Monday, August 31, 2015

Behind My Screen - DREAD, the 8/28/15 Session

Here is the prep I did for the Dread session I ran last Friday night.  Basically it was part the Stanford Prison Experiment, part The Crazies, part 80's Horror, part Shivers, and all a desire to make the player's slightly uncomfortable, put them off, create paranoia, and hopefully entertain.  I think it went ok.  The NPC's were created by the Players, but I ended up not using them.  I ended up cutting a decent chunk of Act 2 and 3 due to the Players being really smart, needing to keep the pace aggressive, and to not let the momentum stall.  The thing is the way they played was fantastic and FORCED me to improvise to a degree that I really enjoyed.  Things like 'Gary Patterson' were completely improvised and that character, I think, really made the game nasty and crazy.  Overall, it was a good time, and I look forward to coming up with another idea so I can run this game again.
It is 1981 Miskatonic University. Your abnormal psychology professor Mr. Wingate Peaslee has promised you extra credit if you will be a part of an experiment starting on the 15th of August. You have agreed as you all are barely passing the class and this would go a LONG way to getting you a passing grade. The one thing you didn't account for was your classmate Luther 'The Lunatic' Rumenski sneaking in some 'choice stuff' to make the week long experiment way more 'mellow'. ...
Here are the characters you can choose from:
- The Hippie student - Ked
- The ROTC student - Cassie

- The Athlete student
- The Sorority/Fraternity student
- The Sexpot student - Michael
- The Misunderstood Genius student - Elyssa
- The Activist student
- The Non-Traditional student - Chris
- The Rich Kid student – Bob
- Barry Cooper, a down to earth, middle-class guy. Romantic rival of my character, Ronald Lodge, to Angie Andrews.
  • Kenny Denny. He's a fast talking hustler; always looking to make a quick buck. He's THE MAN to see on campus if you need anything from concert tickets to...mind-altering substances of questionable legality. If Kenny don't got it, you don't want it!
Music playlist

Mixed Throughout - John Carpenter Soundtracks – Assault On Precinct 13, Halloween, The Fog, Escape From New York, Halloween II, The Thing

Magnificent Seven – The Clash
Kiss On My List – Hall & Oats
The Tide Is High – Blondie
Hungry Heart – Bruce Spingsteen
Hey, Nineteen – Steely Dan
Still The Same – Bob Seeger & The Silver Bullet Band
Give It To Me Baby – Rick James
Jessie’s Girl – Rick Springfield
Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police
Do You Want To Touch Me – Joan Jett
High ‘n’ Dry – Def Leppard
You Better You Bet – The Who
Take A Chance On Me – ABBA
Controversy – Prince
Heart Of Glass – Blondie
Don’t You Want Me – Human League
Emotional Rescue – The Rolling Stones
Tainted Love – Soft Cell
Fire Of Unknown Origin – Blue Oyster Cult
Bette Davis Eyes – Kim Carnes

My Best Friend’s Girl – The Cars
Take It On The Run – REO Speedwagon
Lonesome Loser – Little River Band
Do Ya Think I’m Sexy – Rod Stewart
Super Freak – Rick James
Hot Blooded – Foreigner
Call Me – Blondie
Girls On Film – Duran Duran
Bad Reputation – Joan Jett
Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around – Stevie Nicks
Heartache Tonight – The Eagles
You May Be Right – Billy Joel
Rock Bottom – UFO
Rapture – Blondie
We Got The Beat – The Go-Go’s
Somebody Got Murdered – The Clash
Night Prowler – AC/DC
In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins

Our Lips Are Sealed – The Go-Go’s
Burnin’ For You – Blue Oyster Cult
Psycho Killer – Talking Heads
Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
Who Can It Be Now – Men At Work
Mirror In The Bathroom – The English Beat
You Better Run – Pat Benatar
Another One Bites The Dust – Queen
Urgent – Foreigner
If You Want Blood – AC/DC
Unchained – Van Halen
Ace Of Spades – Motorhead
Iron Maiden – Iron Maiden
Hells Bells – AC/DC
Bark At The Moon – Ozzy Osbourne
Live Wire – Motley Crue
The Mob Rules – Black Sabbath
Murders In The Rue Morgue – Iron Maiden
Whip It – Devo
Keep Yourself Alive – Queen


Act 1 Arrival
  • Premise Of Experiment
    • Prof. Peaslee explains his Experiment, waivers are signed, there is a drug trial going on as well for extra money during the experiment.  If you take the drug it is STEP 1 in the process.
    • Drugs are given
  • Draw for Guards & Prisoners
    • Have the PC’s draw, only two/three can become guards
    • Random draw.  One of the PC’s rooms with Luther who shows them his stash.
  • Rivalry
    • Have at least one of the NPC’s take liberties with the PC’s who are prisoners; either physically or sexually
    • Give another PC a chance to intervene
  • Sex & Drugs
    • Luther 'The Lunatic' Rumenski busts out his ‘Goodies’.  He tells them he got this shit from a cousin in Innsmouth who usually get her best shit from those creepy fucked up Whateley’s in Dunnswhich.  People get SUPER wasted who partake.  Visions are had.  Lots of sex, some of it gets a bit weird.
    • Euphoria kicks in for those that took the trial drug earlier.  STEP 2 in the process
    • Play up that if the PC’s don’t partake they are still solicited for sex.
  • The First Signs
    • One of the Guards breaks up a ‘Party’, after having his/her advances spurned, in the cell block and beats one of the other students horribly.  Almost killing him, Peaslee covers it up, and reminds the students of the waiver they signed.  Two students speak up, a riot almost breaks out.  The injured student and two who spoke up and complained disappear.  Luther is nowhere to be found, and half his stash, which he showed to a PC is gone.
  • An ‘Accident’
    • The three bodies are found horribly beaten in a Guard bathroom.  The trauma is horrible.  The PC’s find the bodies.  Two of the guards claim that they heard the three were into some ‘Weird Sex Stuff’ and must have gotten carried away.  One of the Guards is constantly putting a bandaged hand/arm behind his/her back.
    • The Guards threaten them, a bit of conflict can occur, but Peaslee breaks it up, and no one can find Luther.  The ‘Injured’ Guard tells the PC’s to mind their place.
      Act 2The Long Night
  • More Sex & Drugs
    • Day 2 is uneventful till that night.  Dinner is the last meal the PC’s are provided.  A colorless, sweet smelling odor wafts through the vents 2 hours after another dose of the Trial Med is given.
    • People again engage in very promiscuous and increasingly violent sexual acts.
    • Play up that if PC’s don’t partake they are at least being tempted by other students and in increasingly aggressive ways. 
  • Jealousy
    • One of the PC’s who partakes in the activity is targeted by one of the Guards who is spurned, which turns into three Guards who join in.
    • They take the PC away to ‘Teach Them A Lesson’, give PC’s a chance to stand together and intervene.
    • Ramp up the tension by having the non-PC Guards keep the PC’s awake by banging on their doors all night or until there is an audible confusion in the hallway that leads to the next point; Murder
  • Murder
    • The person/persons who had activity with the PC(s) is found that night dead, hung.  No one says anything about all the fist sized bruises covering their torso, or of the fact that Luther’s body is found there also dead.  PC’s who are Guards are there when the bodies are found, and are told the authorities are being told and to keep things quiet and calm.
    • A room across the hall from the ‘Prisoner’ PC’s start to lose their shit.  They go from sex to violence, back to sex and finally VIOLENT guard intervention.
  • Things You Can’t Unsee
    • The four badly beaten people are drug out through the hallway.  PC Guards can intervene so no one is killed.  But the beating is bad.
    • PC Prisoners can see beneath the door or blood gets through the bottom of the door as it pools.
    • The floor is being mopped when the Guards come around again, for an unscheduled Med Pass.  Most look rough, and all are now armed with makeshift weapons.
  • Lockdown Of The Building
    • The Injured Guard tosses Luther’s room and finds the stash.  He threatens the PC’s, he’s with three other guards, not the PC’s. 
    • Prof. Peaslee uses an intercom to tell everyone that the experiment is on lock down for Law Enforcement to get evidence.  This is an obvious lie.
    • The Guards are barricading the doors of the Prisoners with random stuff, paranoia is rampant.
  • Shit Hits The Fan/The Fumes In The Vents
    • The Injured Guard burns the stash in front of the PC guards, but does so by the vent release.  He/She is now full blown insane and attacks the PC’s if they try to stop him/her.
    • 3 Prison rooms, 12 people break out and cause a riot in the hallway.  There is a war going on in the building.
    • Push the PC’s to get out of their ‘Cells’ and try to find a safe haven.  Make them pull constantly as things go from just violent to deadly.
      Act 3The Day Our World Ends
  • The Body Count
    • The morning hits and there are bodies everywhere.  Everyone who has been taking pills is now in withdrawal.  All withdrawal pulls are made with the non-dominant hand!  (Thank you Magic Mike)
    • There are a group of Guards holed up in the last control room before the ‘Gate’ out.  There are 15 Prisoners who are roaming about and doing horrific things.  One of them is wearing the face of one of the Guards.  They will either recruit the PC’s or kill them.
    • One of the Guards lets slip that the Police aren’t there or coming and the phones all run to Peaslee’s office.  The only way out is to set off the fire alarms in the building.
  • No Safety Here/Fire
    • Someone, hopefully the PC’s set a fire and set off the alarms in the ‘Common Room’, only one that works, which is a library.
    • The Face Gang is coming for the PC’s.  Ramp up the tension as the unaffiliated Guards & Prisoners who aren’t with the Guards in the Gatehouse or with the Faces are killed.
    • Pulls for withdrawal, get across that Peaslee has the rest of the meds in his office.  Let them know that those who took the meds and the drugs are getting worse.  But it feels like the Meds curb the urges after the initial carnal euphoria.
  • Opening The Gates
    • The Fire Doors unlock.  The survivors flood out, and all hell breaks loose, if the PC’s don’t rush out then they hear the sirens and MANY gunshots.
    • They find food, and if they go to Peaslee’s office he has three students restrained in cages taken from the Biology department and they are barely human anymore.  He is downing the Trial Med by the handful and is insane.
    • PC’s Vs. Peaslee
  • The Army Arrives
    • The Police are overwhelmed, National Guard arrives and they are start shooting.  Get across the feeling that the PC’s are being hunted across campus, but that the other ‘Infected’ are running wild and possibly infecting others.  The Experiment building burns.
    • Five National Guards People hunt the PC’s in a building at night, possibly the commissary as the PC’s haven’t eaten real food in 24 hours.
    • At least one of the Guards is infected and loses their shit.
  • Marshall Law
    • The Army arrives in Biohazard Suits and starts to shoot and burn indiscriminately.  The City is burning, sirens everywhere.
    • The Army is killing Guardsmen.  Get across that there is no communication out, there is limited food, and the military is killing everyone.
    • The bridge out of town is blown up.  Planes are flying overhead more and more often.  Play up the fact the Government is calling this a ‘Hot Zone For a Pandemic’ and something called ‘Operation Scorched Earth’.  One of the PC’s, the Rich Kid, has a boat in the harbor.
  • Infected?
    • Those that took the drugs and meds go full on crazy.  Pull them into another room and let them know they are losing it.  Let them pull for doing horrific shit.  Have them pull to stay ‘in control’, but let them know this isn’t going to get better.
    • Things go full PvP. 
    • Survivors get out on a boat as the Army bombs the town.


  1. Nice to see some of your Dread prep, it will be make it more interesting to talk on the podcast about what you cut and/or what changed once it made contact with the table. But that's not why I'm commenting... no sir, did you know that my blog isn't in your blog list? Now I don't feel like a champion in my heart any longer, that has been stolen away from me.

    1. What the fuck? Really? I will change that toote suite. Sorry, man. Also you will ALWAYS be a champion! lol