Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Anatomy of a Horror Setting #1:
Psychic Powers

In working on my psychic horror game there are several considerations I have had to make, and several more yet to be decided upon. In this first article of how many I do not know, I will start with my first point of necessity, and the considerations that it entailed. Later articles will take a look at these considerations as required.

The first requirement was that it was going to be a horror game. I of course set out to make a game with psychic powers so there was the second game priority. While I am discussing my game these ideas in no way need be relegated to role-playing games, they should work perfectly for any short story, novel, or movie setting within the genre. The limiting factor will be the inclusion of psychic phenomena though by no means will it be inclusive to humans for other people's setting purposes or any other settings I might pursue.

For a horror setting with psychics you first need to set out a list of the powers that you want to see. Next you need to look at how these powers will work. This requires looking at how the powers work in the following ways. First, what cost is there to using the powers? It can be none, it can be some kind of psychic points, it can be physical fatigue, and it can be mental fatigue. Next, are there any downsides to using the powers too much aside from any associated cost? The downsides of fatigue are obvious. Certainly sometime the use of such supernatural power has a negative impact, such as nosebleeds, and headaches if the powers come "naturally".

A psychic not need to be born with the powers or have them flourish on their own at the onset of puberty (a common time in fiction). The powers could be granted by a supernatural entity, or they could be the result of experimentation. These ideas alone open up a lot more vistas of possible exploration in your setting than just having the psychic abilities innately. They also express another important facet of a psychic horror setting, how does the rest of the world react to these phenomena and the people who wield such powers? Something for next time.

Mood: crisp.
Music: You Are all That I Need by Twisted Sister and You're All I Need by Motley Crue.

Twisted Sister: Love is for Suckers
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Motley Crue: Girls Girls Girls

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