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[Ravenloft] Systems for Fear, Horror, Madness, etc


Chaot

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I'm kicking off a short campaign this summer and I'm not happy with my previous attempts at modeling fear in the game. Previously I had taken the Madness Meter from UA. Ultimately I found it too busy for my tastes. I don't feel like directly converting the system that came with Ravenloft because I feel like Fear / Horror is a little too splitting hairs.

Any systems come to mind that I might look at and *ahem* borrow from?

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What's wrong with CoC "SAN" mechanics?

I always consider those the "abstract" baseline, with UA's MM the "crunchy/simulationist" version -- an "improvement" if crunchy simulationism is desirable, but "too busy" is a fair criticism for those who dislike that.  :D

I don't recall them clearly, but I know that "Deadlands" had some sort of similar mechanic, as well ...

 

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In addition, have a look at the Renaissance system publications "Dark Streets" and "Clockwork & Cthulhu" from Cakebread & Walton. The rules for Sanity, Horror, Mental Armour, and Mental Healing may be exactly what you are looking for. Plus they are Open Game Content, so you can bolt them onto other D100 RPGs if you are a publisher :)

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11 hours ago, g33k said:

What's wrong with CoC "SAN" mechanics?

I always consider those the "abstract" baseline, with UA's MM the "crunchy/simulationist" version -- an "improvement" if crunchy simulationism is desirable, but "too busy" is a fair criticism for those who dislike that.  :D

I don't recall them clearly, but I know that "Deadlands" had some sort of similar mechanic, as well ...

 

I wary about the sanity spiral. I also want to make sure the mechanic isn't taking people out of the game.

8 hours ago, Prime Evil said:

In addition, have a look at the Renaissance system publications "Dark Streets" and "Clockwork & Cthulhu" from Cakebread & Walton. The rules for Sanity, Horror, Mental Armour, and Mental Healing may be exactly what you are looking for. Plus they are Open Game Content, so you can bolt them onto other D100 RPGs if you are a publisher :)

I have some Cakebread and Walton stuff but not those two. I'll have to look into it.

I'm leaning toward not including a system for horror. I'm not are how I feel about it yet though.

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On 6/13/2017 at 7:29 PM, Atgxtg said:

Are you familiar with CHILL?

Not really, I know the name. The internet tells me its dice mechanic is similar to Unknown Armies. How does the Trauma system work? I don't see anything that really describes it.

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5 hours ago, Chaot said:

Not really, I know the name. The internet tells me its dice mechanic is similar to Unknown Armies. How does the Trauma system work? I don't see anything that really describes it.

Ironically, I'd have to check that!  I've got it, but haven't spent much time going through it, You see, I was thinking of the First Edition rules, which had Fear Checks. When you encountered something scary, such as a known monster ( meaning that you know it's a monster, and not just a person, not that you have ID'd the type), half eaten body, etc. You made a Fear check. This was a Willpower roll on a color coded table (much like the old Marvel Superheroes RPG) with penalties based upon how badly you did on the Will roll. 

 

From what I remember, unlike CoC, character's wen't going to end up in the sanitarium, but they might freeze up for a bit or run screaming from the spot. The Fear effects were short term, not long term. Probably because if a hero is being chased by a vampire or werewolf and survives, he probably should be carted off and institutionalized. So no sprialing madness, mental breakdown or such. 

 

First edition Chill was more in the style of old Universal or Hammer horror films. Later editions expanded this to other subgenres, but I think the original rules probably suit your purposes better. If you'd ike I could dig out my rule books and get you more details on exactly how it worked and the penalties. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Okay, after a little digging, I discovered that the old Pacesetter rules are now owned by Goblinoid Games and Cryptworld is functionally, CHILL. Since the CHILL name is owned by somebody else, the 3rd edtion CHILL rules use different game mechanics. So, after one quick PDF purchase.... 

 

When you make a Fear Check  you rolled against current WILL (a % roll similar to how BRP does it). You find out how much you made the roll by.   The result was cross matrix on the action table (used for everything) on a column based on the severity of the task (the higher the column, the harder the task). 

on a C or H result the character is heroic and all fear is overcome

On a M result the character runs away as fast as possible for one round and loses 1D10/2 current Willpower

On a L result the character  loses 1D10/2 current Willpower, but does not run away.

On a S result the character runs away as fast as possible for one round and loses 1D10 current Willpower

On a Failure the character runs away as fast as possible for one round and loses 2D10 current Willpower

 

Note that as character encounter more and more horrific things their current Willpower will drop, making it easier to scare them. However, unlike CoC the GM has a lot of leeway in deciding just when a Fear check is required. For example if somebody was an experience Vampire Hunter, then he'd probably be able to encounter a vampire without making a Fear check. 

 

 

Edited by Atgxtg
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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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You totally win the MVP award Atgxtg! You didn't have to buy the game to tell me the mechanics. Still I'm glad you did, it looks interesting enough that I'm going ot go ahead and pick it up too.

(Would have responded yesterday but I was a sick dog.)

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22 hours ago, Chaot said:

You totally win the MVP award Atgxtg! You didn't have to buy the game to tell me the mechanics. Still I'm glad you did, it looks interesting enough that I'm going ot go ahead and pick it up too.

(Would have responded yesterday but I was a sick dog.)

Well, I wanted to have a digital copy of Pacesetter's CHILL (it's still hands down my favorite horror RPG, and Cryptworld is about as close as I can find. Besides, I'm also sick as a dog, and didn't want to hunt through all my boxes of RPG stuff to dig out CHILL. It's almost certainly in the bottom box in the back. 

Edited by Atgxtg

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Chaot, for more than a decade, I ran an annual Chill adventure converted to BRP every Halloween, and have loads of stuff already converted. If you think it will be of use, drop me an e-mail at…

threedeesix -at- metrocast (dot) net

… and I’ll send you the Fear rules.

I only ask that they not be uploaded anyplace as they are simply an excerpt of the Pacesetter PDF, with the conversion hardcoded in.

Rod

Edited by threedeesix

Join my Mythras/RuneQuest 6: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RQCF/info

"D100 - Exactly 5 times better than D20"

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20 hours ago, threedeesix said:

Hey Chaot, for more than a decade, I ran an annual Chill adventure converted to BRP every Halloween, and have loads of stuff already converted. If you think it will be of use, drop me an e-mail at…

threedeesix -at- metrocast (dot) net

… and I’ll send you the Fear rules.

I only ask that they not be uploaded anyplace as they are simply an excerpt of the Pacesetter PDF, with the conversion hardcoded in.

Rod

Hey Rod, if I change my name to Chaot...:)

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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:)

Atgxtg, feel free to drop me an email and I'll send you the Fear rules.

The Fear rules worked flawlessly, and are my preferred system when running a horror scenario for BRP, Mythras, etc.

Most of my converted stuff are snippets from the various rules, as I didn't see the need to convert the entirety of the rules like I did with Star Frontiers, as I found they could be used pretty much verbatim. I think I have some creatures converted, as well as "Disciplines of The Art", and the "Evil Way". But for that I would have to do some digging. The Fear rules were easily accessible, as I use them frequently.

Rod

Join my Mythras/RuneQuest 6: Classic Fantasy Yahoo Group at https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/RQCF/info

"D100 - Exactly 5 times better than D20"

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3 hours ago, threedeesix said:

:)

Atgxtg, feel free to drop me an email and I'll send you the Fear rules.

Who'se Atgxtg? oh, wait, it worked!

3 hours ago, threedeesix said:

The Fear rules worked flawlessly, and are my preferred system when running a horror scenario for BRP, Mythras, etc.

Most of my converted stuff are snippets from the various rules, as I didn't see the need to convert the entirety of the rules like I did with Star Frontiers, as I found they could be used pretty much verbatim. I think I have some creatures converted, as well as "Disciplines of The Art", and the "Evil Way". But for that I would have to do some digging. The Fear rules were easily accessible, as I use them frequently.

Rod

Okay, I'll send you an email. 

BTW, I was just thinking that the Pacesetter game mechanics would adapt well to that EFFECT system idea that I've been toying with for ages. Basically replacing the Chill Action Table with EFFECT. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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