With the new edition of Songs for the Dusk releasing tomorrow, Saturday July 30th and gameplay with FATHOM happening this Sunday, I wanted to take this FitD Friday to point folks towards the Are You Afraid in the Dark game jam happening right now over on itch!
I'm going to be honest and say Horror as a genre is not one I enjoy spending time in; likewise all the FitD experience I have says "please don't assume you need to hew so close to Blades as your point of origination". But there's plenty of opportunities to take what we know about the FitD core and use it to be cathartic, catastrophic, or catalyzing in the way horror can so often be. What does a FitD take on Phantom of the Opera, or Dracula Daily look like? Bluebeard's Bride remains one of the best unique takes on the Powered by the Apocalypse system; is there a feminine gothic horror story to tell using the FitD engine?
I think if I were to approach this idea, I'd build on an idea we first stumbled upon with the eternal-WIP island-romance FitD holiday game, Waves in the Heart, and build the game strongly around a bit of wordplay on the the engagement roll. In this case as an alternative to answering the following typical questions for +1D to the roll that sets the tone for the story:
- Is the mission bold?
- Does the plan’s detail expose a vulnerability of the target or hit them where they’re weakest?
- Can any of your friends or contacts provide aid or insight for this operation?
- Are there any other elements that you want to consider?
What if instead we made this engagement — the beginning of a union between two people — the focus of play rather than the prelude to play? I'm handwaving the setting and context as my nearest best influences (An Ideal Husband and a few medieval lais) aren't precisely horror by nature, but may serve some root to build an alternative feminine horror story. The goal here would be the act of discovery before and after, where legwork acts as both table-setting and role-playing with everyone circling the same core questions. At the point the questions are truly asked and you roll, derive some result of the roll from a series of tables, and then go around, Fiasco-style, narrating what happens from that point and whether staying together is even possible. As a starting batch of questions for this pivotal "engagement" roll, I might consider something like:
- Do you know the worst thing your betrothed has ever done?
- Can you say you love your betrothed honestly?
- Do your friends and family still approve of the match?
- Does your betrothed know the secret you keep from the world?
What horror do you feel comfortable creating stories about? Sound off in rechosts or the comments, and join the game jam on itch.io!