What is S.C.R.E.A.M?
S.C.R.E.A.M is a Slasher Horror RPG System designed for use in one-shots and short campaigns. It’s a simple system designed to get players ready to play quickly and to allow GMs to have freedom and licence to alter their plans as they go, based on success or failures of players’ rolls.
Want to hear S.C.R.E.A.M being played? Click here
This is version 1.2 of S.C.R.E.A.M, with changes made thanks to play-testers and contributors from Reddit. To see Version 1.1, click here.
You can find the pre-made adventure, ‘A Conversation at Midnight’ here.
How To Play
Players make rolls to determine the success of their actions. They roll a d100 (two 10-sided dice) and must roll above their score for the stat in question.
Rolling above the score is a success, the action works in some way and their score for the stat stays the same.
Rolling below the score is a failure, the action is unsuccessful in some way and their score for the stat increases by 5, making their next roll with that stat harder.
Rolling 100 (00-0) is a Critical Success. This means that the action worked perfectly.
Rolling 1 (00-1) is a Critical Fail. This means that the action fails, but also that the world gets a little bit scarier.
Build a character
Players have 6 stats:
Supernatural, Character, Reactions, Endurance, Aptitude and Mettle.
Supernatural represents your character’s knowledge of the Other World and its denizens.
Character represents your character’s persuasiveness, charisma, ability to lie and discover lies, and knowledge.
Reactions represents your character’s speed to react physically and ability to notice things.
Endurance represents your character’s stamina, toughness, strength and pain barrier
Aptitude represents your character’s ability to rise to new challenges and pick up new skills.
Mettle represents your character’s ability to withstand mental stress and the ravages of terror as the world gets more and more horrifying.
Supernatural, Character, Reactions and Endurance are base stats: Characters roll against these for things they can feasibly achieve within those categories.
Aptitude and Mettle are gateway stats: For challenges which put characters out of their comfort zone in terms of a new skill or psychological difficulty. A check with either of these must be passed before the base stat test can be made. If the gateway check is failed, the base stat check is rolled at a disadvantage (role d100 twice and choose the lowest).
To determine your initial stats, Roll d100 twice for each stat (Supernatural, Character, Reactions and Endurance) and pick the lowest roll in each.
Aptitude and Mettle always begin at 45.
Leave the space for your Luck point blank.
Luck can be spent to re-roll any check which is not a Critical Fail. Players can never have more than one point of Luck at a time. GMs will portion out Luck as a reward for inventiveness or good roleplay.
Finally roll a single d10 – this is your starting Fate score.
Answer your questions and fill out a character name, then it’s time to S.C.R.E.A.M
Download the character sheet HERE
Running a game
Run play however you like, just remember to keep it scary.
You can build tension by playing with levels, we’ll call them 1-4. Level 1 is a general feeling of unease as the world is obviously darker than first thought; Level 2 is a feeling of dread as impending horror begins to show signs of its existence; Level 3 is a feeling of terror as the final horror begins to stalk the group, or nearly show itself to them; Level 4 is actual Horror – the blood, the gore, the reveal of the monster etc.
Don’t rush to level 4, keep playing between 1,2 and 3, going up and down, until you’ve developed some real fear in your group, then bring on the final act with 4.
When a critical fail happens, the world gets scarier. The characters could hear a noise or catch a glimpse of something, the door they came through could now be locked, or the final scenario could get a little worse, just remember to keep tabs on anything you delay.
You may wish to run it as an ongoing story, where you follow characters’ every move, or a series of scenes, skipping out the bits in between, play it however is best for your group.
As a guide, don’t make characters roll for everything, try and keep it as just the big moments. It’ll make rolling scarier and help keep tension for longer. The more rolls they make, the more likely they are to fail, making their next rolls harder. If you’re running a short game, you might want to make characters make more rolls, if you’re running something longer, use them sparingly for tense tests of skill. At the end of the day, though, it’s your game, so make characters roll at any time you think is appropriate.
Luck and Fate
Players start with a Fate score (which is a number between 1 and 10).
They also have a blank box for a Luck point.
Luck can be spent to re-roll any check which is not a Critical Fail. Players can never have more than one point of Luck at a time. Portion out Luck as a reward for inventiveness or good roleplay.
Fate scores can be added to or decreased as the game goes on. Give out Fate points to individual players to increase tension. You can give them out for events which are particularly dramatic, or even mundane occurrences, just to build tension. Do not tell the characters the purpose of the Fate score. When a character rolls a Critical Fail, GMs may choose to give them a Fate point.
If the score ever goes above 10, then a character is cursed. Whenever they make a roll, they must roll with disadvantage (roll two d100 and use the lowest result).
If the score ever reaches 13, then a character is marked for Death. The character is destined to die gruesomely soon, or to have some dire catastrophe befall them.
Now get out there and get yourselves killed! Good luck surviving the night…
Questions of clarifications? Send ’em here