One of the horror roleplaying games that I've adored for years is the CHILL Roleplaying Game. I played the original CHILL RPG from Pacesetter back in 1984 and ran it on-and-off for several years, and then purchased the Mayfair edition of the game when that came out in 1994 or thereabouts. I don't tend to run a lot of horror, as in a straight horror rpg, as I can always run horror scenarios as part of any game system that I happen to be running, but CHILL appeals to me more than other horror rpgs such as Call of Cthulhu because the game offers the players and their characters hope. That said, I lost all of my Pacesetter and Mayfair Games stuff to fire and flood, so I despaired of ever finding products for the game at decent prices, and hadn't played CHILL in a damned long time (at least 12 years).
So I was quite pleased when Growling Door Games announced a CHILL 3rd Edition RPG. They did a Kickstarter for the game, and when I signed up as a backer, discovered there was a very neat playtest Quick-Start package with a lovely scenario as well for the folks who backed the Kickstarter.
Thus, Saturday night, I got to run the CHILL 3rd Edition playtest Quick-Start adventure, "Good Fences Make Good Neighbours", on the Friday gaming group. Needless to say, I'm not going to talk about the adventure in any detail, as I don't want to provide spoilers and the like, but will say what I can here about the gaming experience.
My five players - Kathy, Angela, David, Mark, and Ellie - arrived around 6:45 pm, and we started in on the game. Once the players had chosen their characters from the pre-gens provided for the adventure, I went through the game mechanics, explained the combat system, and gave them what information I could about SAVE. By that time, about an or so had gone by, and we got into the adventure itself. I have to say that the adventure went rather well, moreso than I had expected. I think I forgot that CHILL scenarios always did have a different feel to those in the other, more well-known horror rpgs out there. When we finished, the players told me that the scenario was quite a good one, simple in terms of its intent and design, but that it was a dangerous plot and one that emphasised a central flaw in the human psyche that it seems the Unknown can take advantage of.
The player characters had a good grasp of the basic rules after we went through them, though they had a few problems with the combat mechanics, and it took them a bit of time to grasp the levels of success based on dice rolls in the system, but they absolutely loved the relative simplicity of the characters and liked the Character Sheet very much. They were also impressed with and enjoyed the Token mechanics, but realised very quickly that every time they used the Tokens to accomplish something, it put a "dark" Token into the hands of the Chill Master (CM). For my part, there were a few problems with the rules, but since these were the Quick-Start rules, I expect these problems will be solved and done away with once I send in my feedback on the running of the adventure. That said, I handled the problems in the typical experienced GM (in this case, CM) fashion, and used what seemed to be common sense, which worked out pretty well.
Overall, it was a pretty enjoyable evening of gaming in the world of CHILL 3rd Edition, and I'm looking forward to when the game comes out next year. The players said that it was a really good game session, that the game mechanics and rules worked well for the genre, and they're looking forward to playing it in the future.