I know its the day after Halloween - so shoot me!
The thing is, I was thinking of effective horror gaming and it occurred to me that is hard to accomplish using most of the D20 / OGL / OSR rules.
Here's my reasoning: D20 is based on level. Skills and Hit Points increase with each level. Higher level characters by nature of the rules have less to fear. That is why Ravenloft never really satisfied my taste for "Horror Gaming". It felt almost campy. My players were never really afraid, at least not more so than in any other level appropriate adventure. Annoyed maybe that they were yoked to the Demi-Plane of dread, but scared? Nope.
Call of Cthulhu and such are skill based. There's no bucket of Hit Points to save your ass. A more skilled investigator may have a few tricks to pull out of his hat, but it's still very easy to die within the framework of the rules. Also, CoC is less geared to campaign play, which assumes some character survival to move the plot along.
D20 / OGL may be able to do effective horror at low levels, but even in a game like LotFP Weird Fantasy, higher levels will by nature of the rules be less scary.
Can D20 / OGL do an effective Horror Campaign? I'm leaning heavily on the side that the game is built against it, but maybe some of you can or have prove(d) me wrong.
Video – Gary Gygax Day 2021 - In honor of Gary Gygax’s birthday and a Life Well Played, I relate my Gary Gygax anecdote.
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