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Dread
by Eric P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/22/2015 21:04:25

Dread is a great horror game in how it helps build tension. The tower mechanic lets you bring a physical and visual component to the tension felt in the scenario. Another useful tool which Dread brings are the leading questions which develops the characters and the world. You have to play the game with friends face to face.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dread
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Dread
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2015 15:36:49

Dread is a horror role playing game, designed to be played in single sessions. While you probably can have a character come back for "sequels" it's not a focus of the game. I found this game due to Table Top, and the $3 price point fell into the "what the heck" of impulse purchasing.

The basic mechanic is you use a tower of bricks which Table Top couldn't call Jenga, whenever you would roll dice. If the tower falls, your character is removed from the game, typically via death after it gets going.

Character creation is via a question and answer page you do at the start of the game. There are no stats, it's all very narrative. Over all I like the idea of it, and really want to play it. I even got a new Jenga tower, which of course is a completely unrelated purchase to this game :P

Watch the episode of Table Top on this one, if it is at all intriguing give the whole book a go. Wil did one of the scenarios they give you in the book for his review, but there are two more.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dread
by Jonathan F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2015 16:36:22

Downloaded without any problems. It cost as much as it said it would (which, for $3, was a great deal). The book has lots of interesting and informative information about running this RPG. Can't wait to play it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dread
by Sean H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/03/2015 11:33:49

Dread was a very interesting game, and definitely worth checking out. It doesn't really have much campaign potential, but it's great for single games. The mechanics are novel and really do build to the atmosphere of a horror game, and while there are some flaws, the game is absolutely worth the tiny pricetag it currently carries.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dread
by Mike A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/08/2011 16:16:31

This was an easy download with no complications. The instructions could have been a little more clear on saying the site will send you an email, but once i checked my email the link was there and easy to download.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dread
by Michael H. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/26/2010 15:39:38

Dread is an innovative horror RPG with (perhaps) the most unusual resolution mechanic out there: a Jenga tower. Although not for everybody, this excellent storytelling game is a tour de force of a rules-light system perfectly matched to its genre – with an exemplary presentation as well.

The system is light and elegant. Whenever a character attempts an action that could fail and/or have consequences, the player must pull a block from the Jenga tower. If the pull succeeds, the action succeeds; if not, the character is removed from the game (either violently or otherwise). This is a great mechanic in that it provides a physical representation of the game action, upon which the entire group can focus. The uncertainty and anxiety that occurs with a crucial pull builds to a much more satisfying crescendo than with a single die roll.

It also sets the pace of the game. Equating failure to character death may seem draconian, but the expectation is that the session’s structure will align the dangerous pulls from a rickety tower with the climactic moments near the end of each session (or at least act). Again, the players can watch this ticking clock and viscerally feel the danger developing.

But this also demonstrates the primary drawback of the system: task resolution depends not on character abilities but player dexterity. Players challenged by such exercises will not enjoy Dread, and accidents can happen early on, derailing a story and eliminating one player (though there are rules to help in these situations). I think a good GM can work around this, but it will require both care and experience, so this can legitimately be a deal-breaker for some.

Of course there are a few more wrinkles to how this works (like “elective” pulls to represent passive perception or a character hoping to succeed beyond the norm), but the engine itself is very straightforward.

The second great aspect of Dread is character creation. There are no statistics, simply background, and Dread builds that and ties it to the current story with a questionnaire. These dozen-ish GM-written (but player-answered) questions allow the GM to plant important story points or background elements but let the players run with them to develop their own character and make them their own. There definitely seems to be an art to constructing these – the book devotes a whole chapter to advice, and the lower margins are full of examples throughout the book – and will take some practice to get right. But the facility of these short sentences to focus on interesting details (“What were you doing when you got that stain?”) or open surprising doors for the story (“In your travels, which three animal languages have you learned?”) while encouraging player creativity and collaborative “setting” development is really impressive. I have already stolen this idea as a tool to draw players into the story in my own campaigns.

The book is extremely well-written, with lots of advice for dealing with these unusual mechanics as well as for tailoring story to the various horror sub-genres – chapters focusing on suspense, the supernatural, madness, morality, mystery, and gore provide general notes on story construction and GM advice as well as more specific recommendations on utilizing (and pacing) the tower effectively and on tailoring the questionnaire to these kinds of games. There is also a long chapter chock full of advice for GMs running Dread (mostly applicable to horror games in general, and some advice even more wide-ranging than that).

The book concludes with three sample scenarios; one highly detailed and two left more free-form (but all contain a full set of questionnaires). I won’t give away any details, but the three hit some of the major tropes of the genre very well.

In summary, Dread is an elegant and impressive horror game with unique mechanics. The central premises – character creation through questionnaires and task resolution through a Jenga tower – are quirky and certainly not for everyone. But, even so, I recommend the game as a great read for its advice and analysis of the GM trade and horror genre.

Note: I received a free review copy (in pdf form) of this title through DriveThruRPG.com.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dread
by Devon K. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/30/2010 22:39:21

At times the wording in the book is a bit difficult to understand, but the game rocks and is one of the funnest games I've ever played. The book is very bare bones and sometimes the layout is difficult to follow. But, this is a must have for your game library!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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