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


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scholar

First Post
Epidiah Ravachol said:
Okay, that's cool. Let me ask you this: is there a mechanic for betraying that trust?

Without a betrayal mechanic, a simple way to do this would look like this:
  1. For high tension situations in which an acting character has to rely on other character(s)--much like your lockpick with the lookout situation--inject an extra pull for what the acting character is relying on the other character(s) for. In the lockpick/lookout example, the lockpicker would have to pull twice: once to pick the lock and once keep a weathered eye out for dangers.
  2. If at least one of the other players says that the acting player can trust him or her, then they don't have to make that extra pull. But...
  3. If the tower falls, the trusted character shares the acting character's fate.

How does that sound? I know it doesn't exactly model what you're describing, but I think it would be fun. If you wanted to include a betrayal element, you could add the following between steps 2 and 3:
  • The acting player can decide whether their character wants to actually trust the character that offered the trust.
  • After the acting player has pulled but before the block is placed on top of the tower, the trusted character's player can call for a betrayal. In the fiction this doesn't have to be a big thing. In the lockpick example, it could be something as simple as the lockpicker finishing with the lock and turning to find the trusted character is not actually paying attention--perhaps he was picking his teeth, or tying his shoe, or cleaning his gun.
  • If betrayed, the acting player must give the block to the betraying player, who can now use it in the place of a future pull--just by placing it on top of the tower when they need to make a pull.
  • The betrayed player must now make the extra pull as if no one had offered their trust. There is no more trust so if the tower falls, the acting character is alone in his or her fate.
That should start some intraparty conflict.
actually, this is a great work for it... I think this might be the mod I go with when I run the cold city game
 

Hypersmurf

Moderatarrrrh...
Epidiah Ravachol said:
If betrayed, the acting player must give the block to the betraying player, who can now use it in the place of a future pull--just by placing it on top of the tower when they need to make a pull.
Oooo-ooh.

Sweet.

-Hyp.
 

Asmor

First Post
Maybe I'm missing something, but what incentive is there to accept the trust? At best, you won't get screwed over and gain no benefit. At worst, you end up having to make two pulls.
 

Epidiah Ravachol

First Post
Asmor said:
Maybe I'm missing something, but what incentive is there to accept the trust? At best, you won't get screwed over and gain no benefit. At worst, you end up having to make two pulls.
This is for situations in which you would normally have to pull at least twice. In the lockpick scenario, the character picking the lock would have two pulls on the table. One for getting the lock open and on for getting it down unseen (let's say). Then another player steps in and says, "Trust me to keep watch for you, so you don't get caught."

Normally in Dread that would me the lockpicker would pull once for picking the lock and the other player would pull once to make sure they aren't discovered. And this might be all you need for your game. In fact, I think that works perfectly fine for the majority of the games. But if you want to focus your game on trust, you can introduce the trust mechanic. Now there is only one pull that needs to be made (because the bond of trust eliminates one of the pulls). That's the bonus: one less pull that needs to be made. At this stage, the only person risking anything is the person offering the trust. Because if that tower falls, they go out with lockpicker.

Those Trust mechanics can be used in games without the Betrayal mechanics, but if you want to also include the Betrayal mechanics, then it definitely gets harder to trust people. Although the betrayal isn't all that bad really. It comes down to one person saying "I'll help you get it done with one less pull." Followed by a, "Psych! I was just kidding. You have to make that pull after all." In the end, the sum total is the same . . .

That makes me think, perhaps I should refine that a bit more. Maybe if someone decides to use the betrayal option, you have to make that pull plus one more to compensate for being betrayed. Hmm . . .

Also, I put this link in the edit, but it might have been missed. I reworded the mechanics a bit and put them on the Dread blog. That might make things a little clearer.
 

Asmor

First Post
In that case, betrayal doesn't cost anything. Heck, being betrayed helps not just the betrayer, but the betrayee. Example:

Adam needs to make 2 pulls. There are 4 chances for Adam to twitch and knock over the tower.
He pulls a block (1)
puts it on top (2)
pulls a second block (3)
puts it on top (4)

Adam trusts Bill to watch over him. Bill betrays Adam.

Adam needs to make 2 pulls. There are 3 chances for Adam to twitch and knock over the tower.
He pulls a block (1)
Gives it to Bill
Pulls a second block (2)
Puts it on top (3)

So now Adam's got one less chance to screw up and Bill has a "free" pull.

I think I'd make it so that if Bill betrays Adam, whatever Adam was trusting Bill to do is treated as if Adam had elected not to pull a block. In the lock-picking case, someone would find him picking the lock, for example.
 

Epidiah Ravachol

First Post
Asmor said:
I think I'd make it so that if Bill betrays Adam, whatever Adam was trusting Bill to do is treated as if Adam had elected not to pull a block. In the lock-picking case, someone would find him picking the lock, for example.
Beautiful!

That's just perfect. I'm going to officially add that to the blog.
 

snarfoogle

First Post
Alright, I apologize if this is in the rulebook, as I haven't purchased it, but how do you guys handle insanity? The rules as written would suggest each character pulling upon seeing a horrific sight, but 5 players all pulling, one after another would topple the tower in no time flat, resulting in something perhaps too brutal even for the Cthulhu mythos. But maybe it doesn't work that way. Has anyone using this approach noticed sanity bending events to be so few and/or late in the session to matter overly?

Group pulls make sense, but what happens if the tower falls? Everyone goes insane? That doesn't work either...
 

Epidiah Ravachol

First Post
snarfoogle said:
Alright, I apologize if this is in the rulebook, as I haven't purchased it, but how do you guys handle insanity? The rules as written would suggest each character pulling upon seeing a horrific sight, but 5 players all pulling, one after another would topple the tower in no time flat, resulting in something perhaps too brutal even for the Cthulhu mythos. But maybe it doesn't work that way. Has anyone using this approach noticed sanity bending events to be so few and/or late in the session to matter overly?
By way of example let's say you have five characters reading over each other's shoulders trying to study that most unspeakable of Lovecraftian tomes all at once. They reach the end and each of them lays eyes on that which man was never meant to know. And let's say that you, as the host, want to make this a moment to remember. How, then, would Dread help you do this?

Well, you don't have to wait for the tower to fall to inflict madness upon a character. You could tell the players that they're pulling to avoid running away from the text, screaming. Or they could be pulling to avoid being permanently stricken with acute pupaphobia. Or they may have to pull for the courage to gaze upon that final maddening leaf.

Or, if you want to be a real bastard, you could tell them to make all three pulls.

The way Dread works, it then becomes their choice which of those pulls they want to make and which they are willing to suffer the consequences of. If, during this flurry of pulls, the tower should fall, then the character of the player responsible will most likely be driven to lasting and raving madness. I'd suggest some sort of madness that puts the rest of the readers immediately at risk.


Group pulls make sense, but what happens if the tower falls? Everyone goes insane? That doesn't work either...
In Dread you wouldn't have a group of people pull simultaneously. If, like in the situation above, you would have more than one player pulling, they should always take turns.

Does that address your concerns?
 
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Seonaid

Explorer
Rodrigo Istalindir said:
And I've pulled people away from the table in similar circumstances to clue them in before hand and give them the chance to shaft the other guy without the him knowing.
That's because you're a RBDM. :win:
 
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Cassander

First Post
I ran my first Dread con game at GenCon this year and I think it went pretty well. The game featured the players as the Village People staying overnight at a YMCA for a promotional tour, with campy hijinks ensuing. The tone was much sillier than a standard Dread game, but the tower seemed to work well for the tone and the questionnaires definitely helped.

I definitely saw some things I could do better if I run this again but the parts that needed to work did, so I was happy with that.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Epidiah Ravachol, which was very cool.
 
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egarvue

First Post
Glad this thread got bumped up to the top, I would have never heard about this great-sounding game. I'll throw in my two cents call for a PDF version.

I know that there are several people in my regular game group who would love a tension-filled story game like this one. As I read this thread, I was mulling over story and plot ideas, and how I could come up with interesting characters. I was doing a bit of multi-tasking too, punching out my new copy of Kingsport Horror, the Arkham Horror boardgame expansion here in front of the computer when it hit me: I've got all the tools right here to whip up a plot.

A variety of archtypical characters (8 in this box, lots of others in the original game and other expansions), a whole slew of locations to choose from on the map, heck, loads of monsters to choose from, Ally cards to use as NPC's, and on and on. Of course its set in the Cthulhu mythos, but there's nothing stopping me from making it more mundane horror if I want to.

I love the idea of Dread as a party game for my group, but I know I'm not the most creative person when it comes to horror plots. Using something like Arkham Horror to help generate a plot seemed like a good idea. I'm thinking of pre-generating the questionnaires to fit the plot, but letting them randomly drawing a character card and have the players do their best to answer the questions in light of the character they drew.

Just for fun, I'm going to try it out while I'm sitting here now.
  • Location: Mysterious old Kingsport, Maine (the mapboard in front of me)
  • Sub Locations: The South Shore neighborhood (drew a red card, indicating three sub-locations: The Hall School, the Artists Colony, and Neil's Curiosity Shop)
  • Monster: Leng Spiders (random draw from the monster chits)
  • Enemy NPC's: Dr. Herbert West (a familiar name to horror fans, randomly drawn from the Ally deck)
  • Friendly NPC's: Professor Morgan, Asenath Waite, The Terrible Old Man (also drawn from the deck).
  • How did this happen?: A "Crystal of the Elder Things" (draw from the magic items deck)

Ok, it may not be blockbuster material, but its not a bad start for something randomly generated. Strange deadly spiders from another dimension brought here by an evil doctor using an eldritch crystal; the players must stop them before they overrun the neighborhood. All the bare bones of a plot are there, and I can already envision some of the character questions.

Off to by a copy of Jenga tomorrow...
 

paradox42

First Post
I ran my first Dread con game at GenCon this year and I think it went pretty well. The game featured the players as the Village People staying overnight at a YMCA for a promotional tour, with campy hijinks ensuing. The tone was much sillier than a standard Dread game, but the tower seemed to work well for the tone and the questionnaires definitely helped.

I definitely saw some things I could do better if I run this again but the parts that needed to work did, so I was happy with that.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Epidiah Ravachol, which was very cool.
I was in the Village People game, and it was my first experience with Dread.

Suffice it to say that I plan to get a copy of the book, and a Jenga tower, as soon as funds permit (most likely next month). I can see now why there are so many raves about this game, it really does work to an astounding degree. Just about anything can happen, depending on how the players answer their questions and what the GM feels like allowing. And of course, what happens with the pulls from the tower during play...
 

Festivus

First Post
I gave in and just ordered a paper copy of Dread. Damn you all for reminding me how cool this game really is.
 


I can't tell you how cool it was to finally meet all the ENworld people I met at GenCon. And to be a creepy little ninja spying on the late night Dread games on the third floor of the Hyatt.
I stopped by the booth to say 'howdy' and 'thanks' but I missed you. So, uh, 'Howdy!, and 'Thanks!'. Glad you got to see a bunch of us loving the hell out of your game.

And while working the ENnies booth Sunday, I got an awesome idea for my next Dread game.:cool:
 

Epidiah Ravachol

First Post
I stopped by the booth to say 'howdy' and 'thanks' but I missed you. So, uh, 'Howdy!, and 'Thanks!'. Glad you got to see a bunch of us loving the hell out of your game.

And while working the ENnies booth Sunday, I got an awesome idea for my next Dread game.:cool:
For some reason I feel like I had met you, but I think that's because your name came up a few times. I swear some of these ENworlder Dread scenarios are more well known than the game itself.
 

Drammattex

First Post
I gave up playing RPGs at cons long ago. However, DREAD was the single most fun experience of this year's Gen Con for me. From what I understand, our game didn't go near as well as the others did, and the GMs apologized for it.

No apology necessary -- it was a blast, and reminded me what is great and fun in RPGs.
 

Mistwell

Legend
Piratecat mentioned this game during our Mutants and Masterminds game, and I am happy this thread was bumped so I could read more about it.

Damn, now I have to go buy this, and convince some people to play. I should have just bought it at the con!
 

Cassander

First Post
For some reason I feel like I had met you, but I think that's because your name came up a few times. I swear some of these ENworlder Dread scenarios are more well known than the game itself.
I know I mentioned Rodrigo when talking to you cause he's the one who first ran Dread for me and got me into the game. That's the Morro Castle (sinking ship) game that he's run a few times at ENWorld gamedays. Sorry you didn't get to meet him, cause he runs a good game of Dread and I think, along with Piratecat, has helped introduce a lot of people to the game.
 

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