Author Topic: How to put the chills into players?  (Read 10104 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Amechra

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2328
  • Thread Necromancy a Specialty
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #20 on: July 09, 2011, 05:51:12 PM »
Dang, those sacrificial goblins gave me an idea...

What if the PLAYERS end up performing the sacrifice by accident?

Recriminations all around!
[spoiler]Fighter: "I can kill a guy in one turn."
Cleric: "I can kill a guy in half a turn."
Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."

On a strange note, would anyone be put out if we had a post about people or events we can spare a thought for, or if its within their creed, a prayer for? Just a random thought, but ... hells I wouldn't have known about either Archangels daughter or Saeomons niece if I didn't happen to be on these threads.
Sounds fine to me.
probably over on "Off-topic".
might want to put a little disclaimer in the first post.

This is the Min/Max board. We should be able to figure out a way to optimize the POWER OF PRAYER(TM) that doesn't involve "Pazuzu, Pazuzu, Pazuzu".
[/spoiler]

My final project for my film independent study course. It could do with a watching and critiquing

Lycanthromancer

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 4003
    • Email
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2011, 01:53:15 AM »
Generally, vagueness in all the wrong places can really be creepy. Things seen on the edge of the torchlight, things seen out of the corner of the eye, creepy-crawlies that have indecipherable anatomy that's completely alien to the way things SHOULD work (even in D&D)...

Describe things in detail, but make those details vague. It's not the zombie shambling down the hallway in bright light that's scary; it's the one moaning just out of sight that you never quite see before it snatches a party member and disappears that's scary. Also, regular zombies are crap. Go after the Psianimate Dead zombies, or the incarnum zombies. Things that are actually a threat, and are SMART.

Also, things outside of the players' control that are nonetheless affecting the world around them badly, and for no explicable reason. Things like elder evils, and curses on the land. Things that normal adventuring activities make worse (and even worse, if the characters have to do those things just to survive). If killing their enemies leads to strengthening the darkness, spellcasting causes horrible (but -- thus far -- benign) mutations, and eating and drinking make horrible things crawl from their orifices, and it's all because of some horrible thing happening below the surface, players WILL start getting the heebie-jeebies.
[spoiler]Masculine men like masculine things. Masculine men are masculine. Therefore, liking masculine men is masculine.

I dare anyone to find a hole in that logic.
______________________________________
[/spoiler]I'm a writer. These are my stories. Some are even SFW! (Warning: Mostly Gay.)
My awesome poster collection. (Warning, some are NSFW.)
Agita's awesome poster collection.
[spoiler]
+1 Lycanthromancer
Which book is Lycanthromancer in?
Lyca ... is in the book. Yes he is.
 :D
shit.. concerning psionics optimization, lycan IS the book
[/spoiler]

twoswords

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • **
  • Posts: 12
    • Email
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2011, 06:59:55 PM »
I dont know about the "chills" for meeting monsters, but have a look at what Lawful evil really does for alignment. I had my players at one point being hired by a very reputable nobleman. He assembled his team and once one of the players cast Detect Evil, all warning lights went off as all NPC's read of extreme evil.

My players were definitely uncomfortable and felt very odd working alongside this other group and expected to be betrayed at any moment. Off course, a LE character will keep his word once given, so their employer strictly upheld every detail of the contract. The characters came out without a scratch and quite confounded about what evil really means.

Now have a look at Lawful Good. In a very strict sense, a magistrate in a city would see it as a LG action to barricade 100 people infected with plague in a building and burn them to death in order to save 1000 uninfected citizens.

Having LE NPC's doing honorable things and LG NPC's doing dishonorable things within their own alignments would be a somewhat chilling experience for most players I assume.

Amechra

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2328
  • Thread Necromancy a Specialty
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2011, 01:52:51 AM »
Take a look at Xenotheurgy Incursions.

There are a couple that are more creepy than anything else; though my favorite has to be Forgotten Mortality, which basically, over time, removes the meaning of alignment.

Having a "LG" person eating a live baby is rather disturbing, I would say.

Also, make the players themselves second-guess themselves; I remember seeing a little something over on GitP that went somewhere along the lines of:

Player is told he had nightmares last night, everything goes as normal, the DM gives a certain signal, everyone else acts suspicious of that player (should happen "spontaneously", and be planned out ahead of time), and then, after the next signal is given, their characters kill and eat his character, describing the act as if ti was nothing out of the ordinary.

Then tell the player that he wakes up, but had bad nightmares last night...

Do not use on someone who is weak of heart.
[spoiler]Fighter: "I can kill a guy in one turn."
Cleric: "I can kill a guy in half a turn."
Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."

On a strange note, would anyone be put out if we had a post about people or events we can spare a thought for, or if its within their creed, a prayer for? Just a random thought, but ... hells I wouldn't have known about either Archangels daughter or Saeomons niece if I didn't happen to be on these threads.
Sounds fine to me.
probably over on "Off-topic".
might want to put a little disclaimer in the first post.

This is the Min/Max board. We should be able to figure out a way to optimize the POWER OF PRAYER(TM) that doesn't involve "Pazuzu, Pazuzu, Pazuzu".
[/spoiler]

My final project for my film independent study course. It could do with a watching and critiquing

zioth

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • **
  • Posts: 44
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #24 on: October 25, 2011, 07:12:04 PM »
I've collected some stuff from various message boards over the years:

http://zioth.com/roleplay/dm/creating_fear

Faithless the Wonder Boy: Your post was great. I've copied it to my site, with full credit given to you. If you want it removed, let me know. If you want your real name included for proper credit, tell me that too.

Amechra

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2328
  • Thread Necromancy a Specialty
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2011, 03:13:39 AM »
I just thought of a campaign premise that could work quite well...
---

Don't rest your head; don't go to sleep.

Because every-time you do so, you go in a little deeper.

You were all just normal folk, regular folk, living your regular lives... until you had the Dream.

In the Dream, you are told to kill a family member, or a similarly heinous deed, or the one who sent the Dream would take things away from you.

Then you woke up, and went on your merry way... to find that your prize cow is gone. And no one remembers that you even HAD a cow.

Next time you slept, you had the same dream.

Next time you woke up, your favorite tools would be gone, or a portion of your life's savings. And it steadily, more and more important things... change.

Your wife is married to another man, and you are thrown out of your house as a burglar.

Friends you've known for years turn their backs on you, spitting in your face.

You become destitute, your valuables simply... gone.

The only other ones that remember things as they SHOULD be are the other PCs... and even then, you aren't sure about that.

Now, it is up to you to stop whoever the one in the dream is, because, should you ever commit the heinous deed that it wishes, the next night, the dream just asks for something even worse. Something that seems to hint towards a sinister plan...

You're in luck, though; you are immune to magical sleep, now, and the changes only come once you go to sleep.

Good luck.
---
Basically, this would have to have the following details set up to work:

-You would need to emphasize the sheer exhaustion of the characters; any spells that they may purchase to stop their bodies from feeling fatigue won't stop the mental effects...

-Don't make all of the changes negative; have a minor enemy become an ally, or have a couple copper pieces transform into gold pieces. Do this seldom, and don't make it too positive... and they'll be paranoid about their being a catch.

-Did I mention people hallucinate from lack of sleep? Didn't I? Because if I didn't... Lucky, lucky.

-Have some of the horrible things that happen be something like adding minor (and later major) crimes to their record, them having stolen goods, they look like gypsies. Basically, they are blamed for crimes they never committed (like, oh, I don't know, killing a noble).

-One of the possible drawbacks of sleeping could be a reversal of an unimportant plot details, like having a man they killed be perfectly alive and safe, or have the goblin camp they just ransacked be alive and well, thank you... while they're in the middle of it. Don't do this too often, or the PCs will feel powerless, which isn't very fun, in my opinion.

-The crowning touch to this would be giving everyone semi-detailed packets of campaign backstory (and make sure they read them; they don't have to be complicated, maybe just a page or two of bullet points, containing a bit of character backstory and such)... and have everyone's be slightly different. This does add a bit of paranoia, especially if you can get any player that figures it out to play along; second-guessing yourself is rather frightening...

-If you want to set it up this way, this could be an Elder Evil campaign, with the sleep-alterations being part of its sign.
---

So, what do you think?
[spoiler]Fighter: "I can kill a guy in one turn."
Cleric: "I can kill a guy in half a turn."
Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."

On a strange note, would anyone be put out if we had a post about people or events we can spare a thought for, or if its within their creed, a prayer for? Just a random thought, but ... hells I wouldn't have known about either Archangels daughter or Saeomons niece if I didn't happen to be on these threads.
Sounds fine to me.
probably over on "Off-topic".
might want to put a little disclaimer in the first post.

This is the Min/Max board. We should be able to figure out a way to optimize the POWER OF PRAYER(TM) that doesn't involve "Pazuzu, Pazuzu, Pazuzu".
[/spoiler]

My final project for my film independent study course. It could do with a watching and critiquing

SneeR

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 432
  • Sneering
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2011, 07:38:51 AM »
That is SO incredibly awesome...
The answer to everything:
[spoiler][/spoiler]
SneeR
[spoiler]
I don't know if the designers meant you to take Skill Focus for every feat.
Sounds a little OP.

The monk is clearly the best class, no need to optimize here. What you are doing is overkill.

It's like people who have no idea what a turn signal is. They ruin it for everyone else.
When another driver brandishes a holy symbol and begins glowing with divine light, seek cover or get spattered with zombie brains. I do not see what is so complicated about this.
[/spoiler]

veekie

  • Organ Grinder
  • *****
  • Posts: 9034
  • WARNING: Homing Miko
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2011, 11:55:40 AM »
Thread over, Amechra won the thread.

Seriously, thats some awesome stuff, provided you have the suitable players for it.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

zioth

  • Ring-Tailed Lemur
  • **
  • Posts: 44
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #28 on: October 26, 2011, 06:13:31 PM »
Yeah, Amechra! That's an amazing idea! So amazing that I've stolen it for my web site (with credit given to you). Tell me if you want me to remove it. http://zioth.com/roleplay/dm/creating_fear

Amechra

  • Man in Gorilla Suit
  • *****
  • Posts: 2328
  • Thread Necromancy a Specialty
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #29 on: October 26, 2011, 09:21:28 PM »
The sad part is I don't have suitable characters; I might manage to wrangle up a few people, though.
[spoiler]Fighter: "I can kill a guy in one turn."
Cleric: "I can kill a guy in half a turn."
Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."

On a strange note, would anyone be put out if we had a post about people or events we can spare a thought for, or if its within their creed, a prayer for? Just a random thought, but ... hells I wouldn't have known about either Archangels daughter or Saeomons niece if I didn't happen to be on these threads.
Sounds fine to me.
probably over on "Off-topic".
might want to put a little disclaimer in the first post.

This is the Min/Max board. We should be able to figure out a way to optimize the POWER OF PRAYER(TM) that doesn't involve "Pazuzu, Pazuzu, Pazuzu".
[/spoiler]

My final project for my film independent study course. It could do with a watching and critiquing

Garryl

  • Hong Kong
  • ****
  • Posts: 1240
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #30 on: October 27, 2011, 06:41:28 AM »
What happens when the players take turns sleeping? What do the waking PCs see when a dreamer's dream changes something in the local environment?
A Guide to Free D&D - A resource of free, official D&D resources on the web.
General listing of my homebrew.
Links to things I've worked on
[spoiler]
Idiot Crusader, refreshing maneuvers for free every round.
The Opposed Checks Handbook - Under construction.
Adaptations Handbook - Under construction.
[/spoiler]

SneeR

  • Bi-Curious George
  • ****
  • Posts: 432
  • Sneering
Re: How to put the chills into players?
« Reply #31 on: October 27, 2011, 07:00:51 AM »
None of the changes would happen where a PC could see!

Next time they look in their bag, they have less money. Next time they look under their shirt, they see a scar left by an angry baron they have no recollection of killing. Next time they talk to their loved one, the loved one hates them.
The answer to everything:
[spoiler][/spoiler]
SneeR
[spoiler]
I don't know if the designers meant you to take Skill Focus for every feat.
Sounds a little OP.

The monk is clearly the best class, no need to optimize here. What you are doing is overkill.

It's like people who have no idea what a turn signal is. They ruin it for everyone else.
When another driver brandishes a holy symbol and begins glowing with divine light, seek cover or get spattered with zombie brains. I do not see what is so complicated about this.
[/spoiler]