The RPGs of Halloween

October 9, 2023

If you’re looking for a fun way to spook your friends this Halloween, why not run a scary RPG?  You can get some themed snacks, turn down the lights and light some candles, and take your friends on a personalized frightacular.

The classic big bad for Halloween RP is the vampire Strahd.  While the current Curse of Strahd campaign might be a bit much to speed-play on a single evening, autumn is the perfect time to begin a tour of scenic and friendly Barovia.  And you can always take a single portion of the campaign to run as a one-shot.

If fighting vampires doesn’t appeal as much as being a vampire, you can run a one-shot of the 5th edition of Vampire: The Masquerade.  Billed as “a Storytelling game of personal and political horror,” the 5th edition returns the game to its roots, rising from the world-building of the first edition while utilizing a modernized version of the rules.

There are some great horror-themed sci-fi RPGs as well, and two of the best are from Free League Press.  Death in Space is sharp, rules-light-but-flavor-heavy sci-fi game where the PCs attempt to keep their habitat livable while avoiding both the deadly natural hazards of space as well as the corrupting influence of the encroaching Void.  Life is cheap in the Death in Space universe, and you’ll want a few PCs on hand to replace your first when their vacuum suit tears or they turn into a gibbering horror.

Of course, the sci-fi horror RPG is ALIEN.  The push-your-luck core mechanic will have you balancing stress (that makes you more effective in the short term but can cause your character to act out of panic or terror if it gets too strong).  And since stress is contagious, it may actually make sense for your character to go off on their own, where their colleagues’ freak-outs won’t push them over the edge.  While you can play longer campaigns, for Halloween your best bet is probably Cinematic Mode, where characters will die easily and it’s a race to see who can survive to the end of the session.

Swing by your friendly neighborhood Dragon’s Lair Comics and Fantasy® today to speak with our RPG experts about these and other good games to play on Halloween.  There’s still time to put together a fun evening of jump scares and creeping terror for your friends.

All Dragon’s Lair Comics & Fantasy® locations are independently owned and operated by local folks. Not all stores will carry all games but will be willing to attempt to special order any that they do not carry. (And they’ll carry most.)