Like Slasher/Horror movies where the characters are always getting split up and making bad decisions? Have I found a game for you! Slasher Flick from Spectrum Games is a Slasher/Horror flick ‘Genre Emulation’ game that allows players to take on the roles of characters within a slasher flick. One player takes on the roll of the Director which is similar to a Game Master or Dungeon Master in other tabletop RPGs. The other players all control a Primary character along with one or more Secondary and Tertiary characters. Players earn Genre Points for having their characters say and do things that would happen in a typical slasher flick. Characters invariably end up in a multitude of Kill Scenes with the Killer/Monster/etc. where they must earn Survival Points in order to make it out of the scene, otherwise they die. Both the Kill Scenes and character death happen, as you expect in a slasher flick, pretty frequently. Overall this game is quick to learn, fun to play and does a great job doing what it set out to do, emulating slasher movies.
The game’s mechanics are fairly simple. Whenever a situation comes up that has opposition or a chance of failure the player in control of the character has to make a roll of four dice. Get 2 or more matching numbers and you succeed, otherwise you fail. Hard rolls can drop the roll down to three dice and conversely having a skill can increase your dice pool to five. All rolls in the game are based around four basic stats: Brawn, Finesse, Brains, and Spirit. Every character has these rated either Poor, Normal or Good. The better a character is at something, the smaller the die they use for their roll. So if a character is Good at Brains they roll six sided dice (d6) where a character that was Poor would roll ten sided dice (d10). Primary characters typically have better stats and more bonuses where Secondaries do not.
One of the most fun things about Slasher Flick is that it rewards players for having their characters do non-optimal things that would happen in a movie by awarding Genre Points. Hear a noise in the basement and have your character go down alone while saying “I’ll be right back!” You earn a Genre Point! Sure that character may die but that gives the player more Genre Points to help their remaining characters and possibly win the game.
Kill Scenes are what the game, and Slasher Flicks for that matter, is all about and they run quite well. The mechanics work like anything else in the game, roll dice and look for matches, but there are several twists thrown in which can swing results. The general idea is that a character must earn a certain number of survival points during a Kill Scene to end the scene and make it out alive. If a character drops to negative Survival Points though they die! I have to admit that after reading the rules I was afraid the Kill Scenes would drag on a bit, and they do take a bit of time, but they actually run very smoothly and to be honest are the most fun part of the game. I’m speaking from only having played as the Director though so perhaps my love of killing PCs in Dungeons and Dragons is showing.
If you and your gaming group enjoy a good horror movie and are looking for a fun way to spend a session I highly recommend the Slasher Flick RPG. There are numerous scenarios available and the Director’s Cut of the game that I bought also has a ton of pregenerated characters you can either use directly or just for inspiration.
If you’d like to hear an example of how the game plays stay tuned as we’ll be releasing a podcast episode of us playing our first game, Murder at Red Beard Resort, in the next couple of weeks. You can also find a full list of Slasher Flick products here.