What do you like to do on Halloween? Maybe you watch horror movies, maybe you go to parties, or maybe it’s just another night like any other. We here at Pandemonium would like to suggest something- games! Gather your friends and break out the spooky board games, or prepare a roleplaying session that will make everyone keep the lights on until the sun rises on November 1st! Even if Halloween isn’t your thing, these games will absorb you with horror that ranges from silly and spooky to absolutely bone-chilling. What more can a gamer ask for?
If you’re attending or hosting a party, consider one of our year-round favorite party games, Gloom. This darkly humorous game, reminiscent of Edward Gorey or Lemony Snicket, casts the players as dysfunctional families (and mad scientists, and artists) to whom bad things relentlessly happen. The players must ensure that their family ends up the most tragic bunch of all, while placing cards that grant good outcomes on others. You’ve never had so much fun making your children get haunted by ghosts, or been so angry when someone else appoints your dog to a government position!
If you prefer more rules-heavy board games, look no further than Arkham Horror. Players work together as investigators on the trail of ancient gods and horrible monsters, looking for the answers to the mysteries that haunt their own lives and, if possible, ways to save the world. Block out a whole night for this game, as it will take you far and wide across the world of the Cthulhu mythos facing one danger after the other. Prepare for haunted violins, angry fish men, and cosmic forces run amuck!
If you prefer to approach Lovecraftian horror in a roleplaying game, that’s what Call of Cthulhu is for. The mysteries your characters investigate may be immense ones about the end of the world or local murders by a single nasty wizard, but either way, they are infamously dangerous to body, soul and mind. Some players embrace doom with fatalistic glee, while others think circles around their GMs in an effort to survive or at least take the bad guys out with them! What will you do?
If you prefer gothic horror, there’s plenty to go around. Vampire the Masquerade spawned a revolution in narrative-driven RPGs, and continues to offer players the chance to revel in beauty, darkness and blood. Will your vampire be romantic or bloodthirsty, a loner or a political manipulator- or will they be a little of all the above? Vampire the Masquerade draws from a wide variety of vampire media to let you play any imaginable variety of night creature…and that’s not even getting into all the other beasts that stalk the shadows!
And if you just want to play D&D with added Halloween flavor, I can’t recommend Ravenloft enough! This campaign setting presents a world where every imaginable gothic villain is trapped in their own personalized hellscape; fair enough, perhaps, except for all the innocent people trapped in there with them. Vampire lords, warrior queens, soul-sucking swords and nightmare cities of ghosts await players around every corner, but perhaps they can still come away with treasure and glory- or if not, have an exciting time making things even more chaotic!
Happy Halloween from Pandemonium! Keep warm, stay safe, and watch out for monsters!