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Frisson - games of atmospheric horrorClick to magnify
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Frisson - games of atmospheric horror


A silhouetted figure behind a curtain or veil.

A shadowed figure in the hallway of a derelict building.

Horror-suspense roleplaying, with ordinary people facing the Outside

This is a compact corebook for games focused on the atmospheric and unsettling, like the ghost stories of MR James and the strange investigations of the Carnacki stories. You can use it for other horror gaming too.

There are two main parts inside.

* A simple, elegant set of rules for making characters and resolving situations. They're based around a slightly different way to use two d10s, with other dice helping or hindering.

* Guidance for running the game, from planning stories to lots on using description to create atmosphere.

What's the Outside? Threats beyond normal experience that intrude into human lives. You can decide what that is for your game’s stories. There are plenty of ideas in the GM's section.

What’s that behind you?

Tell me about the system

Quick version (you can see the intro in the preview) - Frisson uses its own ruleset. Characters are defined by abilities with ratings. Roll two d10. A die that exceeds the rating is 'bust'; take the higher of what's left as your result. Rolls also add bonus and opposition dice of different types into the mix. And players can modify characters' rolls by drawing on their Background... or the Things in their Head, which change following horrific experiences, but are defined freeform to suit your group. The core system has been used in other recent games too, adapted to suit.

(A character sheet is available separately.)

Edition note

This is now in v2. It's mostly small improvements to text and layout from v1, but does include a rewrite of the rules introduction, an additional creature type and a little more in the adventure.

It's a complete polished book (see previews), but it hasn't had any feedback or testing yet. I'll be listening to comments, and purchasers will get access to any updates through their library.

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Customer avatar
Tim G October 11, 2022 9:24 am UTC
Hey folks. If you've bought Frisson and would like to leave feedback here, please do. At some point soon I'll update it.
Customer avatar
Alexander S November 01, 2021 8:51 pm UTC
Chock full of great GMing advice and how to tell these kinds of stories in your favored system, this is an excellent resource even if you don't plan on running the game RAW. That said, the system is wonderful with a focus on genre emulation and doing away with tired RPG mechanics that just won't fit the story you're trying to tell. I highly recommend it.
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File Last Updated:
October 30, 2023
This title was added to our catalog on October 18, 2021.
Silver Branch Games
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