View Full Version : Good rules light system for cosmic horror?

2014-02-26, 04:56 PM
Anyone got a good rules light system for some cosmic horror?
I've checked out Cthulhu dark, and while it is indeed rules light, it was a tiny bit too much so.
Homebrew is fine.

2014-02-26, 07:54 PM
Call me crazy but, I think Freeform fits your style, D20.

It takes some up-front management (when this happens, we go with x), but it provides the kind of versatility you'd appreciate. And, Freeform is, in my opinion, the best system for PbP games.

So what do you need?:

A rich setting
Rules for conflict (work it out with players)
A crew of RP-hungry players

I use my 'D2 Fantastic' rules for Freeform, but you might need something more 'player-friendly'. The key is a good pace and roleplay-heavy scenes. You want, despite the genre, scenes that invite/encourage player immersion. The most tantalizing conflict can be revealed via dialogue!

Other than Freeform, there's Microscope, Fiasco, and Capes. Those rpgs fit 'rules-lite'.

2014-02-26, 08:01 PM
True dat. Also, thanks for the recommendation.
Freeform is definitely my favorite system(for PbP anyway,) and most of my games reflect this. Speaking of such, I've got a freeform epic in the running, if you want to read 20 or so pages of strangeness.
It's based off of reincarnation, with the characters being host to a fusion of beings from myth or media. Stuff like Darth Vader fused with Shakespeare mixed with Harry potter, though no ones done that particular combo. If you'd like, I'll send you a link.

2014-02-26, 09:02 PM
Cosmic Horror?

The 'Aliens' and 'Solaris' films come to mind. Horror never ends well for most of the PCs, but they should have fun with the wicked descent.

You'll notice in most horror films/books the main characters are somewhat unlikeable. They have glaring weaknesses and provide the GM with the tools of their destruction (TPK).

Eager to see your link. Love some horror gaming.

2014-02-26, 09:12 PM
Mmm. The game I'm running isn't so much cosmic horror as cosmic adventure. Certainly is weird though.
Linkity link. (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=316685)

2014-02-27, 11:06 AM
Dread scales fairly easily to all sorts of horror, and it's dead-simple to adapt it to any genre/setting/narrative. (That said, it doesn't play by post.)

2014-02-27, 11:09 AM
If you like freeform, Cthulhu Dark sounds perfect. What's wrong with it?

Personally, I've always found Call of Cthulhu very rules-light; usually, we make very few dice rolls, and generally the players can't even see their character sheets too well in the cande-light but hardly need to...

Trail of Cthulhu is great, too.

2014-02-27, 11:28 AM
Dread scales fairly easily to all sorts of horror, and it's dead-simple to adapt it to any genre/setting/narrative. (That said, it doesn't play by post.)

The thing about Dread is that it doesn't use dice to provide randomness. Instead, it uses a Jenga tower: pull a brick from the tower and put it on top to do some significant action, but if the tower collapses, your character dies. You can knock over the tower deliberately for a dramatic success, but your character still dies.

The advantage to this is that it may be the most awesome thing ever for horror settings. You can feel the tension growing as the tower gets higher and shakier, in a way that dice just plain don't provide. The main disadvantage is that this mechanic is designed for games with a really high body count: the character-creation system is fun, and makes for interesting characters, but you do not want to get too attached.

But as CarpeGuitarrem says, there's another disadvantage in that it is well and truly impossible to play-by-post, or, indeed, to play remotely at all. Everyone has to be physically present in one spot, or it doesn't work.

2014-02-27, 03:25 PM
Actually, I've had people point out that Dread doesn't actually have that high of a body count (varying, depending on how much pressure you've been putting on characters). Apparently, sessions tend to have one or two big deaths, but that's it.