FIVE RPG's TO CONJURE UP YOUR HALLOWEEN SPIRIT!
WRITTEN BY ROB DUKE ON OCTOBER 10, 2017
October has arrived, and it’s time to get your spooky on! Are you looking to add some fright to your gaming night? Need a break from your normal hack n’ slash fare, upgrade it to something more terrifying? We here at Geek Unleashed have dissected our collection serving up five roleplaying games that will raise the Halloween spirit in your gaming group!
NIGHT'S BLACK AGENTS
If vampires and conspiracies are your thing, Pelgrane Press brings you a game of intrigue pitting spies versus these dark denizens in Night’s Black Agents. Using the Gumshoe system, players take on the roles of burned agents returning to the fray uncovering a master conspiracy of vampirical world domination. If you and your group are really looking to turn things up a notch, the Dracula Dossier leads a team of agents in a sandbox open world campaign tacking down the one and only Dracula. What makes this campaign unique is the player’s guide is an unredacted copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. No longer just a novel, the book serves as field notes from Bram Stoker’s chronicles as an agent. Lead your players down the rabbit hole through layers and layers of coverups and hopefully they will survive the night!
EAST TEXAS UNIVERSITY
Nothing screams horror like a good ole fashioned college campus setting, complete with naive freshmen, overconfident jocks, and flighty sorority sisters all wielding guns, axes and more to stave off what goes bump in the night. East Texas University is a horror setting for the Savage Worlds line by Pinnacle Entertainment Group. Your players assume roles of ETU students in the town of Pinebox, Texas, who take on multiple paranormal and supernatural activity all before finals! If your group loves combat, they will love this high-octane action that Savage Worlds provides. This supplement also has everything you need to roleplay a college student from creating your own Greek letter organization to tables for college life encounters, not to mention some of the best Texan sayings collected anywhere! So, grab your friends and your Bennies! It’s time to survive college… literally!
MONSTER OF THE WEEK
Want to channel your inner Dean and Sam Winchester? Or would you rather hone your Fox Mulder and Dana Scully investigative prowess? Or just bust out your best Buffy-slaying skills? Monster of the Week is the game for you! This Powered by the Apocalypse game focuses on the trope that made these shows great! Like all PbtA engine games, you choose a playbook of archetypes found in many of your creepy monster-hunting tv shows, create an organization you work for, then start hunting down what is terrorizing the local towns that strangely look like Vancouver. Monster of the Week is quick to jump into if you have nothing planned for the evening. If you are looking for a great game where the GM focuses on the story and not rolling dice, definitely give this one a shot this Halloween!
TALES FROM THE LOOP
With the new season of Stranger Things on the horizon, what better way to celebrate Halloween than with Free League and Modiphius Entertainment’s Tales from the Loop! In this roleplaying game, players play as kids in an alternate version of the 1980’s. Easily drawing inspiration from the Goonies, E.T., and Stranger Things, your players will lace up their Chuck Taylors, load up their Walkmen, and peddle their BMX’s quickly to save the day. This setting does lean more towards the science fiction side, but we see no reason why stories in this setting could be terrifying. One thing of note: characters never die in Tales from the Loop. They become frightened then broken, but that doesn’t mean all of the tension has been removed. Tales from the Loop offers plenty of mystery to sink your teeth into! Also, the characters will have no solace when seeking help from adults. The kids must persevere on their own because parents just don’t understand, and once a character reaches age 16, he or she must leave the game as they no longer see themselves as kids. If a romp through childhood nostalgia is what you need this year, queue up some Tales from the Loop and you’ll be glad you did!
If it’s high tension you are looking for, look no further than Dread, the epitome of horror storytelling. Each character sheet is a questionnaire. There are no stats. There are no rolls. Dice are replaced with a Jenga tower of terror! Without the numbers, players can solely focus on the story. If a character wants to take an action that isn’t clearly impossible or easily achieved, the player is asked to make a pull from the tower. The player can decide if they want to pull a block to attempt to succeed at the task or if they want to refuse a pull and simply fail. If the tower falls, the character is removed from the story. Push each player on the brink of fear as their characters face death or unfathomable madness at the pull of a Jenga block, hoping it does not topple. Dread isn’t your typical RPG, and it is not revered as such. This is a collaborative storytelling game that will surely build the right amount of tension for surviving tales of horror. Dread isn’t for everyone, but if you want to try something different this Halloween, put a little Dread in your game night.
What horror-themed roleplaying games do you like to run during Halloween season? Comment below and let us know!