Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Chill: More Than Just the Bs

One of the things that struck me while proofing The Chill Mythos is how much Chill is referred to as a game for cinematic horrors. This is undeniably true and one of its greatest draws, as well as strengths. As I noted, while some well-established tropes of the genre remain - such as those regarding vampires and lycanthropes - many of the Creatures of the Unknown are based largely on rumor, legend/lore, and cinematic villains who may or may not ever have actually seen screen time, but definitely fit the mold.

In preparing to run the new Chill Online game, I've been considering this a lot more. I also got into Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Dresden Files since last I played, but there was a lot of White Wolf World of Darkness stuff going on back around the time of ChiLL that most Chill players avoided like the plague. After all, if you're going to play a vampire - with all the politics and history involved - why wouldn't you just play Vampire? Furthermore, where ghosts and werewolves and vampires and even ghouls, zombies, and mummies fit into the same milieu together, the table becomes more complicated when you incorporate all of the other Creatures and Things involved in the Chill RPG.

Of course, while few Creatures of the Unknown would freely, or happily, associate with one another, a playing field of some sort would emerge, alliances be crafted, and allegiances be made. As I also mention, this is already present in the books themselves, I just gave it a name (and "The Chill Mythos" was definitely a play on the Call of Cthulhu Mythos). In fact, the very basis of the Mythos is one such an agreement: The Deceiver is the only Creature that knows where the Zombie Master's head and hands are located.

This uneasy truce sets up The Chill Mythos all by itself, and most of the rest of the Pyramid of Power trickles down from this apex. All along the way, Things are expected to have formed uneasy alliances and respect other Creatures' existence and hunting grounds. Some of these truces will be as dark in nature as that of the Deceiver's and Zombie Master's, while others will be mere allowances or acknowledgments that the others exist.

So even though Chill is often regarded as the game for B-horror flicks and creatures, the entire setup is actually far more intrinsic. As the canon continues to elaborate, the Unknown is almost as vast and expansive as it is dangerous, and the creatures were inspired as much by legend/lore, history, and literature as the movies.

© C Harris Lynn, 2011

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