#RPGaday2015 – Day 20: Favorite Horror RPG

Day 20 of RPGaDay asks us to identify our favorite horror RPG. I could prevaricate, but I do not think it would fool anyone. My favorite horror game, ever, is Call of Cthulhu. Lots of other games have been built for the genre of horror, some building on Sandy Petersen’s work with Call of Cthulhu, some innovating other approaches. I like some of these, and I scratch my head at others. Even the ones I truly enjoy still do not challenge the place that Call of Cthulhu has in my charbroiled heart. With such clear signs of bias on display, there is really no sure footing left to continue on with reasons. Whatever I might say from this point on, it really will not be much more than a circular argument that it is the best because it is the best, with side trips off the circle into the rest area of it being the best for me.




I hope you love my favorite horror game as much as I do, but even if you don’t I won’t think less of you. Variety is the spice of life, and surprise has its place in horror, too. Describe your favorite, share the horror.

What is your favorite horror game?




6 Responses to “#RPGaday2015 – Day 20: Favorite Horror RPG”
  1. Who would have guessed? 😉

  2. Tyler says:

    For the archetypal horror game, I have not gotten to play nearly enough Call of Cthulhu. A handful of convention scenarios and the first two chapters of Masks of Nyarlathotep. I want to play more, either the Call of or its cousin Trail!

    • Runeslinger says:

      I hope you can. Many of my best gaming memories came about because of CoC~

      • Tyler says:

        Do you have any thoughts on Call of Cthulhu versus Trail of Cthulhu? Do they share an umbrella for you?

        • Runeslinger says:

          They are very different in approach. Trail of Cthulhu has fantastic production values and amazing pre-written scenarios, but focuses on emulating the typical flow of a novel. That requires decisions which reduce the ease of in-character immersion. That in turn has an effect on the potential for an emotional response. As I value the exploration of character more than I value the emulation of story forms, I tend to avoid Gumshoe games. Also, the claim that Gumshoe handles investigation-based gaming better than CoC is based on a misunderstanding of how to run CoC and on the assumption that emulating a mystery novel is objectively a higher order of play than other approaches.

          Despite this apparent negativity on my part toward Trail, I think it is an awesome game with great tools and writing talent. I have all the Gumshoe games, and admire them. Gumshoe itself, however, is not for me.

          • Tyler says:

            Good points about character exploration versus form emulation! RPPR’s play recordings of Gumshoe-driven games often strike me as running on the more process and decision-based side, and setting aside how they prefer to play anything, you describe a useful way to look at how Trail itself shapes play.

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