RPGaDay: Most Surprising Game

On August 4th, the RPGaDay topic is most surprising game. I’m most surprised by Dread by Epidiah Ravachol and Nathaniel Barmore.


Dread is a horror based rpg which builds the tension using a tower of blocks (aka Jenga tower). Two years ago, I hosted a game of Dread for the first time and was surprised how well the tower builds up the tension in a group. I had never played Jenga or any similar game before. In fact, I played a tower game about an hour before my first game of Dread. I knew the theory behind it and I was expecting a bit of tension.

For those who haven’t played Dread yet, you resolve your action by pulling a block from a tower and placing on top. If you are successful at that then your action succeeds. If you refuse then your action fails and bad stuff happens. If the tower falls then whoever was responsible for it falling loses all agency in the story, usually through immediate character death but sometimes the host will keep your character along but you can’t make any pulls and the host will choose when your character dies in a dramatic scene.

While we played, I saw the group physically get tense and inch themselves away from the table and tower in order to avoid accidently have it fall and thus get removed from the game. I was surprised by this strong reaction.

Additionally, Dread surprised me by showing the power of leading questions especially in character creation. When you create a character in Dread, you answer 13 questions. Each questions are leading and reveal a portion of the characters story but the player fills in the details. Ex: How did your parents die? (Reveal: parents are dead); Why do you regret quitting your last job? (Reveal: you had a job which you quit); Which little-knock actor was the first real ghost you ever saw? (Reveal: ghosts are real in this game). This strength in the questions help building up a world for your game and gathering input from the group.

I highly recommend you try the game. If you wish to see it action, Tabletop did a two part episode where they play Dread. You see the group play one of the scenarios in the game.

Additionally, the game is available for family as Dread House by Emily Claire Boss and Epidiah Ravachol.


One thought on “RPGaDay: Most Surprising Game

  1. Pingback: RPGaDay: Favourite horror rpg | Eric's Gaming Pulse

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