Diceless, numberless horror.
Dread is a game of horror and suspense. Those who play it participate in a mutual telling of an original macabre tale. You will take on the role of someone trapped in a story that is only as compelling as it is hostile–someone who will find themselves making the sorts of decisions you hope never to face in real life.
How Dread Works
Character creation: Dread uses a unique questionnaire method of character creation. The character questionnaire provides the skeleton of a character, suitable for the story or campaign, while the player gets to add the flesh when they answer the questions, thus creating the character they want to play. In this way, characters are guaranteed to fit into the story, and yet players are invested in the characters, lending weight to the decisions they make.
Game play: After character creation is complete, the host introduces the scenario. The host describes what happens to and around the characters. Players contribute by declaring what their character is doing. The game ends when the story comes to a conclusion, or when all of the characters have been removed from play.
Mechanics of play: In play, dice, cards, or other more-traditional randomizers are replaced by a tower of blocks, such as the Jenga® game. When a character attempts a task beyond their capabilities, the tower determines their success–they can succeed by pulling a block, or choose to fail by not pulling. Tension builds as the tower becomes more and more precarious.
If you knock over the tower during your turn, your character is removed from the game, never to return. Your character’s fate could be death, insanity, cowardice, imprisonment, possession, or some other horrible fate.
- If you knock over the tower by accident, the host decides the fate of your character, as the story dictates.
- If you knock over the tower on purpose, you can choose your own heroic or dramatic exit.
Check out these free resources.
- Dread Quick Reference: Learn more about game prep, game play, and character creation. Available in letter and tabloid formats.
- Excerpt: Read a 24-page excerpt of the book.
- Scenarios and character sheets: Don’t read these if you’re going to be a player. Formatted for easy printing.
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