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Author Topic: My 11 year old is scarier than me  (Read 1220 times)
lumpley
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« on: November 04, 2011, 06:42:35 AM »

I'm playing Murderous Ghosts with my 11 year old, Elliot.

Playing Murderous Ghosts with a kid is delicate. Elliot's a kid who likes his horror, but still, I want him creeped out, not unsettled, right? The game can go pretty deep into unsettling territory, and when I'm the GM, I'm careful to make the underlying situation violent (necessarily) but not really fucked up. A guy hit a guy with a shovel and heaved him into a furnace, not ... I dunno. Any of the more appalling horrors that come into my mind uninvited. So when I'm the GM, I make it really clear what's up. The ghosts come with angry faces and ghostly shovels for hitting with.

But then it's Elliot's turn to GM. A couple of creepy things have happened to my character Dave already - the game works in escalating cycles, and I've been through the first one, so I've seen a ghost but not interacted with one yet. Then I come into this new room, and Elliot tells me that there's a ghost there...

"It's pale white, kind of round or egg-shaped. It has stubby hands - " he holds his own hands to his armpits and flops them feebly, like a fish or a seal or something - " and little round ears. Its back is to you. It's - " he sticks his own tongue out - "licking the wall."

HOLY FUCK. I RUN. I DO NOT STOP RUNNING.

I don't even remember whether I escaped or died in that game. I have no idea what was going on with that damned ghost. I do not want to. DO NOT.

-Vincent
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Kyle Van Pelt
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011, 08:39:09 AM »

That is absolutely terrifying.

It's amazing how you can see horrible images of mutilation or death (a guy getting heaved into a furnace), but the minute you see something you can't immediately comprehend, it conjures up a feeling of terror and dread so impossible, your imagination says "FUCK YOU" and leaps blindly off the precipice of reason.

Not only a testament to the imagination, but to the game for prompting it. During the playtests, my brother and I were trying so hard to to be scary that it ended up feeling samey, where it had all been done before. Blood streaks, meat hooks, steam vents, you know, industrial horror stuff. We've all seen those things in movies, and so we immediately know "this is supposed to be scary". However, my brother introduced a scene where I stepped out of a door and into the stage/pulpit area of a cathedral-type room, with pews occupied by corpses staring at me. During the description, he said, "Nothing's making a sound at all. The air is so dense with the feeling of sanctity that you can't even hear yourself breathe." The minute I thought about a place so pure in this warped dungeon I was in, I scrambled for the nearest exit.

Still, that egg ghost thing is going to haunt my dreams for a week. Good stuff, Vincent.
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My Blog detailing my games Kamui and Destiny Quest Adventure Saga: Record of Heroes. Your eyes do not deceive you, it really is never updated.
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011, 09:10:27 AM »

I believe some fellow wrote a bit about that. What was his name, um, damn, it'll come to me in a minute ...

Quote
There are horrors beyond horrors, and this was one of those nuclei of all dreamable hideousness which the cosmos saves to blast an accursed and unhappy few. ("The Shunned House")

Quote
So instead of the poems I had hoped for, there came only a shuddering blankness and ineffable loneliness; and I saw at last a fearful truth which no one had ever dared to breathe before -- the unwhisperable secret of secrets -- that fact that this city of stone and stridor is not a sentient perpetuation of Old New York as London is of Old London and Paris of Old Paris, but that it is in fact quite dead, its sprawling body imperfectly embalmed and infested with queer animate things which have nothing to do with it as it was in life. ("He)

Quote
...the true epicure in the terrible, to whom a new thrill of unutterable ghastliness is the chief end and justification of existence, esteems most of all the ancient, lonely farmhouses of backwoods New England; for there the dark elements of strength, solitude, grotesqueness and ignorance combine to form the perfection of the hideous. ("The Picture in the House")

Ah, yes. Howard Phillips Lovecraft.

Best, Ron
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stefoid
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2011, 12:07:30 PM »

I'm playing Murderous Ghosts with my 11 year old, Elliot.

Playing Murderous Ghosts with a kid is delicate. Elliot's a kid who likes his horror, but still, I want him creeped out, not unsettled, right? The game can go pretty deep into unsettling territory, and when I'm the GM, I'm careful to make the underlying situation violent (necessarily) but not really fucked up. A guy hit a guy with a shovel and heaved him into a furnace, not ... I dunno. Any of the more appalling horrors that come into my mind uninvited. So when I'm the GM, I make it really clear what's up. The ghosts come with angry faces and ghostly shovels for hitting with.

But then it's Elliot's turn to GM. A couple of creepy things have happened to my character Dave already - the game works in escalating cycles, and I've been through the first one, so I've seen a ghost but not interacted with one yet. Then I come into this new room, and Elliot tells me that there's a ghost there...

"It's pale white, kind of round or egg-shaped. It has stubby hands - " he holds his own hands to his armpits and flops them feebly, like a fish or a seal or something - " and little round ears. Its back is to you. It's - " he sticks his own tongue out - "licking the wall."

HOLY FUCK. I RUN. I DO NOT STOP RUNNING.

I don't even remember whether I escaped or died in that game. I have no idea what was going on with that damned ghost. I do not want to. DO NOT.

-Vincent

Sounds a bit Studio Ghibli
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