May. 27th, 2017

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[personal profile] froodle
Two icons of classic horror were born on this day - why not mark the occasion with some Eerie fanworks inspired by one of their great roles?
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I find the history of Potter's Lake, the locales and the folk tales section really good and useful for setting inspirations, and the dramatis personae are not bad either. However, the two scenarios included in Paradise Lost are jokes; the shorter one is about the PC:s getting lost in the corridors of a building... until a police woman lets them out. That's it; nothing happens! The longer one, Heart of Darkness, railroads the PC:s to break into a locked dorm at the uni. They will then experience a dystopian vision of the world, and that's it! Back to normal and, yeah, maybe the PC:s will have to dodge campus security, but except for the brief quasi-religious vision nothing really happens!

Finally we have the chapter of "the secret history". This ties in with the setting of the Core rules, and I guess your opinion of the one hinges on your opinion of the other. So how do you feel about a campaign backdrop of Jesus, God and Satan having their own conspiracies and plan to fight it out? If you accept the Outer Gods and insignificant mortals concept of Lovecraftian fiction, maybe you don't have a problem with this Christian'ish war in heaven either? Well, from my point of view, that whole "Heaven & Earth RPG" angle, the subsequent "secret history" of Paradise Lost and the background story of Heart of Darkness appears restrictive and boring. The PC:s shouldn't be pawns in some grand design where their moral sacrifices decides the end of the world, but simply masters of their own fates who investigates the Paranormal and defeat some monsters along the way. As it's just $ 5, I would still certainly recommend Paradise Lost to all fans of horror rpg, but for most of us that means transferring the great Potter's Lake setting to a more grounded horror RPG (say, Chill, Cryptworld, East Texas University, In Dark Alleys, Fear Itself, OGL Horror or Savage World's Horror Companion) and ditching the lithurgical wrapping.

To sum it up, I think Potter's Lake is a nice, campy small town setting for a contemporary investigative horror RPG (like an "Eerie, Indiana" or a "Twin Peaks"). The background part and the locales for this setting would almost deserve 5 stars. On the other hand, the convoluted, metaphysical arch plot involving "the Lamb" and the two crppy adventures warrants nothing above 1 star. Which leaves me with a 3 star rating.
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All right, '90s kids -- here's a throwback for you.

We always want to talk about our love for the Power Rangers or Goosebumps or the paragon of children's horror Are You Afraid of the Dark, but today I want to celebrate one of the lesser lauded entries on the '90s era, Big Wolf on Campus.

*wolf howls in the distance*

It's all a blur of weird hair and pants that were somehow both too big and too small at the same time. You understand.

Big Wolf on Campus was like Horror Movies 101 for kids who maybe weren't really into horror yet. It was Buffy the Vampire Slayer for kids who had most recently watched Boy Meets World instead of My So-Called Life. All the monsters you could want, without as many monster movie scares, neatly packaged in a half-hour comedy on what was then FOX Family (oh Freeform, how things have changed).

The show followed Tommy, a teen turned werewolf, as he tries to navigate high school while dealing with his little … problem. Also, there's like a scary werewolf cult that shows up and turns his girlfriend, Lori, into a werewolf for a little while. Oh, and Corey Haim shows up playing Corey Haim, literal vampire.

Most of us who grew up watching the show wanted to be Tommy or Lori, badass and fearless.

In reality, though, we were all Merton J. Dingle.

Merton was Tommy's best friend and the resident goth of Pleasantville High School. He dyed his hair black, drove a hearse and had a pet snake (and a hamster named MC Hamster, RIP). He checked ALL the nerdy goth stereotype boxes and you know you probably did too. He wrote screenplays, learned weird languages for fun and created a club called The Gothic Fantasy League.

It was like looking in a mirror. A dorky, spiky-haired mirror.

We all wanted what Merton had. We wanted the werewolf best friend. Hell, we still do. All the supernatural adventure without any fleas or painful transformations or weird facial hair? Yes, please! We wanted the meticulously indexed informational videos for dealing with all manner of disasters.

Face it, we even wanted the hearse.


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