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Hi, I'm horror and science fiction author Steve Kozeniewski (pronounced: "causin' ooze key.") Welcome to my blog! You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon. You can e-mail me here, join my mailing list here, or request an e-autograph here. Free on this site you can listen to me recite one of my own short works, "The Thing Under the Bed."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dread and Breakfast: Questionnaires

All right, so character creation for Dread is PURELY backstory.  You don't need a rulebook, you don't need to roll for stats (remember, everything is Jenga based) you don't need to do jackshit except make up a person you want to pretend to be.

The host (the person in the game who plays the role of narrator) is going to make up a questionnaire for each player to fill out.  The host may have very specific ideas about what kind of characters he wants or not.  One of the scenarios in the Dread rulebook was a high school-based horror story, so he made questionnaires specifying that one character was a cheerleader, one was a jock, one was a nerd, etc.   

The idea behind the questionnaire is to assume that every question includes a "how" and a "why" and if the player raises questions with his response, he should go ahead and answer those questions, too.  The whole purpose is to give the host insight into the psychology of the character (since nothing else matters but making everyone start to feel that palpable dread.)

For "Dread and Breakfast" I had a specific role for four players (the Farmer, Investigator, Stranded Player, and the Criminal) and everyone else were just guests at the B&B.  The questionnaires don't vary that much, but there are more leading questions for the more specific roles.  The magic number, by the way, for questions is 13, with the 13th being "what is your name."  That's not a hard and fast rule, and the host is encouraged to send follow-up questionnaires if he so chooses.  (I believe I did so with the Farmer in this case.) 

I sent the questionnaires individually to the players, along with the overview, about two weeks ahead of time so I could really integrate their characters into the story.  They're all fairly similar, although for a good changeup, compare the guest and the criminal.  Take a look at the sorts of questions I was asking, and in the next entry I'll show you a completed sample questionnaire.






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