Fright Night: Shockolate! Play Report

NOTE: Since he isn't an author of this blog, I'm going to point out here that this play report was submitted by Ben, one of creators of Fright Night.

Jill as Brittney Glass, visitor to the ChocoLand amusement park

  • Kevin, Brittney’s date for the evening
  • Suzanne, Brittney’s good friend
  • Tyler, Suzanne’s long-time boyfriend
  • Ron, the park’s maintenance man
  • Julio, the park’s groundskeeper

Establishing Shot
We open on a dimly lit room, where a hunched figure is shuffling back and forth between a large cauldron and various ingredients laid out on a table. She drops in a few small objects and the cauldron lets loose a billow of thick, brown smoke that fills the screen, causing it to fade to black.

Scene 1: Actor Attack/Director’s Choice (Object)
Our foursome walks through the gates of the ChocoLand amusement park. TYLER and SUZANNE, resident lovebirds, lead the way, with Suzanne pulling her boyfriend along and pointing out all the things she wants to do. BRITTNEY and KEVIN follow, smiling silently at the others’ enthusiasm.

As she walks, Brittney catches sight of something on the ground. Bending, she discovers it’s a perfectly wrapped piece of chocolate, the park’s claim to fame. She shows it to her date, and he offers her first dibs. She unwraps it and pops it in her mouth, savoring it until a shout rings out behind her. She turns just in time to see a cart barreling towards her, but is unable to get out of the way in time.(Speed Failure)

The cart careens into her, sending her sprawling to the ground. She lands on her arm, bruising it. As she pulls herself to her feet and brushes herself off, a young man in a light brown uniform runs up, apologizing profusely. It is JULIO, the park’s groundskeeper. Brittney assures him she’s relatively okay, and he pushes his cart away, lamenting the accident.

Brittney and Tyler look around to discover that their friends have left them behind. They decide to go off on their own and choose the park’s roller coaster as their first destination.

Climax Roll: 3 (Total: 3)
Scene Notes: Since I already had an idea of what I wanted to have the danger in this story be, I picked a piece of chocolate as my object. I had Jill roll for it to get her used to the rolling process. Had she not succeeded I would have put the object somewhere else. The janitor’s cart seemed a good danger for the beginning of the game, and allowed me to dish out a little bit of damage.

Scene 2: Extra Attack/Omen
When the pair arrive at the coaster they discover that the line is quite long. They dutifully join the queue and inch their way forward. Suddenly, a large man jumps over the velvet rope guiding them toward the ride. His hands and face are covered in chocolate, and he is screaming jibberish into the air.

He grabs Kevin and sniffs him before lifting him and throwing him over the rope, where he crashes to the ground and is still. The man then turns on Brittney, but she is able to evade his grasp. (Speed Success)

Thwarted, he runs off into the night. Brittney runs to her date, who is beginning to stir. She examines him and finds that he is bleeding from where his head struck the pavement. She helps him to his feet and they abandon the line to go in search of the first aid station. Passing by the haunted house, she notices that the flowers and tree in front of the attraction are dying. (Wits Success) 

Pretty fitting decor for such a spooky attraction, she thinks.

Climax Roll: 0 (Total: 3)
Scene Notes: Since I had to attack a player, I introduced the zombie-like state of the park’s inhabitants in this scene. I was curious to see what would happen on the roller coaster, but this seemed to work in the flow of the story. I was a bit sorry to leave the coaster behind. Dying vegetation as an omen was something I seized on for this plot with the black magic going on.

Scene 3: No Monster/Omen
Upon finding the nurse’s shack, they are surprised to find the door closed and the lights off. They let themselves in and Brittney rummages around, finding antiseptic and bandages to dress Kevin’s wounds. (Wits Success)

They turn to leave, and Brittney jumps as the sound of static fills the air. (Cool Failure)

The voice on the other end of the nurse’s forgotten walkie talkie says they’ve got “another one”, and then curses her for her absent-mindedness when he realizes she’s not answering. Thus patched up, Kevin offers to walk Brittney back to the roller coaster. She is concerned about his head injury, however, and they agree that that would not be the best idea. Since they had already walked this far, they decide to press on down the midway.

Climax Roll: 3 (Total: 6)
Scene Notes: Hijinks on that roller coaster just weren’t meant to be, I guess. Darn medical training… The lack of monster movement gave me the freedom to focus on the surroundings of the park. For my omen I went with the cryptic walkie talkie transmission. And that burst of static made for a nice jump scare moment as well.

Scene 4: No Monster/Object
The two pass through the gaming section of the midway. Kevin stops and attempts to win his date a stuffed bear at the water gun race, and fails miserably. He challenges her to do better when she laughs at him, but though she does slightly better she loses as well. (Brawn Failure)

Past the games they find themselves on the backside of the park, where the lights are dimmer and more spread out and the grounds are less nice. They pass a small hut with a sign for a Fortune Teller, and decide to stop in for fun. The door does not open easily, but with some force it pops open. (Brawn Success)

The interior is pitch black, and the two feel around for a light. Brittney finally finds a lamp on a table. When she pulls the chain the dim light reveals a horrible face leering at her, inches away from her own! She stumbles back, running into Kevin, and the two end up in a tangled heap. (Cool Failure) 

Kevin pulls himself to his feet, and begins to laugh. Brittney looks back to the table to discover a crystal ball, reflecting back a caricature of her own face. She chides herself for losing her cool, and turns to discover Kevin pulling a park map from the wall. He explains that he forgot one on the way into the park. He pockets it and they leave the hut. (Wits Failure)

Climax Roll: 2 (Total: 8)
Scene Notes: The monster is ominously quiet lately… I threw in the scene at the gaming booth as a fun, low-risk roll. As Brittney is low on cool, I’ve enjoyed making her scream and freak out. The map could have provided information about the park, but a failed wits roll ruled that out.

Scene 5: Extra Attack/Environment
As they leave the hut, a gruff voice demands to know what they were doing in there. They look up to see RON, the resident handyman. They explain that they were just looking to get their fortunes read, and he says that the gypsy who occupied the hut is no longer employed by the park after complaints of odd behavior. He tells them that she was living on the land when the park was built, and that she was furious about being ejected, screaming that “they’d be sorry”. (Brains Success)

He tells them to move along before doing so himself. Brittney turns to go, but Kevin points at a building further into the darkness, naming it as where the park’s chocolate is made. He talks her into going exploring. On arriving, however, they find the door locked and are unable to find a way in. As they start to walk away smoke begins to pour from under the door.

Brittney realizes that the smoke is mechanical in nature rather than incendiary, and Kevin runs off to find the maintenance man. Left alone, Brittney realizes how creepy her surroundings are. So when footsteps come to her from the darkness, she timidly whispers, “H- hello?” The footsteps speed up, and she is just able to duck behind the corner of the building when a figure runs into view.

She breathes a sigh of relief when she realizes it’s Suzanne. Her friend embraces her and exclaims, “It’s Tyler. He’s gone crazy!”

Climax Roll: 1 (Total: 9)
Scene Notes: I finally got to introduce Ron, and he got a gruff voice for a bit of personality. My environment roll prompted the malfunctioning candy-making equipment, which further set up the importance of the chocolate. When Jill sent Kevin off, I got to play up the “alone in the dark, spooky park” side of things. The footsteps-turning-out-to-be-a-friend was a nice potential danger. I also decided it was high time to start having her friends succumb to the killer candy.

Scene 6: Extra Attack/Omen
Suzanne tells Brittney that she and Tyler had wandered around, riding rides and playing games, before deciding to buy a hot fudge sundae. They settled into a picnic table, and as she talked he had a few bites of the ice cream. As she watched, however, he started eating faster and faster, finishing the dish before she knew it. And then he’d gone back for another, scarfing that one down as well. Then a glaze had fallen over his eyes, and he had run off down the midway.

At the close of this strange story Ron returns. After assessing the smoke, he unlocks the door and goes inside to see what is wrong. The girls hear him curse from inside, and as he emerges, wiping his hands, he tells them that the chocolate has turned to a dark sludge, gumming up the works. They ask him what happened to Kevin, and he says that the last time he saw the boy, he was at the stand that sells elephant ears.

The girls go in search of their friend. Walking further on, they see a figure hunched over a trash can, riffling through it and tossing trash about. The figure looks up and they realize it’s Tyler, his eyes blazing, his hair a mess, and his hands and mouth covered in chocolate. He screams gutturally at them, raises his arms, and runs away.

Climax Roll: 1 (Total: 10)
Scene Notes: This scene was largely expository and informational, so no actual rolls took place. (This is, of course, not ideal.) With Kevin still missing I set the ball rolling on his fate off-screen, buying a snack. With Ron already checking on the machines, my omen was the sludgy chocolate.

Scene 7: Presence/Information
It is now that Kevin arrives, munching on an elephant ear smeared with chocolate, which he happily offers them. Brittney quickly declines, and the new threesome decide to look for Tyler. Their shock is broken by the voice of Julio. He appears glad that Brittney is still okay, and when they tell him of all that has transpired he starts to wonder if it is all connected to something he’s seen before dismissing the idea as ridiculous.

They push him, and he mentions that the plants growing in the park have begun to wither and die, though they had been fine the day before. (Brains Success) 

And though it might be silly superstition, his grandmother used to say that this was a sign of black magic. As he walks away the hair on Brittney’s neck begins to stand on end, and she wonders what is going on in this park.

Climax Roll: 1 (Total: 11)
Scene Notes: I revealed a bit more about what’s going on with those plants to go with my information roll. And the hair standing up was a bit of spooky presence, albeit more implied.

Scene 8: Actor Attack/Body Found
Turning the corner at the dragon boat ride, they come upon a crowd that has gathered. Pushing to the front, they see a large figure being covered by a sheet. (Wits Failure) 

They ask the crowd what’s going on, and discover that a man had collapsed, apparently from a heart attack. Brittney suspects that this was the man who attacked them earlier, but doesn’t say anything. She realizes that Kevin is gone again, and looks around to see him at the concession stand, buying another chocolate-covered ear, which he devours on the way back.

He asks the girls if they have any more chocolate, and when they don’t he becomes insistent. His anger escalates, and as they watch his eyes glaze over and he begins to yell. He grabs Brittney, throws her to the ground, and begins to scratch and bite at her until someone from the crowd pulls him off, sending him running. (Brawn Defense)

Brittney is pretty beaten up from this experience. She and Suzanne decide to go to the security booth to try and get some help. The young man at the booth tells them that there is no need to worry, that the situation is being dealt with. His eyes widen as he looks past them, however, and he slams the front of the kiosk shut, locking himself inside.

Scene Notes: It seemed to me that the stress of being a chocolate zombie would be too much for some, most notably the big guy from the roller coaster, so I had him bite it as a warning of possible doom. Since Jill failed her wits roll, however, I didn’t come right out and say that it was him.

Kevin is getting worse just as we’ve seen others do, so it made sense to have him turn on Brittney and attack her. I had fun with the exchange with the security guy. And with Jill deciding she wanted to try and leave, the climax couldn’t have happened at a more perfect time!

Climax Roll: 2 (Total 13)

End Phase
It is at this point that the girls decide that they’ve had enough, and that they should leave. As they head for the exit they see a crowd of crazed people swarm a chocolate stand and begin to tear into it. They almost reach the gates as a second crowd begins to come in from the parking lot. (Speed Failure)

The two duck behind a bush and let the crazies pass, but as they emerge the gates slam shut, almost as of their own accord. And if that wasn’t bad enough, dark clouds begin to gather above the park. Brittney realizes she needs to distract the zombies if they are to escape. She runs down the midway, calling for them to follow. She underestimates their speed, however, and she watches as her friend is overwhelmed by the hoard. (Speed Failure)

As she passes the haunted house, she finds that the plants, previously sick, are now black and dead. She thinks back to what the groundskeeper had said, and realizes that whatever is going on, the cause is in that house. She opens the door and enters. Inside all she sees is rubber monsters and exhibits of horror and death. She is unsure of where she is going until she spies a door set in the wall behind a monster, marked for staff. (Wits Success)

She opens the door to find a room full of extra props and costumes, and beyond the old gypsy, sitting in front of her cauldron. “You are too late,” she says softly, “it has already begun.” “What do you want?” Brittney demands. “What does anyone want? I want my due.” She begins to tell of her humiliation, and her plan to use the park’s precious cocoa beans against them. She had been clouding people’s minds with the sweets, turning them into destructive drones driven only by the need for chocolate.

She did not expect for the curse to affect the larger people first, but soon they would all succumb. She sniffs the air and smiles as she realizes that the girl before her had eaten the chocolate as well, and says as much. Sure enough, Brittney’s mind begins to fog. She realizes that she doesn’t have much time. She grabs a fake axe left over from the execution display and rushes at the gypsy. The old woman raises a hand and Brittney’s arms stop their swing, blocked by an unseen force. (Brawn Failure)

The gypsy smiles and waves the hand, sending the girl flying backwards into a rack of costumes. Tangled in clothes, Brittney finds a large pin stuck in one of the dresses. She slips it up her sleeve and comes up running. Rather than attack the old woman, though, she runs past and throws her weight against the bubbling cauldron, sending it crashing and its contents spilling on the floor. (Speed Success)

The gypsy yells in anger and advances, but slips on the liquid and crashes to the floor herself. Brittney jumps on the small figure and sticks the pin into her chest. (Brawn Success)

She thinks it is over, until a bony hand shoots out and grabs her by the hair. Almost on instinct, her foot jabs out and drives the pin home as a howl escapes the hag’s lips. (Brawn Success)

As Brittney watches, the woman is surrounded by a billow of smoke that fills the room, obscuring her vision. When it finally subsides, she is alone. Brittney walks back out onto the midway, where people are shaking off their stupor. She finds Tyler and Kevin, staring at each other rather confused. Out from the bushes limps Suzanne, who had escaped to hide when the crowd realized she didn’t have any chocolate.

The four slowly walk to the entrance, ready to leave this night behind. As they walk through the gates, Suzanne turns to Brittney and says, “I’ll never eat chocolate again!” The four begin to laugh. As we fade to black their laughter morphs and becomes the low cackle of an old gypsy woman, plotting her next revenge.


Final Thoughts
All in all, I rather enjoyed this story. It turned out to be a little tamer than some, sort of absurd (chocolate zombies?...), but in a weird sort of way, it worked. It felt like the sort of cheesy, family horror film you saw in the nineties. As such I decided not to flat out kill the extras, instead using my “death” rolls to curse them and plunge them into madness, as I felt that fit the mood a little better.

At the start I was unsure of how I’d swing this one. Jill chose the amusement park locale, and then I rolled a SUPERNATURAL, CURSED PLANT. This didn’t make sense until I had her flesh out the park a little bit, and she decided that it had a chocolate theme. From there all that was left was the obligatory old gypsy, and we were off to the races!

This is one of my favorite things about the system, though. I don’t know that I ever would have come up with this scenario/monster combination if not for throwing all the aspects together and being forced to make them fit. It stretches you as a storyteller, and helps ensure that no two games will ever be the same.

This was Jill’s first official RPG, and I’m still a fairly new GM, so things were a little slow in spots. But it really started to come together once we found our give-and-take rhythm, especially at the end. She nearly escaped out the front gates, had to choose between sacrificing her friend and taking damage by the angry hoard, and I was really starting to think I might have to kill her until she started making her rolls again.

She was down to one die in each of three stats at the end, which made her defeat of the gypsy that much more epic and brought the game to a satisfying conclusion which she helped to orchestrate.

(This part was added by David/me!)

We're going to start doing Hangout games, to give people a better idea as to what the game about (and also iron out any kinks) so that we'll be better prepared for the next time we run a Kickstarter campaign. The best way to get in on it is to join the Google+ community or Facebook group.

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