Dread

Diceless, numberless horror

Dread is a game of horror and suspense. Those who play it participate in a mutual telling of an original macabre tale. The goal of the game is to sustain the delicate atmosphere that is necessary to produce the hand quivering emotion that lends Dread its name. The thrill lies within the tension between desire and loss. You will take on the role of someone trapped in a story that is only as compelling as it is hostile--someone who will find themselves making the sorts of decisions we hope never to face in real life.

Dread uses a unique questionnaire method of character creation. The character questionnaire provides the skeleton of a character, suitable for the story or campaign, while the player gets to add the flesh when they answer the questions, thus creating the character they want to play. In this way, characters are guaranteed to fit into the story, and yet players are invested in the characters, lending weight to the decisions they make.

In play, dice, cards, or other more-traditional randomizers are replaced by a tower of blocks, such as the Jenga® game. When a character attempts a task beyond their capabilities, the tower determines their success--they can succeed by pulling a block, or choose to fail by not pulling. But if the tower falls, their character is removed from the game, never to return. Their fate might be death, insanity, cowardice, imprisonment, possession, or something else, as the story dictates. Players prone to martyrdom can mollify this somewhat by deliberately knocking over the tower, resulting in a heroic or dramatic success, despite their character exiting the game.

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