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In need of some help here

GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer StaffRPGamer Staff
edited February 2014 in Saving Throw Gaming
I'm putting together a haunted house RP / communication game for a group of four students next week (2 second grade, 2 fifth grade). I've got a floorplan, a general plot hook, and the basics of a plot, but I am still trying to think up some good events to use in-game. Does anyone have a good idea or two? Just thought I'd pick y'all's brains for a bit ;)


  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    I think I'd need more details. Straight RP or using a rule system? And this game supposed to be educational? Does it have a deep story (I doubt it for kids that young)? Or are you trying to scare the pants off them? I know you say haunted house, but does that mean strict ghost story, or are fantasy ghost elements such as ghost-magic a la Beetlejuice, demons, and angels appropriate? Are these kids new to RP or did they ask you to play the game? In my experience, if a kid didn't initiate the game, then they're not interested and you're just gonna waste your time.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    It's meant to be a group story session sort of activity for a class. I've been running a homebrew D&D campaign with the older boys for about 10 months now, and next week a little brother and his friend are joining the class for an observation, so I wanted to do something independent of the usual game and different enough that all four boys will be on equal footing. I've already informed the older boys of my intentions, and they're on board with me.

    They'll be exploring the haunted house to look for a friend who went missing on a dare the night before. I've got a few scary incidents thought up, some of them cribbed from The Seventh Guest, but the main thrust is to let the boys explore and describe their reactions in English. What I'm aiming for is something around the level of The Goonies (which they ARE familiar with, thank goodness); maybe a little scary, but obviously in good fun.

    Everyone is assigned basic stats (Strong, Smart, Fast, & Brave) to lay a foundation for abilities and reactions, but it's going to be combat-light. There'll be some limited character creation at the beginning to see what individuals are good/bad at, which may or may not be worked into the adventure ad libere. I'm putting together character and item cards this week.
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Can they die? Or is it a no-consequences game?
  • envydeienvydei Traveler Full Members
    edited February 2014
    I wish I could be of more help here in terms of event planning (if I think of something I'll mention it) but it does sound like a wonderful teaching method.
  • TG BarighmTG Barighm Member Full Members
    edited February 2014
    Well, if it were me, I'd play the game in a room with a lot of stuff, like bookshelves and all that, and then hide things among the shelves to knock books off the shelf or whatever whenever I need a scare. Gives the game an edge while being, by all accounts, purely for fun.

    I'm not quite sure how to alter a game to function as a teaching method, but the most effective French lesson I was ever given was a Murder Mystery. The class had to solve the mystery by deciphering clues. Of course, they were all in French, so you had to learn to solve the mystery, but it was genuinely interesting. Better than the usual classes that's for sure.

    Since this is a haunted house story, I think a bit of Ghostbusters-style investigation may be useful. Turn it into a corny investigation story rather than a straight scare-fest (but you probably already had that in mind). The ghosts may cause scary events, but only because they're trying to get the players' attention. They want the players to investigate specific things and only by altering their environment can they do so. By solving the mystery, you can free the ghosts or something along those lines. So there, you get your haunted house story, but you tickle their curiousity and encourage them to explore.

    Well, that's what I'd do anyway. I don't know your audience though which is the primary means by which I build a campaign.
  • GaijinMonogatariGaijinMonogatari RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff
    edited February 2014
    Part of my inspiration is from the original Thirteen Ghosts, with a good bit of The Thirteen Ghosts of Scooby-Doo mixed in for good measure ;)

    The ghost list:
    Bilious Ghost
    Trashcan Ghost
    Smiley Ghost
    Crazy Cat Lady Ghost
    Ghost Tree
    Skeleton in the Closet
    Knock-Knock Ghost

    Maybe a few more if I think of some. I'm not expecting to use all of them in one go, but I should be prepared no matter which way the boys decide to go.
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