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GM Lich
So Iíve been running campaign for a while, Weíve had our pink mohawk moments along with with our trenchcoat moments. Iíve been leaning mostly towards trench coat. Now Iíve felt inspiration from the other campaign Iím playing in. What he did was basically sent a possessed vessel body. While that doesnít sound that scary the way the GM did was great, we investigated a mansion. We learned about the history of the owner of the mansion. We then found the body, and bam, came to alive, the way the GM described it we considered not even fighting it. We thought it was rather hopeless, until we had no choice but to fight it. The idea was to fight it while the others found exit. Turns out it was only a force 5 so it died to focus fire.

So feeling slightly inspired by that GMís horror idea, Iíve decided to make a ďhorrorĒ based run.
The most effective ways I think is:
Isolation, this is a classic horror trope, losing contact with outside. So that means no matrix connection, if there is it is static at the best
Disarm the PCs, Horror isnít that scary if all it takes is a couple of heavy weapons like Gauss rifles and take them on
I was thinking of perhaps placing them in an area where they can still use heavy weapons but if they miss it could easily doom them. Ex: A abandoned system of tunnels thats not longer structurally sound.
The Monster should be incomprehensible, the monster shouldnít be able to be negotiated with, also the less they know about the monster the better. Iíve noticed in most media the less you know about the monster that is lurking about the scarier it is.
I would like to avoid using spirits against them for the sake of making not seem like I just copied the other GM. A little bit of magic to mess with them perhaps.

Iím still stuck on what I actually want to do, but I figured you guys may have some ideas.
thorya
Run an escape from Chicago game? I thought about running a similar game to this a while back.

The question is how to get them there and disarmed. Maybe they are taking a covert flight to meet a Johnson or are trying to steal something from the flight and it goes down in Chicago. They could only take their concealable weapons on the flight and now they're stuck in the middle of downtown Chicago. And the flight path should not have even taken them near Chicago.

I would start them on the shore of Lake Michigan. They're in a matrix dead zone and magic has all the normal problems one might expect in a bug infested nuclear ruin. They're not sure exactly where they are, but it's probably gang territory, if they're lucky, otherwise they could run in to some ghouls. They suspect that ending up in Chicago was not a random happenstance, and something is definitely following them. While trying to escape with their lives, they have to figure out how they ended up in Chicago to begin with, what that mutant critter was that ate the remains of the pilot when they weren't looking, and who deserves some payback when they finally get out. If they get out.

Possible creatures after them (or bases for your monster): Fleshwalker, Behemoth (mutant version for more fun), Shambler, Wolverine Greater, Jauchekafer Swarms

Dr.Rockso
Shadowrun has a ton of possibilities for horror. Check out Arcology: Shut Down, Bug City And Missing Blood for some great examples. It usually comes down to what kind of horror you want: Tech based or magic based. Or possibly a fusion of both.

Some classic ideas:

The Slasher:
"I met him, fifteen years ago. I was told there was nothing left. No reason, no conscience, no understanding; even the most rudimentary sense of life or death, good or evil, right or wrong."
(Movie Examples: Michael Myers(Halloween Series), Jason(Friday the 13th,pt 2 onwards),Leatherface(Texas Chainsaw Massacre series etc)

Have a nigh unstoppable maniac chasing the group. The team has to be at a disadvantage here: they either have limited to no weaponry, or despite everything they throw at it this thing just keeps coming. The focus here should be on the chase: the team should be very afraid of going toe to toe with this psycho. Don't be afraid to maim the team a little: Some disfiguring wounds or lost limbs will give credibility to your monster. See the advanced medtech rules in Augmentation for ideas. The Slasher need not be the objective of the run, it can function perfectly well as a recurring threat to the real objective as well.

SR example:
The Multi-Million Nuyen 'Man'
The team is hired to steal something from a research facility. In their blundering they release/get the attention of an experimental,murderous cyber zombie. They now have to get the objective and escape with this thing on their tails.

The Swarm:
"They're coming outta the walls. They're coming outta the goddamn walls. "
(Movie Examples: Zombies!(nearly every zombie movie ever),Xenomorphs(Aliens), Birds(The Birds))

The team has a serious problem. Make that, a large number of serious problems. Be it mutants, bug spirits or legions of the damned, the situation goes to hell right quick. And it's spreading at an alarming rate. The scare factor here is not a lack of weaponry or an unstoppable monster. It's the sheer number of the damn things and the threat that they overwhelm the team and then, perhaps, society as a whole.

SR Example:
The Shadowrun over Innsmouth
One of the teams contacts sends them a plea for help. Its mostly garbled, but they need to get to an isolated town and help him out. When they get to the town they notice something off about the citizens. They all seem very 'off'. Turns out, the town is sitting on a bug hive that has possessed the locals and is working on expanding. The team now has to rescue their contact(if its not already too late, or a trap in the first place) and call for help.

--More as I think of them
The Jopp
1: Locations
Abandoned Drifting Cargo Vessel [Ghost Ship / Contamination]
Abandoned Floating Oil Rig or Research Facility [Proteus]
Underwater Research Station / Drilling Station [Abyss]
Deserted Mysterious Island [King Kong / Island of Dr.Moreu]
Space Station [Fortress]

The Enemy
Xenomorph [Alien]
Swarm [Infested]
Contagion [Contagion, Twelve Monkeys]
Living Slime[The Blob]
Killer Robot [Terminator / Saturn 3]
Artificial Intelligence [DEUS (duh!) / Collossus: The Forbin Project / Demon Seed]
Poltergeists, Ghosts [Poltergeist / What Lies Beneath / The Entity]

Situation
Countdown to self destruction on location
Vessel/station is sinking
Countdown until possible vaccine wont work anymore
Must find X parts to build weapon
Must stop Y from finding X parts

Mix and rince as you wish. grinbig.gif
CanRay
The group's favorite bar is shot up. All that wonderful alcohol, shot, wasted on the floor!!!

Oh, and their bartender, too.
mraston
QUOTE (CanRay @ May 8 2012, 11:01 PM) *
The group's favorite bar is shot up. All that wonderful alcohol, shot, wasted on the floor!!!

Oh, and their bartender, too.


haha, Yeah a couple of my runners would find this pretty horrific.
Whipstitch
This is probably stating the obvious, but I'd be really careful with this. Horror elements are a fun part of the setting but it can be pretty hard to disarm player characters (and some archetypes can't really be disarmed short of high background count) without railroading the crap out of them so I definitely wouldn't plan on a scenario where the characters don't have gear. Beyond that, telling the Hacker, Rigger and Face "No items, Fox only, Final Destination," can come across as dirty pool when thrusting the PCs into a dangerous game with an opponent who plays by rules they don't understand, so I would really ask myself "Do I know that this group finds such things more intriguing than frustrating?" before springing it on them. TMs and Hackers in particular become fish out of water the second you force feed them a dead zone and some players respond to that by parking their dude behind the samurai and zoning out for the session.
kzt
Yeah, if your scenario says to some players "You can't do anything, ha ha" those players are likely to not be very interested in the scenario.
thorya
I agree entirely with Whipstitch.

I think another key for this, if you are going to take away someone's "toys" you have to take them all away. No big guns for the sams, dead zones for the hackers/TM's, background counts for the mages/adepts, and anti-social mutants for the faces. Though TM's will still be an issue since they're entirely dependent upon the matrix and usually don't have a good secondary role and Sams will have a big advantage because 'ware is hard to take away from them, so their edge is hard to take away from them. Maybe you justify it as an emp fried the circuits in their skill wires or something.

And you can ask the group if it's something they're into, because it's easier to get people on board if they know beforehand what they're signing up for. It might ruin some of the mystery, but if they know going in this will be a hard fought struggle for survival with things they'll have to run from and without all the big fire power it can be exciting.
Whipstitch
Yeah, I'm not trying to be Debbie Downer here--Shadowrun can totally involve horror elements, no question. But overall I'd just recommend playing it a bit safe and trying to structure things such that the general layout of the mission will still be at least roughly recognizable as a run with legwork and (at least seemingly) normal obstacles to overcome before the great unknown set piece rises up and things get seriously weird. Besides, all the best stories start with "Well, it seemed like a regular job..." anyway.
Blade
Taking all the toys from all characters is difficult. You can use background count/mana voids for awakened, you can be out of Matrix signal (and even out of satellite coverage), you can take their guns and toys but it's harder to remove the streetsam's implants.
And if you've got a street samurai with implanted weapons, especially melee weapon that don't run out of ammo, you'll have a character who'll just dominate the others.

I agree about not giving the monster any identity that could link it to something the players know. At least, the players should hesitate between different threats without being able to know for sure. Or if it's something the players can identify, make it something they'll fear anyway.
The Jopp
If you want the pink mohawk to stay on just make it simple.

Botched meet in deep Pullyup at night in a run down apartment building. The team are having the normal minimum for a meet, that is, what they have hidden on their person and a personal firearm (or five...)

Cue emergent Ghouls from below the basement sensing fresh meat as the sun goes down.

Building surrounded, limited ammo, light background count.

make a few of the Ghouls into 'mutants' with Changeling qualities.

The Leader Ghoul - Glamour, Bioluminescence
The Spider - Monkey Grip, Setae, Insectoid Features
The Void - Astral Hazing, Biosonar

ZeroPoint
You should be able to take away everyone's goodies without neutering them. If you kill matrix access, there may still be isolated circuits in the building that need to be hacked to get a door open or turn off the automated defense systems. Maglocks that may be "failsecure" so they stay locked when there's no power, so the hacker that actually took ranks in hardware skill can try to rig a power source to it so they can bypass it. Mages will still be functional with high background count, just much less effective. But a low force levitate may still allow you to do things you couldn't do normally if it was a mundane character, you just couldn't do it as effectively. Or perhaps you don't do that background count...but perhaps every time the mage uses a spell, he alerts every nasty within (Force x 100 meters) of their presence. If they've already kicked the hornets nest, he can feel free to unleash his fury, but they will still want to avoid that because there's a whole lot of them out there he's not gonna be able to keep that kind of firepower forever...

And as for the sam, even if he has implanted melee weapons, those sorts of toys require you to be up close. Melee rules make it hard to attack more than 1 enemy in a pass, so unless your sam is designed to attack multiple enemies per pass, he'll still get overwhelmed by 3 enemies, which means he's more likely to take damage. And the thing with horror games is that healing isn't supposed to be easily come by. You don't get a lot of chances to just sit down in a safe location and heal up. And if medpack supplies are scarce, then any time you can avoid taking damage is a good thing. And sure the mage can heal you up without using supplies...but as per the above rules, now you just brought 10 more on your head...
And if you use guns, those tend to be noisy, even if they're silenced and ammo may be scarce.

So in short, don't necessarily neuter everyone, but provide disadvantages and hurdles to every action. This breeds indecision in the players, which will lead to greater confusion and more intense situations.
Sir_Psycho
There are plenty of ways to deprive runners of their toys. Send them to a meet at a nice restaurant or A-rated security zone with concealed pistols, if anything and when everything goes to hell, inform them that there are more shedim/bugs/ghouls than they have ammo for. Reward them with more gear and maybe karma for moving the action along, trying to escape or achieve something. Enemies are overwhelming, so characters will have to break and enter, use lockpick, hardware, athletics, armorer, etc. to get away and the gear they need. Have them head back to their weapon stash or find a tactical response wagon with weapons, armour and tactical software. High rating enemies will kill characters, quickly, so stress numbers, instead, every three enemies they kill, another group show up until they move.
GM Lich
I think I can use a lot of this feedback. I need to focus a little bit more, I'm thinking of perhaps some kind of abandoned area, like the underground tunnel system in Denver. (Can't think of the name right now). I want to keep it low combat yet I want the PCs to feel threaten. Have them retrieve something, like some poor fellow who got trapped, Perhaps they find some kind of abandoned research facility that once housed some awakened paracritters. I dunno, I want start narrowing down what I want to the mission to actually be.
EKBT81
QUOTE (GM Lich @ May 8 2012, 07:49 PM) *
The Monster should be incomprehensible, the monster shouldnít be able to be negotiated with, also the less they know about the monster the better. Iíve noticed in most media the less you know about the monster that is lurking about the scarier it is.


As HP Lovecraft said: The greatest fear is fear of the unknown. I'd even consider taking that a step further: Not have any "monster" actually show up but describe the location in a way that makes the players fear something's seriously wrong there: Stuff like marks on the walls, weird noises and apparent movement just outside their field of vision without anything there if they investigate etc. If your players are receptive for horror*, this might do the job without getting into any situations that'd look like "Bah, the GM's just in a TPK mood for no reason".

*IMHO this might be the biggest hurdle: Some people (like myself) just aren't into horror in RPGs.
MADness
The first thing that comes to my mind is The Attick from Dollhouse. You can deprive them of everything/anything. Alternatively, you can leave them all their toys and skills, but change how they work, what they do, or even if they work at all. Mages may have be a problem, but I'm sure someone has an idea for that.
kzt
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ May 9 2012, 11:42 AM) *
There are plenty of ways to deprive runners of their toys. Send them to a meet at a nice restaurant or A-rated security zone with concealed pistols, if anything and when everything goes to hell, inform them that there are more shedim/bugs/ghouls than they have ammo for.

The reason why people only take light weapons into these places is that they have a lot of armed security backed up by very heavily armed cops. Important people are impacted in your scenario, so you will get a lot of heavily armed people coming to rapidly fix the problem.

And in addition, it is also a scenario in which the people running essentially unarmed characters are likely to all go play Risk while the mages stunball everything threatening.
Neko Asakami
I've always wanted to try an run an alien or Seelie abduction scenario in Shadowrun. While there are plenty of mundane and magical threats in the world, things from out of this world always seemed like they could work out great for a dose of the unusual. Check out Dark*Matter for the Alternity or D20 Modern systems for a great take on sci-fi horror. The book for both systems was written by the same team and contains much of the same material, so either version should be good. Do keep in mind it's more trenchcoat than mohawk, but it has a lot of great advice for running suspense games.

There's always the option of "Ghost in the Machine" with AIs or eGhosts. Archology: Shut Down (which Dr.Rockso mentioned) is a classic, but is pretty much impossible to run as-is in 2072. Having a rouge AI inhabiting an abandoned military training facility (there's a mission like this in the first Mass Effect, but it was not very good imo) could be good for all sorts of weird situations. In the urban section of the facility alone, you could have mobile drones, live fire from gun emplacements meant to simulate snipers (paintball ammo if you're feeling nice), and memory metal cutouts of terrorists that pop in from doorways and windows.

I personally LOVE the terrorist standins. You can put a full clip into them and they'll still be standing when you're done. Add in training simunitions and you've got a enemy that keeps firing no matter how much lead they put into them and will keep even the most hardened sam cowering behind a mailbox. Granted, at some point, someone's going to figure out that the bullets aren't real, and they'll start ignoring every little standin they see. When they do that, then you hit them with the REAL bullets/drones/bad guys. You could also make this a "secret" training facility so they don't know it exists. When they open a door (which will immediately lock behind them) into a "street" outside (still inside, but with AR being what it is), it starts to plant the seeds for messing with their perceptions of reality.

And that's really what horror is about, is perceptions. Incorporating real world sounds and images into the game can make it seem a lot more real, which helps blur those perceptions. I'm not talking masks and fake blood, but little things like photos of a gory crime scene (as long as your players aren't squeamish) or a tapping/scratching sound at just the right moment can do wonders. With sound effects, be sure to not to let them see you hitting play on the CD player/laptop/iPad. This is one of the best reasons to have a GM screen, is for things like this. Just have your sounds files already queued in a playlist and just casually play the right one while you're talking about it so it seems more natural. Honestly, though, this kind of work is the kind of thing that can wear down a GM, so only bust it out for special occasions like this horror one-shot.

Quick Aside
[ Spoiler ]

Making the players feel the emotions their characters are feeling is hard, but it's crucial to a good horror game. Setting and everything else can be as scary and deadly as you want, but if they players aren't feeling it, then the whole run is a bust. Because of this, I wouldn't worry too much about disarming the characters. A good horror story doesn't rely on what the characters can do, it should focus on what they can't do. I know it sounds oxymoronic, but what good are the best guns in the world if they waste all their ammo shooting at mannequins? What good is Invisibility if the monster is tracking them by smell or worse, by astral signature? Part of horror is knowing your best just isn't good enough.

Couple of last quick suggestions: Don't be afraid to play outside of expectations. Have a player or two you trust in on it and give them key lines to say and have them "make" key choices. It makes the railroading easier to swallow if a player suggests it.


tl:dr: Play on the group's weaknesses, both as characters and players. Mood is key, almost moreso than story. Honestly, anything can be a horror story if the feeling is right.
Midas
I agree that running a horror run tends to hinge on the GM's ability to unsettle the PCs and keep them off-balance throughout. I also agree that it can be hard to design a horror that the sammie/mage can't blow to smithereens without breaking a sweat.

I would run it something like this:
The Johnson wants to hire a runner team to investigate dissappearances in his small isolated community, he knows the team's fixer from way back before he moved out to the styx. The PCs have to take a commercial flight there because it is way outta the smuggler routes and chartering a flight out would blow their budget. This means they have to leave their R/F boomsticks at home, but they can get shotguns/hunting rifles/pistols (but nothing bigger) at the local gun shop when they arrive.
The horror behind all the disappearances can be a bug colony, a blood magic cult or a mad scientist creating a cyber-zombie in his basement, take your pick. Throw in some BGC to hamper mages, and you should be able to create a horror that the PCs can't easily one-shot kill. Make it fast, and play to home advantage with guerilla tactics for suspense, and if you're lucky ammo might start to become a limiting factor if the PCs are blasting at the moving cobwebs and devil rats as they hunt their prey. Or is it the other way around? ...
Lansdren
Not long ago I had my team run a horror themed story.


Basically I went for the hidden base situation with them finding it below their actual hideout.

Started with a delivery to the warehouse they are crashing in they faked being the right people and accepted a couple of pallets of computer parts not really thinking to much off it at first but then finding the shipment had disappered pushed them to doing abit of digging as it were.

Long story short they find there way down a very long lift shaft into a 2050's style bunker below the warehouse. It was abit like the first resident evil but without the zombies. all white walls and shiny metal.

I ended up having them get scared witless by a low level AI who pulled a switch on them and got them in VR (theres no hacker in the group) and ended up having the AI escape in a asimo style droid.



The hardest part of keeping it all together I found was playing a AI sufficiently well enough to creep them out but I pulled it off without sending myself round th bend
Azrael
If you have access to them, the New World of Darkness core rulebooks generally have a massive chapter on how to tell that style of game.

Scattered throughout the books is a tonne of "fluff" and short story which you could transpose over as story hooks as well. SR vamps and werewolves are pussies compared to the one loitering around in those books.

Only thing that may be out of left field to think about. In my experience, horror games seem to work better with fewer dice rolls then a normal game. When the dice come out, it has to be either fast (climactic fight or chase scenes) or almost unbearably slow (have you correctly interpretted the incantation to seal the beast away).
Sir_Psycho
QUOTE (kzt @ May 9 2012, 10:48 PM) *
The reason why people only take light weapons into these places is that they have a lot of armed security backed up by very heavily armed cops. Important people are impacted in your scenario, so you will get a lot of heavily armed people coming to rapidly fix the problem.

And in addition, it is also a scenario in which the people running essentially unarmed characters are likely to all go play Risk while the mages stunball everything threatening.

A magician can kill nearly anything, but how many spells can you cast without flubbing a drain resist and starting to take damage? When the undead hordes are shoulder to shoulder down the block, your magician shouldn't give himself a concussion wiping out the vanguard of the shambling mass, it's going to be a long night.

As for the superior firepower any local government/corp/security forces, they serve to illustrate the change of tone. If the local SWAT/FRT cyber-monster troll goes down in a gurgling, bloody fray clutching an emptied spas-22 in his death grip, the runners might consider bugging out.
kzt
QUOTE (Sir_Psycho @ May 10 2012, 09:55 PM) *
the runners might consider bugging out.

Sure. But the entire scenario is based on the idea that they can't. Otherwise, yes, they will go find somewhere with thick walls, one door and have their multiple Lynx's with MMGs and AGLs covering that door.
Sir_Psycho
AGL? Automatic Grenade Launchers? Thick Walls? Chunky salsa.

To be serious, getting access to heavily armed drones, even if you already own them and have them stashed some-where can be a whole adventure. Once you have that firepower, you now want to get access to a vehicle and get the hell away from terror island/danger cave/temple of doom, and locking yourself in a room with no exit, surrounded by unknowable, insurmountable horror seems like a bad idea.
Ryusukanku
I would like to suggest for the Hackers and Technomancers not to take all their links away from them. Just limit them.

Maybe the area they're in while being far removed from, or insulated against outside links, possesses it's own interior matrix.

Maybe it's spotty and glitchy as heck from some kind of damage but still workable for things like "I've managed to find some video logs. I've cleaned them up as much as I can but..." or "Gimmie ten more seconds, I almost got this bloody door shut!"

Personally I find it suspenseful when in horror movies the tech guys manage to get snippets of useful information or struggle to do what under normal circumstances would be an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy act.

Event Horizon and Virus are good examples of such techno-wizardry becomeing a struggle but not impossible.

Angelone
QUOTE
I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a murderer. You have a right to kill me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror... Horror has a face... and you must make a friend of horror. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies! I remember when I was with Special Forces... seems a thousand centuries ago. We went into a camp to inoculate some children. We left the camp after we had inoculated the children for polio, and this old man came running after us and he was crying. He couldn't see. We went back there, and they had come and hacked off every inoculated arm. There they were in a pile. A pile of little arms. And I remember... I... I... I cried, I wept like some grandmother. I wanted to tear my teeth out; I didn't know what I wanted to do! And I want to remember it. I never want to forget it... I never want to forget. And then I realized... like I was shot... like I was shot with a diamond... a diamond bullet right through my forehead. And I thought, my God... the genius of that! The genius! The will to do that! Perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. And then I realized they were stronger than we, because they could stand that these were not monsters, these were men... trained cadres. These men who fought with their hearts, who had families, who had children, who were filled with love... but they had the strength... the strength... to do that. If I had ten divisions of those men, our troubles here would be over very quickly. You have to have men who are moral... and at the same time who are able to utilize their primordial instincts to kill without feeling... without passion... without judgment... without judgment! Because it's judgment that defeats us.


QUOTE
I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream; that's my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor... and surviving.


QUOTE
I was going to the worst place in the world and I didn't even know it yet. Weeks away and hundreds of miles up a river that snaked through the war like a main circuit cable plugged straight into Kurtz. It was no accident that I got to be the caretaker of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz's memory any more than being back in Saigon was an accident. There is no way to tell his story without telling my own. And if his story really is a confession, then so is mine.
Vegetaman
I love a good horror game... I always used to do one for my guys that was set in an old paranormally active castle in Germany. There were many entrances, many exits, and all sorts of horrible things inside -- as well as some puzzles they had to solve as they worked their way through the building. The makeshift morgue with the wall of slabs for bodies on it was a nice touch, I was told later, as was the mass of body parts from previous shadowruns to this location (step 1 was to find some artifact; step 2 was to figure what happened to the last guys... which turned out to be several sets of "last guys"), and torn off doors, collapsing floors, hell hounds [yes, I finally found a use for them]... It was like a horror nightmare. Though I have to admit, a Hellraiser/Nightmare on Elm Street/Halloween/Friday the 13th style monster would be a nice touch in one of these runs (though would have been overkill for that particular mission). I'll have to keep this in the cards for later on. But I always find that H.P. Lovecraft works (such as THE RATS IN THE WALLS) give me plenty of material to work with. And I didn't take anything away from the team, I just told them they had to take a plane so they had to choose their items carefully, so out of a fear of being overburdened or losing their gear -- they left most of the "good stuff" at home. Worked out great for me when some of them only brought pistols and SMGs and left the heavy rifles and shotguns behind.
Sir_Psycho
Has anyone considered a self-replicating nanite swarm for a horror game? Add a deus-like AI at the helm of the swarm and they can do anything you like sans magic. A swarm of nanites that can change could replicate almost anything, the effects of bioware, cyber, genetech, building strengthened keratin structures for armour (or bonding clothing to the skin), manipulating the nervous system like a move-by-wire system, allowing control of puppet zombie hordes with enhancements and cooperative abilities runners can only dream of. Depending on the intelligence governing the swarm, they could even infect a metahuman brain without him realising, and function as a trode net for ASIST reprogramming.

If you don't like zombies, nanites can infect electronic systems, effectively taking control of drones and vehicles directly. They can build or disassemble the environment, creating shifting mazes, or weakening the floor until it collapses under your weight. Depending how powerful you want them to be, they could add vehicle modifications on the fly, eg. the armoured vehicle that's been suppressing your team runs out of ammo, so it shifts it's form, adding special machinery (gaping maw), and starts cannibalizing nearby vehicles to add more mass and fuel.

To create such a game, you'd need to decide why/how the advanced nanites are in the environment (I'd go with radiation/pollution scrubbers or agricultural builder nanites), why they've turned malevolent (AI puppeteer, self-replication glitch, a genius nutcase with population control fantasies) and what their limitations are. For those limitations I'd suggest jamming disrupting their ability to coordinate as a swarm, so they need to possess hosts with enough integrity and mass to burn to create and power a faraday cage.

Also, consider buying Eclipse Phase. Not only is it geared towards horror scenarios, it has a system for mental stress effects. If you don't want to use a new system, it's good inspiration and a really polished product.

Glyph
I think vivid descriptions, dangerous enemies, and unknown factors can add a nice feeling of horror to a game. But like the game that originally inspired you, it is more of a flavor added to the existing mix, rather than a complete change of genre.

I would avoid too much railroading, especially for a horror game. If the characters don't have their toys, their powers suddenly don't work, and they find themselves facing something that shrugs off their attacks, they won't be scared, they'll be annoyed, and if any of their characters die, they will probably consider it to be because the GM was being a dick.

It's a collaborative game. Even in horror-themed games, the mood only works when everyone is on board with it. Adding horror unilaterally to the game only works if you are adding a bit of horror flavor to the game. Trying to change the whole genre of the game is less likely to work. People will call bullshit when their AP bullets don't harm the creature; someone will break up the tension with a corny joke; people will try clever tactics, then get sullenly apathetic when nothing seems to work.
Paul
Start them off an a run gone bad. Let them know up front things went south, and they're all wounded. Give everyone a randomly determined amount of damage; and roll from there with whatever crazy ass ideas strike your fancy. From a GM's perspective make use of cover, concealment, and visibility modifiers-but remember its a game and getting the PC's invested in it is the number one challenge. It's all drek if they don't care what happens when the bargherst howls.
Neraph
QUOTE (Angelone @ May 13 2012, 12:09 AM) *

The scorpionfly is more terrifying when you realize that that isn't a stinger - it's the thing's thing.
Bearclaw
About a year ago, I broke out DNA/DOA and ran it straight. Except... the tunnels used to sneak in and out of the facility had some extra, added tunnels and were home to a middle sized Ant spirit colony. So, coming out of the facility wounded and hurrying, they ran straight into a bug spirit recruiting event smile.gif Kinda like Aliens, except for the immunity to normal weapons.
Wounded Ronin
Aliens demonstrated you can have firepower, fun, AND horror.

I fondly remember an SR3 game that demonstrated willie peet versus zombie hoardes.
Dr.Rockso
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ May 15 2012, 03:18 PM) *
I fondly remember an SR3 game that demonstrated willie peet versus zombie hoardes.

Can't imagine that would be a great idea. They don't feel pain, and are likely to stumble around for a good while lighting everything ELSE on fire.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Dr.Rockso @ May 15 2012, 03:39 PM) *
Can't imagine that would be a great idea. They don't feel pain, and are likely to stumble around for a good while lighting everything ELSE on fire.


That's why it's not a great idea, but an AWESOME idea.
Dr.Rockso
Sure, if you keep em contained. Otherwise....you burn down half of Seattle. Again.
VykosDarkSoul
::tapping foot and stroking goatee::
Now....how do I create Cthulhu .....OOO..and Nyarlathotep.....
Neko Asakami
QUOTE (VykosDarkSoul @ May 18 2012, 09:48 AM) *
::tapping foot and stroking goatee::
Now....how do I create Cthulhu .....OOO..and Nyarlathotep.....



If you have stats for those two, you're doing it wrong...
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (VykosDarkSoul @ May 18 2012, 12:48 PM) *
::tapping foot and stroking goatee::
Now....how do I create Cthulhu .....OOO..and Nyarlathotep.....


I remember reading a write up of that someone did in the mid nineties. You can probably still google it.
Whipstitch
QUOTE (Glyph @ May 12 2012, 01:18 PM) *
It's a collaborative game. Even in horror-themed games, the mood only works when everyone is on board with it. Adding horror unilaterally to the game only works if you are adding a bit of horror flavor to the game. Trying to change the whole genre of the game is less likely to work. People will call bullshit when their AP bullets don't harm the creature; someone will break up the tension with a corny joke; people will try clever tactics, then get sullenly apathetic when nothing seems to work.


Bit late on commenting on this post, but yeah, the best horror run I've been involved with had us using low build point (and slightly caricatured) PCs that the GM had pre-genned and wrote up as part of a mini-campaign to play in the event that someone couldn't make a session, so we were essentially playing a new and different game in many important respects. Sure, we lost a bit of the apprehension that comes along with potentially having bad things happen to a character we had invested many sessions of play (and karma) into, but the flipside to that is that the potential for failure seemed simultaneously more plausible than ever but also somewhat less threatening in the big scheme of things--the GM could kill anyone in the group without mucking up our "real" campaign and we all knew it.
Wounded Ronin
This film is one of my favorite examples of mixing horror elements with a couple of monk-style action hero characters: http://youtu.be/ZOOhDWSyyos
VykosDarkSoul
QUOTE (Neko Asakami @ May 18 2012, 06:29 PM) *
If you have stats for those two, you're doing it wrong...


::Evil Grin:: Right?
thorya
QUOTE (Neko Asakami @ May 18 2012, 07:29 PM) *
If you have stats for those two, you're doing it wrong...


There are some appropriate stats. i.e. Cthulu consumes 3 runners per combat pass. If there are more than three runners, they may attempt to run.
VykosDarkSoul
QUOTE (thorya @ May 21 2012, 01:36 PM) *
There are some appropriate stats. i.e. Cthulu consumes 3 runners per combat pass. If there are more than three runners, they may attempt to run.



Addendum: If there are more than three runners, those that remain that are still sane, may attempt to run
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