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Chill Third Edition
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/18/2016 09:22:45

Readers here will know of my love for Chill. It was one of the first non-D&D games I ever played and to this day I have a soft spot in my art for it. So it was with great pleasure that I backed the Kickstarter for the 3rd edition of Chill last year. Chill may not be the grand-daddy of horror games (that really is Call of Cthulhu) but it is certainly early in the parentage of all horror games. Chill was doing things with monsters in the 80s that White Wolf would later get so much credit for in the 90s. Unlike CoC, the characters of Chill had reasons to believe that they could defeat the monster. There was more hope in Chill.

So what can we say about this new edition?

Let's start with the basics. I am reviewing both the PDF and the Hardcover book. The books are 288 pages with full-color covers and full-color interior art. The art is great mixing in photographs with art for full creepy effect. This is the "real-world" only beset by monsters. The art has always been a central feature of Chill and this edition really has some great art. Even my wife, who is not really a gamer, was looking at and said it looked cool. The hardcover is a nice hefty tome that would also look good on the coffee table, but the real fun is when it is on the game table. (Note: This is another book where I would have liked a cheaper "spiral-bound" copy to lay flat on table) The PDF is fully bookmarked and comes with a printer-friendly character sheet. Though I prefer the heavy art sheet because they look so good.

The Forward details a little history of Chill. Nothing new to longtime readers of my blog. This is followed by a comic. This gives an example of the Chill world. It's not bad, but I usually skip over these sorts of things. Besides, Chill and I are old friends.

Introduction is the obligatory "this is a roleplaying game" bits, but it also gives you a brief overview of the game system.

If you are familiar at all with Chill then the system here is very familiar. Percentage dice roll, roll under a target number. This number is usually a function of attributes, skills, and edges or drawbacks. Rolling doubles "33" or "55" is a really good or a really bad thing, depending on whether or not it was under the score you needed. The more you roll under the better. This gives the game a different feel than most. There feels like there is more randomness (even though there isn't) and more drama (and there is). This is a crunchy "cinematic" game. IF there can be such a thing. There are simple, pass/fail tests, and tests that have levels of success. There are also Tokens that can be used that represent tempory states. These are used in a similar fashion to other games "drama points" but have a more game-mechanical focus here.

I like that this information is right upfront and read first. It sets the tone for the game to come.

Chapter 1 deals with Character Creation. This is important because Chill is a character focused game. In some games you fight monsters because they have the treasure and XP. In Chill you fight the monsters because ever since you were a child you saw ghosts. You thought they were harmless till one of them killed your older brother... There three character creation options. First pick a pre-made character, many are provided. Secondly you could pick a template such as "Anthropologist", "Detective" or "Thief" and modify them. I expect to see more templates in future books. Third, is of course, roll up your own character. Roll up your attributes, skills and pick any Edges or Drawbacks you want. Note to players of the 1st and 2nd editions. There are some changes here. Among other things the Luck attribute is gone.

There is a discipline known as "the Art" that gives some characters a magical edge, but don't expect to play someone of Harry Dresden's ability here. This is more Sam & Dean Winchester levels. Which is perfect in my mind.

Chapter 2 covers SAVE. SAVE or the Societas Albae Viae Eternitata, or The Eternal Society of the White Way, named for their dedication to the good “white” force and opposition to the evil “dark” force. SAVE is a central focus of Chill and all characters are considered to belong to it. There is a lot of history here, both in the game world and in the real world. There are even subtle nods to the history of the game itself here. "1990: Going Dark" is as much about SAVE as it is the Chill game itself. "1998: The Renaissance of the Art" reflects also the growing popularity again of modern paranormal fiction in books, TV and movies. For me I'd also add in some failed attempts at getting SAVE up an running again to parallel the failed attempt of Chill 3.0. I love how the communications SAVE sends out adapt to the times. Hand written letters give way to typewriters to early emails to modern texting and chat software. While the system maybe the heart of Chill, this is the soul.

Chapter 3 is dedicated to The Art, or is simple language Magic. Given here are the different schools of the art and their disciplines. While Chill 3rd Ed has more Player Character magic than the previous versions, the characters are still not going to be at the levels of say "Mage" or "WitchCraft" RPGs. But this is fine really. These are supposed to be normal humans for the most part. Also unlike CoC the Art here is mostly harmless. Note I say mostly, there are still dangers and magic always has a price.

Chapter 4 covers the Game System. This details the material from the Introduction. If you have played Chill before you will find a lot here that is familiar and somethings that are completely new. There are plenty of good working examples. This is the clearest version of the Chill rules to date.

Chapter 5 is for the Chill Master. This covers how to run the game, setting the mood and tone of the games. If you have played any horror game before there is a lot here that is familiar, but there is also plenty that is new. My own 2 cents here: Don't run Chill like you would run D&D or even Call of Cthulhu. This game has it's own feel to it. Yes the stories you tell and the adventures you run can be done under a variety of systems and ways. To get the most out of Chill, play it like Chill.

Chapter 6 is a favorite of mine, Creatures of the Unknown. I will admit that when I picked up my copy at Gen Con last year I turned right to this chapter first to see if all my old favorites made the cut for the new edition. Not all of them did, but there are plenty of old faves and new monsters here to keep any CM busy. The "Mean Old Neighbor Lady" is now properly a Hag, but most of the Vampires made it over including the "North American Vampire" and it's representative Jackson Jammer. This chapter also includes the monster version of the Art, the Evil Way.

Finally, we end with Kickstarter backers.

Chill 3rd Edition is a great game and an improvement in pretty much every way over it's predecessors. The book is great to look at, great to read and easier to play. While parts of Chill still feel like they are stuck in the 80s or 90s in terms of tone and game design, there is enough new material here and enough refinements to bring this game into the 21st century. Will it repalce Chill 1st Ed and 2nd ed in my heart? No, I don't think it will. Will it replace Chill 1st Ed and 2nd Ed on my game table? Absolutely! I'll use these rules from now on and supplement older material until Growling Door gets around to replacing them. Though I have my doubts they will replace Chill Vampires in my heart!

Time I think to dust off my "Spirit of '76" game.

Full disclosure: All links are affiliate links. I bought both the PDF and Hardcopies of this game. No free copies were given and no reviews were solicited.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill Third Edition
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Chill Quickstart: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/14/2016 12:06:39

M love for Chill is WELL documented. When everyone else was playing Call of Cthulhu (and watching their characters go mad or die) I was playing Chill (and watching my characters die). Or more to the point I was creating elaborate scenarios involving SAVE. I loved Pacesetter Chill and even drove out to the old Mayfair Games warehouse to score a brandnew hardcover a few years back. I own pretty much everything for Chill and even Rotworld/Cryptworld/Majus.

On to the product as hand. Chill: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors is a 46 page "Quickstart". It has everything you need to play the game now except for people, dice and some tokens. Don't have 10-sided dice? Fine, get a deck of cards, remove the royals, put all the black suits in one deck and all the red in another. Shuffle them. When you need to roll choose a black card and a red card. Count tens as "0" and aces as "1". Save the face cards, the royals, for your tokens.

With this Quickstart author +Matthew McFarland has distilled Chill down to it's essence. It's a game about fighting the Unknown. There are a couple of pages devoted to the mechanics of the game; find a target number, roll that or under. Avoid botches (doubles over) but hope for a Colossal Success (roll doubles and under). Tokens are also covered.

An overview of the character sheet comes next breaking down the Attributes, Skills, Edges, Drawbacks and where you record damage. There is also a spot for The Art, or some magical/psychic abilities. This edition seems to focus a bit more on this than the previous, normal-human-centric point of view of the previous, but that will wait for a full reveiw.

This makes up the first half-dozen or so pages. The next dozen covers Combat and The Art. Combat is just another type of test/roll and The Art are "fancy" skills. The nice thing is when one system is learned the rest are easily picked up.

The rest of the book is the adventure. I don't want to give out any spoilers for potential players, but the adventure is a classic one for Chill. What kind of adventures are good for Chill? Well anything you might see on "Supernatural", "Grimm", "Kolchak" or "The X-Files" would make for a great Chill game, but also the stories you told as kids about the haunted house, or the mean old neighbor lady or the monster in the sewers.

The quickstart includes some characters to get you up and running fast. There are maps, artifacts and investigation sheet to make this feel like a real investigation into the paranormal, or what Chill calls The Unknown. Enough background is given on SAVE to make it interesting and to make you want to know more.

For the price you can't beat it. If you ever told a scary story to others with a flashlight under your chin, dared a friend to go into a "haunted house" or watched a Hammer Horror film then this is a great game for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill Quickstart: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
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Chill Third Edition
by Matthew D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/25/2015 08:51:36

I backed Chill 3rd Edition on Kickstarter, and found my first chance to run it three weeks ago, at IndieCon gaming convention on the south coast of England. Each game was going to be with players who had no experience of Chill.

To set the scene; when I run a game, I tend to come up with a plot first, and then find a system that'll match it and use that game's setting to fill in any blanks. I wrote two games - an action / investigation horror scenario named Mountains of BLOOD and a pure investigative horror scenario named The Haunting of Goldbrook Bridge. Having recently received my hard copy of Chill, and finding the rules remarkably easy to understand, setting intriguing, and artwork fantastic, I decided this was the game to use to make my scenarios unfold.

The first thing to note was that for a game none of the players in either group had played before, they picked up the system and setting incredibly swiftly. The % dice mechanic, gradients of success and failure (colossal, exceptional, and low), and light and dark tokens system really grabbed them. They also liked the idea of playing genuine "good guys" who weren't useless in the face of Unknown adversity.

Chill's not a game as punishing as similar % systems, such as the 40K RPGs, and Call of Cthulhu. With the possibility of colossal failure and success on double digits (rolling a 66 when attempting to score below a 60 is very bad indeed, while rolling a 44 is fantastic), the party were more interested in roll results than in a standard target number game. Atop that, the ability to flip a light token dark to increase your target number by 10 (thus turning your 60 to a 70, after rolling 66) is an excellent mechanic that really ups the ante. With players knowing that more dark tokens = more Unknown powers to be utilised by the GM, they really had to weigh up whether they'd rather fail, or succeed and give the GM more oomph to use later. In one game the players burned through their light tokens rapidly, and the scenario following showed the cost of doing so. In the second, I had an incredibly conservative group who accepted failure regularly, just to de-power my monsters. I tried every trick in the book to get a dark token from their line-up of light ones, only occasionally being able to sneak a power through. It was great fun!

I used monsters from the book for my game, and had briefly detailed the Denver SAVE HQ using the rules from the book. Both were simple to incorporate. I rarely had to refer to the book for complex mechanics, the situations in-game being resolved easily each time.

I always make an effort to run or play a game before I review it. I was able to run this game on two consecutive days having only read the book once, and the players raved about it to the point of some of them backing the Chill Companion Kickstarter that weekend. I don't know if there's higher praise. I look forward to the next time I run this game, and hopefully I'll get a chance to play it at some point!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill Third Edition
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Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
by Joseph F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2015 17:08:49

A very neat and easy to read sheet. The few changes to the sheet are barely noticeable.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
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Chill Quickstart: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
by Joseph F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/30/2015 17:05:50

A fresh look at an old classic. A few minor changes from the older versions but still very enjoyable



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill Quickstart: Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
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Chill Third Edition
by Scott m. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/07/2015 13:39:32

I've been playing Chill since the first edition published by Pacesetter. While the second edition had some improvements, I thought it turned what was a system with simplistic elegance into a system that was unnecessarily complex.

Third edition has found that excellent balance, between improving on the first edition rules, while not overburdening players with the excessive rules found in the second edition.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill Third Edition
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Chill Third Edition
by Jeremy G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2015 22:49:54

I was a big fan of Chill 1e from Pacesetter, not a fan of 2e from Mayfair (too much math; ugly art), and was excited about the Kickstarter for 3e. I won't bore you with more narrative of how I got here, so here's my review: it's a great game. I've run it for some friends for several sessions and we've all enjoyed it thoroughly, running different kinds of horror stories and finding that the core mechanic works well in a variety of situations and contexts. I just ran two games for mostly strangers at a local game convention and got rave reviews - so much so that some of the players from the first day bought the book that night and came back to play in my other session the next day. I'm a decent GM, but the system made it easy to get new players up to speed, contributing creatively, and with very little introduction from me.

I like games that provide players and the GM with consistency of resolution and flexibility in application. Chill 3e provides both. The core mechanic is simple, intuitive, and works for the style of game - heavy on the story and atmosphere, lighter on rolls - that Chill seems best to promote. That mechanic, and the systems related to it, are flexible enough to be applicable to just about anything the players could want or GM could devise. Much like Gumshoe, which ensures that players end up with the clues they need to move the investigation forward, Chill guarantees a "vital clue" with every type of investigation roll, regardless of how one rolls. This is a good thing because adventures are boring and frustrating when players go nowhere because they fail a roll for an important clue. Chill eliminates this possibility entirely. If the roll is successful, you get your vital clue...if it's a really good roll you'll get that and something more, and if it's an amazing roll, you'll learn even more. But if you fail you still get that vital clue, and something extraneous that might slow you down...and if you botch your roll you'll get a vital clue and a false lead, and then it's up to the player to figure out what's what. I think this is a simple, clever way to ensure that the plot moves forward while plugging in opportunities to take fate into consideration.

The book itself is very nice, although some of the creature art wasn't so great. The photos throughout the book are quite good, with some even genuinely creepy. I wish the creature art were better, but I'm not going to complain, because it's the stat blocks that I'll use, not the art. The section on creature powers (the Evil Way and 'aspects') is great, making it very easy to create customized foes. Instead of levels or HD, a monster has an 'Evil Way Score' that provides an idea of how formidable it is, and all abilities and powers are rooted in this score. It was easy to create a ghost, for example, that could do what I wanted it to do and be as threatening to the party as I wanted it to be. This should make adventure design easier.

I also think the amount of the book spent on SAVE history and current world hotspots will be very useful to me over time as I run the game, and that background was clearly the work of a passionate group of writers - I appreciate that.

If you liked the original (but realize that the rules are so so so clunky after 30 years) and want an update with a hefty dose of modern story-focused mechanics, this is a good game. If you want a horror game that's easy to run and learn, this is a good game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
by Thomas N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2015 13:05:26

While it is great to have all these pregens. The blank character sheet was disappointing. It still contained printing marks (dashes in the corners) and had a page size of 9.08"x12.08". And because of this it does not work well for printing out home or on a 8.5"x11" page (without creating a new Character Sheet of appropriate size).



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
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Chill Third Edition
by Thomas N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/06/2015 12:59:31

With this being my first review (I plan on going through my backlog of purchases) I may seem harsh to some. Chill is beloved by many from high school days of gaming and college nights or terrible vampires and mummies! But I don't have those memories, and I have not seen the previous editions before either. But based on name alone I knew that I had to purchase the new 3rd Edition. I ordered a hardcover copy from elsewhere, and the PDF copy here. And it was difficult to enjoy this book:

The art is inconsistent. There are images that most likely were just edited using photoshop, and then there was the beautiful cover! But then there was the amateurish creature artwork. It was all over the place and didn't resemble a clear direction graphically. Like it wasn't committed one way or the other.

The text of the game itself has an apparent number of typos, misplaced words/sentences, and just was difficult to read due to organization. Again, I may be being critical... But 20 pages of pregens before I know what the traits were or how to use the pregens is a little ridiculous. And that the information for the core of the Characters (being the attributes!) is found on page 58 while character creation starts on about page 22. The information on traits was after the information for how to grow your character through advancement from session to session.

That isn't to say I didn't enjoy the chapter that focused on the history of SAVE (the organization that the Players Characters are a part of in the game). But the information was scattered! With references to events without having been hinted at and that would only be further explained pages later. The chapter that I enjoyed suffered from the same typos and organization as the rest of the book. However! There was a short bullet point timeline that helped ease things on the last pages of the chapter. Even if what looked like major events in the timeline weren't mentioned in the history of SAVE.

Overall, I would not recommend this book to someone who would read it. Page by page in order. Or even as a material to search through like a dictionary. Seeing as the references generally don't give page numbers in the text.

I was greatly dissappointed. And had a lot more to say about it in my full writeup (which can be found here: http://orbitabovegames.com/2015/10/06/an-opinion-on-chill-3rd-edition-from-growling-door-games/).

I hope that in the future it is greatly revised and rewritten.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Chill Third Edition
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Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
by Will H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/13/2015 03:10:42

http://diehardgamefan.com/2015/05/15/tabletop-review-chill-third-edition/ Among the ugliest sheets I've ever seen. Artwork is not even on par with Mayfair, which was abysmal compared with Pacesetter art. The positive reviews are obviously friends and relatives of the author - no one has such abominable aesthetic sensibilities.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
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Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
by Ricky D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2015 08:04:31

The is a great set of sheets. The Art is great and really fits the feel of the game. I think it is nice in this day the creators took the time to create so many pregens rather than just a few and to include colored art work..

Great Job!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill Third Edition
by Mike R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/01/2015 06:01:18

Just a quick note to anyone curious. I haven't done more than glance at the book, particularly character gen and pre gen characters but it is very well organized with very clear and helpful instructions on how to build your character. I definitely Say this is worth a person giving it a look over. Good job updating an old favorite !



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill Third Edition
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Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
by David H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2015 19:40:37

This is a free product. That's pretty awesome. Most publishers would charge for this.

Also, with most "pregen characters" packs, you really only get enough for everyone at the table to have one choice. This gives a bunch. That's super cool.

One thing I like is, you can usually tell a lot about the game from looking at character sheets. This tells you a lot, and is a great way to get a feel for what the game is before buying or committing to running a demo session.

The art? Great.

In short: Would buy again. Would probably pay a couple dollars for this sort of thing.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
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Chill 3rd Edition Character Sheets & Pregens
by Tore N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/30/2015 18:19:48

A solid character sheet, and some good and varied pregens. Each character has a short backstory which offers good hooks without feeling limiting. The character art is good and has a comic book feel to it, which suits CHILL well.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Tragedy in Five Acts
by Jye N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/12/2013 05:12:28

A very cool machine for producing Shakespeare-style tragedy in play. Well worth a look for anyone interested in seeing a game take on theatrical tragedy the way Fiasco takes on its particular genre (though Ti5A has its own mechanics, more strategic than Fiasco's and well-fitted to their purpose).



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[5 of 5 Stars!]
A Tragedy in Five Acts
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