Dread, an unusual RPG

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Dread, an unusual RPG

Postby ClockworkLemon » Wed May 13, 2015 4:36 pm

I don't know if anyone is familiar with TableTop on the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel, but I've been trawling through the episodes, looking for new games to acquire. They've just this month posted a video of an rpg called Dread. It's a horror themed RPG, with a really cool mechanic. There's no dice involved, no cards, coin tossing or other methods of random determination. What you do have is a Jenga™ tower, and any time you try to do something outside your realm of experience, you have to pull a block from the tower. Anyone unfortunate enough to knock the tower over meets a grisly end.

Having watched through the video I linked to above (warning, it's nearly half an hour long, but is a great example of how the game plays), I was really keen to have a look at it. Imagine my surprise when I found out that it's on sale at DriveThruRPG for only $3. So, I'm now the proud owner of a copy of the rules, and I'm keen to check it out. Anyone interested in a quick game this Thursday at all?
"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
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Re: Dread, an unusual RPG

Postby Cailus » Wed May 27, 2015 12:11 am

I hosted a game of this over the weekend. As there two of the four players had never played RPG, I got them all to play as themselves. They were at home at Riverside, when the zombie apocalypse happened.

They initially stayed barricaded at home while Australia slowly went to crap but they eventually set out to get food from the local supermarket. That is when things got interesting.
Dead1 and his wife were in the dark supermarket confronted by a lone child asking them for help. When the kid started to cry loudly and possibly attract attention, they decided to leave kid. I had them pull from the Tower of Dread to overcome their humanity and Dead1 made it crash. A zombie came out if nowhere and bowled him over. His wife saved him but was too late, Dead1 was bitten!
They ran for their lives while the child's screaming abruptly went dead.

The remaining session saw the four survivors first make for Longford, but as Dead1’s situation deteriorated with the fever and seizures, they headed for an emergency centre situated in Pontville.
Things got very out of hand there (including a mass riot by civilians in the compound, agitated by one of the players). The players escaped and back-tracked to Longford. After some very tense CPR situations, Dead1 finally passed away. The last pull of the tower was for one of the players to end the reanimated player with a shotgun to the face. Unbelievably, the pull from the now precarious tower was successfully done by a very drunk player.
With the blast of the shotgun, roll credits.


A highly enjoyable way to play an RPG, that focuses on role play without the messiness of rules lawyering and stats.
It turned out to be a very narrative story, alike to an episode of the Walking Dead.
Tomorrow night I'm running the same scenario with a bunch of other mates, so it will be interesting how they end up.
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Re: Dread, an unusual RPG

Postby ClockworkLemon » Thu May 28, 2015 9:06 pm

Sounds like it was an absolute blast. I'm definitely looking forward d to running a game or two. I've also considered using the Jenga tower for the more narrative elements of my Dark Heresy campaign.
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Re: Dread, an unusual RPG

Postby Cailus » Fri May 29, 2015 3:23 pm

Haha, yes, I have also been thinking of doing this in Rogue Trader!


I also played another game of Dread the other night, Apocalypse style, with some other people. I built this up even better and the moral choices the players had to make were actually made them quite distressed, which was interesting to see!
To begin with they were eager to help other people but as things got tougher and more survival based, their choices started getting selfish.
In the end they said it was a horrible but interesting experience, and one commented that he made his mind up then that if the apocalypse came around for real, he'd prefer to die earlier on.
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