“Nothing ever becomes real 'til it is experienced.” - John Keats
This is an ever-evolving collection of ideas that could be used to make A Township Tale a more engaging place. Ways of generating real emotions from the players to help strengthen their connection to the world and to each other. Ideas suggested by other players as well as myself.
“Good judgment comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgment.” - Rita Mae Brown
A lot of these ideas will stem from the fact that the experiences that come from disasters or potential disasters are the ones that stick with us the longest. But from these experiences we are able to strengthen our resolve as well as our connection to other residents of the Township, to overcome these goals and evolve as people. Perhaps there could be a clear warning before joining some servers that there are horror elements, just so those who prefer to avoid them can, or an option that is turn on by default to block entry to particular areas.
“Everybody is a book of blood; wherever we’re opened, we’re red.” - Clive Barker
Finishing moves by bosses that trigger animations when players are about to be killed. An example could be being eaten while the player is screaming into their mic just to add to the trauma. In VR this would be extra horrifying for the victim, as well as their companions.
"Get Over Here!" - Hanzo Hasashi
Once a player is weakened enough, they’re at risk of being grabbed by arms or other appendages that come up from the ground. If the appendages aren’t cut quickly the player gets dragged down into Hell (See below) or some other very unpleasant place.
While temporary, this would add weight to dying, especially knowing your friends are stuck trying to fight a boss without you, and even if you do return, you’re unlikely to be as much help.
“God isn’t here. God doesn’t even know about this place” - Johan Harstad
Hell could be some kind of hellscape rather than actual Hell. Poor visibility, shadowy shapes clawing at you, and a portal out so far away. Scorched rocks. A shifting landscape. You enter with nothing, only being able to fight with makeshift weapons from the bones of… perhaps it’s better not to know.
If you die here you have your maximum health halved for the next 24 hours of game time. If you make it to the portal you suffer no penalties.
“Horror was rooted in sympathy . . . in understanding what it would be like to suffer the worst.” - Joe Hill
Becoming trapped by webs, vines or something else, poisoned, and reliant on others to help you.
An alternative is being captured and slowly dragged to your doom, desperately hacking at whatever is pulling you towards certain death. The panic of this experience would be memorable for both the victim and their companions who are desperately trying to rescue them.
’“It’s only water," she said. “Tell that to a drowning man,” Giddon said.”' - Kristin Cashore
A variation of the previous ideas. Being pulled into water by an entity from the depths, or form a boat. Being trapped in water, trying to free yourself as you run out of air. Screaming only lets out a faint, distorted voice.
The weight of armour and weapons add to the speed at which you sink. Travel light to avoid sinking, but also increase the danger from attacks. Removing these items will give you a higher chance of making it to the surface, but you risk losing your gear.
The further down you sink, the more your vision obscures.
“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see.” - Edgar Allan Po
In certain areas, if a player is killed they are instantly replaced by a clone. This clone will have the same appearance and gear as the player who died but doesn’t speak.
The clone will continue to travel with the surviving players for a while, but will eventually attach with whatever weapons the deceased player was holding, or fists if they weren’t holding anything capable of damage.
This in itself is creepy, but it would also make players very paranoid, even when there is no clone.
Another suggestion is that they seek to put out lights. This might not seem like much, but in areas with phantoms it could mean a terrifying death.