Full disclosure: I worked with Tony Lee on the Know Your Role RPG, and we’ve been acquaintances through the gaming industry for years. I also got a free copy of the game from Tony.
Horror games are awesome. The psychological conflicts can be engaging, and the tense cat-and-mouse between mortal and monster can be tense and exciting. But sometimes, you just want to rack up the highest body count as quickly as possible in the tradition of B-movie slasher flicks.
Welcome to Killer Thriller.
The game only uses six-sided dice. When you start reading the game, you realize that this is a satirical beer-and-pretzel game. The player characters are known as “Victims,” and the players need to make three of them before the game starts. Each character has three Inabilities: Unwise (roll to make a sensible decision), Unluck (roll to avoid unfortunate coincidence), and Undone (roll to keep your character’s cool). The player rolls 2d6, and tries to fail against their Inability in order to do something smart, lucky, or sane. Damage comes off of a character’s Unharm. Each character also has a stereotype, which is… well, stereotypical. Once per game, they can automatically succeed in one thing that relates to their stereotype. There are advantages and disadvantages, but that’s only for “advanced” characters.
In an interesting twist, whenever a Victim dies, that character’s max Unharm gets added to the next Victim’s Unharm. When the player gets to the last character with the collective Unharm of all the previous Victims, that Victim is considered to be the Last Survivor. On the other hand, Monsters don’t roll their own Inabilities against Victims except when the player has a Last Survivor, reflecting that Monsters are terrifyingly efficient until the final few victims are left, when they suddenly become bumbling idiots.
The rest of the book covers different kinds of Monsters you can create, some GM advice, two quick adventures, character cards, and an afterword.
It’s less than 30 pages, but the game is only three bucks. For a fast-paced night of light-hearted murder, it can be a lot of fun. Check it out.
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