Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Happy Hallowe'en!

In case you needed reminding, there’s a rather lovely Google Doodle for the day.

Have I not done a big post about Hallowe’en? Well then, this is as good a year as any.

Hallowe’en has long been a favourite holiday due to its combination of horror and sweets. It goes back to a tangle of old beliefs, All Hallows' Eve put on top of the end-of-summer fire festival of Samhuinn and a bunch of others piled on top. These days it's mostly the straightforward American version (trick or treat rather than guising, pumpkins rather than turnips because they're much less of a pain in the arse to carve) but the roots, some local, are still there. Particularly nice because it's often far too bloody cold around here to enjoy going out.

It's a geek national holiday because of all the game-friendly things going on:

Monsters. (Duh.)

Costumes, masks, disguises, pretending to be a monster. Or not to be.

Occult rituals, both rooted in ancient traditions and totally made up.

The thinning of the veil between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Dios De Los Muertes.

Horror media. New and retrospective.

And special Hallowe’en episodes.

Depending on Weird Level, an ongoing game can get away with a slight spike in Weird for the season. e.r. had a ghost story one year, of all things. It turned out to be nothing, but still... Of course if you have the required Weird, you can aim for seasonal kinds of Weird. Buffy had a Hallowe’en episode every other year. One of the handful of adventures for the Ghostbusters RPGs was Pumpkin Patch Panic.

It’s probably a bit late to start planning one now unless you have a weekend session coming up, but of course a sudden outbreak of scariness might work better when the players least expect it.

Heh, heh, heh...


  1. Of course, Halloween is also a good time to drop a bit of horror into non-horror games.

    And, that wiki list of Halloween episodes is flawed, it doesn't include the castle halloween episode from the 2nd season. If you can't go scary, at least have them dress up!

    1. Indeed. A horror adventure is always more surprising in a non-horror game. (Always good to make sure it's a welcome surprise, of course...)

      And Wikipedia gets something wrong? I am surprised!

      (It also doesn't seem to mention the True Blood episodes set around Hallowe'en, presumably because they weren't aired then.)