Wednesday, February 9, 2011

CreepRPGs - The Honorable Mentions

Continuing the last entry, we find ourselves with the Honorable Mentions. They're the RPGs that could be creepy, but they take real effort to make it that way and usually end up falling back on their default themes. They fall short of truly achieving that horror caused by things you do not understand, or require a little extra push to achieve it. Whether it's rooted in familiar fears, limited by the nature of the characters, or just unsuited for cosmic horror, these entries didn't make it to the list, but were better suited than the ones before them.

Slasher: Another entry in the World of Darkness, Slasher goes through the process of creating a serial killer character themed after slasher movies. This book is downright creepy, and playing as a serial killer is a very strange experience. It's hard to put down, and the Slasher characters are downright terrifying even from a mechanical standpoint. Strong enough to give any Hunter a run for their money, and a big surprise for any supernatural, there's potential to be creepy. However, while it has minor mentions of supernatural type Slashers, there's nothing beyond human understanding here. Except the sociopath psychology that Slashers usually exhibit.

Promethean: The Created: Yes, there's a lot of World of Darkness here. There's going to be more. Not my fault they've made so many "horror" RPGs. Promethean has you as playing as the Prometheans, attempts by humans to raise the dead, or create humans from scratch. The core Prometheans are styled after the Golem, Osiris, the Muse, and Frankenstein's Monster. Their goal is to become humans, but they don't know how to do that. They must live life as unnatural creatures, hated by the world, poisoning it by existing. Your very nature makes the land around you decay, cities fall into poverty, people are driven to violence, and you're at the center of it. Eventually, in order to truly understand your nature, and the difference between you and humans, you must create another life Promethean to suffer through what you went through. However, if you do it wrong, then it turns into a Pandoran, a writhing monster bent on eating the alchemical fire which powers you. It can hide inside humans or animals, and craves what gives you life. So, everything is out to get you, and what's worse is that you're not really a monster. Werewolves and vampires often kill people, but typically a Promethean tries to understand them. The problem is, the game is hard to make suitably creepy, and it also suffers from other World of Darkness lines' problems of you being a powerful monster able to kill almost anything you encounter. As well, the game is more about loneliness and the contemplation of what it means to be human, not about being creepy.

World of Darkness(Mortals): A game where you're Mortals in the World of Darkness, it could work. But the problem is, most of the time including Vampires, Werewolves, ghosts, or other supernaturals turns it into a monster movie, and not the frightful ordeal facing a monster should be. You could be staring down a man covered in blood, or his bones warping into a strange lupine form, as everything you thought you knew about life turned inside out. But, most people focus on the chase and not the way this would seriously effect your world view.

Little Fears: Childhood monsters from inside the closet are scaring you to death, and the only way to get rid of them is to confront them with your Belief. It is innocent, and full of terror, however while this is a fear of the unknown, and things you don't understand, it also turns out to just be an entire game about overcoming your fear of the dark. Not that it makes for a bad game, but it's not really about things man cannot understand.

Legend of the Five Rings: There's not much horror in the game, except from the Maho spirits, and the Shadowlands creatures. The Shadowlands is a corrupting influence, that turns men into monsters, and sometimes appears very subtle. They have agents all over Rokugan, and they're less trustworthy than a Scorpion Courtier that married into the Crab Clan. The highest levels of Shadowlands taint allow you to not be killed. No, not come back from the dead, you cannot die. And Shadowlands taint is given through exposure to tainted creatures, the Shadowlands themselves, or the fallen god Lu-Feng. And taint is a scary thing in Rokugan. If you're discovered with it, you could be killed on the spot, with impunity. If you're not killed, then you're put in a suicide squad that fights the strongest tainted monsters, praying for death. However, there's also many taint counter measures, and you're not likely to really run into taint.


  1. I have honestly never even heard of these games.
    And I'm an RPG fanatic.

  2. Where do you find people who plays rpgs man? In my local store, the kids are just playing magic.

  3. @Lendo Khar: Ask your friends, look online, or ask the store's manager when people come in to play DnD or something like that.

  4. Also...

    @YuiMugi: Well, these games could just not be big in your area. Do you have a lot of people that swear up and down that DnD is the best system ever?