We all know the big names in Horror Movies came from this particular subgenre.
Content Warning: Body Horror, murder, blood, gore, serial killer, mutilation, abduction, mass homicide, clowns. (*I mean, given the title we had to expect some of this, right?)
But does it translate to TTRPGs? Sure, Slasher Flick from Spectrum Games does a great job of capturing the survival horror elements. But how would Buffy the Vampire Slayer fare against the likes of Jason Vorhees, Michael Myers, or Freddy Krueger? Things would be looking pretty grim for the Scooby gang, I fear. Here are three plot ideas related to Slashers for use in Monster of the Week, Call of Cthulhu, or any horror TTRPG:
Plot Idea 1: Investigators arrive on the scene of three particularly grisly murders in the same house. They were called in due to the extremely bizarre nature of the crime. All three victims had internal organs, eyes, and tongues bloodlessly removed. Once everyone is on scene, a survivor comes out of hiding from the basement with a horrific tale.
One of her roommates heard something outside. There was a very bright light and then it came down, something tall and dark with big black eyes walked out onto the yard. Whatever it was was a least seven or eight feet tall. It had a pouch on its belt and long, sharp claws for fingers. After it killed Tim, Mandy, and Roger it went looking through the house for more. I gave up and left.
The next night, Cindy is also the lone survivor of a second attack that takes her sister, brother, and both parents. It happened at the exact same time and in the exact same way. Police take Cindy away with the notion that she’s a serial killer. Later the next day she is remanded to a psychiatric facility for observation. Can the Investigators save the staff at the hospital? Will the UFO slasher strike elsewhere? Can the group negotiate with the ETs to stop?
*Editor's Note: I firmly believe most ET's are benevolent beings. However, negative "alien" beings make an excellent horror trope. Have fun with it in game, but realize most beings would likely not travel billions of miles through space or across dimensions just to kill humans.
Plot Idea 2: A particularly cursed kitchen knife allegedly made famous in the 1980’s for being used in several grisly murders has come up for private auction. The night before the auction of the “Slayer’s Knife,” the auction house is broken into, the knife stolen, and the two guards brutally stabbed to death.
Cindy, an employee of the auction house, witnessed one of the guards emptying the entire magazine of his pistol into the chest of what she described as a “large man in overalls wearing some sort of Halloween mask.” The large man didn’t see Cindy hiding under the desk and being shot only seemed to make him more angry before he stabbed the guard. (*Not the same Cindy as Idea 1.)
The next night the Investigators get a frantic call from Cindy because she is being chased by the large, scary man in overalls wearing a rubber Ronald Reagan mask brandishing the Slayer’s Knife. Her roomates are dead along with a half dozen people from the building. Can the group get to her in time to keep her safe?
Is this a copycat or the original 1980’s Slayer of Hadley Iowa? What will stop him? Is the knife’s curse transferable to just anyone? Why Cindy? It’s all up to the Keeper.
Plot Idea 3: The Investigators are called to a private hospital for the criminally insane. Most of the staff and three guards, save one nurse, were brutally murdered by a man known as Mr Sprinkles the Clown. Cindy, the nurse, said that Mr Stan Finkelstein was due for release and had been deemed rehabilitated from his crimes. He was getting old and was due to be released to a halfway house next week. (*Different Cindy than above. Good ol Survivor Cindy…)
Cindy became concerned when Mr Finkelstein began receiving packages with clown paraphernalia in the mail. The judge in the Mr Sprinkles murders specifically forbade Finkelstein from owning or coming into contact with clown costumes or props ever again as part of his plea agreement. Finkelstein’s primary psychiatrist, among the first victims, had written that Finkelstein was cured, and genuinely remorseful for his past crimes.
Mindy Benowitz, survivor of the clown’s original rampage, began sending the clown gear to Finkelstein to prove he was still dangerous. It worked a little too well. Now, Finkelstein’s lawyer, the judge, the entire Benowitz family, and Cindy are in danger as long as Mr Sprinkles is free.
Can the group stop Mr Sprinkles from killing again? Is he mortal or somehow possessed? Are his clown wig and red rubber nose somehow cursed? It’s up to the Keeper, along with the nature of Finkelstein’s original mass slaying in 1993.
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to persons living or deceased is purely unintentional. None of the crimes listed above are real. No one was harmed in the writing of this article. All persons named Cindy in this article are fictional.
Thank you for stopping by. Thank you to our lovely spokesmodel, Cindy. I appreciate you being here. More to come. Stay safe.