Thursday, August 20, 2015

RPGaDay2015: Day Twenty

Favorite Horror RPG

It's a dark and stormy day in Houstopolis.  Probably a good one for talking about horror, a genre I have a complex relationship with.  See, I like scary stuff, but I kind of actively detest being scared.  I have to have horror movies vetted for me.  I don't go to live haunted houses.  But reading and gaming horror are usually at a sufficient remove for me to enjoy things.

A while back, I posted on Google+ about my love for Call of Cthulhu, how I defied parental mandate and good sense to undertake a 100 mile road trip to buy a copy when it first came out (I've still got it, signed by Sandy Petersen himself).  CoC was my introduction to horror RPGs, but it's not my favorite.

That would be this one:

The original Pacesetter edition of Chill.  I was working in a bookstore when it came out, so I very likely got the first copy sold in San Antonio back in the day.  The cover billed it as a "Frightfully Fun Role Playing Game," and that appealed to me.  So did the delightful Hammer-inspired cover art from James Holloway.

"Delightful" is a word I use a lot to describe this version of Chill.  It wasn't deep, the system was clunky, but the breezy approach to the rules and the all-inclusive, salad bar nature of the terrifying "Unknown" was terrific.

And the supplements were so great.  Things is still one of my favorite horror "monster manuals," ranging from the prosaic to the incredibly eclectic and horrifying.  And the Vampires guidebook did different breeds of bloodsuckers years before White Wolf.  But these were monsters, one and all.  That book actually gave me nightmares, thank you whoever wrote the Bhima Gupta chapter.

 The Mayfair edition has better rules, but a lot less charm.  I have high hopes the new one will hit the sweet spot, but I'm waiting on my copy to come before I take a deep dive into the rules.  This one's my favorite.  And the fact that I met my first serious girlfriend during a Halloween one-shot is purely incidental.

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