log in or register to remove this ad

 

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

Any time someone bumps it it gets some traffic. Epi used to joke that he could tell when someone bumped it because he'd get a couple new sales of Dread.

But lots of folks (including Piratecat) are busy at GenCon right now.

What are your ideas?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Janx

Hero
Good timing on the rez, I have a Dread game to prepare to run in September.

It's a friend's birthday, and he wants a Zombie theme. So folks will attend, dressed as a Survivor. Play Dead of Winter and Dread.

We're considering planking up the windows in the kitchen (3 planks per ala Stateof Decay) so when we play, it'll look like we're holed up in a house with zombies outside.

Here's my thinking:
everybody shows up in character as a survivor and brings up to 2 props (fake guns, no real). If nobody brings a flashlight, then there's no flashlights in the game (or at least not for a while).

My friend worries that Dread is too open ended and is just about getting to a TPK, so I want to frame up a end goal and some rules of engagement (that we won't tell the players what they are).

I've got some concepts I'm thinking of like:

Set the goal to get to an escape point (ex. army evac at XYZ in 3 days ala Left 4 Dead)

Plan a set number of areas/challenges (like a collapsed bridge with a high river to get across)

Throw in a zombie surge when the players sit too long (ex 10 minutes, argue too much, do something stupid) to keep the game moving

Zombie surge generally means the party needs to repel or escape, which should take a few steps to resolve and thus a good number of pulls.

What ideas do y'all have?
 

Hey folks, just curious if anyone is still checking in on, or getting alerts on, this thread. I'd like to resurrect it again because it's always been the best place I've found to discuss Dread, and I have several games of it coming up that I'd love to get peoples' thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on. But I don't want to spend the time and energy to write up everything I want to talk about, if nobody's watching. :) So, if anyone is still following this thread, and would like to engage in discussion of some upcoming games, let me know, and I'll post my stuff.

Thanks!

~~~~Random
I still check this thread every time I see it bumped, and still love this game. I'm planning to run Dread again at my local convention in a couple of months.

As for your Zombie game, just a couple of questions:

  1. Are you setting a time limit, or do you want to get through a specific number of encounters? Ideally you'll be able to do both, but the game goes astray the moment you start to play. ;) I run Dread at conventions, so I have a 4-hour timer. I try to have a couple of extra encounters in my back pocket, just in case they surprise me and unexpectedly blow through everything I had planned.
  2. Why does he expect a TPK? Previous experience, or just paranoid?
  3. The PCs definitely need hope. Just grinding 'em down with wave after wave of zombies until they're all dead would be a pretty sucky game. I agree that they need a goal; the "Get to dah choppah!" extraction is a great one, as is "GTFO of the city before they nuke it" and "I can't leave yet, I have to get home to save my family first!" (Okay, this one wasn't a question. Just tossing in a couple of other ideas for end goals.)
 

Janx

Hero
I still check this thread every time I see it bumped, and still love this game. I'm planning to run Dread again at my local convention in a couple of months.

As for your Zombie game, just a couple of questions:

  1. Are you setting a time limit, or do you want to get through a specific number of encounters? Ideally you'll be able to do both, but the game goes astray the moment you start to play. ;) I run Dread at conventions, so I have a 4-hour timer. I try to have a couple of extra encounters in my back pocket, just in case they surprise me and unexpectedly blow through everything I had planned.
  2. Why does he expect a TPK? Previous experience, or just paranoid?
  3. The PCs definitely need hope. Just grinding 'em down with wave after wave of zombies until they're all dead would be a pretty sucky game. I agree that they need a goal; the "Get to dah choppah!" extraction is a great one, as is "GTFO of the city before they nuke it" and "I can't leave yet, I have to get home to save my family first!" (Okay, this one wasn't a question. Just tossing in a couple of other ideas for end goals.)
1) about 4 hours is the time length I'm looking for.
2) because he was the guinea pig when I first got the game and we just tried a free form run of it...
3) I may set it up as some "get to the evac" as a general goal, with an individual question of "what do you need to get done before you reach the Evac" which might satisfy the alternative goals (or totally side track the main goal).

I might set the time limit as a real time limit. So if the game starts at Noon, the players have until 4PM to reach the Evac... I'd tell them that before they pick their personal goal so they pick something "quick"

With each player bringing a prop, I want to try to stage a situation where different prop types will lead to an advantage (or disadvantage for lack of item). Weapons are obvious, so I want to cover the less obvious things like:
light source
food
tools
fire source
medical/first aid
???

I've pondered doing the encounters off a random encounter table, so as they head towards the Evac, they come across different situations.

I'll probably run the game in the real world, so the game would start in my house, literally. They'd get word of the Evac and then they'd look at Google Maps for how to get there. Since we all live around here, it'll be interesting...
 

Random221B

First Post
Any time someone bumps it it gets some traffic. Epi used to joke that he could tell when someone bumped it because he'd get a couple new sales of Dread.

But lots of folks (including Piratecat) are busy at GenCon right now.

What are your ideas?
Gencon! Silly me, that completely slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder. :)

I have a few things I want to run past people, but I'll start with one, for now.

I'm planning to run the scenario "Aphrodite's Harvest" (originally written for All Flesh Must Be Eaten - it can be found here for those unfamiliar with it) for Dread.

The very basic overview is this: Earth has sent a colony ship filled with donated tissue and brain scans on a trip that will take hundreds or thousands of years, to a new world. The idea being that when the ship reaches the new planet, the computer uses the donated tissue to grow clones of the original volunteers, then downloads the brain patterns into the clones, to create new colonists, who are duplicates of a group of people who donated all of this back on earth. The command crew is awoken when the ship reaches orbit, they go down to the planet and get a sample of an alien bug that infests them and kills them all, and then the computer grows new copies of them to try again. The PCs are the second batch of clones, just waking up to discover something terrible has happened.

Now, alien-insect-larval-infection-zombies are certainly good horror fodder, but for me the potential for real horror in this scenario is early on, when the characters realize that they have already been awakened from cryosleep once, and died horribly, and that this is their second go-around. They then encounter either zombified or murdered versions of themselves. However, I feel like that horror is lessened at least a little bit, if they start the game already knowing they are clones. They just don't know they are the second batch of clones. I think it would be much more disturbing if they were (or believed they were) their original selves from Earth, until they learn they are clones, and the second batch at that.

I figure there are three possible ways to accomplish this:

  • The command crew were the actual, original people, shipped into space in cryo-sleep. They were awakened by the computer, found the insects, and died. The computer then used cloning facilities that were on the ship for a different reason (maybe the colonists were meant to be clones, but the crew were "originals" for some reason) and backup digital scans of the crew's brains to create clones/copies of them.
  • The command crew (as well as all of the colonists) are all clones, but the knowledge of this was edited from their brain scans, thus they awaken believing they are the originals. When the second command crew awakens and discovers the remains of the first, this forces them to face the reality that they are--and were always going to be--clones.
  • When they are first released from their growth wombs, clones with digital brain scans downloaded have slightly fuzzy/scrambled memories for a little while. They know who they are and why they are here, but just naturally assume they are the Originals from back on earth, until their memories become fully clear and they recall that they were always meant to be clones (or, until they encounter the horror of their previous selves.)

In the first case, there were only ever two sets of the command crew: the Originals from Earth, who were shipped via cryosleep and were killed by the bugs, and the clones who replace them (the PCs) who have no reason to think they are clones, until confronted with the truth.

In the second and third cases, there are three sets. They go like this:

Second Case: Originals on Earth, who donated their genetic material and brain scans, but didn't actually travel; first set of clones grown when the ship reaches orbit, who have no reason to believe/realize they are clones (edited brain scans) who are killed by the bugs; second set of clones grown after the first set dies, who have no reason to believe/realize they are clones (edited brain scans) until confronted with the Horrible Truth {tm}.

Third Case: Originals on Earth, who donated their genetic material and brain scans, but didn't actually travel; first set of clones grown when the ship reaches orbit, who don't initially remember they are clones (memory gaps from awakening process) who are killed by the bugs; second set of clones grown after the first set dies, who don't initially remember they are clones (memory gaps from awakening process) until confronted with the Horrible Truth {tm}.

I hope all of that makes sense.

In any case, a) do people agree that the sense-of-self horror is stronger if the PCs have no reason to believe they are clones, until confronted with the Horrible Truth{tm}, and b) which scenario do you think would work best to accomplish this, or do you have a different scenario to suggest?

Thanks for your time!

~~~~Random
 

Random221B

First Post
1) about 4 hours is the time length I'm looking for.
2) because he was the guinea pig when I first got the game and we just tried a free form run of it...
3) I may set it up as some "get to the evac" as a general goal, with an individual question of "what do you need to get done before you reach the Evac" which might satisfy the alternative goals (or totally side track the main goal).

I might set the time limit as a real time limit. So if the game starts at Noon, the players have until 4PM to reach the Evac... I'd tell them that before they pick their personal goal so they pick something "quick"

With each player bringing a prop, I want to try to stage a situation where different prop types will lead to an advantage (or disadvantage for lack of item). Weapons are obvious, so I want to cover the less obvious things like:
light source
food
tools
fire source
medical/first aid
???

I've pondered doing the encounters off a random encounter table, so as they head towards the Evac, they come across different situations.

I'll probably run the game in the real world, so the game would start in my house, literally. They'd get word of the Evac and then they'd look at Google Maps for how to get there. Since we all live around here, it'll be interesting...
This whole things sounds very cool. I'm going to be running a zombie Dread scenario in a couple of weeks, myself (I have several Dread games scheduled over the next couple of months.) I'll be back with my thoughts when I have a little more time.

~~~~Random
 

Janx

Hero
Gencon! Silly me, that completely slipped my mind. Thanks for the reminder. :)

I have a few things I want to run past people, but I'll start with one, for now.

I'm planning to run the scenario "Aphrodite's Harvest" (originally written for All Flesh Must Be Eaten - it can be found here for those unfamiliar with it) for Dread.

The very basic overview is this: Earth has sent a colony ship filled with donated tissue and brain scans on a trip that will take hundreds or thousands of years, to a new world. The idea being that when the ship reaches the new planet, the computer uses the donated tissue to grow clones of the original volunteers, then downloads the brain patterns into the clones, to create new colonists, who are duplicates of a group of people who donated all of this back on earth. The command crew is awoken when the ship reaches orbit, they go down to the planet and get a sample of an alien bug that infests them and kills them all, and then the computer grows new copies of them to try again. The PCs are the second batch of clones, just waking up to discover something terrible has happened.
Borrow from the SyFy channe's Ascension mini-series. The crew didn't know they were going to be cloned because knowing you're a clone was thought to cause psychological distress.

So the crew gets tested, scanned, sampled while thinking they are going to get on a rocket ship. But instead, they get sent back home. NASA then loads the rocket with the much lighter payload of data, DNA samples and Soylent Green for making clones out of. When the ship arrives, the first batch of clones are printed and sent down to the planet. They die. Then the second batch gets printed. Who notice the ship seems to have been occupied (by the previous crew, who woke up in a "CryoPod", got dressed, ate breakfast, and took a shuttle down.

That means there are missing clothes, some casual messes, a missing shuttle, and dirty dishes in the sink. Clues that somebody's been sleeping in my bed, before they take the 2nd shuttle down...
 

Random221B

First Post
1) about 4 hours is the time length I'm looking for.
2) because he was the guinea pig when I first got the game and we just tried a free form run of it...
3) I may set it up as some "get to the evac" as a general goal, with an individual question of "what do you need to get done before you reach the Evac" which might satisfy the alternative goals (or totally side track the main goal).

I might set the time limit as a real time limit. So if the game starts at Noon, the players have until 4PM to reach the Evac... I'd tell them that before they pick their personal goal so they pick something "quick"

With each player bringing a prop, I want to try to stage a situation where different prop types will lead to an advantage (or disadvantage for lack of item). Weapons are obvious, so I want to cover the less obvious things like:
light source
food
tools
fire source
medical/first aid
???

I've pondered doing the encounters off a random encounter table, so as they head towards the Evac, they come across different situations.

I'll probably run the game in the real world, so the game would start in my house, literally. They'd get word of the Evac and then they'd look at Google Maps for how to get there. Since we all live around here, it'll be interesting...
The "Get to the Evac" concept sounds pretty cool. Also, if you want to give the game a little more plot, rather than just making it freeform "survive until you can get evac-ed" you might take a look at a few zombie apocalypse horror one-shots. If you aren't already familiar with it, there's actually one written for Dread:

Disintegration

Also, a few "one-sheet" zombie scenarios associated with the War of the Dead campaign for Savage Worlds. The beautiful thing about Dread, is it's the easiest game in the world to convert modules written for other systems into. :) You can find those here:

Food for Thought
Outbreak at Hopewell
The Dead of Night

Just a few things to peruse, to see if there's anything you want to pull for your session.

Best,

~~~~Random
 

mythago

Explorer
So how did the zombie game go?!

I'd also love to hear whether anyone's run Dread well as a con game. I'm really hesitant to do so because of the questionnaires - in my experience players tend to need time to prepare these, plus it's helpful for the GM to have them long enough ahead to allow game ideas to percolate. On the other hand, I have run a Dread game where I offered a list of archetypes to pick from, so even if I didn't know exactly what the answers were going to be, I knew the 'character classes' I'd be dealing with.
 


Anybody else still got a love affair going with Dread?

I've now run my homebrewed one-shot scenario five times, and I think it's probably polished up enough to share with any other Dread GMs who are interested.

Trouble in Paradise: Two weeks on the most secluded inhabited island in the entire world sounded like a fantastic getaway idea. No cell phones, no internet - you'll be totally off the grid. This should be the most peaceful two weeks you've ever had... Wait. Why are people screaming??

To properly run this game, however, you'll need to pick up a few inexpensive props: Yellow leis and yellow flowers to be tucked behind the ear of each female PC (up to 4, depending on player choices). (I couldn't find the specific flowered hair clips that I bought for my own game, but there are lots to choose from online.)

If any other Dread GMs are looking for a very memorable scenario, let me know and I'll happily share with the rest of the class. ;)
 

Just in case you hadn't thought about it in a while, I just want to reiterate my love for this RPG. I ran it again on Saturday, and holy crap did we have a good time. I'm spectacularly thankful that Gamicon chose to put us in the "Adult Themes Only" room, 'cuz hoo-boy. I think a couple of players even offended the other adults in the room with the in-character crudeness, but it was all in good fun.

And yet again: Props. Make. Games. Better.
 

Eunomiac

First Post
Keeping the Dread love alive with, I hope, a way to play it online!

I've tweaked a Jenga module for Tabletop Simulator (available on Steam), and so far it works pretty damn well: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1088019097 It really captures the tension of the wobbling tower.

(I'm still playing with the physics settings for the pieces---mass, friction, drag, gravity, that kind of thing---so let me know if you find values that better fit the pacing of the real thing!)
 

COMING SOON: 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top