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Slasher Flick: The Director's Cut $14.95
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Slasher Flick: The Director\'s Cut
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Slasher Flick: The Director's Cut
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Tim K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2013 15:22:04

For this game, players take the role of protagonists in a slasher flick. Each character has four stats, rated Poor, Normal, and Good. These stats are: Brawn: Strength and toughness. Finesse: Agility, coordination, speed, and reflexes.
Brains: Intelligence, perception and knowledge. Spirit: Willpower, Charisma, Leadership, and luck. Characters also have positive qualities (such as “fast runner”) and negative qualities (such as “day dreamer.”) A positive quality adds an extra die to a roll; a negative quality subtracts a die. Some characters have special abilities like “Dumb Luck” or “Scream Queen”, which have special effects when used. Players create their own primary characters, and then work together to create multiple secondary characters (how many depends upon the needs of the flick.) If a player’s primary character isn’t involved in a scene, he may be able to play one of the secondary characters.
Task resolution: The player rolls 4 dice of the appropriate type based upon the stat used to perform the action: d6 for a Good stat, d8 for a Normal stat, and d10 for a poor stat. One die is added if the character has an appropriate positive quality, and subtracted if the player has an applicable negative quality. The Director (GM) may also add a die for really easy tasks, or subtract a die for really hard tasks, so a player can roll as few as 2 dice, or as many as 6. In most cases, rolling any doubles means a success. The freak out check: The Director can call for a freak out check whenever a character sees anything scary. This is a Spirit check. If the player fails, the Director can have the character freak out and do something irrational. The Kill Scene: This happens whenever one or more characters encounter the killer. Step One: The initiative roll. The player (or one of the players) rolls a Finesse check. If he makes it, he has initiative, and can opt to either declare his actions first, or have the Director declare the killer’s actions first. Rolls during the kill scene: As per other tasks resolution rolls, the player declares an action, then rolls the appropriate number of dice. For each “match” a player gets (other than 1s), he earns 1 survival point. Each matching “Topper” (the maximum number for that die type), earns the character 1 survival point plus 1-3 bonus survival points. If a player rolls 4 matching toppers, the scene ends favorably for his character. If a roll generates no matches (other than 1s), the player’s character loses 1-3 survival points plus an additional point for every 1 rolled. Primary characters ignore the first loss of survival points. If the character’s survival point total reaches a certain number (usually 8), he is safe—for this scene. If a character’s survival point total falls below zero, or the player rolls all 1s, the scene ends unfavorably for the character—usually in a gory death. If multiple characters are involved in a kill scene, it is up to the Director to decide if the scene continues for the remaining characters after one is killed or earns enough points to survive.
The Killer: The killer is created and controlled by the Director and doesn’t have normal stats—although the Director can give a killer advantages and drawbacks called components. Killing the Killer (at least until the sequel): At the start of the flick (adventure) the killer is invigorated, and will stay that way until a certain number of characters are killed, then he becomes exerted. An invigorated killer receives a damage token every time a player rolls at least 3 matching toppers on a crucial check (a check that can gain or lose survival points for the character) during a kill scene. An exerted killer receives a damage token every time a player rolls at least 2 matching toppers on a crucial check during a kill scene. Each killer requires a pre-set number of damage tokens to vanquish—usually 3.
The game rewards players for taking genre-appropriate (usually foolish or risky) actions by giving them genre points, which can be used in various ways to increase their chances of survival.
A fun game if you like slasher movies and can get past the fact that your character’s chances of survival are slim.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slasher Flick: The Director's Cut
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 10/11/2012 12:45:22

I will admit it, I am a big fan of Spectrum Games. I think they are one of best at genre emulation, really getting down to the essence of what makes the experience and trying to encapsulate that into a game. As examples I will point to the reviews I did of Cartoon Action Hour and Capes, Cowls and Villains Foul. Given that it is the month of Halloween and I am all about horror movies, I think a review of Slasher Flick is appropriate.

I am actually going to review the Director's Cut which came out a while back. I know, I am quite remiss at reviewing this. There is also a regular version, Slasher Flick, which I have, but have not looked at in a while.

What is Slasher Flick: Director's Cut? Well simply put, it is an RPG where you play characters (emphasis on the plural) in a slasher film. You need to survive, but are expected to die.

Chapter 1 is our Introduction. It covers what is role-playing, what is fear, and what is a slasher flick and why you should play this game.

Chapter 2 covers the basics of Slasher Films. If you have ever read onr of Spectrum Games books before you know what you are getting here. In this book we cover the Killer, who is not really an NPC, but a plot device. I refer to these types of characters as "fists of the game master", they are here to punish the behavior of the characters in the most horrific way possible. The more horrific the better. There is a listing of a bunch of slasher film cliches as well. In this game you don't subvert the cliche (which is by the way cliche itself now) but instead you embrace them. That noise you hear was just a cat, THEN the killer jumps out. That sort of thing. We wrap up with one of my favorite parts of all the Spectrum Games books. Cynthia's Guide to...this time it is here thoughts on various Slasher Flicks. All sorts are listed here and what she thought about them. Frankly this gold if you love horror movies like I do. Between this, CAH and CCVF I would love to see Cynthia Celeste Miller's video collection!

Chapter 3 is the rules. There are a couple of really cool features here. First are characters. You get to play a Primary Character, aka the starts of the "Flick" (an adventure) and some Secondary Characters. These characters can either be played by a particular player OR (and this is nice) they can be shared. So I can have my Primary character and then play what Secondary character I need. Secondary Characters are here to get killed. They are the victims of our Slasher. Primary Characters might get killed too. But if they do it won't be till near the end. So don't get too attached to characters! The characters have 4 basic stats. from the book:

Brawn: The character’s physical strength, resilience, toughness and stamina. Finesse: The character’s agility, coordination, balance and reflexes. Brains: The character’s intelligence, perception and knowledge. Spirit: The character’s willpower, charisma, leadership and luck.

These define what you can do in most cases. They are all rated Poor, Normal or Good. Remember, you are playing teens and college age people here. Each of these are given a die type d10, d8 and d6 respectively. You roll two die per stat being tested (the director decides which two). You want pairs. so on two d6s (representing Good on a stat) you need (1,1)(2,2)(3,3)(4,4)(5,5) or (6,6) or 6 results out of a total of 36, or 1 in 6. Roll a (6,6) on a d6 is the same as doing it on a d8 or d10, but some scenes in the Flick might require something special and rolling a "Topper" will be better.

You also have various qualities (positive or negative) you can add to these, like “scrappy fighter” (Brawn) or "great with gadgets (Brains)". These can add (or subtract) die from your rolls. You still only need two matches to get a success. Special situations such as "Freak Outs" and "Kill Scenes" are detailed. Note, not much really on combat or other skills. This because the characters are expected to run when confronted with the Killer/Slasher.

Chapter 4 Covers Creating Characters. Characters are built using stereotypes. This is a Slasher Flick after all. You are not playing Biff, the guy with a d6 in Brawn and a d10 in Brains, you are Biff, the Dumb Jock. Now lots of stereotypes are presented and a lot of Qualities. But you are free to make up your own. There are also some "Alterations" such as special abilities that can cost Genre Points. Like the girl with psychic powers (cost) or the Scream Queen which gives you points when you scream and the Slasher could hear it.

Chapter 5 is aimed at the Players. This includes advice on how to best play the game and acting like a character in a horror movie. Things like "Interact!", "Play Dumb!", "Accept Death!". There is also advice on how to play the secondary characters aka victims in the game.

Chapter 6 is for the Director. This details running the game; Preparing the Flick and making your Killer. There are sample Killers here and lots and lots of advice on how to cover a variety of scenes. In fact this chapter alone is great for it's utlity for other horror-themed games.

Chapter 7 is Quick Flicks, a bunch of Plot ideas to build a full Flick around. Chapter 8 is The Vault, a full Flick to run. In truth both chapters could be ported over to nearly any other horror game. Turn the killer into a Villain and it could be a plot for a Supers game.

The Appendix is nearly 55 pages of nothing but character Archetypes. Usually 2 per page. If you want to play right away you can take one of these out and use them. They work for Secondary Characters too.

All in all, this is a ridiculously fun game. It has the right amount of horror, camp and humor to be a perfect slasher flick emulation. While reading I kept thinking back to all the slasher flicks I have seen over the years and frankly I could not think of a one that I couldn't do with these rules.

Actually my thought also was that take the Slasher, make him more mundane and a Tertiary Character and you have a perfect Alfred Hitchcock or Agatha Christie like game.

My hat is off to Cynthia Celeste Miller and Spectrum Games once again.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slasher Flick: The Director's Cut
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/12/2010 04:13:43

Pros: Slasher Flick brought to full color. with tons of new bonus features including 100 pregens and a full "film".

Cons: No bookmarks, less than impressive table of contents and index.

Check out my review at: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2010/09/tommys-take-on-slasher-flick-directors.html

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Slasher Flick: The Director's Cut
Publisher: Spectrum Games
by Michael H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 08/16/2010 12:33:42

Slasher Flick is a rules-light roleplaying game meant to emulate this horror film subgenre. The Director’s Cut is a nicely formatted version of the original rulebook, with some bonus material.

The rulebook is 170 pages and a pretty quick read, with good writing and organization. There’s occasional almost cartoonish art and lots of sidebars giving hints and rules advice. The pdf is not bookmarked, and there is a smattering of typos throughout.

The system is very streamlined and meant for fast play. Each character has four attributes (Brawn, Finesse, Brains, and Spirit) associated with a die size (d6, d8, d10). Task resolution requires rolling four of the appropriate dice; success requires matching numbers. Characters also have qualities that grant or take away situational extra dice, and the GM can also add/remove dice based on the task’s difficulty.

There are several innovative mechanics to emulate the slasher genre. First, players have both primary and secondary characters. The latter are less developed and die early and often. Second, players get “genre points” when their characters do something appropriate to the slasher flick genre – including death. These act like action points in other games.

Third, the killer is not treated as a normal character but more as an element of the story. He (or she) has no attributes. Each player’s goal is to accumulate 8 survival points during a “kill scene” by making appropriate checks – fall to zero and the character dies. A killer is very difficult to defeat, and the expectation that only one or two characters will survive is literally built into the game.

The rules are very brief, so there’s lots of additional material, including an enjoyable analysis of the tropes and plots of slasher flicks. There’s very useful advice for convincing players to go along with the genre and a long section for GMs on creating and running stories. There is a complete adventure (although I found it a confusing one). Finally, the Appendix presents a host of character templates – like “Brash Punk Rocker” and “Curious Archaeologist” – that are ready to use out of the box.

The creators of Slasher Flick set themselves a difficult task, to emulate a genre in which almost all the characters are meant to do stupid things and die. There are a lot of clever ideas in here for making it work. Nevertheless, the game forces you to stick pretty close to the tropes in a somewhat heavy-handed way, and there’s a bit of a sense of railroading there.

Overall, I think the unusual mechanics and structure would be fun for a one shot or two (especially a campy one), but – like the films themselves, at least to me – there’s little room for variation in the plots, so it wouldn’t sustain a long-term game. I did especially enjoy the advice and analysis of slasher flicks, so it is definitely a good read.

Note: I received a free review copy (in pdf form) of this title through DriveThruRPG.com.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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