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The Horror Game
by Michael S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2010 06:09:25
Very big fan of Horror games and a bigger fan of "lite rules". This game fits the bill in both categories. An easy to understand system (was up and running in less than 30 minutes) that plays very well. Only suggestion would be - GIVE US MORE!!!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Horror Game
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The Horror Game
by NB N. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/07/2010 14:22:56
The Horror Game is a great “rules light” horror game focused on quickly creating characters, monsters, and scenarios with enough flexibility to build a wide variety of situations. With the system you can probably replicate just about any of your favorite horror movies in under an hour. It’s a fast read at just a little over 100 pages and is written well and concisely. The only real complaint I have is the lack of artwork. That doesn't take away from the system though.

The game strikes a nice balance between “crunch” for the more numbers focused players including creating characters with your standard attributes, skill points, disadvantages, etc. The skills are not predetermined, but narrative in nature that the players work out with the GM. If you want to be a yo-yo master who can kill at man at 10 paces . . . GO AHEAD! The limits are really your imagination and your GMs tolerance. The book does include tables of representative power levels for various skills, so you can get a sense of the order of magnitude that you can expect your character to perform. That’s about it for characters, which is great if you are building pregens or want to run a game where you players don’t have to stress about min/maxing every little detail.

On to monsters . . . they scale depending on the number of players and the difficulty of the game. They have most of the same attributes as the players and some special abilities like Warp Walk, which is how characters like Jason from Friday the 13th are chasing someone into a house and sudden end up right behind them after they slam the door shut. It is just as easy and fast to create your monster on the fly as it is for players to make their characters. The book also has tons of examples of types of monsters. The variety is great for a GM who wants to run an impromptu game. They even have suggestions for PvP games set in dangerous locations. This just goes to show you the flexibility of the system. The book then offers us several resources for planning a game including websites for floor plans and other game-related resources.

The mechanics are simple, yet robust. With some “rules light” games, D&D veterans and other players who like “crunchy” games are disappointed by the lack of firm boundaries of play. I think in this case The Horror Game strikes a nice balance between encouraging a narrative and utilizing a mechanic to allow for a fair resolution of actions. That doesn’t mean it’s forgiving though. Don’t get too attached to your characters.

Overall, I think the book is a solid purchase for GMs who want to change things up from his/her normal game or for groups without as much RPG experience. I am confident I can teach my players the game in 15 minutes and probably need less than an hour to stat out the monster/pregens for the game. I haven’t gotten a chance to run it. However, they plan on releasing free scenarios on www.thehorrorgame.com, which I will promptly use to run a game for the NerdBound crew or our listeners. The price is right and it should offer up some fun times for your group. Now get slashin’!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Horror Game
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/17/2010 14:04:38
Even though horror-style stuff isn't really my thing, this book was incredibly smooth, and managed to creep me out with the examples. Even better, it's priced to sell, and though you won't find huge loads of art, it would just get in the way anyways (and probably prevent people like me from reading through it). This is one of the few products that I feel is a mix of simple and complex, and still manages to benefit from the combination.

On one hand, it's incredibly simple, the rules are basic and sweeping, so everything is covered in minimal territory. There are few attributes and skills, and they are defined in a wide function. Only six-sided dice are used, and always in a group of three. The game has built in safeguards to scale the opponents to the players (assuming there is a true opponent, free-for-all fights in hostile environments are suggested as one method of running the game), and the exact outcome of events is often replaced with a minimal summary, so that the game can move quickly. The rules, which are about 100 pages, give or take, are capable of being read and understood in one sitting. The game relies less on a large amount of modifiers and fancy dice, but more on a storytelling basis. The major villain and scenario can be set up with three pages of formatted text, though obviously more can be used to flesh out settings further.

At the same time, there is a complexity added, with characters able to scavenge for weapons and objects of use. The game aims heavily to emulate movie physics, and has no qualms with applying rules separately to different characters (bad guys, for instance, cannot be killed by falling), providing a balance. Many contingencies exist, and many reasons behind rules are given. Advice for new game masters is given, so that they can create settings filled with suspense, mystery, and fear, while not burdening the game's play. Many standard horror tropes and cliches are included, often with mechanics to work with them, such as finding weapons in a pinch.

If you want a good light rule set, even for a non-horror setting, this game has one of the better rule sets for casual play I've ever seen, combined with a ton of additional stuff for more horror-oriented gameplay. Let the slasher-flicks begin!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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