HP charge to face horror

I run a game that flips from moderate combat focus to low combat horror. The different games have different requirements for healing and HP. More combat needs more healing, but lots of healing really hurts horror.


I don’t like the idea of turning healing off in scary situations. So I’m thinking of charging HP’s to perform actions that the characters might be scared to do; open a bleeding door, walk down a corridor that extinguishes all light, walk through a graveyard, or open a tomb. Just ways to force the extra HP’s and healing to get used up so the party feels low on resources as they approach the final encounter.


Has anyone actually tried this, or thought a bit about it?

Any comments or insights would be helpful, thanks in advance.

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Three things ...

1. D&D is a heroic adventure game, not a horror game.  That the mechanics don't support horror well shouldn't really be a surprise.

2. RP is RP.  Mechanical elements are neither needed nor wanted.

3. Many players are going to bristle, and rightly so, if you tell them how their PC feels or reacts to something.  Usurping player control over his character in such a way is a terrible idea.  If you were to tell me 'Your PC is terrified, dock some HP', I would hand you my character sheet and leave.  "If you want to play my character so badly, have at it."
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I regularly run horror games using D&D.  the secret to a good horror game is pacing and making sure little to nothing actually happens.  Always make it seem like something could happen or that around every turn there could be calamity and twisted happenings.  Maybe one or two fights here or there against incredibly strong combatants at best.  The secret of a good horror game is anticipation. Give them the backstory to the place before giving them the game.  Build their expectations of the place you are putting them in and then tease them with small happenings.
Three things ...

1. D&D is a heroic adventure game, not a horror game.  That the mechanics don't support horror well shouldn't really be a surprise.





D&D and creepy go way back together; The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun and the cast of un-named inhabitants who inhabit a lone keep far beyond the safe and sane realm of law including an evil priest and a mad tree stump dwelling hermit are at a minimum unsettling, And when full consideration is given to those concepts in light of the illustrations by the great Erol Otus they become down right terrifying.



2. RP is RP.  Mechanical elements are neither needed nor wanted.




The little rituals we have involving dice and tables are part and parcel of the game experience. Rolling % dice and consulting a chart printed in 14 point Arial narrow is very different from rolling 3d6 and unrolling a 14”x24” scroll of heavy paper and comparing the result to a list of entries handwritten in olde calligraphy.

The tactile elements at the game table and the numerology can and should support the theme of the game.



3. Many players are going to bristle, and rightly so, if you tell them how their PC feels or reacts to something.  Usurping player control over his character in such a way is a terrible idea.  If you were to tell me 'Your PC is terrified, dock some HP', I would hand you my character sheet and leave.  "If you want to play my character so badly, have at it."


Why is this so revolting to you? How is it different from the DM saying “You failed your save vs, the pendulum trap, you take…ahhh 17 points.”


In the case that I presented the players would even have a choice before hand. “The Chest smells like dead entrails, you choke back the vomit and your eyes tear up from the wretched smell as you approach. Is the box moving? It almost appears to breath. If you wish to move closer then you will need to spend 6 HP, even staying in the room will cost you 2HP per turn.”


I don’t see how its “taking control” of the PC. Could you speak to that a bit more?


I regularly run horror games using D&D.  the secret to a good horror game is pacing and making sure little to nothing actually happens.  Always make it seem like something could happen or that around every turn there could be calamity and twisted happenings.  Maybe one or two fights here or there against incredibly strong combatants at best.  The secret of a good horror game is anticipation. Give them the backstory to the place before giving them the game.  Build their expectations of the place you are putting them in and then tease them with small happenings.


That's exactly the type of game I mean. Do you think the HP charge to overcome creepy and weird would ruin the building sense of dread? I am hoping that it actually enhances it as the party gets low on resources before even fighting anything.
I regularly run horror games using D&D.  the secret to a good horror game is pacing and making sure little to nothing actually happens.  Always make it seem like something could happen or that around every turn there could be calamity and twisted happenings.  Maybe one or two fights here or there against incredibly strong combatants at best.  The secret of a good horror game is anticipation. Give them the backstory to the place before giving them the game.  Build their expectations of the place you are putting them in and then tease them with small happenings.


Thats exactly the type of game I mean. Do you think the HP charge to overcome creepy and wierd would ruin the building sence of dread? I am hoping that it actually enhances it as the party gets low on resources before even fighting anything.


That actually seems like a workable system to mechanically do horror. Especially, if you go by the current interpretation of hit points.
Three things ...

1. D&D is a heroic adventure game, not a horror game.  That the mechanics don't support horror well shouldn't really be a surprise.



Ravenloft was/is an official D&D setting. It had some really good Horror rules in 2E. If the PC did not act accordingly to a horrifying situation, they had to make a saving throw or suffer a negative effect. This really is no different, only using the HP system

2. RP is RP.  Mechanical elements are neither needed nor wanted.

3. Many players are going to bristle, and rightly so, if you tell them how their PC feels or reacts to something.  Usurping player control over his character in such a way is a terrible idea.  If you were to tell me 'Your PC is terrified, dock some HP', I would hand you my character sheet and leave.  "If you want to play my character so badly, have at it."


This appears to be an inqury about a potential module or houserule. If it's not your style of play, you're not really helping.
I find your idea interesting.

Panic lowers chances of survival, and lowering HPs and/or AC makes sense from this point of view.
But I think players should have a way to keep their self-control.

You should implement a special kind of defense before taking the HPs.
I wouldn't use saves, as it favors mental abilities to resist fear or anguish, like if stupid warriors used to see blood and entrails everywhere were having high mental stats to keep functioning.

Maybe a Self-Control skill with an adjustment coming from experience (level) instead of abilities.

Then horror encounters would just be another kind of monsters.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.

Salla - one thing: I6 - Ravenloft is consistently rated one of the (If not THE) greatest adventures of all time. Other ravenloft adventures also often rate really high. So, yes, horror and d&d go together. I know I can't be the only one that dedicates October to running a high fatality horror campaign.
Here is reality, read and understand: Rangers aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Fighters aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Casters aren't "god mode" or overpowered, in any edition. The tarrasque isn't broken. And you aren't voicing your opinion by claiming otherwise, you're just being a pain. Now, stop complaining.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

That sort of genre jumping is hard in general, and horror is one of the worst to mix in because it is so dependent on mood and setting. My first inclination would be to justify having two sets of rules somehow. Domains of dread from Ravenloft might be impinging on the world somehow, trying to draw regions of the world in Ravenloft. In the areas where the Domains are overlapping the mundane world, necromantic and evil powers are stronger and healing/radiant/good powers are weaker.

Your suggestion could work, if you can keep it from feeling arbitrary. You would need to write up how exactly this is going to work and hand it out to the players. It would also feel less like random punishment if there was some way to avoid the problem. Make a save VS wis or cha or take the damage.

3. Many players are going to bristle, and rightly so, if you tell them how their PC feels or reacts to something.  Usurping player control over his character in such a way is a terrible idea.  If you were to tell me 'Your PC is terrified, dock some HP', I would hand you my character sheet and leave.  "If you want to play my character so badly, have at it."

An NPC in 5e could have Taunt. That lets them anger a PC into doing something stupid, so why not fear?

Salla is right that sort of thing is very irritating though and quickly can get out of hand. One of the reasons why bringing the Domains of Dread into it is that fear becomes a supernatural force, so your character being afraid is not something the player did, it is imposed on them. It is slightly less annoying that way.


...Salla is right that sort of thing is very irritating though and quickly can get out of hand. One of the reasons why bringing the Domains of Dread into it is that fear becomes a supernatural force, so your character being afraid is not something the player did, it is imposed on them. It is slightly less annoying that way.




Excellent feedback, thank you J. As for players being irritated; What if the HP drain is presented as an option? They have the choice to spend the HP to walk down the hall or not.


Its not something that I think would work well if I just “sprung” it on them. Like “Oh! You OPEN the door! HAHAHA take 15 HP because of fear!” I can see how that would suck.


Rather; “The Door is pulsing and gives you a headache to even look at. If you want to open the door it will cost you 5 HP.”






the problem is that it's really only up to the player to decide what their character is scared of.

you could say: "This door is really scary." But the player could just as easily say: "My character doesn't think so."

the DM has no place in even suggesting any sort of response or internalization that a character might have. 

Happy to be back on the best D&D forum on the internet!



Why is this so revolting to you? How is it different from the DM saying “You failed your save vs, the pendulum trap, you take…ahhh 17 points.”





It's completely different, because one is mechanical, and one is roleplaying.  Nobody tells me how to roleplay my character but me.
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Well, then, I guess every game with fear effects that force you to flee, cower, take penalties from fear... yeh, sometimes the game and dm do dictate what you fear, and how it affects you internally and externally.
Here is reality, read and understand: Rangers aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Fighters aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Casters aren't "god mode" or overpowered, in any edition. The tarrasque isn't broken. And you aren't voicing your opinion by claiming otherwise, you're just being a pain. Now, stop complaining.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Well, then, I guess every game with fear effects that force you to flee, cower, take penalties from fear... yeh, sometimes the game and dm do dictate what you fear, and how it affects you internally and externally.




notice the lack of such mechanics in the core rules of every edition of dnd. dungeons and dragons isn't call of cthulhu, and i'd rather not try and bend the game into something it's not very well suited for.

Happy to be back on the best D&D forum on the internet!

Well, then, I guess every game with fear effects that force you to flee, cower, take penalties from fear... yeh, sometimes the game and dm do dictate what you fear, and how it affects you internally and externally.




notice the lack of such mechanics in the core rules of every edition of dnd. dungeons and dragons isn't call of cthulhu, and i'd rather not try and bend the game into something it's not very well suited for.

Actually fear effects were right there in the core rules of most editions

Yes, they have been core. Otherwise immunities to fear effects (pally) would be worthless. Cause fear wouldn't exist.
Here is reality, read and understand: Rangers aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Fighters aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Casters aren't "god mode" or overpowered, in any edition. The tarrasque isn't broken. And you aren't voicing your opinion by claiming otherwise, you're just being a pain. Now, stop complaining.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Yes, they have been core. Otherwise immunities to fear effects (pally) would be worthless. Cause fear wouldn't exist.ip
Here is reality, read and understand: Rangers aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Fighters aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Casters aren't "god mode" or overpowered, in any edition. The tarrasque isn't broken. And you aren't voicing your opinion by claiming otherwise, you're just being a pain. Now, stop complaining.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Well, then, I guess every game with fear effects that force you to flee, cower, take penalties from fear... yeh, sometimes the game and dm do dictate what you fear, and how it affects you internally and externally.




notice the lack of such mechanics in the core rules of every edition of dnd. dungeons and dragons isn't call of cthulhu, and i'd rather not try and bend the game into something it's not very well suited for.

Actually fear effects were right there in the core rules of most editions





there's always been fear effects, but there's never been any sort of system that's similar to what the OP suggested.

on top of that, the fear effects from prior editions have usually been magical in nature, which is a completely different idea than what i've been arguing against. 

Happy to be back on the best D&D forum on the internet!

I would consider losing hit points from touching a bleeding door highly magical. Supernatural effects are just magical effects with a different coat of paint.
Here is reality, read and understand: Rangers aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Fighters aren't dull or underpowered, in any edition. Casters aren't "god mode" or overpowered, in any edition. The tarrasque isn't broken. And you aren't voicing your opinion by claiming otherwise, you're just being a pain. Now, stop complaining.
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Thank_Dog wrote:

2Chlorobutanal wrote:
I think that if you have to argue to convince others about the clarity of something, it's probably not as objectively clear as you think.

No, what it means is that some people just like to be obtuse.

Frightened and Charmed are conditions that can be imposed on characters, so can psychic damage, so the rules have these mechanics in place already. I like the concept of HP loss to overcome effects, I would not make it a barter system, an attack or save against Wisdom or Charisma perhaps. When they go to open the door tell them it will require a save and they may change their mind. Also might not want to go past 'bloodied' or 1/2 HP so it still reflects no actual damage.
As long as the players know the basic horror mechanics in play they should accept it. Let us know how it works out!

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

So I’m thinking of charging HP’s to perform actions that the characters might be scared to do; open a bleeding door, walk down a corridor that extinguishes all light, walk through a graveyard, or open a tomb. Just ways to force the extra HP’s and healing to get used up so the party feels low on resources as they approach the final encounter.

Has anyone actually tried this, or thought a bit about it?

Any comments or insights would be helpful, thanks in advance.



That actually reminds me of something that 4e did.  There were a few situations that 4e covered with healing surge loss, which reduced the amount of healing available.  In that vein, I'd suggest one of the following changes.

1) Since HPs aren't entirely physical, it's very possible that fear may offset some of the HP gained through healing.  Perhaps instead of requiring PCs to spend HPs, you could simply reduce the healing by 25-25%.

2) Reduce the number of HD (healing surges) available.  With less mundane healing (which could also easily represent slower mundane healing), the PCs will have to spend more of their magical healing resources.

3) Receiving magic healing requires requires spending 1 HD (healing surge).

4) Attack their healing potions.  Glass vials are fragile, and adventurers live very rough lives.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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Why is this so revolting to you? How is it different from the DM saying “You failed your save vs, the pendulum trap, you take…ahhh 17 points.”





It's completely different, because one is mechanical, and one is roleplaying.  Nobody tells me how to roleplay my character but me.


Lol, really? This seems more like a problem between you as a player and the type of game the DM wants to run. D&D and horror work fine together. You just obviously don't like that kind of game :P 
My two copper.


Why is this so revolting to you? How is it different from the DM saying “You failed your save vs, the pendulum trap, you take…ahhh 17 points.”





It's completely different, because one is mechanical, and one is roleplaying.  Nobody tells me how to roleplay my character but me.


Lol, really? This seems more like a problem between you as a player and the type of game the DM wants to run. D&D and horror work fine together. You just obviously don't like that kind of game :P 


In all fairness, I can see Salla's point.  Now, Ravenloft is my #1 favorite setting in all editions.  However, good horror gaming is difficult to do well (in no small part because this requires getting to know one's players pretty well).  I'm sure there are a fair number of lazy DMs, or DMs who haven't yet learned to do it well, who simply state "your character feels X."  That's not horror.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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the problem is that it's really only up to the player to decide what their character is scared of.

you could say: "This door is really scary." But the player could just as easily say: "My character doesn't think so."

the DM has no place in even suggesting any sort of response or internalization that a character might have. 

That's certainly true, but I think that on some level if the players are really on board with the idea of playing in a horror game, you're going to have trouble running one regardless.

While it's a useful trick in general, I feel like it's extra essential in horror for the players to feel the same way as their characters. The difference between a horror game and a more straightforward adventure game is at least as much about how the players feel as how the characters feel. In a straightforward adventure game, an evil priest can cast cause fear on a character and presumably that character is terrified, but typically the player isn't any more scared than he'd be as a result of being hit with any other marginally annoying spell. Horror is about scaring players, not characters.

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If your PCs are okay with it, it's okay with me

HP is abstract. It doesn't make the CHARACTER scared. Just getting closer to a fear effect. I could even be a sort of temp HP if you wanted. 
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I regularly run horror games using D&D.  the secret to a good horror game is pacing and making sure little to nothing actually happens.  Always make it seem like something could happen or that around every turn there could be calamity and twisted happenings.  



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Congratulations, you have just discovered the back-door to Psychic damage from 4E.

Where the character suffers such anxiety, terror, shock, or panic that it strips them of morale and will to fight, possibly leading to a siezure or even death by heart attack. 
It is the self same idea behind horrifying illusions dealing damage and shaking off mystical compulsions requiring hp use. 

It certainly isn't for every table or playstyle.  
However, I find it certainly has it's place with certain games.
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
Congratulations, you have just discovered the back-door to Psychic damage from 4E.

Where the character suffers such anxiety, terror, shock, or panic that it strips them of morale and will to fight, possibly leading to a siezure or even death by heart attack. 
It is the self same idea behind horrifying illusions dealing damage and shaking off mystical compulsions requiring hp use. 

It certainly isn't for every table or playstyle.  
However, I find it certainly has it's place with certain games.


Man, the more I hear about 4e the more I think that I must try that game. I don't like the miniature's level complexity to combat in a role-playing game. But everything else about that system seems awesome.

I think that I am starting to see Trebor, Salla, and Lesp's point.

To me "fear" is just another "state" that the character may be exposed to; like blindness, slow, or being on fire. Those kinds of things happen to characters, they are part of what makes the story exciting. 

At the same time though the "character's ability to freely role-play" is the only frame that gives the player a stable interface with the game world. The DM has all the power of the genie at his disposal; for him to step in and start dictating role-playing responses erodes that frame. And so the weight of the genie is now being waved around at the player as though it were substantial. 

The other thing that happens is that the game moves away from being a cooperative interactive story towards a DM fiat/railroad.

Personally I have felt that the "player frame" is too weak for a long time now. Although I'm not sure there is an answer to be created within the rules.


the problem is that it's really only up to the player to decide what their character is scared of.

you could say: "This door is really scary." But the player could just as easily say: "My character doesn't think so."

the DM has no place in even suggesting any sort of response or internalization that a character might have. 

Then explain to me how Dragons have the effect to terrify even the bravest of players? They always have. Just saying.
the problem is that it's really only up to the player to decide what their character is scared of.

you could say: "This door is really scary." But the player could just as easily say: "My character doesn't think so."

the DM has no place in even suggesting any sort of response or internalization that a character might have. 

Then explain to me how Dragons have the effect to terrify even the bravest of players? They always have. Just saying.


I think its just an opinion that Trebor has; and one that is shared by a fair number of players. I also think that this same issue causes a lot of argument and misunderstanding in other non- related threads.

I'm OK working with the opinions of people. Most valuations, regardless of how weighted they get with "crunch" and case law, are just opinions at their core.

If I sat down at a table where the DM hit the players with a bat to simulate damage I'm pretty sure that I would have a game changing opinion about that! And I wouldn't take the time to justify or rationalize it either =-)

So for myself I'm just going to find a way that I can play the same game at the same table with people who share Trebor's view point. 

Personally, I think this would make a great Module for Horror games (like Ravenloft). If HP respresent more than just wounds, incorperating Horror Damage (or Psychic Damage if you prefer) fits well with the concept. You could even incorperate a Jaded Specialty to represent someone who minimizes the effects of Horror. Presumably each effect would allow a save to ignore (or at least mitigate) the Horror Damage, like a spell would. I would allow the Damage to be lethal, because it would fit the Horror theme to have someone die of fright.

Of course, I would only want to see this as a Module designed for Horror campaigns. As a Module, it will be known and accepted at the start of the campaign, so players like Trebor, Salla, and Lesp don't have to worry about it conflicting with their playstyle. Of course, as with all Modules, each group will have to figure out how to agree on what to use (but that's a topic for another thread).
As for players being irritated; What if the HP drain is presented as an option? They have the choice to spend the HP to walk down the hall or not.

As long as it is a real choice and the players feel like it is a real choice. Too many of these things become a "How much do we have to pay to advance the adventure?" thing, which gets old very fast when it is just money, actually hurting the characters is worse.

IIRC, most if not all of the mosters who have the ability to cause fear effects do it magicaly. Using disassociated mechanics makes fear a nice player choice. It's like marking or stunning: they don't work well when used on players, but they're great for use on monsters.
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Fear and Horror were defined with two different mechanics in Ravenloft.   

IMO, you really do need a campaign setting like Ravenloft that includes a fair number of alternate rules to run a good horror style game in D&D.       Even the default monster entries are a bit thin when it comes to running a horror based campaign.   


Three things ...

1. D&D is a heroic adventure game, not a horror game.  That the mechanics don't support horror well shouldn't really be a surprise.



Ravenloft begs to differ.

2. RP is RP.  Mechanical elements are neither needed nor wanted.



Ravenloft begs to differ.

3. Many players are going to bristle, and rightly so, if you tell them how their PC feels or reacts to something.



Ravenloft begs to differ.
 
If you were to tell me 'Your PC is terrified, dock some HP', I would hand you my character sheet and leave.  "If you want to play my character so badly, have at it."



Then don't play Ravenloft or a similar campaign.  You're outlook on all of this does not apply to huge numbers of people.  You'd leave a campaign like Ravenloft.  Great!  Don't play it.  I won't play in a campaign that requires point buy or arrays.  Your desire not to play it doesn't make it big bad wrong, anymore than my desire not to use arrays or point buys doesn't make me big bad wrong.


Why is this so revolting to you? How is it different from the DM saying “You failed your save vs, the pendulum trap, you take…ahhh 17 points.”





It's completely different, because one is mechanical, and one is roleplaying.  Nobody tells me how to roleplay my character but me.


Lol, really? This seems more like a problem between you as a player and the type of game the DM wants to run. D&D and horror work fine together. You just obviously don't like that kind of game :P 


In all fairness, I can see Salla's point.  Now, Ravenloft is my #1 favorite setting in all editions.  However, good horror gaming is difficult to do well (in no small part because this requires getting to know one's players pretty well).  I'm sure there are a fair number of lazy DMs, or DMs who haven't yet learned to do it well, who simply state "your character feels X."  That's not horror.



Yes, but if you can put in a mechanical trap that does damage, a mechanical spell that affects emotions such as fear or charm, then you can put in a mechanical horror that costs hit points.
I think this could work well as a module for horror games/Ravenloft. Perhaps creating horror elements that function much like traps?

DM: "Eyes open up along the walls, and blood seeps from the ceiling. Roll a Constitution save."

*PCs roll. A few fail.*

DM: "The characters that failed the saving throw take 5 psychic (Horror?) damage from the sight and smell of the chamber."

When you think about it, there are already a lot of elements in D&D that 'force' a character to be scared. Any creature that inflicts a Frightened status effect falls under this category. However, I think the horror elements should be flavored as unnaturally disturbing, so that the players don't feel upset over their stalwart heroes getting scared of some blood and gore. When you think about it, they see that kind of stuff quite a bit (usually on or around the bodies of their latest foes).
I could of sworn there already a thread about adding horror in D&D. 
I guess I'll just add what I add in there.

1. Horror Theme Dungeon: Skeletons, hanging bodies, howling in the wind, webs, haunted mansion.

2. Monsters: Lurkers that hard to engage and waiting to strike the party or party member 
when they are weak. Solos that are way too strong to fight at first, but can be killed later or
until the party find an area where they can have an advantage against them. Rest are pretty much regular encounters or surprises. 

3. Puzzles: Got to make the party explore the place to find the secret behind it. This is here your hitpoint damage thing cames in. Maybe they have to get a key out of a pool of acid or get it off one of the solos's neck? Putting your hand in a hole to grab a key while getting your hand bit by who knows what. A case will open when the timer goes down to zero while being inside an iron maiden. I can think all kind sick  and twisted puzzles that cost hit points. 

4. Fear: NEVER, EVER MAKE THE CHARACTER SCARED!!! It's up to the player to make their character scared. One of the greatest reward is overcoming your fear. One your flight or fight kicks in, it's up to the player to decide how he is going to act. Will he run away or will that fear turns into rage and scream at the monster's face while twisting the sword in it's gut. Saying one of these lines," You want to kill me? I'll give you something to kill, arghhhhhh!". 
  


Why is this so revolting to you? How is it different from the DM saying “You failed your save vs, the pendulum trap, you take…ahhh 17 points.”





It's completely different, because one is mechanical, and one is roleplaying.  Nobody tells me how to roleplay my character but me.


Lol, really? This seems more like a problem between you as a player and the type of game the DM wants to run. D&D and horror work fine together. You just obviously don't like that kind of game :P 


In all fairness, I can see Salla's point.  Now, Ravenloft is my #1 favorite setting in all editions.  However, good horror gaming is difficult to do well (in no small part because this requires getting to know one's players pretty well).  I'm sure there are a fair number of lazy DMs, or DMs who haven't yet learned to do it well, who simply state "your character feels X."  That's not horror.



Yes, but if you can put in a mechanical trap that does damage, a mechanical spell that affects emotions such as fear or charm, then you can put in a mechanical horror that costs hit points.


Oh yes, you certainly can.  I think I even gave suggestions on that in another post in this thread.  However, and maybe this is just the theatrical part of me taking over, good mood-created horror is always better than mechanical "You're now horrified, the condition is on page X."

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

#BoobsNotBlood

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