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  • File : 1294528193.jpg-(104 KB, 438x323, SilentHill03.jpg)
    104 KB Horror Ideas dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)18:09 No.13445821  
    Alright I'm coming up with a campaign (specifically nwod Silent Hill) but any ideas to either put the players on the edge of their seats or at least keep them interested would be nice.

    Idc if its ripped off an unknown movie, I'll take any idea, so long as it's horror themed in some way; mysterious, etc, idc.

    Here's an idea of mine, comes from the film The Abandoned:

    NPC (or PC but im not sure how this would work) runs through an old house, and falls through the floor because the boards wore out and is hanging on for dear life on the edge of the broken splinters of this hole. PC tries to help him up, fails, and the guy falls into the darkness. No sound. PC attempts to run back, tries to find whatever they can to pull him/her back up, and finds an extension cord. Yeah, they think, that will work! PC runs back to hallway to find the hole gone, the floorboards perfect where they were. Try stomping on the floorboards, they are strong enough to the support them. wtf.jpg

    any ideas?

    inb4 horror is very hard to GM, yes I know this, but I want to at least give it a try.
    >> bearford !!4FCB7/bCWx6 01/08/11(Sat)18:17 No.13445946
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    Horror requires teamwork between players and GM. Remember that.

    Remind your players that this campaign will require COLLABORATIVE storytelling and that they will get what they give.

    I've run bad horror games before, but I've also run very good ones. My players argued in character about who had to go down basement stairs for a good 15 minutes. They went down eventually and there was nothing there.

    >MFW they still refuse to go down spooky stairs.
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)18:18 No.13445967
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    nice. ill keep that in mind.
    >> bearford !!4FCB7/bCWx6 01/08/11(Sat)18:25 No.13446047
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    Oh, sorry, back on topic.

    Make them feel like they are being stalked. Be subtle. Make them paranoid.

    A favorite trick of mine is to get players to trick other players. Here's one of my best:

    One player might be going crazy (developing minor psychic powers). I talk to the other players. They are to completely ignore me when I am playing with my green pen.

    The players would be talking to a friend NPC and I would start twiddling the green pen and talking really insanely and terribly and violently. Or play with the pen and have their plane crash, etc etc etc.

    The crazy player: "Oh god! I run to the parachutes."
    Other players playing along: "What? Dave what are you doing? DAVE get away from the airlock... etc"

    Eventually the player will start to snap. Additionally, the other players will start to assume you are tricking them somehow as well.

    Paranoia is your friend.

    Also include plenty of weird and terrible but not harmful things. Another good one is 'way too big thing looks the right size until you realize its farther away than you thought'. Like this bird.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)18:28 No.13446089
    Holy shit someone rolled up an epic cigar!
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)18:30 No.13446106


    >closer than you thought

    you mean with enemies? like if they are coming at the players? or should I be thinking of something else?
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)18:33 No.13446147
    friendly advice from a /tv/ retard (that's what you see us as anyway)

    watch, for inspiration

    The Fog
    Jacob's Ladder
    In The Mouth Of Madness

    for more refined, psycholical aspect
    First Snow
    In A Lonely Place
    >> bearford !!4FCB7/bCWx6 01/08/11(Sat)18:37 No.13446196
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    I mean:

    Away in the distance you see a small tower, crumbling into the surrounding wilderness.
    Even struggling through the underbrush, your approach is taking longer than you expected. As you heavily lift yourself up the next rise slow realization dawns; the tower isn't small at all, it was just much farther away than you had thought. It's crumbling structure is massive, each step leading up to its rotten entrance comes up to your chest. Looking at the tower makes your throat thick and your breathing heavy, though you can't say why.
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)18:39 No.13446230


    gotcha. thank you.
    >> bearford !!4FCB7/bCWx6 01/08/11(Sat)18:42 No.13446268
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    BTW that last bit is the best way to scare groups of powerful characters, who are normally insanely difficult to legitimately scare.

    Make sure they subtly feel that they will not be at their prime in any situation, make them feel like they are being stalked. Focus on separating them. Even if they can creme the enemies if you can grab them and pull them off in separate directions you have won. They kill their assailant and are all alone.
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)18:48 No.13446354
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    yeah that was one of the first things i thought off going into this campaign...the games are strictly about the atmosphere of "being alone" so I figured it was best to have them mostly like that.

    And the distance of time it takes for characters that James meets throughout SH2 could be the same type in distance of time that I take in pacing the story and having the characters randomly meet up through the fog.

    Though, if I'm doing that, AND building NPC's, I'm going to need a big, BIG Silent Hill. But thats okay *cracks knuckles*
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)19:01 No.13446525
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    thanks I'll definately check into those then.
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)19:14 No.13446692
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    also MOAR HORROR!
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)19:27 No.13446806
    An important idea, I'd say is knowing what information is important, and what is not. Maybe the players find a note indicating that some people in town don't seem to like silver, prefer wearing green, refuse to make eye contact, chew their fingers raw, or any other telltale signs Within those, you could even fit some red herrings. "Tom, where is your wedding band..."BLAMBLAM. There could even be misleading messages left by confused people.

    Tangible stuff, if you feel like doing that sort of thing, might help with immersion. The PCs find a dirty old doll with nails in its eyes, and here it is. I had a very old bible and I handed it to the players as an in-game item, with a real note folded inside'

    Good luck though, I don't get to do horror as much as I'd like.
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)19:44 No.13446976

    ah thank you. i've been thinking about props. mostly the use of music/sounds as well, unless that doesn't go over well? i figure the best thing to use in a horror game is music/sound, right?

    ~also, i will be saving this thread to look at later whilst I work. Thanks guys.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)19:55 No.13447123
    bumping this, i'm starting a semi-horror nWoD game. They're depression-era supernatural investigators, so it won't be all horror, but it'll comprise a pretty large part of it.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)19:58 No.13447153
    Can there be an undead group of newsies?
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)19:59 No.13447174
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    bumping with horror-esque pics
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:02 No.13447216
    firstly: devin?

    secondly: i'm open to it.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:02 No.13447218

    The janitor has become far more horrifying to me as a monster since post-sticky /tg/.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:04 No.13447249
    I ought to update this one ,seeing how much mileage I've gotten from it.

    How do you create horror?

    Atmosphere. Atmosphere and willing participation.

    You cannot scare someone who doesn't want to be scared. You are describing things verbally, and if the player refuses to imagine them, they will never be scared of them.

    Atmosphere is how they will imagine them. Use small wrongs to build up tension, larger wrong to accelerate that tension, and when that tension is at its peak, hit them with a horror setpiece. They won't accept either of the latter early on, because they're not in the mood. The small wrongs are there to get them to set their disbelief back just that little bit, and push up the tension slightly higher. That lets you worm in something more wrong, and the process repeats. Never drop a setpiece until they are demonstrating physical signs of discomfort or you'll waste it. The walls, roof, and floor of the giant room you're in all growing faces and starting to sing folkloric music is silly if you aren't in the mood, but if you ARE in the mood, it will fuck you up chronically.

    Something critical to your success, or failure, in a horror game will be rules.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:05 No.13447262
    Rules provide predictability. Rules provide stability. Rules provide a known quantity to which everything can be reduced. These are all bad things for horror. If you want to make horror that works, you have to be willing to adapt the rules of the game to meet your needs. You need to keep the players tense and on-guard, especially if you intend to use their paranoia against them. Follow the rules, more or less, but make sure you change them. Make large changes to the rules and keep them that way for a while. Make a one-off exception. Change something, then change it back soon after. If possible, use a system the players are not intimately familiar with. If the players lose the sense of predictability known rules provide, it firstly provides tension, and more subtly, forces them to listen to your descriptions as a whole, instead of just hearing the relevant stats and rolls. That in turn makes them more susceptible to horror tactics. Be sparing, though. Make sure every change is backed by, and appears to have been caused by, something operating in the game world. If they draw causality from there they will pay more attention to the game world, and that makes them listen more and imagine. This also ensures that your players will believe that there are rules. While you don't have to let the players know what the rules are, and you should never do so for horror, the players have to believe a set of rules exist or they will instantly have all immersion destroyed as they realise this is purely based on arbitrary whim. They won't see the point in playing if their cause doesn't lead to an effect.

    The challenges the players face are the basis of the game. I like to divide the challenges the players will face into four categories here, for ease of description.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:06 No.13447280
    First, normal threats. These are threats you can beat by fighting, as in a normal game. Normal things for that world. These challenges the players will beat by fighting. If they run, they escape, but the threat remains. If they ignore it, they get hurt. If they play along, well, work it. These should start the game, to establish the rules you're going to change. As the game progresses, these challenges should get more and more difficult to fight, without actually becoming implausible to beat, to maintain tension.

    Next are the Unstoppables. These are challenges, threats, or things that the players can't reasonably overcome. They should run from these, as fighting will get them hurt, ignoring will get them hurt worse, and playing along will get them hurt worst of all. These should come up soon. As the game progresses, these become more dangerous, going from likely hurt, to certain hurt with death chance, to certain death with only a notional chance of survival.

    Next comes the phantasmal challenges. These are challenges that aren't, usually the result of twisted perceptions. They come up later in the piece, once the rules have been changing considerably. These threats cannot be fought without being hurt, and cannot be run from because they will just follow. If you play along you'll either get hurt or stay trapped. The only way out is to ignore them. These must come later in the piece, so that the tone of the campaign already fits things undefeatable by normal methods. The effectiveness of such threats is overwhelmingly based on your description. As the game progresses, these should be less and less obvious, and take more effort to discern the 'escape move'.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:07 No.13447290
    Finally, there are the ineffable challenges. These are challenges the players cannot beat, run from, or ignore safely. To escape these, the character must play along, or find a mental escape. Think the Creepy kid from movies and games. These are often the part of the Big Threat of a horror campaign. These have to come latest in the piece, because firstly you need something that is threatening enough that the players have to play along, and secondly you need to show them subtly how to do these. As you progress, these challenges should take more complex, vicious, or unwanted actions from players to play along.

    At first, keep all the different challenge types distinct. Then, as the players start to figure out the differences, blur the visual lines. Then, blur the actual lines of the rules. Always leave the players in doubt as to what it is they should do here. Not crippling doubt, save for big setpieces, but ensure every time they plan to deal with something there's that niggling concern in their minds that this might not be the way they think it is.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:08 No.13447301
    Pacing is next. This will come down to your ability to read players, and set the pace appropriately, but I find that when I run campaigns a fast pace works best. Always keep things moving slightly faster than the players want to. Don't give them time to stop and think. They start analysing, they start wondering, they start to figure out the rules and your part in playing them. Keep them moving fast, and don't let them quite catch their breath, and the tension will keep up. Vary the pace slightly, to keep it interesting. Generally accelerate things towards the end. I like to keep the denouement of my horror campaigns with things moving so fast the players barely have any idea what's going on, which is extremely effective in building up the tension. Force them to choose fast, and give them the worst result if they don't choose quick. Just make sure you don't push it too far, into the realm of being unfair instead of just tense, or they'll stop playing along.

    Also, if you think you can do it well, try to throw in sudden stops near the end. Points at which everything just slows down. If you've turned on the little paranoia in the players' heads, this will drive them insane. Do this very rarely, though, or it gets very obvious and very old.

    Be descriptive. Being descriptive is utterly vital in horror. A good descriptive GM can make anything seem scary. A mechanical rote DM will make having Yawgmoth propose to you seem mundane and uninteresting. I can't tell you how to be descriptive, since everyone has their own style, and trying to play to another person's style just doesn't work. What I can do is give you a few tricks.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:08 No.13447311
    The first, and most common, way of creating tension is the nearlythere. That's where you take something very ordinary, and change just the littlest bit. That exploits the players' familiarity, and can work quite well. Another trick if you can do it well is to exploit that familiarity further and not fill in that missing detail until later, playing it as the characters having overlooked it. If you can do that well, it works wonders, making their acceptance of something comfortable even more disturbing. Something like an ordinary beach, plain sand, plain water, buckets, pails, dead fish every so often, and a little seaweed. All rather ordinary, save that the waves are rushing outwards from the sand. Be subtle here, though. Doing this hamfistedly will just annoy your players, kill the mood, and destroy the tension you so painstakingly built up.

    Next comes the opposite, or the things that are just wrong, except for one small detail. Focus more on the one small detail than the wrongs. This is more effective once tension has built up, and the players are more willing to accept the strange.

    Then comes the outright wrong, where there are no redeeming or familiarising features to a thing. This only works once tension has mounted considerably and the players accept these things without thinking. Because these depend on their alien-ness, use them as sparingly as possible. They make good cores for horror set-pieces.

    Finally, there's the absolutely normal. Only working once the tension has driven your players paranoid, this is something that appears completely normal because it is. Once you've been encountering the horrific and ineffable for hours at a time, something completely normal represents a drastic shift in the rules. You can, if you're good, achieve more fear from something utterly normal than something ostensibly terrifying.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:09 No.13447316
    Critically for all descriptive GMing, be descriptive, not prescriptive. The more alien a thing is, the less direct the information should be. Ideally, you want most of your descriptions to raise far more questions than they answer. Even the most horrific known thing can only be as horrific as it is. The unknown, though, is as horrific as everything it can be.

    Description is also where you produce real fear in your players. When something goes wrong in horror, never let it be a strict number, or simple YOU ARE DEAD. When something goes wrong, it should be incredibly unpleasant. If what the players fear about failure is that death means end of game no more rewards, you've failed. If the players fear failure because of what happened to their character the last time they fucked up, you're doing it right. A player doesn't fall to zero HP and die; they have their ribs torn open and feel the edges of their vision fading, as they desperately try to stop the bleeding from everywhere at once. They don't get hit by a shadow damage trap, they're sucked violently into a shadow on the floor, fingers gouging tracks in the wood, and after falling under screams of primal fear and pain can be heard from inside the walls, before the character inexplicably falls through the roof, bloodied, and with a look of utter terror on their face.

    Seeing as we're on description and its role in producing horror, there are some types of horror eminently suited for roleplaying, and many that are not.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:10 No.13447324
    Don't use BOO horror. It is purely visual and doesn’t work at all here. Even if it did it is the worst kind of horror and is only used in compensation for the failure of the creator to produce something meaningfully terrifying.

    Disturbing horror, as in describing things that just make you feel personally uncomfortable, takes exceptional skill, since it's completely dependent on your ability to read your players. If you can do it and maintain it just below the point at which the player has had enough and just leaves the game, do so. If you can't read the player, don't try. Also, don't do it to any player unless you can do it to all, as it'll make that player feel you're trying to go after him personally.

    Fear of consequence works well, since the total control over the character and the tension you're creating work to make players empathise with and become immersed in their characters. This is where the consequences mentioned above become truly upsetting.

    Paranoia creation works perfectly here, since you have complete control over information, and the players are inherently using their imaginations. Use it, and use it well.

    WHAT THE SHIT IS THAT may or may not work. That all comes down to your ability as a descriptive GM. If it does, exploit it mercilessly.

    On a sidenote, the use of motifs can work very well in horror. Try to associate all the worst events in the game with one motif, and put them before it. The tinkly music box is one of them, or a certain NPC's voice, or anything. If you use that motif and the players immediately start to get visibly tense, you're doing it right.

    There is also the option of fucking with the players, and turning them on each other, but that is a very individual choice. It may work; it may not, all depending on your group.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:10 No.13447326
    this need to be archived.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:11 No.13447335
    If you want to do like I do sometimes and create a setting where the players are almost outright hostile to each other but work together still solely because they need to survive, combine separation and concentration to produce mutual paranoia. Being alone makes them uncomfortable, since they don't have any support and they don't have anything to confirm that what they see is real. Being with someone else makes them uncomfortable, since there is an excellent chance that they aren't who they say they are or even real. Remember to slide a note to one or both or all players every time they meet, even if it's blank. Sometimes, it will say 'you are an angry/sad/violent/helpful hallucination/ghost/disguised enemy' or 'you are his friend, but have become slightly/significantly/murderously hostile/antipathic/helpful/lustful for reason XYZ;. It takes work, but making players completely distrust one another without once making an actual PC willingly betray them makes for excellent horror. You want to create that unique-to-horror feeling of immense relief followed by deep suspicion every time you see another living human.

    Or for a less personal feel, do like FEAR, and have the other players almost always good, but with the caveat that if you ever meet another person it's because something absolutely horrible is about to happen to both of you. This is my personal favourite, because they instinctively want to stay other players and NPCs to feel safe, but the moment they actually see someone else they try to get away from each other as soon as possible because something nasty will happen. Try to capture that feeling from FEAR where you're screaming at the screen NO YOU FUCKHEAD DON'T MEET UP WITH ME YOU'RE GOING TO GET BRUTALLY FUCKING KILLED.
    >> Dr. Baron von Evilsatan 01/08/11(Sat)20:11 No.13447346
    One trick I like to use in that situation is to have the players roll up multiple characters. Not individually, since that creates a sense of privateness, but as a group. Hand them ten character sheets and tell them to fill them out as a group. They take one character at a time, and you work the others as you need to in the plot or under their direction if not. This gives you a much greater ability to produce incredibly harsh consequence, without compromising the extent to which players empathise with their characters, and turn up the difficulty considerably to add to the horror without making the game objectively more difficult. It does add an enormous amount of extra administration, though, so be careful with it.

    There's more, but at this point I've completely lost track of my mental organisation of this stuff. Ask about something if I missed it.

    Just remember the basic rules of horror GMing:
    The rules system is irrelevant.
    The content is unimportant.
    Delivery is everything.
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)20:17 No.13447419

    oh that sounds like fun. haha newsies. christian bale was in that wasn't he? man...8th grade choir class...so many sad memories...
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)20:18 No.13447434
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    wow man, this is fantastic! thank you a thousand times over!

    yes captcha, siniting settled, except its setting, not "siniting"
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)20:20 No.13447459
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    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:29 No.13447593
    I'm more of a survival-horror kinda gm, rather than the psychological horror that is so hard to run.

    I could never get myself to pull stuff like what: >>13446047 suggests.

    I'm running a survival-horror game currently though. Of course, my players haven't realized yet.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:36 No.13447709
    I'm really excited for it. The players are all new to the system, and so far all they've played is D&D (which honestly i think we're all a bit tired of). It's going to be a long-running thing, but it has so much potential for variation

    One week we may play a murder-mystery with a touch of the occult, the next a fast-paced action game with car chases and big shoot-outs, the next a routine investigation of a "haunted house" gone horribly, horribly awry.

    There'll be creatures of folklore, wod-specific monsters, cultists everywhere, plenty of psychos and just the lightest sprinkling of the lovecraftian.

    PS: Dr. Baron von Evilstan, I applaud you sir. You're a scholar and a gentleman.
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:37 No.13447726
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    Woo! EvilSatan!

    >forgency 245.

    Forgency indeed...
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)20:52 No.13447897
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    not necessarily horror, but kind of creepy!
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)21:05 No.13447960
    You know who did this?
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)21:29 No.13448184
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    does anyone know if there is a CoC supplement for Silent Hill?
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)22:00 No.13448478
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    no. should I?
    Also, bumping with my meager selection of horror-pics.
    >> dustythoreau 01/08/11(Sat)23:03 No.13449115
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    Anything else?
    >> Anonymous 01/08/11(Sat)23:16 No.13449214
    That's Wayne Barlowe's portrait of Sargatanas, from Barlowe's Inferno.
    >> Silent Hill RPG sourcebook Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:02 No.13449702
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    If someone from 4chan GMing in Silent Hill, he should never be without the Silent Hill RPG source I wrote for Palladium.


    Enjoy the sourcebook, I'm sure you'll find at lease some ideas for your game in there.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:04 No.13449723
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    >> dustythoreau 01/09/11(Sun)00:08 No.13449762
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    thank you so much for this!


    i lol'd
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:09 No.13449775
    >I wrote for Palladium
    Oh, man. Man. It'll be okay. I'll hold you, bro, it's OK to cry.

    It'll be okay.
    >> deleted 01/09/11(Sun)00:10 No.13449785
    Haha. I had a horror campaign like that. I ended up pretending to be one of the creatures trying to kill us, and they lead me back to their lair. Good times were had by all.

    It's amazing what a DC 80 Bluff check can do.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:11 No.13449788
    Cool. Thanks!
    >> Zach !!m1zNwNhpIw+ 01/09/11(Sun)00:15 No.13449826
    Dr. Baron has covered pretty much everything with his commentary.

    Horror in the case of PnP can be hard, but as he stated, making the cause purely the result of the game world really makes the scene hit hard. A strong vocabulary is definitely a bonus when it comes to descriptive horror.

    For an example of situational horror, take an otherwise mundane animal such as a rat. Urban legends about giant rats are rampant and in some cases well-founded. Suppose you have a hulking fighter of a character that's nigh unstoppable in combat. Take a big ol' rat and give it a diseased bite. It bites the fighter and down he goes, stumbling down some stairs, losing his sword and breaking a leg in the process. The disease kicks in and the fighter's nigh helpless. Then the rat takes its time, eating the fighter...
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:17 No.13449847
    It's literally a massive tour of Silent Hill. Like every fucking room. Luckily the writing is fucking awesome, so it's...yeah, also fucking awesome.

    Like the part where you go through the Historical Society and then the Prison and stuff? Creepy as hell.
    >> Zach !!m1zNwNhpIw+ 01/09/11(Sun)00:24 No.13449918
    In the fighter's case, the horror was twofold. One, his best combat asset - strength - had been taken away by a fast-acting illness. The second fold was the rat being a seemingly helpless rodent that just got a lucky hit in. What harm could a rat do to an experienced fighter? In this case, the meek inherited the bottom of the stairs.

    One fine example of horror comes from Watership Down. For those of you who don't know, it's a book about a group of rabbits trying to find a place to settle down at. They encounter a warren where the rabbits act strangely. This is one of Dr. Baron's points, in that normality is subverted, slowly but surely. Normal rabbits don't laugh or create art from pebbles, but these strange rabbits do. The protagonists were a little pertubed by this but decided that the strange warren was just exotic.

    The strangest thing was, the locals would never answer the question "where". If the protagonists asked where something/someone was, the locals would swiftly change the subject entirely, as though they had never heard the question.

    But one of the protagonists ended up in a wire trap and almost died. Another protagonist figured something out through visions. The entire warren was surrounded by wire traps.
    The locals never asked where anyone went.
    They went into the traps.
    Traps the nearby farmer had set.
    The locals took up art and laughter. In return, they gave their lives to the cooking pot.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:25 No.13449929
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    Dear lord. mfw.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:27 No.13449949
    The rat is now spiders.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:28 No.13449972

    It covers the first five games in varying degrees, with material from 1, 2 and 4 being the most complete. I just wish I could find a way to incoporate material from Homecoming and Shattered Memories.
    >> dustythoreau 01/09/11(Sun)00:33 No.13450026

    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:46 No.13450127
    find ways to mess with your players in ways that will leave them posting about it on /tg/.

    some notes from a previous horror thread:

    -Enact a "sanity" system. whenever the player loses sanity points, hand them a slip of paper with a phrase/command/nonsense on it to represent the voices in the their head. Make it sound harmless at first

    "Stare suspiciously at the player to your left, then draw a finger across your throat. Deny everything afterwards".
    "You suddenly have a craving for steak. Rare as possible."
    "Everything will be OK. This is not your fault."
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:47 No.13450143
    as things progress, make them more and more malevolent and creepy.

    "Until you cut it out, we will always be able to track you"
    "It's weAring his skin. iT's watChing you frOm behind hiS eYes"
    "Please wake up. None of this is real. You're just having a nightmare. Please wake up."
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:50 No.13450167
    Better yet. Give them a stat that doesn't really do anything. Whenever things get tense, have them roll it, then pretend to jot down some notes.
    Makes 'em paranoid as fuck.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:51 No.13450179

    my personal favorite anecdote:

    The party moves their conversation into a room which they can lock and is private so they can discuss their plan. Suddenly a knock is heard on the door. If the party ignores the knocking, it will continue. If someone asks "Who's there?" There will be no answer. The knocking will only stop once a party member opens the door. The doorway will be empty and so will the accompanying hallway. The party member can then shut and re-lock the door. A short time later, the knocking will come at the door again. Once again, no answer, and when the door is opened, the knocking stops. Shutting the door again, the party member only has to walk away from the door for a moment, before this is another round of knocking. This time when the party member opens the door, there will be a piece of paper laying on the floor at the foot of the door. If the PC reads the paper, it will say:

    "Now we are all inside."
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:53 No.13450196
    You may have to use your DM powers to just plain old fuck with the players. I once had a mission that ran through a haunted mine.

    There were unkillable monsters, sections of tunnel that were never the same twice, I would change details and act as if I never did, I would be purposely ambiguous about my descriptions of things, and I would implement plenty of "false trails;" hinting that something is about to happen but it really doesn't.

    Another good thing is to just make your players roll for stuff when they're just walking along. You don't even have to tell them what, or they could be rolling for nothing, as long as they believe something bad might happen.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:54 No.13450203
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:59 No.13450244
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)00:59 No.13450245
    An oldie, but a goody.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)01:01 No.13450259
    >file unavailable

    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)01:04 No.13450285
    There you go, uploaded to a fileservice that doesn't suck
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)01:05 No.13450294
    I don't know how effective this is, since it's so simple.

    Have the PCs in an area with a wall sized mirror and a strong light source. As they're passing through the room, the light flickers. If the party looks at the mirror, they see their shadow instead of their reflection. If they look at their shadows, they instead see their reflections, which smiles calmly and mouths a phrase before the light flickers again and everything returns to normal.

    If any PCs can read lips, they would understand the message: "Now it's your turn to switch around."
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)01:07 No.13450325



    This is work.
    >> dustythoreau 01/09/11(Sun)01:37 No.13450587
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    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)02:02 No.13450839
    A single PCs has found him or herself staring at the strange foreign writing and is able to read what it says in his/her mind.

    When the PC is done reading, the PC squints and the words shift into an unknown language. Staring harder, the PC realizes that the words never shifted into an unknown language—they were always unrecognizable curves and lines that don't resemble any kind of language that civilization ever wrote.

    The other PCs cannot read the writing

    "Inhaling shakily, you didn't like reading that diary. Whenever you speak the words, the outlandishness of the unfamiliar alphabet seems to crawl under your tongue, raking against your vocal cords in glee as you read the words. Feeling as though you have drank a few shots of hard liquor, your head buzzes with a small ache, corresponding with the sick tension in your throat. It is awfully strange and uncomfortable, yes, but what harm can words do?"

    Later single that PCs out for possession.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)02:32 No.13451095
    1. A tumbleweed blows across the street. Funny; they're not native to this area. It blows back again the other way. The PCs pass it. It starts to follow them. It has teeth.

    2. The barber pole lights up and starts twirling if a male PC passes it. Raw screams can be heard from inside the shop, though there's nobody to be seen. The screams sound as though they are being made through a gashed throat rather than someone's mouth.

    3. If the PCs venture into the cinema, a perfectly ordinary movie is playing (something the PCs would be familiar with), but all the characters are dead.

    4. The supermarket/grocery shop is offering a special on eyeballs.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)02:41 No.13451175
    Corpses lie in the streets, quite obviously dead (gangrenous, bloated, all that), surrounded by clouds of buzzing flies. Every so often, the corpses swat at the flies, but then lie still again.

    The PCs encounter another "traveler" in Silent Hill, a man/woman/child with no weapons and absolutely no flaws at all, physical or mental. The person is extremely nice and helpful, and the monsters seem to avoid him or her. Beneath the streetlights, it seems like you can see the person's shadow moving in strange ways out of the corner of your eyes. Its movements don't correlate to those of the person casting it.

    An orchestra is apparently taking place within one of the buildings, which has flickering lights in the windows. It grows louder as one approaches, but as soon as you enter the building from which the sound emanates, the lights go out and there is the sound of hushed whispers. Investigation finds a conductor's music stand and seats for all the band members, but no one is there. Occasionally a whisper comes out of a darkened corner.

    Hoarse whispers float up from open manholes. "Save me," they say, accompanied by the sound of grinding rock and splashing sewage.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)02:56 No.13451319
    The PC finds a piece of paper lying in the middle of the street. If they bend over to look at it, they see it reads "There wasn't a hole here. There is now".

    Then a hole opens beneath their feet, dumping them into a dark pit.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:07 No.13451398
    he player walk past a graffiti-covered wall--one prominent piece is a child's drawing of a door.

    Behind them, they hear the sound of a very rusty hinge squeaking. If they look back, the door is now real, and open.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:36 No.13451591
    The players find an old Iron Lung machine in the middle of the road. It's old, dirty and rusted shut. There is a man inside it. His head is sticking out of the machine and looks blankly upwards. He is dead. Anyone with any medical knowledge would guess he hasn't been dead for more than a few hours. If the players manage to pry open the machine the rest of his corpse is foul and bloated and writhing with fat yellow maggots. His Hospital gown is stained with blood and dirt and in his hand is a pistol or a scalpel or any kind of McGuffin.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:37 No.13451600
    Mix and match sensations. Example:

    The party is investigating a site, and have a friendly dog with them. After they search around a bit, they hear the dog freaking out. Barking, snarling, growling, and finally whimpering before it makes a terrible pained noise that is cut short. All the while, the dog sits happily wagging it's tail and looking curiously up at the party.

    Later, when they're investigating a different, more dangerous site, one of them notices that the calm panting and occasional happy bark the dog makes are completely at odds with how it looks. Hackles up, teeth bared... and then it finds something in the dark ahead, and runs after it...
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:40 No.13451619
    Players find five corpses without bones, trying to move towards a woman trapped inside a phone booth.

    On their backs, the numbers 1, 2, 3, 5, 12.
    Oh, let the games begin...
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:41 No.13451630
    That's more like the "comic book" Silent Hill than the "game" Silent Hill, which is superior. Well, except for all the games following 3, then the comic book town looked awesome.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:42 No.13451639
    *There it is again.

    And again.

    They didn’t imagine it the first time they heard it.

    Shuffling footsteps that are intermittently carried on the still air of this unnaturally quiet town. Also, the faint clink of what sounds like chains being dragged.

    *As they walk through the swirling white silence they think they hear a pit-pattering echo to their steps. The soft noise stops each time they hesitate, so that one cannot tell if what they heard was real or just a figment of their apprehension. They feel the cold chill as a drift of the fog caresses their faces.

    It is then that a soft child’s voice whispers, “Tagged, I’ve got you!”, then a giggle in a high sweet laugh that seems to come from every direction at once.

    *They hear the yowls of a distant cat fight, which is strange because they have yet to see any animal life since coming here.

    *One of the PCs becomes dizzy and must sit down.

    *A creaking sound seems to call one of the PC’s names.

    *When gazing into a reflection in a pane of glass, a PC sees briefly the face of a dead loved one looking over their shoulder.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:44 No.13451655
    Christ, there's a guy in my group who would fall for that little ploy hook, line, and sinker. He thinks that descriptions of the setting are important plot points, while important plot points are just minute details.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:47 No.13451677
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    Let him know its the number of toes they've got left, once they're done doing their combat against their rubbery undead foes, as well.
    But, be sure to mention a whole lot dark spaces one of them could be hiding in.
    Also, pic so related, it hurts.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:47 No.13451678
    Pieces of shredded newspaper blow down the street. If a character reads a piece, the text therein at first seems to be describing their personal failings, predicting their doom or revealing some deep personal shame, but on second glance this is just a coincidental sentence/headline to an otherwise unremarkable news story.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:49 No.13451690
    Alternately, Lizard of Guilt.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:52 No.13451709
    In a certain area, there seems to be an echo, even though it's quite open. Eventually, it doesn't quite sound like your voice in the echo. And the echo synches up more and more with your voice, to the point where it sounds like an unseen person is speaking along with you and not quite matching up. If you stop in the middle of a sentence, their voice continues for a moment, before they suddenly catch on and go quiet.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)03:54 No.13451719
    You win +1 creepy points. I'm >>13451619.
    I bow to higher wisdom.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)04:22 No.13451873
    >> Frosted Weasel !!dLUhj2yYgMt 01/09/11(Sun)04:40 No.13451985
    While this thread is full of so many awesome ideas, it's a horrible, terrible one for me to be reading it at 0430. What the fuck am I doing? Now I'll never get to sleep
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)04:59 No.13452102
    The teacup sitting on the plate seemed innocuous enough, it was until the player reached for the door and it wouldn't open that they heard the gentle splashing. Turning they notice the teacup is now overflowing with piping hot dark liquid, it is overflowing the plate and onto the table before spilling onto the chairs and cascading to the floor.
    The player will now try to escape it. They climb a dresser and stand there as the floor is saturated when the door opens and an NPC is standing there.
    "What are you doing up there?" they ask, the floor is now dry and the cup empty again.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)05:19 No.13452234

    You and a friend sit in the living room watching a videotape you made of yourselves talking at around 4:30 AM a few nights ago, laughing at your nocturnal antics. As you enjoy the absurdity of your conversation, you notice that the figures on the screen have stopped speaking, and are staring intently. As this continues, you start to speak to your friend, when you're interrupted by your videotape counterpart saying exactly the words that were leaving your mouth in a mocking tone.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)05:32 No.13452306
    If PCs are trapped in Silent Hilly town have all communication with the outside fail, while local comms work. You get network signal on your cellphone, you can call other party members, but calling someone outside the town, like the emergency numbers results in total silence - no signal and your phone disconnects with a "Network error" message. Unless you roll 1 on d100 - then you connect, but anything you say is repeated and echoed, feedbacking itself until it becomes more and more distorted and dies with a loud sound. If PCs get access to a computer connected to the Internet, they discover the LAN is intact, they can read local news service or sheriffs online bulletin (which may contain disturbing things too), but Google timeouts. More tech savvy guys may try to set DNS to something else than the one provided by local ISP - that makes browsing unusable. Trying traceroute shows the signal stopping at local ISP mainframes. If they investigate further to the ISP facilities, they find there is a single hardlink to the outside and nothing on the other side is responding. GPS cannot find the sats. Maybe if the PCs stand under clear sky on the highest building they get some weak signal, but it's entirely wrong - it shows them in a middle of the ocean, or on the other side of the world. Radios get only static, though walkie-talkies will work. PCs may try to use it to call someone other than themselves, maybe they get nothing, maybe they hear some really disturbing things, maybe just normal transmissions, distorted and nonresponding. Throw them a morsel of hope as some trucker out there reacts to their calls with a "What? Repeat, I can't hear you right, over?" And he never will.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:24 No.13453027
    bump for horran
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)07:27 No.13453052
    There was a hole here and now it's gone....
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)13:22 No.13455618
    could you give an example for "ignore" and "play along"? I'm not sure I understand these options the right way.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)13:26 No.13455650
    Have the sound of children singing a nursery rhyme come drifting up from a drain. If used more than once this can be used to tip them off that one of your BBEGs is heading their way. Think the dragging sound of the great knife with Pyramid Head.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)15:21 No.13456693
    Think of what you are most afraid of then put it in your game. Odds are your players will be afraid as well, unless you're scared of silly things like butterflies and girls.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)15:53 No.13456967
    When you pass by a public phone, it rings. The voice at the other end sounds like an old woman, and recites your horoscope for the day. It isn't auspicious.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)16:07 No.13457158
    They walk down the middle of the road, the buildings arching over them, nothing is moving, the wind has died down to nothing. As the PCs progress down the street, their eyes dart from side to side: cinemas, shops and barbers line the streets.
    The radio then screams static, but there is nothing around.

    And yet they can hear something, vague sounds off in the distance. Something large, crashing through an empty street.
    The air is still, lifeless. The sounds grow louder as they draw closer.
    Until finally they come to the edge of an intersection, they see it.
    It lurches across the open square, its weight cracking the ground with every step, huge and bulging like a living cancer growth, all red-purple striations, with rows of swollen eyes and mouths dripping pus. It stalked unsteadily forward on tall stilt legs that might once have been leg-bones, once upon a time. It stops abruptly as something else enters the square from the other side. The two monster howl and squall at each other, terrible sounds, like two great beasts disputing territory. The hideous racket calls others. They burst out of side streets and the shells of broken buildings, huge monstrosities that could never have survived and prospered in a sane and rational world.

    All their movements are sudden, erratic, disturbing. Their raised cries are awful, actually painful to the human ear. They strike at each other, or at nothing, or charged each other head-on, like rutting stags. They do not move or act like sane things. One only has to watch them to know that their minds have gone bad, their spirits broken by this terrible place, this end of all things. They look as though they are sick inside, everything gone to rot and corruption, dying by inches.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)16:56 No.13457705
    Billboards or posters advertising the PC's and their various sins and flaws.

    Several monsters re-enact an important scene from a PC's life, with just enough details (a certain jacket, out of place props) for the PC to recognize the scene, even though all of the dialogue consists of grunts and growls. If the PC's allow the scene to play through to its completion, the monsters revert to normal behavior and attack.

    A school bus full of child-like monsters, apparently asleep. They can wake up.

    An 18-wheeler has grown horrid spikes and saws, all of which are covered in fresh gore. At some point in the near future, the PC's will hear the truck start up. They should really run.

    Rain of fire (better in Otherside).

    Over the course of a few minutes, the PC's find increasing numbers of people and monsters, skinned and left hanging from lampposts and walls. The corpses are more common as they approach their destination. If they are clever, they may avoid the Butcher. If not, they'll wish they had.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)18:07 No.13458485
    How could a phantasmal challenge look like?
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)18:48 No.13458918

    Everything else in this summary is fucking amazing, but I'd take issue with fucking with the rules. If you're playing a horror game, the system you should be using should be fairly simple and straightforward, so as not to distract too much from the game and the story.

    Changing the rules arbitrarily breaks the immersion and leaves the players wondering about the rules and not being creeped out by the game. By all means, subvert the rules, impose penalties at willbecause that Thing is there one minute and not the next, for example, but work within a framework so the difference doesn't jar players and break immersion.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)18:51 No.13458948
    I don't think he was referring to the actual game mechanics. I think he meant changing the rules of the in-game world.
    While that might affect mechanics indirectly, it has more to do with how the characters interact with the world than how the players interact with their characters.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)18:53 No.13458970
    Flashbacks, illusions, hearing disembodied screams coming from a room, etc. Shit that fucks with just your head.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)19:03 No.13459038

    Ah, that makes more sense. I think it was:

    >If possible, use a system the players are not intimately familiar with. If the players lose the sense of predictability known rules provide, it firstly provides tension, and more subtly, forces them to listen to your descriptions as a whole, instead of just hearing the relevant stats and rolls.

    that threw me. If anything, I'd still disagree, since familiarity with the system means you can focus on the game itself and let the rules fade into the background.

    It'd be like, I dunno, watching a horror film in a language you understood, but weren't fluent in. Technically, you'd still understand, but there would be that disconnect as you mentally translate instead of just understanding.
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)20:48 No.13460078
    Not really, considering you are one of the characters. It's more like going through a door into Escher's "Reletivity."
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)20:58 No.13460177
    Learn symbolism and metaphor.
    Ideas and meanings are gonna be scarier than most things your players come across.

    That said? Some players can still be intimidated by the sheer size of some things. It's not psychological, if it's a ravening tarrasque, but if it's just something so huge it doesn't care/know that it might destroy the players that could be.
    >> I can't believe it's not 404 dustythoreau 01/09/11(Sun)21:18 No.13460382
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    >go to bed
    >wake up
    >go to work
    >have fun throughout the day
    >get on at 9pm
    >my thread is still up

    All my love /tg/. ALL OF IT!
    >> Anonymous 01/09/11(Sun)23:20 No.13461645
    Keep your horrors hidden in the shadows, nothing is less scary than a plainly visible (and therefore deflatable) opponent.
    >> Anonymous 01/10/11(Mon)03:43 No.13464491
    >>It'd be like, I dunno, watching a horror film in a language you understood, but weren't fluent in. Technically, you'd still understand, but there would be that disconnect as you mentally translate instead of just understanding.

    a counterexample.
    I have a basic (roughly 3rd-grade) understanding of Japanese, with some advanced theoretical and practical linguistics knowledge of it.

    When I watch a (subtitled) Japanese horror movie, I have to rely on the translator for some advanced constructions and subtleties - but I have an immediate understanding of the basics.
    since I am, however, unfamiliar with some advanced niceties of social interaction - the "rules" of the society, it adds an unfamiliar element. Not only that, the core assumptions of the Japanese horror mythoi are different - the "game" is played with subtly different rules.

    When the woman in "Ju-On" tries to take refuge under her blankets, it's a familiar mechanical trope (like a particular attack type being useful in your preferred system, say) that is suddenly and brutally subverted.

    It leaves the players wondering how many of their inherent assumptions they can trust, and uncertain as to the outcome of formerly basic actions, heightening the tension and adding to the GM's role as gatekeeper of the world.
    >> dustythoreau 01/10/11(Mon)10:28 No.13467140
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    for justice
    >> Captain Bill !fdP/t2NuS6 01/10/11(Mon)10:56 No.13467297
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    When it comes to DMing horror in RPGS I have 4 words for you:

    False Sense of Security

    If you can establish that you are free to toy with their minds in any way you please. They will begin to distrust what is going on and if you do it right they will become paranoid and troubled by even the smallest things. In fact here is another trick to fooling their minds:

    -Mention unimportant details and toy with their abilities

    Example: Everyone make a Spot check: There is really nothing there, so even when the rolls are good you look around and say "you don't see anything".

    You can also have them begin to distrust their gear or loot. Leave a message scrawled somewhere that implies it is unsafe to carry something, but make it vague. Next thing you know they'll be ditching gear out of paranoia.

    I suppose these are better suited for the psychological aspect of the horror. As for what is actually considered scary you will have to tap into your knowledge of your players. What truly scares people is widely varying.
    >> Captain Bill !fdP/t2NuS6 01/10/11(Mon)11:00 No.13467316
    Oh, I almost forgot.

    Choose your verbiage wisely. Often times what is more disturbing ins't what you say, but instead how you say it.
    >> Indonesian Gentleman 01/10/11(Mon)11:05 No.13467349
    >unless you're scared of silly things like butterflies and girls

    You were walking down the street one fine day when you suddenly noticed that there's nobody around you anymore. That jogger that passed you disappeared even though your field of vision isn't obstructed by anything. That fat hot dog vendor right across the street isn't on his stand no more, even though you only turned to look at the jogger for a second. Then you noticed a butterfly floating in front of you. An iridescent blue butterfly, so metallic as a Blue Morpho. Then more appeared from the edge of your vision. Your vision became blurry, the ground beneath you seem to be giving in, and everything seems to gradually darken, except for the mass of shimmering blue that floats around you now. Then, all of a sudden, they all float up, slowly, gracefully.
    Leaving you floating in a black void. A girl's voice in the distance distracts you from the spectacle.
    Then you noticed that even the butterflies are gone, and that the girl's voice grows closer and closer. You also noticed that she wasn't speaking coherent sentences.
    And oh, of course you noticed that you see nothing at all when the voice is coming, until it arrives a breath's length away.
    >> Indonesian Gentleman 01/10/11(Mon)11:20 No.13467435
    Bump, I require more scary stuff to fuel my sleep.
    >> Anonymous 01/10/11(Mon)15:59 No.13469889
    Hey, this thread is still around, cool.
    >> Titanium Man 01/10/11(Mon)16:19 No.13470118
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    It was the BUTTERFLY, I tell you! THE BUTTERFLY!
    >> dustythoreau 01/10/11(Mon)18:35 No.13471906

    OR...(and I don't mean to undermine you at all, just adding on to what you are saying)...what you DON'T...say?

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