what's going on)
7. a vaguely humanoid mannequin made of stitched together flayed human faces and filled to stuffing with maggots; if hit with a slashing attack, it spews maggots on PCs from the wound, which burrow into their flesh; it can also grapple one target and vomit maggots in this face and eating him alive
8. tower bell starts ringing, causing the PCs' vision to blur and sense of hearing to distort; they eventually black out for a moment from the vertigo and see everyone around them as corpses
9. vision/dream of an "operation" on a homeless beggar in which his torso was cut open; a live, mangy, squirming rat was placed inside and sewn up with ragged leather stitches. Later, swarms of rats erupt from the pipes all around them
10. a black longsword with leering daemonic faces on it that seem to shift and mouth obscenities out of the corner of the PCs eyes (anyone who picks it up hears those obscenities in his mind as blasphemous voices that attack Resolve at +3 every round he holds the sword, and feels the sword biting his hands, slicking them with blood
11. touch an evil altar & receive visions of death, oblivion, and writhing tentacles, but the PC kinda likes it and feels that he might want to touch the altar again
12. dozens of chains hanging from the ceiling and softly swaying and chiming in the breeze, moonlight coming in through the broken windows, dark stains on the floor beneath the chains, an eerie silence except for the clinking
13. crates of black bone, pulsating with scarabs picking them clean
14. harvesting mushrooms that bleed
15. occasional sounds of voices, footfalls, drafts, feeling like someone watching you, and light tugs on clothing that no discernible thing had caused
16. worm spies
17. human-faced grubs
18. the ceiling writhes: bats! (or fledgling vampires?)
19. disembodied heart on an operating table...it starts to beat!
20. paintings that look like black swirls that bulge like something is trying to break out
21. phantom hands reach out and touch the PCs at random intervals as they walk down a hall
22. every time PCs encounter a dead body, a small black beetle appears out of the corner of the eye and scurries away in a few seconds, so they can't catch it (then have it appear when they go to a place of safety)
23. fog that seems to make "shapes" that only one PC sees before it disappears
24. A fleshy bottle, somewhat hairy, and no stopper – the neck is held shut with a sphincter and by stroking the bottom of the bottle gently, the sphincter opens
25. decapitated head sprouts legs and walks away
26. shadows not in synch with the movements of their caster
27. any torch, flame, candle, fire's shadows always showed to be blowing away from a character no matter which way the wind was blowing (if any)
28. Those who use Detect Evil pick the target up as 'flickering' evil and not evil, if they make a rather high Listen (or Notice, depending on the game) they will realize that the flicker is in time with their own heart beats.... Those with Detect Good would notice the exact same thing
29. a mirror that shows what the viewer will look like at the time of death (e.g.: "your reflection looks much like your normal reflection... only you're missing your eyes and your hair is slightly longer")
30. a tiny, animated rag doll stands staring at you with little dead black eyes (the PCs follow it into a ruined bedroom, where it lays down on an old bed next to the remains of a long-dead child, and go forever still
31. a town full of petrified (literally) people, or a town so recently deserted that cups of coffee are still steaming
32. anything with an alien look that moves slowly and languidly, an uncaring, drifting, unthinking danger drifting along with no set course (think ghost jellyfish)
 
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RobShanti

Explorer
WOW! This thread really works! I ran a FATE game set in Tolkien's Second Age, where the PCs found themselves in the halls of a necromancer in the remains of Angband. I used as many of these suggestions as possible, and they said (their words), that "This was the creepiest session you've ever run." NICE.

The elements I used are boldfaced below:

1. spewing, wriggling maggots (or giant, hairy maggots, the size of small ponies, indifferent to the PCs)
2. strange, ubiquitous buzzing of flies
3. strange-looking bag with splotches on it, the skin of human-being with all the stuffing sucked out except for desiccated bones & organs
4. glimpse in the mirror of a grayish humanoid form leaning over PCs even though nobody could see it, and caressing the back of one PC's neck with a tentacle. It disappears from the mirror as soon as PC raises the alarm
5. invisible, intangible webs, which were moving very gently in a non-existent breeze
6. victims turned into wights while still alive (still had a soul and still aware of what's going on)
7. a vaguely humanoid mannequin made of stitched together flayed human faces and filled to stuffing with maggots; if hit with a slashing attack, it spews maggots on PCs from the wound, which burrow into their flesh; it can also grapple one target and vomit maggots in this face and eating him alive
8. tower bell starts ringing, causing the PCs' vision to blur and sense of hearing to distort; they eventually black out for a moment from the vertigo and see everyone around them as corpses
9. vision/dream of an "operation" on a homeless beggar in which his torso was cut open; a live, mangy, squirming rat was placed inside and sewn up with ragged leather stitches. Later, swarms of rats erupt from the pipes all around them
10. a black longsword with leering daemonic faces on it that seem to shift and mouth obscenities out of the corner of the PCs eyes (anyone who picks it up hears those obscenities in his mind as blasphemous voices that attack Resolve at +3 every round he holds the sword, and feels the sword biting his hands, slicking them with blood
11. touch an evil altar & receive visions of death, oblivion, and writhing tentacles, but the PC kinda likes it and feels that he might want to touch the altar again
12. dozens of chains hanging from the ceiling and softly swaying and chiming in the breeze, moonlight coming in through the broken windows, dark stains on the floor beneath the chains, an eerie silence except for the clinking
13. crates of black bone, pulsating with scarabs picking them clean
14. harvesting mushrooms that bleed
15. occasional sounds of voices, footfalls, drafts, feeling like someone watching you, and light tugs on clothing that no discernible thing had caused
16. worm spies
17. human-faced grubs
18. the ceiling writhes: bats! (or fledgling vampires?)
19. disembodied heart on an operating table...it starts to beat!
20. paintings that look like black swirls that bulge like something is trying to break out
21. phantom hands reach out and touch the PCs at random intervals as they walk down a hall
22. every time PCs encounter a dead body, a small black beetle appears out of the corner of the eye and scurries away in a few seconds, so they can't catch it (then have it appear when they go to a place of safety)
23. fog that seems to make "shapes" that only one PC sees before it disappears
24. A fleshy bottle, somewhat hairy, and no stopper – the neck is held shut with a sphincter and by stroking the bottom of the bottle gently, the sphincter opens
25. decapitated head sprouts legs and walks away
26. shadows not in synch with the movements of their caster...
 


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