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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

The Haunted House (I)

One of the definitely traditional classics of the horror genre are the Haunted Houses. The typical ghost stories often takes us to these environments. Places where something terrible has happened and where suffering souls wander looking for a solution for themselves or, simply, terrorizing anyone still alive who dares visiting them. In the same way, several films and games have been based on these ideas.

The Haunted House offers a lot of resources to the GM. It is an omnipresent enemy that can know what the PCs do or say all the time. And probably It can enter their minds to find about their worst fears to create visions with them.

There are two big groups when we talk about Haunted Houses. Those which seek (They or the spirits that inhabit them) salvation, and those whose only desire is to cause fear. This second group is less interesting for RPGs. As there is not so much for interaction. It is more difficult having the House giving clues about solving the mystery, i.e., for defeating and destroying it. So it is usually better suit for one-shots where the mood is more important than the story (but is not it always so for the Horror genre?).

The first group, in our opinion, is much more juicy. The spirit, limited in its communicative skills, should give clues to the characters for them to discover why is it all happening and the possible solution. However, each ghost will have its way of doing things and own preferences. Maybe It won't understand the characters' motivations or behavior, or maybe its different perception of the environment will make the communication difficult. A kid's ghost will probably want to play all the time, a mother who is looking for her child could not have spare time to give the clues to the players. (cont.)

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