Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thriller Killer!

Okay here's attempt #2! I posted my thoughts on Thriller Killer last Sunday but it was just so scattered and long that I felt tired just looking at how wordy it was.

So here's the just of it. Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of sitting around a coffee table with some great friends playing the part of three single-dimensional characters adhering to stereotypes that one might find on a college campus. I played the parts of:
-The campus-drug dealer
-The super sheltered, super religious freshman who basically labels anything secular as being of the devil
-The pretend student that everyone sees on campus grounds playing ultimate frisbee and flag football that gets invited to all of the keggers.

Now let me get this out in the open, I am not a fan of the horror-slasher genre and all that I can recall off the top of my head involved a bit of the first "Scream" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer". So aside from a couple of things like racial tropes, I'm pretty oblivious to the whole thing.

Your characters are pretty much dagger fodder until you get to your last surviving character. Rules are simple and quick and what I loved about my experience is that it was all role-play and when you're rolling D6's, there's weight to it as someone is probably going to get effed up...or dead. "Character sheets had six lines.
1. Name
2. Stereotype
3. Unwise (how likely he/she will end up doing something stupid)
4. Unlucky
5. Undone (how easy it is for the character to freak out at the sign of danger)
6. Unharm (basically your hit points and a cool mechanic that involves your killed character transfering their starting score over to another surviving character with bonus Unharm points given out at the GM's discretion for creative descriptions of their death, resulting in your last survivor being pretty epic on the Unharm charts)

On topic with the Unharm points transferring to other characters, until someone is on their last character, the GM doesn't have to roll any dice and all rolls are made by PC's to avoid the cruel fate of stupidity, luck and lack of nerves. Once a player is down to his/her last character, only then will the GM have to roll on his abilities, that I believe are also the same "stats" types that the players have.

The biggest thing that I got out of the experience was that it truly felt like a group collaboration. And while having a character die prematurely might've been frustrating, there were many instances where you just want to set your guys up for trouble. What did I learn about B-rated slasher horror movies from this? It doesn't matter how far you run or drive off, the bad guy will follow you there, you can't win by shooting the murderer with a gun and that female characters always look sexy regardless of the circumstances that they're in.

Zero prep time on the players' parts as the longest part seemed to be for us to come up with names for our victims. Matt our GM, had three lines of notes for his prep. Easy as pie and if you're out for quick and twisted fun, I highly recommend Thriller Killer.