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RPGaDay – Day 28: Scariest Game you’ve played

Shadowrun Cover

Short Answer: Shadowrun, FASA Corporation.

Long Answer: You’d think I’d pick Call of Cthulhu, the game of cosmic horror and creeping insanity, for today. And you’d be wrong. Sure, the Cthulhu setting is scary. It’s full of crazed cultists and ancient horrors, but most people know that going in and that lessens the shock somewhat. You can still get something out of it if you’re the sort of person who prefers the journey to the destination, but it’s still not as scary.

To be honest, it’s more scary when your character is in a situation that seems hopeless – deep in a dungeon with no quick escape, on the run from the authorities with a grievous wound and no first aid kit, or facing down an invading alien horde with a butter knife and brown trousers. These are the times when the party has to pull together and find a way to survive at all costs. Not everyone may realise the situation is dire, but that shouldn’t stop them from working together.

Of all the times I’ve been in this sort of situation, the most intense probably occured during sessions of Shadowrun. There’s something about engaging in illegal activities against well-funded corporations and militarised police forces that quickens the blood. Then there’s the weird side of the game. Magic is fairly standard, but things like Bug Spirits were a real concern. My Troll Street Samurai was resilient, but there wasn’t much he could do to defend himself against them. Other than expending as much ammunition as possible in an attempt to drive them off.

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