#RPGaDay2019 27th August: ‘Suspense’

August has come around once again which means it’s time for RPGaDay 2019. In a shift from the questions format of previous years this year is characterised by a series of prompts, which I’ll be attempting to answer each day with a short post, with the prompt word highlighted in bold each day.

Day 27: Suspense

Suspense is a vital component of horror and supernatural games but in my experience it is difficult to achieve. My most successful attempts to build it have, in some ways, been through deception. I’ll drop hints and clues that foreshadow something ominous, let the tension build and then end the session. The deception? Most of the time I have no idea what I’m actually building towards and the vast majority of the elements have been improvised on the spot. Between sessions I’ll work through what has been introduced and work out what they might actually mean but even that isn’t fixed until its on the table. If the players start speculating and come up with something awesome I’ll use that but tweak it slightly to work with the larger story as in my experience most players gloss over or forget anything that hasn’t been mentioned for a few sessions.