On 2012-03-21, Vincent wrote:
Down here, Frank T says: I'll bite. Do say, Vincent. What are those favorite features of role-playing?
Here's one that makes sense to talk about in this thread. One of my favorite features of roleplaying games is that they can be actually scary. The best scares in horror films aren't visual, they're situational, conceptual - the visuals aren't scary by themselves, they communicate the scary idea. Roleplaying games let us create and share scary ideas of our own, for each other, right now.
Like, there was this moment in one of the 3-minute Murderous Ghosts demos I got to run at the con. The random congoer I was demoing with said something genuinely scary, all live and unrehearsed. You could see her think of it, get scared by it, then say it, and she could see us all respond as it scared us in turn. It's a neat moment.
The scariest board game I can think of is Escape from the Aliens in Outer Space, which is scary for a board game. Saying "scary for a board game," sadly, is the same as saying "not actually scary."