Horror doesn’t always have to be in grayscale. If you’ve never seen Suspiria, then you owe yourself a rental, or a NetFlix, or what have you. The sharp, otherworldly aspect of the brilliant colors used throughout that film are just as unsettling as the murky shadows we typically attribute to the genre. Suspiria is what I thought of when I played Villa Paletti for the first time. Since today seems to be my day for Dread experimentation, I’ll daydream a bit about what grotesque fairy tale I could host with this Jenga substitute.
Most of my Dread games as of late have been rather straightforward. I’ve been showing the game off to new players, and so I don’t get too experimental with it. The players in these games are usually interested in purchasing or hosting games of their own. So the fundamentals become the focus of my game.
I miss the early days of Dread, when we’d toy with all sorts of wackiness, including a mad dice system for determining how many pulls you should make and a table of 218 standard questions that rolled on to make your initial questionnaire. The core of Dread was there from the beginning, and all the experiments just led me back to it, but that doesn’t me we didn’t have fun along the way.
In the spirit of those salad days, here are some variants on the questionnaire that I’ve been dying to try, but haven’t yet had the opportunity.
Over the weekend, I hosted a game for a few friends of mine, and one of them was kind enough to write up an account of their trials, and post it in a couple corners of the Internet. For the curious, I thought I’d provide the questionnaires we used. I had prepared four, but only had three players. The first was to become Darryl Turner; the second, Gavin “Irish” McGrath; and the third, Slim. The fourth went unused that night.
“What stops me from just refusing to pull?”
It’s a question I often get when introducing someone to the rules of Dread. And it is a legitimate one. Usually, I’m moments away from hosting a game for them, so I can answer with an enigmatic, “You won’t.”
But recent discussions on the Dread message board and through e-mail have me reconsidering this terse answer.