Night of the Slashers Part 1 - Dead by Daylight

One night several weeks ago my daughter (14) had a sleep over ... she and her friends decided to use my Plex server to binge watch every Slasher flick I had ... at 11 pm after only Halloween 1 & 2 and Friday the 13th Part 1 the internet died and four somewhat scared and bored girls approached me to entertain them.  You see my daughter had explained to them that I was a published GM ... I kept with the tradition of sleep over horror and introduced them to a world of pain, suffering, and small engine repair!

Dead by Daylight has been one of my favorite online games for the past two years.  The game has led to many nights of creepy through old barns, factories, asylums, etc trying to avoid being killed ... or trying to find those sultry teenagers to kill them.  During my short stint as a TWITCH streamer, Dead by Daylight was my go-to source of streaming content and to this day features some amazing streams.

A little on Dead by Daylight

 It is an asymmetrical pvp game in which 4 survivors need to outwit, outlast, and eventually escape a Slasher (as of this writing there are 10+ Slashers including Michael Meyers, Freddy Krugger, and Leatherface ... I'm hoping for Chucky this Halloween) by repairing and activating five generators which operate an escape door.  From the Survivors' side this is a harrowing experience as the Slasher cannot be killed, cannot be fought against, and can only momentarily be stopped by blinding him with a flashlight tool.  The only true option is to run, run as fast as you can and hope to escape ... if only for a moment.

Each of the Survivors have options for special skills, some heal fast, others run quickly, still, others are strong, and others still are better at repairing the generators.  To truly survive and escape the Survivors need to play a complex game balancing the need for cooperation with the reality that sometimes your own well-being is more important (especially when a guy with a chainsaw is after you).

The Original Survivors.

Conversely, the Slashers are insanely powerful, gifted with strange abilities and paranormal focus.  Each of the killers gets special perks and abilities that allow them to either outperform the Survivors or drive them slowly insane.  Michael Meyers may be slow but the longer he stalks a Survivor the stronger and more lethal his strike is.  The Doctor can cause hallucinations in his victims making them see him around every corner, slowing them as they cope with their deteriorating mental state.

The goal for the Slasher is to stalk, capture and sacrifice each of the Survivors to a Dark Entity who drives the Slashers forward forcing them and rewarding them for the blood they shed on the world.

Because of this nature, the near cat-and-mouse design Dead by Daylight can be an intriguing, adrenaline coursing event ... It can also be an extremely fustrating one depending on the skill and experience gap of the players.

Night of the Slashers

Night of the Slashers (NotS) is a take on the Slasher genre of horror movies for Swords and Wizardry by Neoplastic Games and takes a rather similiar approach to its modded S&W OSR system as Dead by Daylight.  In NotS you are offered several stereotypical teen archtypes:  The Jock, The Prep, The Goth, etc and are forced through the will of the DM to survive a night against a murderous, nearly unkillable being of pure hatred and chaos. While there are rules for creating your teen, there is also a provided pregen of that teen.  For me the provided pregens elevate the game as it makes it into a quick pick-up style game, which this type of genre is far more suited for.  The rules for creating the Slasher are wonderfully random, taking place on various tables and charts that lend a creepy and in some cases justifiable reason for the Slasher's need for teen blood (Like Mrs. Voorhees).

The mod of S&W is short, sweet, and delightfully fun to work with and play with.  I had been looking for an excuse to really sic my teeth (or in this case hedgeslippers) into it.

One Night at the Stathound Ranch

Copyright 2018 - Neoplastic Press
 The girls sat around the table clutching herbal iced teas and a few bags of nachos (somethings never change!) each holding a print-out of their chosen archtype:

Bonny the Cheerleader (Jock)
Steph the Queenbee (Prep)
Jade the Sukiban (Rebel) - Also my daughter's  character
Tina the "Witch" (Loner)

It was party make-up despite the fact that the girls covered all four available classes in the pdf and really  did their best to make those pregens their own in a short amount of time I gave them before play started.  What interested me more is the girls really did their best to play "different" than reality, opting to be strangers, enemies or (in the case of Tina and Jade) bitter rivals.

Like the girls I had little time to prep this and was mostly going off of their real world friendships being somewhat key ... oh boy was I wrong.

Orginially I had planned to base the Slasher's turf in a condemned convent, with the Slasher being a demonic nun.  All the girls had seen The Nun and thus would make connections that wouldn't be there in my game but just as frieghtening due to memory.  However, given the antaganistic nature the girls took which each other, I decided to go a different direction and one that was close to home for this 3/4 group of natural born Texan girls.

Instead of a convent the girls would be trapped in a ranch, one that hadn't been around for near fifty years and surrounded on all sides by piles of construction equipment.  The Stathound family had been upstanding members of their small community but when the housing boom occured the local county government got a little too greedy and forcably took the land from the Stathound family, causing the family to become penniless.  Soon after the family disappeared, along with the barn and farmhouse.

While developments, condos and highways have taken over the form ranch, however, if anyone happens to be at a certain crossroad on the anniversery of the stealing of the land that person would vanish to never be seen again.  That crossroads sorrounds the area of the former farmhouse and acts like a gateway to another space outside of time.

This is where the characters find themselves after being involved in an accident involving both cars at that crossroads ... What happens next is a story for tommorrow.

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