View Full Version : A Thread for Horror for This Hallow's Eve

2011-10-04, 06:42 PM
So halloween is coming up soon, and I found myself sitting down and trying to think of ideas for a horrific session for that day (lots of re-reading Herror's of Horror). Ive managed to come up with a few things, but not enough to fill a 5 hour session. Then I remembered this board. I decided to ask for ideas here, but then I thought: "Dozens, if not hundreds of DM's will be looking for ideas for scaring their players this halloween. So why should we keep all of these ideas to ourselves?" So I ask now for you guys to help me spend the next month coming up with and sharing the most terrifying things for me and other DMs of this forum to use to truley shock and horrify our players this year around. And I don't mean boring and mundane scares, like "OH NOES, RUST MONSTERS gobblegobblegobble" or "Oh look, more mindless zombies........ yay?" I mean real, true horror. Things that will realy make your players want to think twice about turning of their lights that night. Things that will make them want to glance over their shoulders, even though they know that there can't be anything there. Things that will leave them awake in the dark, their eyes wandering to the foot of their bed despite their best efforts not to look. The things that will linger at the back of their minds and make them feel fear at the strangest of times. The monsters that lurk at the fringes of thought, of sight and of sanity. The fear that will linger with them, and not just dissapear like the morning fog as soon as they grab some loot or get out of that dungeon. Fear that will gnaw at them like rats upon a corpse. Fear that will make your players feel truely scared on that dark night. What im asking for in short, is true and primal fear for us DM's to inflict upon our ever so willing victims players upon this Hallows Eve. And we have a month to do it. Lets get started, shall we :smallbiggrin:?

2011-10-04, 06:43 PM
So I might as well start this off with the ideas I mention in the opening post. The first one, imagine, your group is wandering in a seemingly abandonded dungeon. Everything is coated with centuries of dust. Suddenly, from ahead you hear desperate screams of pain and agony. The screaming voice sounds exactly like that of a party member. As you run towards the source your notice strange footprints in the dust, unrecognizable as to what it is, but still possible to tell that they are footprints. Alongside is the trail of a body dragged across the ground. As you continue you once hear the voice scream, "LEAVE, PLEASE, LEAVE AND SPARE ME OFF THIS!!!!!". As you rush even faster now you see ahead of you a ironbarred door, the screaming just behind it. As you begin to smash the door down the screams reach a new crescendo. As soon as the door comes down you rush into the room. THe inside is a torture chamber. Despite what you heard not even seconds ago nothing is touched. Not a bit of the centuries of dust covering everything is disturbed. The screams are gone, only the slightest bit of an echo sounds within your ear. Behind you the footprints are gone, only your new ones are shown in the dust. As you are about to leave the room you seea glint on a table. A single scalpal lies upon a small table. It is spotless and clean, as if just sterilized. The only thing befouling it is a single speckel of blood near the tip. (Later, have the PC whoes voice it was kidnapped and seperate him from the other PC's ooc. Go to him and describe the torture. When he screams describe how he can hear the sound of running footsteps and his companions voices coming near, along with his own. As the door is about to break down once again (or for the first time I should say) have everything go black. DO what you want from there :smallamused:). So, thats my first example. May have more. Feel free to use and comment on.

2011-10-05, 07:25 PM
Well, I do have an idea, but not necessarily a good one.
The PCs are your average, everyday citizens of London, circa the late 19th century. Being the good people they are, they are perfectly willing to visit their friend Prof. -----. It is a cool October day, and already quite late by the time they set out for their dear friend's house. However, arriving there, they are left waiting for hours without explanation. His servant apologizes profusely, stating that the Professor asked that he not be interrupted nearly a full day ago due to some obscure scientific matter of import and has not yet emerged to greet his guests.

Eventually, the PCs will either be bored enough to enter the Professor's chambers, or else they will hear the servant shout as he tries to rouse the poor, socially inadequate man. This is because the professor now lies upon his desk, partially decomposed and with flies buzzing around the carcass. He obviously couldn't have invited the PCs despite the handwritten notes sent carefully to each of them just days ago. The police will not answer the telephone, and the neighbors all seem to be out or asleep. After a good deal of confusion and, hopefully, good-natured fear, the party, with no other options, will begin their journeys home.

By some circumstance, they will all take the same means of transport. Traveling along on that dark through central London, a shadowy figure dressed all in rags stumbles in the path of the carriage, hands extended in the universal sign of beggars. If none of the PCs takes the initiative for charity, the chauffeur will. However, something seems... off. The way he walks? The strange stench of rotting meat? Suddenly, the man lurches towards the carriage, swinging his arms wildly in a poorly coordinated attack. It soon becomes apparent that London is now infested with these rotting maniacs. It gets worse, though... they're spreading.

That's right. Victorian England now has zombies. You can give it either an occult or a scientific(these Victorian scientists...) explanation, either works. I'm thinking sandbox survival horror (oh joy!) using a rules-light, lethal system. Probably the Window.

The fun part is letting the players flee through London with looks of terror and awe on their faces! I've got great plans for insane asylums, Tower Bridge, and the Crystal Palace. :smallamused:

If I ever get the chance to run it, I think it will be the most beautiful thing I have ever done.


2011-10-05, 07:44 PM
This could work for any system
The players are tasked with investigating the dissapearance of their beloved friend, gone missing after visiting [SMALL ISLAND TOWN]. Up visiting the town, something is off immediately. The denizens are offputting, angry and shady. You talk with your only lead to discover he is gone. You decide to stay at a hotel. Inthe middle of the night, a knock is heard at the door: A lone person, coming with a message of: Leave. Leave now. Don't tell anyone you are leaving, don't leave a trail, don't ask questions, and don't look back.

Players will obviously ignore this. They are then attacked (chased) by the citizens, now armed with daggers. Pointy ones. Players regroup at [OMINOUS LOCATION NUMBER ONE] only to discover [HORRIBLE RITUAL] involving beloved friend (bonus points for him dying). [TERRIFYING MONSTER] is then summoned through said ritual, leaving the players at horrible odds. The players have to avoid detection, find out what is happening, and stop the [TERRIFYING MONSTER] from destroying the world/completing its horrible task/doing other bad things. THe horror from this situation really comes from the helplessness of the palyers, keep them badly armed, keep them in the dark, keep them powerless, essentially. When [TERRIFYING MONSTER] is revealed, have the monsters presence come full force.

Zombies. Yes, for realsies. The terror in this one comes in the location, in that it is surrounded by zombies, surrounded as in hundreds. Make the players desperate, tense and exciteable.

2011-10-05, 08:09 PM
I'm not big on generic horror (or generic anything, really). I'm more of a personal horror kind of player/GM. To me, any horror-themed games arise from the character's personal stories and their own private fears, rather than some generic threat, like slashers, monsters or supernatural happenings.

2011-10-06, 11:17 PM
I imagine that subtlety and suspense are important for this type of thing. Make the players feel a sense of dread by providing little hints of something strange. If the players are walking down a dark hallway and expecting something to jump out at them from the darkness, have them turn a corner or come to a dead end without having anything actually surprise them. If the game is D&D, occasionally make rolls behind a DM screen for no reason other than to make the players nervous. Perhaps tell them to make Spot or Listen checks when there is nothing really there for them to Spot or hear. Don't do this too often, though, or they will figure out what you are doing. Every so often, add some action to release a little bit of tension and keep them interested.

By the way, I'm not an expert on horror or anything, so I may not know what I'm talking about.