Fear the Taste of Blood is our next release. It’s an asymetric ttrpg for 1-3 players, inspired by classic movie monsters, using cards and dice. You tell the story of a monster in the night, and the survivors who must face this ordeal. This is a short blog post about the rationale behind some of the rules.
The rules are based on Beyond the Rift by Dee Pennyway and Anyone Can Wear the Mask by Jeff Stormer. One players is the Night, and plays cards to set the stage and frame scenes. One player is the Monster, and rolls dice to deal death and destruction. One players is the Survivors, caught in the middle of this dangerous world.
The first key difference from BtR/ACWtM is that Fear the Taste of Blood is played without jokers. Instead Aces represent four possible chances to finish the Monster. If a Survivor enters a Climactic Scene, and has discovered the Monster’s Weakness, they can defeat the Monster. If they don’t have a Weakness, they’ll be killed here. (The Survivors player has four survivors, each matching a suit, so the death of one doesn’t end the story).
This change was informed by thinking about the length of Universal horror films, in many instances just above 70 minutes. Using Aces instead of Jokers (shuffled into the bottom half of the game) felt like it better matched the pace of those stories.
Weaknesses are found in Discovery Scenes, represented by Kings. Destruction (discarding cards from the top of the deck, based on the Monster’s roll) can make Weaknesses harder to find and can force an unready Survivor into a Climactic Scene. This does mean in theory all Survivors could be killed, instead of the Monster being stopped, if all four Aces come before any Kings, which felt like a drift away from the design ethos of BtR and ACWtM.
While we were ok with some of this drift as a remote chance we found that if the Night pulled cards from the top deck (as their counterpart roles the Weaver and the City do) this became too great a possibility, in a way that genuinly didn’t feel fun nor interesting. Mitigating this lead to the second key difference; the Night has a hand of cards and chooses which to play. The chance of discarding an Ace still leaves character death as a threatening possibility, but things won’t death spiral without consent from the whole table. There are also optional modifications to the Destruction rules to reduce that possibility to zero, if that would make your table safer.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this read. You can get Fear the Taste of Blood, digitally and print on demand, on May 3rd.