Sunday, November 1, 2020

Halloween is Over! (Too early to prep for next year?)


Halloween is Over! (Too early to prep for next year?)
For some reason two things I like to do here at the Tavern is confess shit and tell stories, which seems appropriate since that's something I'd normally do at a tavern, but then I'd be dressed in more than my underwear and probably have less sugar and more alcohol in me.....

For those of you who don't know me personally, I worked a fair number of years in retail and Halloween marked the official beginning of what I could only call "the suck". When I worked at Fred Meyer I didn't get to "do" Halloween, instead I got to come in late and when the store closed at 11 PM we got cracking and swapped out the Seasonal Department from Halloween to Christmas. In later, and arguably better, retail (State-Run Liquor Store) Halloween is a big party holiday and the start of the busier selling-season. Halloween on a Saturday.....you know that was a busy day at the liquor store!

One thing I've never done, and I've heard it's something folks visiting this page would be wont to do, is run a special Halloween game. I've played in zombie-heavy campaigns, and I have only a couple sessions of Call of Cthulhu under my belt, but no special themed game just for Halloween.

Of course it being November 1st, I'm shit out of luck doing it this year......

Honestly though, I'm on the fence about a themed game to begin with. Probably because I'm a bit of a wuss and haven't been into scary movies since I was in High School. Sure, I have no problem watching an old Friday the 13th flick, but Cabin in the Woods? Actually I might like that one, but I cannot name any of the current crop of horror movies out there. What I do like is the comedy/horror blend. Figure out a way to run Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and I'll go grab my dice. Just don't expect me to write the damned thing.

I'm used to a small amount of comedy in my RPGs, but mostly because the players are gathered to have a good time and like to screw with each other.....ok it's me.....I enjoy screwing with the other players, or my players if I'm the GM. Nothing serious & lasting in-game mind you, but just as friends around the table.

I've written one adventure that was comedic in nature, for a GM-only game at Origins, but I have never written an actual "scary" adventure. The closest I've come is an adventure seed, something I call a Tweak & Toss....because I assume no matter how well-written I think I can make something (and I've seen adventures far too over-written!) any GM worth their salt is going to heavily tweak what I've done and toss it into their home game. Instead of a lot of pages of highly-focused content, I've been going with a few pages of more generic information that the GM could use as the base for them to spice it up to their specifications......

.....anyway, that's a long segue to my Tweak & Toss that had to be inspired on some level by Motel Hell. If you aren't familiar with this B Movie horror gem.......believe me you're better off. The Horrors of Halfling Hollow was something I had put up on my blog as a freebie download on DriveThruRPG. I think I'll keep it free for another week and let anyone here grab a copy so you can have a entire year to tweak it for a right proper scary Halloween game next year (the implication is you'd have to tweak it in order for it to be scary).

I'd love to hear from GMs/players who took part in an actual Halloween-themed game that was fun and NOT Call of Cthulhu. Don't get me wrong, I like CoC, but I'd rather hear about the normal game/table having an in-game one-off and not a "let's play this other system tonight" type of thing.  

1 comment:

  1. This is actually the first year I haven't played in a horror themed game on Halloween.

    Often it is D&D with a horror themed adventure; usually along the lines of going after a vampire (Ravenloft, Hanging Coffins of the Vampire Queen, Palace of the Vampire Queen, etc.) But I also have done a lot of Chill, Ghosts of Albion, Buffy, World(s) of Darkness and yes, Call of Cthulhu. I was even reading over a Dracula adventure I wrote in 99-2000 for Alternity Dark Matter.

    In my "Come Endless Darkness" campaign for 5e I ran a horror-filled Castle Amber on Halloween a few years back. But I spend a lot of time thinking about horror and running horror games.


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