Game Name: Dead of Night
Publisher: SteamPower Publishing
Author: Andrew Kenrick
Year: 2010 (current update 2013)
Pages: 186 pages
Retail Price: £20.00 softcover book shipped worldwide; $10.00 for the PDF – currently on sale for $6.90.
Whereas the rest of the titles on this list are mainly focused on creating ongoing campaigns and character development over multiple play sessions, Dead of Night is a little bit different. This isn’t to say you can’t concoct multi-session, interconnected adventures with DoN but this under the radar game is actually a perfect for quick one shot , on the fly tales of terror. Character creation takes about five minutes and the players and GM aren’t overwhelmed by tons of mechanics, stats, or tables.
Dead of Night looks to recreate those classic B-movies we’ve all grown up with over the years. Ghosts, ghouls, werewolves, and vampires take center stage but the system easily allows the game master to kit bash together anything from the bug-eyed monsters from the 1950’s to the Freddy Krugers and Michael Meyers of more recent vintage for an adventure. The authors don’t take themselves overly serious either and there are even options for dark comedy or slapstick horror.
The game is also well suited for cooking up the sort of stories one usually hears late at night around a campfire. You remember the story of the bloody hook don’t you? Of course you do!
This isn’t the meatiest system around but the point here is to get your friends to the table to start playing as opposed to investing a bunch of time as they attempt to min/max every aspect of their character. Dead of Night is a fun, quick rule set which delivers a cool sandbox where your imagination can go wild. This “rules light” approach also makes the game an excellent fit for a few hours of online roleplaying with your pals.