Non-WoD Horror Game (Buffy, Cthulhu, Etc)

  • So a year or so ago my wife and I were going to open up a Buffy the Vampire Slayer game. Set in modern day and treating Buffy canon as having happened when the show aired (so all potential slayers became full slayers in 2003). At the time this had given the world 10 years to evolve since then.

    The problem is we were going to base it in a fictional version of Sleepy Hollow. We liked how The Reach had families which created instant avenues for PC connections and RP and hoped to emulate that with famous families from that story (Van Brunts, Van Tassels, etc) borrowing heavily from the Tim Burton movie. Then we read about a Sleepy Hollow TV show and decided to scrap the idea to avoid confusion. We were going to go with an alternate setting but could never quite settle on one.

    So here we are 2 years later and my wife is like "we should do it anyway". So I guess my question to the masses is...could a non-WoD game work? I'm sure this has been asked before but I'm mostly concerned with could a BUFFY non-WoD game work. We'd be using the cinematic unisystem, which is all coded and ready to go and what not. I'm just not sure if the Buffy-verse would still be a draw going on 12 years since the show went off the air.

    Going along the same lines about about other non-WoD systems? Call of Cthulhu (classic or Trail) for instance? I think the trick with that would be constant stories and making sure people did not get attached to their PCs.

    Anyway, at work and bored and thought I'd toss this out into the wild to see what kind of responses I got. Thanks for reading!

  • Pitcrew


    I started MUing publicly (i.e. not on private games, though there was only the one before it) on a Buffy MU, and have some really good (and some bad) memories of it. I even ran it very very briefly. I think the CinUni system leaves a lot to be desired but I think there is definitely room for a Buffyverse game, especially if you're willing to have a small game with thick plot. I do point out that the "families" thing was done in Devilshire (a Buffyverse game) before The Reach did it, but there were only four families, which made it much easier to oversee.

    Important suggestion: if you're going to set it in a small town, make sure you keep the amount of alts down to maybe two. One of the biggest complaints about The Reach that I never heard about Devilshire is that people just had too many characters and it made the density of certain types of creatures/supernaturals/whatever feel "off" (I'm not going to say 'unrealistic, lulz).

    Do it. More games, especially non-WoD games, are always a good thing. Even if it ends up being small. Even if it ends up being huge. if you want to do something, do it, because no one is going to do it for you, my friend.

    Oh, and be prepared for people complaining that you're a "MU* Staff Couple" with your wife. But whatever, you're providing a place to play, and that's laudable. So do it.

    Do it do it do it.

    P.S. I have a re-working of the CinUni system that's a little less vague and takes some stuff into account that I learned while playing and staffing on Devilshire, if you wanna take a look at it.

  • Hey, thanks for the suggestions. I'm actually pretty happy with most of the stock unisystem stuff. Mostly because I have it all coded out and all of the pertinent information is already uploaded to the wiki. I'm not keen on redoing large chunks of it. :)

    We're definitely leaning towards doing it. We liked Sleepy Hollow because it had that whole gothic feel immediately ready but it wasn't such a well known RL location that we couldn't futz with it a bunch to expand upon it as we saw fit. It's also fairly close to Manhattan which opens things up a bit. Not grid wise but in rationalizing why there might be a lot of people in or around the area.

    My wife actually likely wouldn't be staff. She helped build and stuff but wouldn't likley be on staff proper. We're more concerned with some of the house rule stuff we'd be including, primarily Highlander style immortals. :)

    Again, thanks for the thoughts and suggestions!

  • I would be all for a Buffyverse game. DO IT!

  • I would totally play this as well.

  • Pitcrew

    @Coin said:

    I do point out that the "families" thing was done in Devilshire (a Buffyverse game) before The Reach did it, but there were only four families, which made it much easier to oversee.

    It was also done on an oWoD M/M+ only game I ran, Wicked Purity. We only used 3 and each had a different affiliation with a sort of M+ power (One family of psychics, one of thaumaturges, one of cultist sorts. And there was no mixing/mingling of what they could do.). Family-groups make for interesting story in almost any variety game.

  • Pitcrew


    Nice. I am almost always in favor of original, fictional settings instead of real world locales + supernaturals! Just my preference.

  • Pitcrew

    Man, a Buffy game. That takes me back. Used to play on the Buffy game set in Vegas back in the day. It was a headache, but good times.

    A tip: the Buffyverse is basically a comic book universe and has an incredibly wide variety of character types (from the typical slayers, witches, vampires, and demons to robots, mutants, and super soldiers). If you've got a theme you want to explore, or character types you want to focus on, be clear about it.

    Also, there is a high probability that a Buffy game will become very nearly exclusively gay. Dunno why. Saw it happen, though.

  • Pitcrew

    Please please please do this game. I will come back to playing in public if you do, this game would make me so happy. I only ever got a taste of playing Buffy and I loved it, but for various reasons it didn't last. These days it interests me even more, but I dunno where to poke. Please! Yes!

  • Hmm. A Buffy game, you say.

  • To update the thread it looks like the game is happening. Unfortunately I have been sick the last few days so we've gained little traction but I have the next few days off of work with nothing to do but watch old Buffy eps and work on the game.

    As for when we will be opening...that's a tougher question. The short answer is "when we're ready", which we are hoping is sooner rather than later. I'll keep people updated as we go, however.

  • Pitcrew

    Let people know if you need help with something. BUFFY. That could be precisely the change of environment/genre that I need.

  • Tutorialist


  • I'd be happy to help with building or something. My code skills are much in the lacking department but I can build like no body's business. I'm handy with writing news files too.

  • Tutorialist

    I'm not muchly interested in building a grid, but I'd be happy to help build IC hangouts, housing shit, and etc. Or set up basic ass wiki-template things.

  • Pitcrew

    P-p-pleeease, Eddie.

  • Admin

    This may be off-topic (and I've no idea how much interest the concept itself can get) but can the idea of true metaphysical horror - the really creepy stuff - translate into a game?

    For example I ran into this today: . I'd love to instil PrPs with this kind of primal raw WTFNOPENOPE but it's very difficult. Since it'd need to start with normalcy then within an instant turn it into something else.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel, frankly? It just takes a fucking skillful as hell storyteller and a really good, creepy-as-fuck concept to execute. Once upon a time, a friend of mine had a character who would look at mine (and another) and just smile and go, "Swish swash goes the willow branch, and a thousand children die tonight." That was it. That's all he would say.

    Freaked me the HELL out, just from the way he managed it.

  • Admin

    Horror is hard to pull off on MU.

    For starters there are usually mechanics and the instant there are mechanics it means you lose the unknown; there are rules in place. Characters have alternatives, powers, abilities, stuff they can do. And (far worse) enemies have names - they are ghosts, undead, tentacled monsters, whatever.

    Barring cases like @Coin mentioned I think intimate horror stories can probably only be told In PrPs, and probably one on ones at that, probably in sandbox. Even then it'd require a lot of trust toward the ST.

    If anyone else has a good argument or anecdote to prove me wrong though I'd love to hear it.

  • I believe horror is hard to pull off period. What little I've read of Stephen King, meant to be his more terrifying segments, read to me as pretentious purple prose. I think that you and I, @Arkandel, are expecting more of it. I feel that I have a lukewarm reaction to fantasy because it isn't "fantastic" enough, though it may be serviceable and otherwise enjoyable.

    It's easy to knock anything down because it's not enough of whatever it's meant to be. I'll call you Plato and try to get over my own ideals and enjoying the shadow-puppet theatre on the walls of the cave.

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