That Infernal Clicking

A Horrific Addon for Many Games

What You Need

  • A soundtrack with insect noises
  • Mood music
  • A sound-mixer such that you can play both at once and adjust their volume independently
  • A game system

Your Choice of Game System Should...

  • Have a frequently-used mechanic that generates random numbers, preferably one that doesn't get used with drastically increased frequency in some identifiable circumstance
  • Facilitate the use of many distinct characters for each player
  • Only permit a single player to frame scenes ever (this is a strong version of old-skool GM responsibilities)
  • Give players Something Useful To Do when their characters are not immediately present.

Setting Up TIC

This game is, like, the opposite of what I usually do when I design; it relies very heavily on information-hiding. You need one player who Knows It All; in like D&D you should assign this role to the DM.

All the other players should make harems of characters, like three or four each. You want a whole ton of these. Don't get overly attached to them, but make them strongly distinct to the naked eye.

The knowitall chooses a secret number. How he chooses this secret number will vary from mechanic to mechanic, but generally you want something you can spot easily and will happen no less frequently than one roll in 10; for a d20 game of TIC, I'd use the ones digit of the die as my secret number range.

Set the volume on your mood music to like 50%, and that of your insect noises to like 5%. Then turn down your overall volume until you can just barely talk over the music comfortably without raising your voices.

The imagined locale your game is set in must be a place where earshot and line-of-sight are restricted, like in a swamp at night, or an old and poorly-maintained mansion, or whatever. Use the restrictions of sense and space to set mood.

Playing TIC

This is, like, a survival horror thing, of the kind where you never get to see the monsters.

With that in mind:

The knowitall frames every scene. It's his sole responsibility to determine when and how characters appear and depart from stage.

Whenever the dice generate the secret number, the character the roll was made for is Eaten By The Clicking. The knowitall makes a note to himself about this, and does not announce it to the players. However, from this point onward, that character does not reappear onscreen. When the scene ends, knock up the Clicking like 5%. Consider increasing it slowly over the course of several seconds so it's not sudden and perceptible.

The first roll made by anyone after someone is Eaten sets the new secret number. That second roll doesn't actually trigger Eating, if the new secret number is the same as the old.

Multiple characters can be Eaten in the same scene. Raise the Clicking once for each eaten character.

Don't Eat a player's last character.

There's one way that players may control sceneframing: They may Go Looking For a character. This is a whatever kinda roll in the system you're using. "Success" indicates that, if the target was alive, the next time the searchers appear on screen they have the target in tow. If the target was Eaten, then the searchers have attracted the Clicking's attention, and they are Eaten the next time the secret number comes up, in the place of the character that triggered it.


A rare success on Going Looking can bring an Eaten character back, but the searcher still attracts the attention of the Clicking.

You Creep

Well, yeah. The idea here is to set up an uncertain, aurally uncomfortable situation, and have a completely uncontrollable condition that puts all the characters in very real but imperceptible danger. Particularly, if you're managing your volume right, the slowly escalating background noise will force everyone to talk subtly more loudly, which should stress them out noticeably.

I don't know whether I'd actually play this.


Post a Comment

<< Home