[Horror] Final Girl
#1
Video 
[font=Helvetica]NOTE: I know this is the internet, and things tend to float around.  That’s fine, and my material is posted freely, but if you’re inclined to share it elsewhere, please provide a link back to the original, or at least mention my username.  Thanks.

Final Girl
is a journaling game I picked up from itch.io.  Based on the game, The Wretched, it uses a combination of playing cards and a tumbling-block tower (AKA Jenga) to resolve its story.  Because of the nature of the materials, games tend to be short, and the endings tend to be downers.  The opening is set for each game, but it's an open game from there on out.  This was my first attempt, originally posted to Reddit.  [/font]



This is Zelda Gladwin and it’s midnight. Everyone else is dead. Except Christina Dabney. I think she’s still alive. We got split up but I think she got away…


We were at the White Ridge campground, just… having a good time. Just a normal night. Then suddenly…we noticed one of our group hadn’t come back from peeing in the bushes. I think it’s some kind of psycho out there.

There’s no cell service out here but I called the cops. They’ll find me. I know they’ll find me. I just have to wait it out. I’m hiding in this abandoned cabin, and I think I have a shot.

If I’m wrong… I guess this is goodbye.

Midnight to 1 AM

The Trials
  • Dice Roll — 3
  • Card 1 — Eight of Diamonds. What’s the weakness that’s most likely to get you killed? 
  • Card 2 — Eight of Hearts. List five things that make this cabin a truly horrible place to wait this out. 
  • Card 3 — Five of Spades. You can’t get the memory of the killer’s weapon out of your head. What is it? 
The Message

This is Zelda.  It’s 1am.  I’m hurting bad and I think I’m losing too much blood.  He got me with this thing he carries.  It’s not a sword or even a machete, but something made of steel with an edge, but twisted like it might be from a propellor.  Do you know what I mean?  I don’t even know what I mean.  The handle is wrapped up in cloth and leather.  It’s all handmade. You can tell.  And it cuts and it got me.  He got me.

I wish I didn’t have to be in here, but I’m not sure I can walk very far when I’m bleeding like this.  That’s what’s going to get me killed: I can’t run.  Even if I needed to, I can’t run.  And this cabin is dirty, like they sprayed the whole place with crud.  I’m going to get an infection.  And it’s so dirty you can’t even see out of the windows.  I can’t watch for him.

It’d be better if I could lie down somewhere besides the floor, but there’s only a bed frame with no mattress or even springs.  So much blood.  I can’t keep changing positions even if it hurts because the floorboards are warped and they make a ton of noise any time I move.  Why did I come in here?

I just saw a spider.  A really big one with a fat body and long legs.  Of course there’d be spiders in here.  Do they smell blood?  Can they smell anything?  I don’t know what spiders are like, but I know there are a ton if you can see one of them.  It feels like they’re all over me, but it’s only because I’m thinking about them now.

1-2 AM

The Trials
  • Dice Roll — 3
  • Card 1 — Seven of Clubs. List all the people who died, and how.
  • Card 2 — Three of Spades. Who, or what, is the killer? List everything you know about them 
  • the tumbling block tower fell
The Message

This is Zelda.  It’s 2am.

The first person to go was Anna.  I’m pretty sure of it.  She went off to pee and didn’t come back.  We thought maybe she passed out because she’d been drinking a lot, but now I know better.  And it must have happened fast, because we didn’t hear anything.

Felix was the first one we knew for sure the psycho got, because it happened right in front of us.  We all thought we heard something out there, like an animal, and he got a stick out of the fire to scare it off.  Then the psycho was right there and jammed the end of that metal blade into his stomach.  So deep the tip punched through Felix’s back.

Kristel ran with me and Christina.  We were always joking around that people would get them mixed up by their names.  If they saw what he did to her out there, they’d never forget.  He slashed her leg open and she fell.  Then he stomped her head until he broke her skull.  I should have kept running instead of watching it happen.  Christina told me to come on.  If I’d listened, he wouldn’t have been able to get me.

I don’t know who he is or where he came from.  Maybe he lives out here.  He wears a leather mask, so I can’t tell you what he looks like except that he has dark hair.  Tattoos on his arms.  Ugly ones.  But he’s strong, and his muscles stand out and make those tattoos… it’s like they’re alive.

He dresses like he’s out here hiding from deer, or something.  He could live off them, I guess.  Or maybe it’s people he wants.  He got us.  He got me.

Wait.  I hear something.  Could be my imagination, I guess, but… someone’s at the door.  Why did I come in here?  Why did I hide in here?  And it’s him.  He’s—

The End
Reply
#2
Thumbs Up 
If you do try this game, and don't want the hassle of dealing with physical playing cards, you can use the playing card shuffler on random.org, like I did.
Reply
#3
Nice summary of your typical teenage slasher movie, which is obviously the theme of this game.

The "Wretched" style games always seemed interesting to me, however, the thing about them that has always been a stumbling block (pun intended) is the inclusion of the Jenga game. For starters, I don't own one, but even if I did, I don't have a great place to leave it undisturbed should I have to pause between sessions.
Reply
#4
(04-13-2021, 04:12 AM)Teviko604 Wrote: The thing about them that has always been a stumbling block (pun intended) is the inclusion of the Jenga game. For starters, I don't own one, but even if I did, I don't have a great place to leave it undisturbed should I have to pause between sessions.


I don't own one, either, but someone pointed me toward a virtual version which I used for this.  Not quite as good as the real thing, because it's super-unstable and tends to fall easily, but better than having to deal with the hassle.
Reply
#5
Final Girl — Game #2

The other night I tried a journaling game for the first time, called  Final Girl . This is the second session/game.

The game has you write hour-by-hour from the perspective of the would-be Final Girl after giving you a fill-in-the-blanks initial entry. You roll a six-sided die to determine how many cards to draw from a deck of playing cards, and the cards provide writing prompts. Some prompts involve pulling blocks from a Jenga-style tower. If the tower falls, the game ends.

Since my first game was a classic slasher setup, I decided to do something different this time, adapting the opening script and changing up the situation.  The end result is still pretty dire.





This is Sol Ferrero and it’s midnight. Everyone else is dead. Except Bree Stainthorpe . I think she’s still alive. We got split up but I think she got away…

We were at the White Ridge bivouac after our first day. Then suddenly… we heard a horrible sound, like animals dying. We thought it might have been a predator like a wolf.  It’s not a wolf.

We’re a long way from anywhere, but I radioed the park rangers. They’ll find me. I know they’ll find me. I just have to wait it out. I’m hiding in an abandoned cabin, and I think I have a shot.

If I’m wrong… I guess this is goodbye.

Midnight to 1am

The Trials
  • Dice Roll — 3
  • Card 1 — Eight of Diamonds.  What’s the weakness that’s most likely to get you killed? Pull from the tower.
  • Card 2 — Two of Clubs.  Who was the first person to die tonight? Why? Did they make a mistake, were they unlucky, or was there some other reason it was them? 
  • Class 3 — Seven of Clubs.  List all the people who died, and how. 
The Message

This is Sol.  It’s 1am.  The damned thing got a piece of me when I tried to get Wyn out of its claws, but that’s not the real problem I have.  The real problem is I left my insulin at the bivouac, and I’m not going to make it forever without it.  Of course, I could still lose enough blood that it won’t matter, but I’m more worried about my blood sugar than I am about bleeding out.

I feel guilty about Wyn, though.  I tried when it came into the camp, but it was too big and its claws were definitely too sharp.  The thing ripped Wyn right open.  I thought I knew what someone’s insides would look like.  I was wrong.

It’s not Wyn’s fault what happened.  He was the farthest one from the fire, and I think that’s what made him the best target.  It couldn’t have been because he was unarmed, and didn’t even have a knife.  The thing can’t be that smart.  Or maybe it is, because Bree had a rifle and the thing never seemed to let her get a bead on it.  And I didn’t bring a gun because I never needed one before.

We lost three inside five minutes.  It was carnage.  That thing isn’t like any bear or wolf or any other animal I’ve seen.  Not the way it moved and definitely not the way it killed.  It took Wyn’s leg and he was dead in seconds.  Meryl had her throat torn out.  The thing was still chewing on Rahim’s skull when I ran.

I don’t know what it is.  I couldn’t even guess.

1-2am
  • Dice Roll — 3
  • Card 1 — Three of Diamonds.  On top of your injury, you splashed through a stream on your way here and you’re soaked to the skin. Combined with the cold this isn’t just nasty, it’s dangerous. Pull from the tower.
  • Card 2 — Three of Spades.  Who, or what, is the killer? List everything you know about them. Pull from the tower. 
  • Card 3 — Five of Diamonds.  Can’t catch your breath, pain in your chest. You can’t afford a panic attack.  Pull from the tower.
The Message

This is Sol.  It’s 2am.  I’m so freaking cold I don’t even know what to do about it.  On the way here, I ended up falling into a stream I didn’t see, and it soaked me right down to my BVDs.  This cabin has about as much insulation as a box of saltines.  The colder it gets, the worse I feel.  It’s like every card in the deck is turned against me.

I’m going to have to start a fire and, frankly, I’m not sure if I’m in any condition to do it.  I need to try before I get to the point where I can’t do anything, but trying is as good as I’ve got.  The thing is, I don’t know if the smell of the flame is what attracted that monster to our bivouac, or something else.  Maybe it keys on a scent it identifies with people?  What kind of animal does that?

That assumes this thing is even an animal, but if it isn’t, then what is it?  It has fur and a muzzle and it sure as hell has claws and teeth, but it’s not a bear or a wolf or anything you might confuse for either of them.  I mean, you could call it goddamned Bigfoot if you want, because that makes about as much sense as anything else.

I can tell you this: it has absolutely no fear of people.  Sure, it seemed to shy from the fire — or maybe that part’s just my imagination — and it might have steered clear of Bree’s rifle, but it didn’t hesitate to kill Wyn or Meryl or Rahim.  They were prey, pure and simple.

Oh, man, I’m feeling lightheaded.  Chest is tight, and not just because of the cool.  Goddamn it, I can’t have a panic attack right now.  I have to breathe.  Hold the center.  Breathe, Sol, breathe.  You have four walls around you and most of a roof, and it’s not here with you.  The call made it to someone.  Bree got to someone.  No need to fear.  Just… push through it.  Get on the other side and worry about real stuff like insulin and flesh-eating monsters.

I made myself laugh.  Is that a good thing?

2-3am

The Trials
  • Dice Roll — 5
  • Card 1 — Five of Clubs.  Why do you, you personally, deserve to survive this? What are you living for? 
  • Card 2 — Four of Spades.  Why do you think the killer targeted you and the people you care about? Pull from the tower
  • the block tower collapsed
The Message

This is Sol.  It’s 3am.  This is not going to happen.  I know right now there’s no one coming.  Not the rangers, not Bree, not Superman and his eight tiny reindeer.

The stupidest thing about all this are the risks I take doing these excursions in the first place.  I have a son.  His name is Avi.  He’s not old enough for this kind of thing, and I’m glad, because now it gets to be me here and not him.  At the same time, I’m angry, because he’s not here for me to tell him I’m sorry for not being around more, or just taking an extra minute with him to tell him he’s a good kid.  But what was I doing out here when there’s a chance I might not come back to Avi and his mom?  I can’t answer that, and I’m not feeling right, and I’m not sure how much longer I can stay awake.

About ten minutes ago I thought I heard the thing calling.  I’m not sure if it does call, or what that sounds like, but it was definitely some kind of animal I’ve never heard before.  If that means there are two of them around, I’m screwed worse than I thought.

But it doesn’t matter, because that insulin issue I mentioned?  It’s a bit more urgent now.  I got confused just trying to work this thing so I could record, and I dropped it once.  That’s what I need.  The phone’s not even paid off.

Sure, it could be the ice or where the thing got me.  What difference does it make now?  The odds are too high.  I never had a chance to get out of here.  I guess maybe I knew that at the start, which is why I started recording.

I can’t figure why it would come for us like that.  I mean, it didn’t hesitate before it started killing.  Did we stray into its territory, or was it the smell of cooking or does it just like what it does?  I’m too tired to think about it now.  I came for us, and that’s all that matters.  Maybe… maybe we were just in its way.

Man, I think I was happier when my heart was going a thousand miles an hour.  I can barely keep my eyes open.  It’s cold, though, and I can’t afford to drift off.  I never did make that fire.  Too late now.  The way my hands are starting to shake, I probably couldn’t get a fire going even if I tried.

Is this where I tell my wife and son I love them?  That seems like such a movie-of-the-week thing to do.  Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.  I’ll talk to you soon.

The End
Reply
#6
(04-13-2021, 09:44 AM)Semicolon Wrote: I don't own one, either, but someone pointed me toward a virtual version which I used for this.  Not quite as good as the real thing, because it's super-unstable and tends to fall easily, but better than having to deal with the hassle.

That would explain why it fell so quickly.  I guess it's something I could use to give the game a try, but knowing how the physics of a real Jenga tower works, I believe I would prefer the real thing if my game life depended on it.

But then again, it is just a game.  Shy
Reply
#7
That's pretty much how I looked at it.  These Wretched & Alone games have only one real outcome, considering the likelihood of the character surviving is about as close to zero as you can get.  The question is only how long it'll be before they bite it.
Reply
#8
Semi, you inspired me to look up alternatives for the physical Jenga game and I came across the thread posted below. I particularly like the initial 100 d6 method, but many of the methods seem like a good representation of the block tower success/fail cycle.

https://itch.io/jam/wretched-jam/topic/7...nga-towers
Reply
#9
I am enjoying these quick little one-shot adventures and I like getting a better taste of this genre of ruleset. You are imaginative and a good writer. Yes, it is "like every card in the deck is turned against [you]".
Reply
#10
Thanks for pointing me toward that Jenga substitute system. It works really well, as I discovered when fooling around with it this morning. Definitely an improvement over the super-unstable virtual tumbling block tower I've been using.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)