I Want To Scare The Living Daylights Out Of My Players!


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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BlackJack Weasel wrote:
do you ever take people outside and have private conversations with players during the game so you can give them information that you don't want the other players to know...

This is a bit meta, but it could also be interesting to take a player outside and tell her something completely mundane; now, when she goes back to the table and reveals nothing to the players, the rest of the party trusts her that much less...


You have received a lot of good advice. The one thing I haven't seen discussed (hope I did not miss it) is the effect of level on horror games.

Low level characters are much easier in a Pathfinder game to terrorize. They are still weak and particularly susceptible to things like disease, poison & paralysis. The players of low level characters are still able to feel fear when they run into a level drainer or incorporeal creature.

That is the key. Players must be out of their comfort zone and you need to be able to overcome the inherent Pathfinder CR appropriate encounter assumption. There are lots of ways to do this including no place to rest and no way to escape scenarios. Combine those with a ticking clock, some dangerous effects like disease or poison and some good spooky ambiance and you have a horror game.


Joe Homes wrote:
BlackJack Weasel wrote:
do you ever take people outside and have private conversations with players during the game so you can give them information that you don't want the other players to know...
This is a bit meta, but it could also be interesting to take a player outside and tell her something completely mundane; now, when she goes back to the table and reveals nothing to the players, the rest of the party trusts her that much less...

Destroy trust by talking about breakfast.

Sovereign Court

My Self wrote:
Joe Homes wrote:
BlackJack Weasel wrote:
do you ever take people outside and have private conversations with players during the game so you can give them information that you don't want the other players to know...
This is a bit meta, but it could also be interesting to take a player outside and tell her something completely mundane; now, when she goes back to the table and reveals nothing to the players, the rest of the party trusts her that much less...
Destroy trust by talking about breakfast.

French toast is both delicious and terrifying!!

Paizo Employee Sales Associate

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*Open thread. Ctrl-F "Clown". None Found. Page 2. Ctrl-F "Clown". None found.* Friends, I am disappointed.

Clowns.

Attack the characters with clowns. Then, before the players get the upper-hand and defeat the clowns, have the clowns run away.

Then have them show back up from time to time.

Make the lead clown(s) be reskinned bugbears that have levels in witch using the Misfortune Hex. Then have the lead clowns follwed around by a bunch of tiny clowns. Think the tiny Ashes in Evil Dead 2. These guys are all reskinned pugwampis. Use a lot of hit-and-run tactics so the players get the most frustration from their Unluck Aura.

When you feel the players are getting too frustrated, pull back on the throttle a bit and let them catch and kill a few of the little guys before they can get away.

Then hit them with a clown reskinned as something really nasty.


TitaniumStar,

I think your monsters are scary...or, at least, they would be scary in a horror movie. In this game, monsters exist only to be destroyed for treasure and experience; I doubt your players will be terrified.

I agree with the other posters: atmosphere will make the game scary.

On some Saturdays, Syfy channel will run a marathon of lesser-known horror movies. This might be a great source for ideas; they have some good scenes.

Sovereign Court

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Cosmo wrote:


Clowns.

Attack the characters with clowns. Then, before the players get the upper-hand and defeat the clowns, have the clowns run away.

Then have them show back up from time to time.

Give them all access to the Squeeze spell so that they're always hiding in places where they shouldn't be able to fit.

Player: I open up the grandfather clock.

GM: Two clowns jump out at you!

Paizo Employee Sales Associate

Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Cosmo wrote:


Clowns.

Attack the characters with clowns. Then, before the players get the upper-hand and defeat the clowns, have the clowns run away.

Then have them show back up from time to time.

Give them all access to the Squeeze spell so that they're always hiding in places where they shouldn't be able to fit.

Player: I open up the grandfather clock.

GM: Two clowns jump out at you!

This guy gets it. :)


Throw them into a house designed by a vampire to make use of all his supernatural abilities and powers. Rooms that are connected by vents or areas that can only be reached with spider climb or fly. Make it extra creepy and have the vampire be a wizard that used demi-planes or other magic to change the direction of gravity or where doors lead to. The vampire's home looks like a small house, but inside is a death trap of hundreds of rooms that make no logical sense and are difficult to travel between, and the party keeps being attacked by a vampire who disappears somewhere every time he starts taking damage. Over time the wounds and negative levels add up and there is still no obvious way out of the house of horrors. Add thematic lighting and creepy music to taste.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I recently used pig-headed clown-faced barbarians in a 5th Edition game. Just half-orcs, but with the scariest face paint ever!


Take away the sense of control from players. Don't make it like a railroad, but give them no direction, no control, and make them feel weak. Things that don't go down when you hit them. Reskinned ghosts that look and act corporeal would be amazingly scary. Bump up the identification DC by a significant amount, so they don't know what they're dealing with.

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