We’re back and we’re putting ourselves through our paces. Over on our Google+ Community, Tore Nielsen recently asked us to explain a little more about how we handle pacing in games. It’s a topic we touched upon back in our discussion of Beginnings, Middles and Ends. We hope there is enough new material here to justify a new episode. We certainly found plenty to say on the subject.

Paul making strange noises

And anyway, people are normally more interested in shutting us up.

Main Topic

Controlling the pace is an essential part of being a GM, especially for horror games. Nothing kills the sense of dread more than long, drawn-out conversations about rules or possible strategies. Similarly, rattling through a scene too fast makes it difficult to build any atmosphere. It is not always easy to tell if you should be speeding your game up or slowing it down. It’s even harder to actually make this happen. We share what tips we’ve learnt during our horrifyingly many years at the gaming table.

I swear I still had skin when we started this campaign.


Our news segment is somewhat brief this time. We are not long back from our trip to Necronomicon in Providence and simply haven’t had a chance to meet and record inserts. Paul has provided a short solo update to tide you over. There is so much we want to tell you about our visit to the US, however, and we promise to do so next episode. The short version is that we met many wonderful people and had a delightful time.

Although not everyone we met was alive at the time.

If you want to get some idea of what we got up to before next episode, we have posted some videos documenting our adventures. There are a couple more still to come, so keep an eye out on our YouTube channel.

Other Stuff

Our inability to meet this week also stopped us recording our usual thanks to new Patreon backers. We have two new songs bubbling away, ready to serve up to new patrons and splashed wantonly over the rest of you. They shall have to wait until next episode, however. That may prove a mercy, as our voices have been made even more gravelly and inhuman by jet lag and con crud. You are safe until September.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

One comment on “Pacing in Horror Games

  1. Re: excessive planning, I think the GM should give some sort of indication as to how significant they intend this encounter to be so the players can calibrate their planning accordingly. I feel excessive planning is another facet of the ten-foot pole i.e. a lack of trust between the players and GM. “If we don’t perfectly prepare and plan for this encounter then the GM will do terrible things to our characters.” (probably will happen anyway in Cthulhu)

    They are a roundabout way to try to outwit the person who is literally playing everything else within the game world that essentially boils down to “I might have been captured but at least I can feel that the GM was really unfair about it.”

    This is also a problem where no pc has authority over the others – or the players are simply ignoring the authority built into their characters.

    For me, the best approach – both socially and mechanically – is for all the pcs to go in together. PCs are generally more powerful when they’re in a group; on their own their easier to pick off, be outnumbered or lack the flexibility to defeat whatever they encounter.  This is actually a place where the meta-game (don’t split the party) and the game are aligned. So if a player starts suggesting splitting up as part of the plan they’re not only creating a headache for everyone they’re also probably reducing the chances of success.

Blasphemous Tomes © 2018