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[DLR] Upping / Emphasizing the Grit and Horror

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  • [DLR] Upping / Emphasizing the Grit and Horror

    By default, at least when I run it, Deadlands comes off as very campy and not very gritty or horrific. If I want to make it feel a bit more like *Bone Tomahawk* and less like *Buffy the Vampire Slayer* what would you recommend? Are there rules in it or in the Horror Companion I could emphasize? Things I could do in game as a GM.

  • #2
    Mostly, the tone is a matter of description.
    Use creepy descriptions, play up the mystery and menace, describe instead of name drop, and similar "how to run horror game" techniques. They take a lot more work but they make a big difference.

    The one major factor that's outside of GM control is player attitudes. It doesn't matter how creepy you make everything if the players insist on describing their characters and actions in Abbot and Costello slapstick. For this one, all you can do is talk to your players and get them to agree to try and go along with the tone you're trying to set.

    Good luck!

    P.S. One other problem is Grit. Because Grit is a bonus to all Fear checks instead of penalty negation, high levels of Grit turn Fear into a trivial mechanic. One minor house rule is to have each point of Grit negate one point of Fear Level penalty when making Guts checks; this will make terror, especially from creatures, significantly more dangerous and meaningful.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


    • #3
      Good advice and I will also try the Grit house rule.