Friday, October 31, 2014

THE VILLAGE: Horror RPG idea

Its a small town, and there are no big heroes to save you.  Monsters, trouble and danger permeate every shadow.  There is no big protective government to save you.  This is the tiny medieval village during the Black Plague.  The small fishing town being plagued with cthonic horrors from the sea.  The last colony on a backwater world, far from the interstellar tradelanes.

You and your handful of people are one of those tiny pinpricks of light in a wide swath of darkness.  This is a horror game: players have little control, and worse, their choices only help to boost the Trouble they face.  They aren't really in control of the narrative at all.  Survival becomes more and more desperate.

Each player is playing one of the central leaders of their group.  To create a new Villager, you need to answer the following 3 questions:


  • What do you do?
  • What is something the Village wants to have?
  • Who or what would you die for?


Then, you need to distribute five points among the five alignments: Good, Evil, Neutral, Law and Chaos.  Villagers get six cards: an Ace, a Jack, a 2, a 3, a 4 and a 5.  Whenever your character tries to do something that would be conflicted or challenging, like getting the village to build a well or fending off a horde of mindeating spiders, you have to spend one of these cards for your skill check.

Add the relevant alignment to the card you play.  Each alignment is a sphere of influence- Good is about helping others, while Evil is about hurting others.  Law is about community, while Chaos is about individual efforts.  Neutral is about knowledge and nature.  If in doubt, open a PHB or look them up.

Aces always succeed, but they also cause a point to be added to the Trouble pool.  Each time Villagers survive Trouble, they add another point to the Trouble pool.  Each day that a Want the village has goes unfulfilled, add a point to the Trouble pool.

Jacks always fail.  But whenever you play a Jack, a point gets removed from the Trouble pool.

Villagers only get to redraw their discarded hand of cards after they've had a moment of happiness.  You know, genuine peace.  Sunshine in the rain sort of thing.

Trouble only is emptied, that is goes away, when a Villager dies to Trouble.  Otherwise, Trouble only makes more Trouble.  Whenever a difficulty needs to be set for a skill check, the GM rolls a d6.  The GM can add more d6s by spending Trouble.  The GM can also double the number of monsters/foes that Trouble is using in a scene.

Once Trouble has taken its victim, though, it goes back to whence it came.

*****

That's the bare bones of the idea.  Need to flesh it out a bit more.  Meant to be something somewhat... spooky I guess.