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Die Screaming Player's Guide
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Die Screaming Player's Guide

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Some things are worse than death. Maybe you’ll live long enough to become one of them.

Die Screaming is a love letter to horror cinema of the last three decades. Every game of Die Screaming begins with a supernatural apocalypse and characters based on classic horror tropes.

As the game progresses, the survivors learn that to fight marauding armies of aliens, demons, eldritch abominations, mutants, zombies, and even vengeful angels, they must in turn become monsters.

The 200+ page Die Screaming Player's Guide contains everything you need to create and play a character, while the Director’s Guide contains the information and resources on how to run the game.

Streamlined and simplified post-apocalyptic d20

“You think you've seen everything? There's a whole world you've never dreamed of. Thomas saw it, and it destroyed him.”

“I've seen a lot, but nothing would ever make me cut out my tongue.”

“Wait a few days."

- End of Days

Enjoy a smoother d20 experience.

  • Just four ability scores, along with streamlined mechanics; add your level and ability score to attacks, damage, saves, and skills.
  • 10 character levels, with dramatic differences between each, rather than 20, 30, or 40.
  • Stop counting coppers and experience points instead of playing. Level when it is narratively appropriate. Use simple bartering and crafting systems.

Dynamic combat

“It ate him. . . Bit off his head. . . Like a gingerbread man!”

- Crawford Tillinghast, From Beyond

Random events triggered by player choices mean that no two fights are alike.

  • As characters take sanity damage, they suffer short-term psychotic episodes and long-term insanities that affect the outcome of the battle and their characters.
  • Player spellcasters can accidentally or intentionally cause supernatural anomalies that randomly affect the battlefield for good or ill.
  • Together these mechanics represent hundreds of random events.

Play one of 30 classic horror tropes

“We've all become God's madmen, all of us.”

- Van Helsing, Dracula

Every player is a character in a movie. Your trope serves as both your core character concept and your mechanical role in the party.

  • Play as a commando, geek, redshirt, secret agent, or even a dog.
  • Every trope description includes 3-4 unique abilities that support different play styles and party roles.
  • As characters in a movie, players use stunts to affect die rolls and activate special abilities unique to their trope, gaining more ways to use stunts as they progress in level.

The right tools for the job

“Winchester, 30.06, Mossberg pump, and the Lee Harvey Oswald rifle... Why we have that, I do not know.”

- Deputy Pete, Eight-Legged Freaks

Wield dozens of melee weapons, firearms, grenades, and other weapons needed for battle against dark horrors. Scavenge random equipment from the battlefield, making do with what limited weaponry and ammo you find, and craft or trade for better items as the game progresses.

Achieve a dark destiny

“I was born to murder the world.”

- Nix, Lord of Illusions

At level 3, the scope of the game widens as characters choose a destiny, tainted by their encounters with eldritch evil. The four destinies further define the player character’s role.

  • Maniac: Embrace lunacy as a weapon. The maniac specializes in various tactics that make it a fearsome melee or ranged combatant with unique bonuses. Choose a diagnosis, a streamlined package of passive abilities that scales in power throughout the life of the game. Laugh off devastating attacks, ignore debilitating effects, and gain more of the expendable resources precious to all characters.
  • Mutant: Unlock dark and disgusting secrets hidden in your DNA by the most ancient powers. The mutant specializes in a mix of constant passive abilities and more dramatic spell effects. Seek out enemies with bioluminescence and echolocation, strike at them with venomous stingers and electric shocks, and vomit on yourself or allies to provide healing.
  • Psychic: Use your mind to warp the fabric of time and space. The psychic specializes in weird effects that are sometimes subtle, sometimes devastating, and fill a support role more often than the sorcerer can.
  • Sorcerer: Wield foul spells that despoil reality. The sorcerer specializes in high damage and powerful effects, at the cost of dealing more sanity damage to themselves and the party. Devour enemies’ souls, melt them into smoking skeletons, and remake their mutilated flesh into a demon-possessed undead slave.

The downward spiral

“I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality.”

- Ash, Alien

At level 6, characters choose from one of 24 downward spirals. Your downward spiral completes your transformation from a sane human into a monster just as terrible, perhaps more so, than those you face.

  • Play a cannibal, cultist, fallen angel, or wormfolk. Join the ranks of the hybrid roach people, or become doomed to wander the Earth, cursed to never truly die.
  • With each new level, your downward spiral becomes more powerful and you become more twisted.
  • Combine your trope, destiny, and downward spiral to engage with a multitude of options and surprising combinations.

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Discussions (2)
Customer avatar
Vitold H February 07, 2019 5:44 pm UTC
I've read the rulebooks to prepare GMing, but I can't find the leveling up rules anywhere. How and when exactly does a character level up? Please help.
Customer avatar
Bryan R February 08, 2019 7:03 pm UTC
Hi Vitold,

Progression is meant to be narrative-based; that is to say, you decide when leveling happens as a GM. XP is not tracked.

I will be very interested to hear how your game goes.
Customer avatar
David C June 26, 2018 11:50 pm UTC
I'm liking it so far, but some navigation bookmarks for the PDF would make reading it easier.
Customer avatar
Bryan R June 28, 2018 8:42 am UTC
This should be added in now.
Customer avatar
David C June 28, 2018 11:59 am UTC
Oh, awesome. Thank you. This will make a world of difference!
Customer avatar
June 28, 2018 7:45 pm UTC
Thanks for the linked bookmarks!
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File Last Updated:
October 07, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on January 15, 2018.
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Bryan Rantala
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