Thursday, October 28, 2010

Horror Movies to Play - Miracle Mile

While Miracle Mile isn't a traditionally scary movie in the sense that things will jump out of you with horns blazing just when you most expect it (and you're still scared!) or is it gorey or gross by any means, it still presents a very terrifying concept that will make you really ask yourself what you'd do in this situation.

It's going a little against the grain, but Miracle Mile is still quite an alarming film that does a great job of putting you into the shoes of the characters on screen. Keep Reading for more on why you should watch the movie and why it's so compelling you might just have to play it as well!

There be spoilers ahead for this movie. It can't be helped, because you have to at least know the premise of the film to get to know why it'd be such a good movie to play. I'll just quote a bit from Wikipedia regarding the plot itself:

"...Harry receives a wrong-number phone call, and is told that, unbeknownst to everyone else, nuclear war is about to break out in fifty minutes. He searches frantically for Julie, helped and hindered by various strangers, who are initially unaware of the impending apocalypse. Some of the strangers they meet arrange for a helicopter to ferry a few to the airport, to catch a plane to Antarctica and safety. Harry makes arrangements with a pilot to meet them at the top of the building." (source)

Throw in the fact that this is the 80's, nuclear war is a real threat, and Harry receives the phone call from a pay phone just outside a diner, in the middle of L.A., and you've got a real scenario on your hands.

The best way to make this movie a game that'll work is to have one of your players receive the phone message and run into the nearby diner acting strange. Well, either a player or an NPC (depending on your group, an NPC might work better if you don't think your player will actuallly spill the beans at all).

It's important here to have the diner populated pretty heavily even for how late at night it is (2:00 in the morning sounds good to me). The player characters may not give up the secret, but you can be sure the two dozen NPC's also eating there will immediately run out to find friends and family in an attempt to leave the city before the nukes hit. This is where the real fun comes in - throughout the course of the game the wave of panic spreads quickly and noticeably. Soon no where is safe for the players to run to.

My biggest suggestion here is to run the game in real time. Push the amount of time the players have up to 120 minutes and watch them squirm and panic in real life as they try to get everyone to stay on track and make progress towards reaching the helicopter.

Their job won't be easy though. The city wakes up quickly and people get desperate even quicker as they realize they only have an hour or so to live. You see, no where is safe when a nuke threatens a major city like this.

There are a lot of potential systems to use that would get parts of this right, but there's really only one system that's going to perfectly nail it. Dread. The game runs the average joe player character perfectly. Dread's designed explicitly to run a horror movie and replicate how easy and quickly characters can die in one session of play. Miracle Mile should be a pretty deadly game that will likely in a total party kill, but you know what? Prep your players with this fact, and I bet they'll run with it. Afterall, if they don't get to the helicopter before the timer runs out, they're all dead anyway!

You should rent or netflix (or buy from amazon) the flick first before running the game just to get a short list of obstacles and NPC's to throw in front of your characters. It's a pretty good watch (it's actually kind of a dark romantic comedy), and it's all the prep work you'll really need to do to run it. And hey - it's the perfect prequel to running your very own Gamma World 4th Ed. game!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your blog.I love horror movies and Miracle Mile is one of mine favorite horror movie.The film takes place in a single day and night, beginning as the two main characters, Harry and Julie ,meet and are immediately attracted to each other.

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