GMing Tips for Blood!
Blood! is a rules-heavy game, which can be a bit daunting in this modern age of rules-lite games that don’t take anywhere near as much preparation. It’s a percentile based game with a lot to keep track of, if you choose to track everything. People seem to feel that this might detract from the horror aspect, which is something that I don’t feel is entirely fair.
- Scarcity – A lot of survival games on consoles and computers play up scarcity as a means of ramping up tension. For them it’s about ammunition and health packs, in Blood! It’s about hit points and blood points. The fact that they’re relatively scant and can be annihilated fairly rapidly means you can use the statistics as a tool to intensify tension, horror and risk.
- Kill the bastards – Do NOT be afraid to kill characters. Indeed it’s hard not to in Blood! Even if you’re playing a campaign, kill, be ruthless, it’s a horror game. That’ll make those lucky survival moments all the better.
- Improvise – There’s rules for a lot, but once you get a handle on what damage things tend to do it’s really just percentile roles. You can pull that out of your arse no problem.
- Smoke & Mirrors – You don’t need as much prep as you think – Use average stats for monsters and NPCs and just change how you describe things. Shift five percent around here and there, bump up or down HP from the average standard and you’ve got as much change as you really need.
- Use the Crits as a Guide – Blood!’s critical hits are notorious, gory and cover a hell of a lot of ground, but even so they will get repetitious after a while. Use the descriptions and the kinds of wounds as a guide rather than an absolute. Keep the mechanics and switch up the descriptions a bit.
- Clarification: A character can hold up to double their base actions in actions, or 5 actions, whichever is highest. EG: Derek has 2 base actions and can hold up to a maximum of 5. Sara has 3 actions and can hold up to a maximum of 6.
- Official Rules Change: If you have extra actions you may spend them to increase your chance to hit by +10% per extra action.
This rules change will be incorporated into Blood!: Hell on Earth and Blood!: Star Shock, when these eventually come out.