I wrote this for Demon City but I'm on the fence about whether to include it. I believe it all, but I think it might be a little heavy and not-to-the-point for somebody who just picked up a new game.
If you can mentally cast yourself in the role of a totally new GM picking up this book and can read from that pov, and then manage to form an opinion on whether you think you'd want to read it in the book, let me know.
Horror: An Introduction
You expect an author, at this point, to go on about how we like to be scared. Or, worse, how they do. How I discovered I liked to be scared one dusty summer break sitting on the mustard carpet in the corner of the neglected bookstore.
I didn’t, really. I discovered first that I liked to imagine things: Superman, a dragon, rockets, and as a teenager I was running out of things to read and so, maybe against my better judgment: Stephen King, then Lovecraft, all that. I liked them alright.
I kept liking imagining. And as the play (and then, later, the work) of imagining things kept on, I realized it was very hard to use that imagination for anything as an adult—as an adult who needed like all adults to occasionally talk to other adults about their adulthood—without imagining horror.
There will never not be trouble. Some things you have to make because they aren’t there—some things you make because they are.
I have noticed adults who are good at imagining but not good at imagining horror can be bad with people, and with trouble. They can’t experiment with a new train of thought…what if it goes somewhere horrible? People are at their most dangerous (accidentally dangerous and on-purpose dangerous) when they have things they don’t want to think about.
I’ve made game-things and most weren’t really horror, but they all had room for horror (or brutality and isolation and other horror-cousins) because without the detailed exploration of the possibility of everything going to shit then imagined things really are just escapism, just checking out of this place where we live and checking in to a dazzling comfort zone.
This might be the primordial purpose of horror in the end: to enable you to continue to invent and create not just in the presence of-, but against-, the awful.
Horror—the genre—is what imaginative people use to keep their imaginations in working order in the face of horror—the fact of life.
So like here's a game about it.
Sean Äaberg's Halloween Book Kickstarter
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