Friday, October 14, 2011

Two kids: Schauermarchen

Two Kids

This game is one of those games I wish I thought up of.  Here's a few words from John Wick, the creator of the game itself:

The Village is made of rust, oil and steam. Every corner is jagged, catching and ripping clothes. Thick black clouds of smog keep the sun and moon far away from the Village and no waves ever roll up on the shore. The sea sits like a corpse, its dark waters still and silent. Iron clocks hang over the streets, clicking away the hours, but none of them tell the same time.
The children are not alone in the Village. There are two others. One of them lives in the tall house on the hill, sending a deep shadow across the center of the Village. The children hear the tinkling of an out-of-tune piano and the garbled voice singing along with it. Songs of gleeful murder, songs of graveyard dances.
Then, at night, he steps from the front door, his hat on his head, his cane in hand, and he walks through the Village's cramped streets..
Schauermarchen is a roleplaying game of children trapped in a nameless Village, hunted by a nameless horror. It is not intended for children.
      Taken from John Wick's marketplace.

Let me say this:  He is not joking.

Schauermarchen is a dark disturbing fairytale with a very light system that allows you to focus on the horror. Mahar and Rocky had a taste of the game and sadly we had to cancel the game mid-way due to a family matter that required Rocky's attention and Mahar realizing he couldn't go on playing this alone.

It is hard to say more about the game without spoiling it.  But I will say this, if you go into this game not allowing yourself to be afraid, you will not enjoy it.  If you go into this game with a mindset of "winning the game" you will not enjoy it.  But if you enter the story with the mindset of a child, the horror will be there, then if you develop that fear into a powerful source of hope, you will soon discover there is a way to escape living in a nightmare without having to wake up.

The session had me designing a simple character sheet (with places for six kids, so if one dies, you can have a record of how many casualties have happened) and wrote an article about running horror games too.  Absolutely worth the purchase.

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