Free RPG List: horror

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Alien RPG by Chris Tavares Dias
Keywords: genre scifi horror long
An extensive supplement for the Fuzion game system, adapting the movie Aliens and its many spin-offs. ~80 pages HTML.
Angel/Demon: The Rapture by Christopher Blankley
Keywords: genre modern horror long supplement
A supplement for White Wolf's Storyteller system, about playing immaterial angels who manifest by entering human bodies -- fighting with demons who possess them. ~20 pages HTML rules plus ~10 pages sourcebook.
B-Movie: Scared Stiff by Mike Demetro
Keywords: genre horror rules-lite long
A parody of both horror movies and horror RPGs, this uses simple attributes and "stereotype" classes. As an interesting inverse, character have stats for flaws instead of abilities. Thus, your stats are Weakness, Clumsiness, Ignorance, Cowardice, Paranoia and Belief. (instead of Strength, Dexterity, etc.) ~44 pages HTML.
Bump in the Night RPG by Michael Dunlap
Keywords: genre modern horror
A modern-day horror RPG where the PCs are vampires, werewolves, ghosts, demons, and more in New York City. It uses a skill-based percentile system: roll under skill on 1d100, or roll 1d100 + attack bonus vs 1d100 + defense bonus for combat. Character creation is by random-roll attributes plus skill points and power points depending on your creature type. ~50 pages rules (HTML).
Chthonian by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
An RPG of pulp horror, split into subgenres "Pulp Adventure", "Weird Tales", and "Shocking Discovery". Character creation is freeform numerical traits with GM approval. Action resolution is 1d12 plus all relevant traits vs difficulty. There are also rules for "Terrible Insight" gained by seeing horrors. ~15 pages (HTML).
Classroom Deathmatch Free PDF by Jake Richmond and Matt Schlotte
Keywords: genre modern horror long
The free release of a 2007 commercial game on PDF. This is a modern-day action/horror RPG based on Japanese fiction including the film "Battle Royale" where a class of high school students are forced to fight each other to the death for televised entertainment. It uses a dice pool conflict resolution system (using d6, d8, d10, and d12), with special rules for narration. 108 pages rules and background (PDF).
Creature Feature: Monster Movie Role-playing
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A storytelling game about B-movie horror films. There mechanics are based on players spending dice (d6s) from a "budget". Characters and other elements are bought with points, then written on index cards. During "filming", the cards are shuffled and dealt to different players who control them. ~10 pages rules (HTML).
Cthonian by Zak Arntson
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A pulp horror system, scaled in grittiness from "Pulp Adventure" (least gritty) to "Weird Tale" to "Shocking Discovery" (most gritty). Character creation is completely freeform assigning of traits. Action resolution is stat + 1d12 vs difficulty, potentially modified by spending "nodules" (a sort of fate point). ~15 pages rules (HTML).
Cthulhu Dark by Graham Walmsley
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A minimalist system for Lovecraftian horror. Characters are mechanically distinguished only by profession. Resolution is by rolling a base d6, plus a d6 if the task is in professional competence, and plus a d6 if the player is willing to risk sanity over the roll. The highest die is the quality of success, and the target number if someone else calls for possible failure. 4 pages core rules (PDF), 4 pages storytelling rules (PDF), 4 pages scenario generation (PDF).
Danse Macabre by Dean Suter and Christopher Johnstone
Keywords: genre fantasy horror long
A medieval horror RPG, set in an alternate Europe in the year 1189 struck by the Black Plague as the crusades failed before Saladin. It uses a dice pool system, where resolution is by rolling d6s equal to trait, where each 6 is a success. Spending effort points can allow successes on 5-6 (for one point) or 4-6 (for two points). Character creation is by picking society (noble, freedman, outsider, or serf); picking 1-3 Virtues and/or Sins; picking five backgrounds; and spending 12 skill points. 141 pages core rules (PDF), plus four supplements totalling 50 pages (PDF).
Darklands by Eric Mau
Keywords: genre fantasy horror scifi long
A futuristic fantasy-horror game, set in 2066 in a grim cyberpunk future where PC's are the "Warbreed" -- creatures created by the dark gods (the "Ashura") and left on Earth in ancient times, who now fight for the Earth against their creators. Character creation is breed and class based, with point-bought attributes. The resolution system is not clear. ~45 pages MSWord format.
Dead Meat: Ultima Carneficina Dello Zombie! by S.P. Wipfli
Keywords: genre horror rules-lite
A Zombie/Horror mini-RPG. There are 3 attributes (Zip, Whomp, and Guts) rated in number of d6's. Each die that comes up 5 or 6 is a success. 4 pages rules (HTML).
Dead Weight
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A post-apocalyptic game where zombies have taken over the world, and tribes survive in big cities by staying on higher floors and barricading themselves up there. It has a broad scene resolution mechanic based on how dice match character stats. Character creation is limited point-based. Stats include Grace, three Virtues (Haste, Cunning, and Passion), and a set of three descriptive tags. ~8 pages rules (HTML).
Dread Quickstart by Epidiah Ravachol
Keywords: genre horror rules-lite preview
The preview version of the published horror RPG, Dread, which uses a diceless resolution system based on pulling blocks out from a tower of blocks (such as the game, Jenga). 4 pages (PDF).
Dreamknights, 24-hour edition
Keywords: genre fantasy horror rules-lite preview
A fantasy-horror role-playing game, the first draft of a planned commercial game. It is set in the modern world with PCs who can psychically enter the "Dreamscape". Character creation is random-roll attributes and point-bought skills for real-world attributes, and point-bought dreamscape stats -- where your total points is inversely proportional to your real-world stat total (people weak in the real world have stronger dream selves to compensate). There are four attributes (Appeal, Mind, Action, and Body) and four corresponding classes of dreamscape self (Chargemaster, Dreamshaper, Dreamwarrior, and Gadgeteer). Action resolution is attribute + skill + 1d10 vs difficulty. 20 pages RTF.
Empire of Satanis by Darrick Dishaw
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite long
A horror role-playing game, where the characters are fiends which live in a hellish universe called Yidathroth, or visit the human world (known to them as Sha-la). There are fourteen races of fiends -- and all are unfathomably evil, and strive towards godhood through dark magics. It uses a dice-pool system, where resolution is by rolling attribute + skill d6s, and taking the highest -- where sixes are open-ended. Also, once each scene a player can roll 1d6, and if the result is a six, the player can declare a statement to be true in the game. 62 pages rules (PDF).
The Evil: a short horror rpg by Christopher Lernö
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A generic horror-genre mini-RPG. Action resolution is roll under stat on 1d20. Character generation is freeform traits and assignment. It includes GM notes and brief adventures ideas but no defined background. 7 pages rules (PDF).
Evil Hunter: Fighting the Darkness
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A modern occult horror RPG about hunters fighting supernatural monsters. ~35 pages HTML.
Fresco by Salkaner il Nero
Keywords: universal scifi horror rules-lite
A minimalist universal system in both English and Italian. Character creation is by random-roll of 7 attributes. Resolution is by attribute minus 2d6 minus difficulty. It includes a small sci-fi setting ("Star Fresco") and a horror setting ("Frigor Mortis"). 4 pages core rules (HTML and PDF) plus 5 pages sci-fi setting (PDF) and 3 pages horror setting (PDF).
Geiger Counter (Beta Edition) by Jonathan Walton
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A GMless cooperative survival horror RPG designed to emulate movies in which most of the main characters eventually die such as Alien or Scream, and perform well in single-session play. It is recommended for 5-7 players. It uses a narrative-focused d6 dice pool system, where there is a pool of dice for all the players and for each character, and one pool associated with the Menace (i.e. the defined threat central to the movie). 32 pages rules (PDF).
GPA by Mark Hughes
Keywords: genre fantasy horror modern rules-lite
A sci-fi/fantasy/horror RPG about students at George Underwood Edwards University, after the floodgates of magic and weird science are opened upon the world, where no more than half of all university students survive to graduation. ~12 pages HTML.
Harlequinade 5 by Gareth Williams
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite long
A black comedy / paranoid horror RPG set in the modern world. Character creation is by random-roll attributes and an archetype. Resolution is by 2d6 + attribute + modifiers vs. 0 or an opposing roll. An abridged version of the rules, Harlequinade 6 is also available free from Precis Intermedia. 94 pages (PDF).
Hollywood Horror by Shawn Taylor
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A comedic mini-RPG spoofing Holleywood horror movies. Character creation is based on random-roll attributes, modified by class (Jock, Nerd, Dumb Blonde, etc.). Action resolution is a percentile combat system, with other dice used for damage and character creation. 10 pages rules (MSWord).
Insylum by Dennis Detwiller
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A modern horror role-playing game about characters who have been imprisoned in a California insane asylum, but cannot remember how they came to be there or why. Every night, the inmates explore the "Night World" to try to recover their memories - a constantly shifting series of vignettes designed to freak the characters out. Behind this, some ("the Facilitator") is using the characters in an attempt to understand what he lost when he read the King in Yellow himself. It uses a simple system with one physical stat (Fatigue), and two mental stats (Lucidity and Memory). Fights are accomplished by blind-bidding Fatigue or Lucidity, depending on the nature of the threat. Also, by spending a point of Memory, you can remember something about your life before you came to the Asylum. You increase your Lucidity by burning five fatigue points all at once; you gain Memory by burning five Lucidity points. Once you hit twenty Memory points, you can spend them all at once and transcend the game. 31 pages rules and background (PDF)
Into the Shadows by Craig "Pandemonium" Griswold
Keywords: genre horror long
A Horror/Adventure RPG. It uses a variant of the "D6" system from West End Games, but it is a complete game with all rules included in the download. The rules includes magic systems and psionics system (horror oriented, of course). 125 pages rules (RTF or MSWord) plus 125 pages GM's book (RTF or MSWord).
Nemesis by Dennis Detwiller, Greg Stolze, and Shane Ivey
Keywords: genre horror modern long
A free generic modern horror RPG using the ORE system (One Roll Engine) that originated with Stolze's commercial game "Godlike". 52 pages rules (PDF).
Opening the Dark by Malcolm Sheppard
Keywords: genre horror long open-license preview
This is the core mechanical system for a commercial modern dark fantasy/horror RPG, closely based on White Wolf's World of Darkness games, but released under an open gaming license. It uses a dice pool system, rolling d10s equal to attribute plus skill, where every result from 7 to 9 is one success, and every result of 10 is two successes. 116 pages rules (RTF).
Phobos by Mark Hughes
Keywords: genre modern fantasy horror long
A partly universal system geared for modern fantasy/horror. It includes a magic system but no setting. Task resolution uses an open-ended d20 roll (20 is reroll and add, 1 is reroll and subtract). Stat or skill + d20 + mods over 20 is a success. Character creation is open point-based. ~48 pages rules (HTML).
Project Angel Task Force
Keywords: genre modern horror online
An online play-by-post campaign of White Wolf's Mage: The Ascension. ~12 pages background (HTML).
Puppetland by John Tynes
Keywords: genre fantasy horror rules-lite
``A storytelling game with strings set in a grim world of make-believe.'' This is a diceless game set in a bizarre world of horror where puppets are oppressed by bloodthirsty Punch. There is a published version from Hogshead Games for cheap ($7 bundled with another mini-RPG: "Power Kill"). The published version is about 30% longer than the still-available free version. ~14 pages (HTML or RTF).
ReCoil by Lance Allen
Keywords: genre modern fantasy horror rules-lite
A game of playing ghosts working as agents to fight a force known as Oblivion. They affect the physical world by possessing human hosts, fighting Naughtwraiths who do likewise. It uses a dice-pool system, rolling d10s equal to skill against a target number from 2 to 10. Character creation is simple point-based. 24 pages core rules (PDF).
Schism by Jared A. Sorensen
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite supplement
A former free RPG, now a cheap supplement for the Sorcerer RPG. It is a surreal modern conspiracy/horror setting, inspired mainly by the films of director David Cronenberg. The PC's are secret revolutionaries with psychic powers, in the near future fighting against a corrupt society. 36 pages background (PDF).
ShadowPaths: Investigations into the Supernatural by Paul DuBois
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A modern-day horror mini-RPG, using a simple skill-based rules system with point-bought character creation. ~10 pages basic rules and background (HTML).
Surrender
Keywords: genre fantasy horror rules-lite online
A free-form, play-by-post online RPG set in a gothic-fantasy version of our world -- with vampires, witches, gargoyles, ghosts, etc. It includes several time periods being run simultaneously: ancient, early medieval, and modern. ~12 pages background (HTML) plus posted storylines.
Vampire: The Masquerade QuickStart
Keywords: genre modern horror preview
A freeware introduction to the commercial game by White Wolf, where PCs are vampires among numerous competing clans secretly operating in the modern world. 29 pages PDF.
The Window by Scott Lininger
Keywords: universal modern horror fantasy rules-lite long
A simple, drama-based system (in English and French). Action resolution is by rolling a step-die (d4 to d30) based on skill under difficulty. Character creation is freeform. It includes two settings: a modern horror setting ("The Stage") and an angels-in-the-modern-world setting ("Children of Fire"). 42 pages base rules (PDF or HTML), plus 18-page modern horror setting (PDF or HTML), and a 57-page urban fantasy setting (PDF or HTML).
Yellow Dawn, v1.13 by David J. Rodger
Keywords: genre modern horror scifi
A horror RPG blending the near future and Cthulhu Mythos in a post-apocalyptic setting. 10 pages (PDF).
Zombiepocalypse by Spalls Hurgenson
Keywords: genre horror modern rules-lite open-license
A post-apocalyptic game set after zombies have taken over the world. Character creation is by taking binary "player's option" choices which may taken at any time. It uses a simple dice-pool system, rolling d6s based on complexity of the action, where 4-6 indicates success, modified by difficulty and possibly an application option. ~20 pages HTML.
Zombies!!! Mini-RPG by Matt Romaro
Keywords: genre modern horror rules-lite
A mini-RPG conversion of the "Zombies!!!" boardgame from Twilight Creations, about zombie attack horror. It uses map tiles and zombie miniatures from the boardgame, but none of the other rules or components. Character creation is random-roll attributes-only (Health, Muscles, Brains, and Aim). Action resolution is attribute + 1d10 + modifiers, and a 9 or higher is a success. 14 pages rules (PDF) plus 8 page example campaign (PDF).
Zombie: The Coil by Daniel Solis
Keywords: genre modern horror supplement long
An adaptation of White Wolf's Storyteller system for zombies. Currently in alpha release. 66 pages MSWord format.

John H. Kim <jhkim@darkshire.net>
Last modified: Tue Sep 1 20:59:33 2015