Nightmares of Mine
Horror stories have been with humanity since our ancestors first fell out of the trees and organized themselves into bands. Whether they were used to entertain or to maintain discipline, horror stories have remained popular and people constantly seek out new ways to be scared.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in the entertainment industry. Hollywood churns out new horror films by rehashing proven formulas or seeking new ones in their quest for our hard earned dollars. Book stores maintain large sections devoted strictly to the horror genre. Even the gaming industry is in on the act, take a stroll through the local game store and take a good look at the number of horror based games you can find. Writers and publishers realize that we, the gaming public, love to be scared and are looking for new material in search of that elusive scare.
But a good horror game can often be as damn tough to find as a good horror movie. All too often a promising story degenerates into either gory bloodletting or something too goofy to take seriously. What's a GM seeking to scare his players to do?
Well one possibility is to pick up a copy of "Nightmares of Mine", a cookbook on how to run an effective horror game or even campaign. This easy-to-read book logically lays out an experienced GM's advice on what may help another GM successfully scare his players.
Starting off with a discussion on what is the horror genre, the author builds on his arguments by presenting horror in different genres and the types of characters available. Two chapters on how to construct a horror scenario are followed by two chapters on building and running a campaign. The use of quotes from literature, films and respected creators of the horror genre to start most sections gives a great sense of what the author is going to say.
I doubt that anybody will learn any new soul-searing insights on the horror genre by reading this book. However, the author manages to lay out his thesis in a logical manner that illustrates his points with references to popular movies and books. Rounding out the book is a bibliography and filmography that is fairly decent yet misses classics like The Exorcist and The Omen movies.
Even an experienced GM will benefit from this book by simply seeing his own tactics and strategies so precisely laid out. Those GMs interested in running a horror campaign for the first time, or simply want to introduce a bit of horror to their on-going games, ought to pick up this book.
Style: 3 (Average)