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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

It's hard to do horror in D&D

I love the Ravenloft setting, but I have to admit that it is really hard to pull off horror games with Dungeons & Dragons. The biggest issue is clerics. They can heal everyone, possibly resurrect the dead, and curb-stomp the undead. Even if clerics are heavily limited, mid to high level fighters and mages can handle the vast majority of monsters.

I can see why level-draining monsters were added to fight this, but I think that mechanic is very unfair (not to mention a terrible paperwork mess). In any case, I've done what I can to make it scary for the players, but oftentimes, it is not an easy sell. 

2 comments:

Joe Kushner said...

Think of the players more like Solomon Kane and it's not as much of an issue. They are the heroes of Robert E. Howard's writing, "steely-eyed killer of no remorse" or some junk.

Mind you if you DO want to do horror, yea, absolutely agreed, if your players aren't feeling it and the players don't want to do horror, much of the ambiance that goes into creating horror is going to be lost.

And if you haven't read Howard's take of the puritan who fights supernatural evil, you should check out his Robert E Howard's Savage Tales of Solomon Kane, some great stuff: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0345461509/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0345461509&linkCode=as2&tag=modappn-20&linkId=bbc5ff0354f5755ab94d19d9831fb95c

Dan said...

I've read the Soloman Kane stories, and I liked them a lot. Heck, you can see how much it influenced 2nd edition Ravenloft. I've pulled it off before, but it does take a lot of work. It helps a lot of if you have new players.