For Gamesmasters

A metaphor of Hope and Fear
This page is for anyone planning to run their own Dread session, it will feature links to annotated scenario plans (notes on what my players did and suggested) and include character questionnaires.

Links to scenarios are for GM’s only and can be found at the bottom of this page.

Below are general observations and notes on playing (which anyone can read), hopefully my mistakes will help someone, somewhere run a better game:

Playing Dread

The Dread book gives you a good understanding of what to expect when hosting session, but here are personal notes.

The Tower:
  • I ran the session with my laptop on, and kept a spreadsheet to track how many pulls had been made and who made them, this was a good way of keeping a handle on play, making sure everyone had something to do
  • In sessions to date, the tower falls at 24 pulls (two falls one on 20 pulls one on 28), I’ll amend this column as I get more data.
  • I tried to get everyone's hands on the tower quickly before giving them a breather, something of a dramatic opening, before letting folk settle down and think about the situation. The players went to some lengths to avoid the obvious route (and avoid the early pulls). People are wary of the tower if they're not used to it, but encouraging early pulls is a good strategy.
  • The first couple of pulls are tentative, the next few are rather more confident, people generally get more wary of the tower after 10-12 pulls, between 10 and 20 seems to be the 'sweet spot' for tension generation, people will still approach the tower fairly readily, but they'll be holding their breath.
  • At around 18-20 pulls, pulling becomes a lot slower.
  • After the tower falls, you want to quite quickly return people to a state of tension, the book stipulates that the players must re-assemble the tower and pull five blocks for each player that is out of the game (the tower is live at this point), this is good advice, I personally tried encourage pulls to get the tower into the 10+ sweet-spot quite quickly.
The Players:
  • Make sure players describe their characters physically to each other, I made the mistake of not enforcing this and I think the players lost a bit of atmosphere, including some potential humour. Humour is important because players should and will laugh when presented with a little tension


Space Setting
The cold, endless void

Drill. [link to follow]