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  Horror genre: uncomfortably creepy?

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Horror genre: uncomfortably creepy?
#1
Serf
Joined: 2008/9/8
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I like the concept of Whispering Bluff — exploiting personal flaws and fears, strong narrative style, dark depressing horror — and am looking forward to trying it out.

But, it also reminded me of My Worst Gaming Experience Ever (MWGEE).

The game was excellent. The GM immersed us in a vivid, well-planned world with Cthuhluian atmosphere. He started it off with a bang, mangling us in a car-crash and then escalating the tension by trapping us in a high-intrigue scenario worthy of Homeland Security. He also put a lot of research into the story and I actually learned a lot about Seattle history and the local art scene by playing the game. It was engaging and intense.

So, what made this MWGEE?

We didn't get to create characters. We had to play ourselves with our own weeny strengths and fat character flaws. The GM was taking a psychology class at the time and even made us all take a personality test prior to the game — the better to exploit our fears.

In one particularly memorable scene, as mood-setting, before the big bad attacked, my own zombified dog, an old Sheltie named Julie, appeared and stalked us, shuffling through the woods. Unfortunately, reality and fantasy intersected a little too closely when Julie really died during the course of the game. The GM never resurrected her as an NPC after that, but I lost my enjoyment of the game. It had crossed a line, and the fun went out of the fantasy. It had become too uncomfortably creepy.

So, Whispering Bluff, we get to make-up characters, right?
Posted on: 2008/9/29 13:16
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Re: Horror genre: uncomfortably creepy?
#2
Traveler of Karn
Joined: 2006/9/29
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When the game is really played, character creation is a big part of it.

Since WB is designed to be more of a limited time type game, where characters are not really expected to survive (even if they win), the character creation process is done as a group. They create the characters, getting bonuses to parts of creation for creating links between the characters (which actual can work as stronger flaws and motivators). The final part of the creation process is introducing your character to the world in a small vignette you get to narrate up to the point of meeting another character OR being drawn into the alternate reality world. The GM can have some minor input here, mostly to keep thing from going way off the tracks, but this is still mostly in the player's camp.

I am sure people could make themselves, but it would make for a really disturbing game where you would learn insights and issues you may never wanted to know about your fellow players.

I mainly want to test out the scene framing rules and set-up, so full player-made characters are not needed for that. I will have some test characters people can use if they don't want to mess with that part of it (especially if they are people who have played around with it before).

This will be more fully explained on playtest day, and I think I will have you guys make characters so I can test out that part of it with people who have not seen any of the previous incarnations.
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Posted on: 2008/9/29 13:42
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