If you’re looking to add a little magic to your Halloween night, why not try putting together a game night with your closest friends?
This list of 13 spooky RPGs for group or solo play is sure to infuse your evening with a little magic. Whether your interests lie in spell casting, poltergeisting, or chugging down the blood of mortals, there’s a game for you and your crew on this list.
From the charmingly wholesome to the terrifying, there is something on this list for every Halloween mood. So, gather up your coven, put some candy by the door, and get ready to settle in for a long, spooky night.
In this solo journaling game, you spend a sleepless first night in your new haunted house. Read, write, draw, and collage your way through this game. The illustrations you create will bring the specters you encounter to life as your narrator begins to remember things they had forgotten. This meditative game will leave your character and you forever changed.
Oops, All Draculas!
If your favorite film is What We Do in the Shadows, this is the game for you. You play as a vampire (or “Dracula,” as the game charmingly insists) in a house full of vampire roommates. Oops, All Draculas! uses a d6 and either a pack of tarot cards or a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula (or the vampire book of your choice. For a longer campaign, it might be fun to switch books each session to add variety to gameplay) to shape the events of the game. Choose one of five Dracula archetypes (“Dracetypes?”) and prepare to face off against outside Dracula, Dracula hunters, or your most frightening foe—the neighborhood HOA.
Kids On Brooms
In this narrative-focused game, for between two to six players, you play as a student in a magical school. Design your own school, complete with classes and secret passages, and have the students solve mysteries while still trying to study enough to pass their final exams. Ride brooms, conduct rituals, and try to butter up your professors for extra credit in this imaginative game! It’s great for fans of a certain series about young wizards who are looking to revisit the magic on their own terms.
In Paranormal Inc., you play a struggling paranormal investigator in a time after the existence of ghosts has indisputably been proven. At one time, paranormal investigators were in hot demand, but no more. Make friends, solve mysteries, and handle your own personal ghosts as you struggle against capitalism. Choose between six investigative archetypes in this fun, GM-less game inspired by Scooby-Doo and other classic stories of paranormal investigators.
Fear The Taste Of Blood
Fear The Taste Of Blood is the perfect game for classic monster movie enthusiasts. This game by Rat Wave Game House can be played as a solo game or with a total of three players.
If you have an entire cast of three players, each one will take on a radically different role. One player embodies The Night, controlling the setting and most NPCS. The second player takes on the mantle of The Monster, determining the form and attributes of the creature, and acts to destroy the third player. The third player inhabits The Survivors, four characters trying to survive while in more trouble than they ever could have imagined. To play this game, you will need several d6s, paper, pencils, and a pack of cards from which the Jokers have been removed.
In Wickedness, for exactly three players, you play one member of a small coven of witches. Choose between the Pure Heart, the Wild Spirit, and the Old Soul as your character. This game centers around the power of Queer Community as the three witches must prevent the end of their world. Can they stop bickering long enough to save the kingdom? Or will everything go down in flames?
In this haunted house game, you play as one of six types of ghosts inhabiting an unfamiliar home. The past haunts your ghost, the living, and The Thing in the Walls. This game has no dice and no game master and instead relies on collaborative play. In Our Haunt, the setting is a character in itself as players collaborate to design a space that’s reflective of the spirits within it. Players dodge various dangers while attempting to recover their lost memories and, possibly, find peace.
If your favorite witch movie is Kiki’s Delivery Service, Village Witch is for you. You play as a witch who has just finished your training and must now find a village to call home. This solo journaling game takes place over the course of a year; you can play it in real time if you like or charge through it on Halloween night.
Village Witch requires one d6 and a pack of either standard playing cards or tarot cards. The cards help generate prompts from the game and guide your witch’s journey. The game has a guide to turn it into a two-player game if you wish. There are also game supplements you can add, which include a character-generating workbook and a postcard-writing mini-game.
Four Sherlock Holmes And A Vampire Who Is Also One Of The Aforementioned Sherlock Holmes
It should not surprise you that in this game by Andrew J. Young, you play as one of four Sherlock Holmes, and one (or more) of you is a vampire. Use your deductive reasoning to find out which of you is a member of the undead before they drink you like a juice box. To solve this hilarious mystery, follow clues and uncover the other players’ Quirks. This game has no GM and requires one d6 and one d20 to play, along with some pencils and paper.
Something Is Wrong With This House
In Something Is Wrong With This House, you play ghosts dealing with a serious pest problem. A new living family has just invaded the space you’ve been happily haunting for years, and you’ll do whatever it takes to get them out. If Beetlejuice is on your annual Halloween movie rotation, this is the game for you. This game is for three to six players and requires three d6. Players can inhabit Creatures—the ghosts—or the Facilitator—the family under siege. There is also a fun expansion available where your Creatures must face a much more formidable foe than a suburban family and go up against the ghost-hunting crew of a paranormal investigation television show.
If Samhain is more your vibe than Halloween, you simply cannot beat Night Forest. A memorable and moving experience, this will stay with you for a long time. It’s more of a ritual than a game; you play as a memory.
Gather five or more people and go to a dark, open space such as a field, the woods, or an empty lot. Each player receives a candle and a card; each card has a word on it that invokes a memory chosen by the player. This memory can be real or imagined. Players go their separate ways in the dark with their lit candles and wander until they find another player.
When face-to-face with another player, they take turns sharing their memories and then exchange cards. When a player receives their original card back from someone, they must blow out their candle and become a “forgotten memory.” The game continues until all candles are extinguished. Night Forest does carry an element of real physical danger, so proceed with the utmost caution when choosing a location for the game, and be careful with your candles.
Babes In The Wood
This delightful Over the Garden Wall-inspired game has impeccable retro vibes and is as comforting as your favorite Halloween candy. You play as a Kid (broken down into categories of “Big Kids,” “Lil kids,” “Critters,” “Toys,” and “Woodschildren”) lost in an endless woods. You travel in a group to different “Hollows,” meeting a cast of unusual characters and learning important lessons along the way as you try to find your way out of The Woods. Standing in between you and home is The Fiend and his agents, who will try to exploit your characters’ fears and keep them trapped forever.
Thousand Year Old Vampire
A heartbreaking, meditative, and highly addicting solo journaling game. You play a vampire, beginning from the event that turns you and continuing through the nearly endless expanse of time ahead of you as the world you once knew slowly becomes unrecognizable. This supernatural Ship of Theseus will leave your character as changed, mentally and emotionally, as the landscape around them.
Thousand Year Old Vampire is very much what you make it. It can be played rapid-fire as a one-shot or extended for years as you linger over each prompt. The game has even been modified into a letter-writing campaign if you want to play with friends. Tim Hutchings, the game’s creator, also has a rather funny newsletter.
Whether you are playing alone or with friends, wanting to play a one-shot or springboard into a longer game to extend the spooky season, there is something for everyone on this list. So, grab your dice and start planning your haunted happening!