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About Us

The Worst Days is a horror game devoted to making you forget that you’re playing a horror game. Played in settings familiar to popular movies starring young adults (often playing younger, but they aren’t fooling anyone), The Worst Days invites players and Game Masters to explore a weekend working at a burger joint in the 1950s, or a night at a party in the 1970s, or wandering a mall in the 1990s.

Horror at the table (physical or virtual) is difficult. So, The Worst Days adheres to three core principles to allow you to build horror more easily at the table.

Core Principles and their consequences

  • Horror is better when you care about the characters:
    • We’re going to focus on characters, their relationships, and their social interactions.
    • We’re going to help you make flawed characters, who are easier to love.
    • We’re going to help you distinguish between your ideas of the characters, and how they actually act.
  • Horror is better when its not a power fantasy:
    • We’re going to help you make characters who are normal people.
    • We’re going to sometimes take the power out of your hands when it comes to their choices.
    • We’re going to have you play younger adults who aren’t yet settled in who they are or their place in the world.
  • Horror is better when you can relax:
    • We’re going to focus on safety for players.
    • We’re going to focus on telling stories about your characters long before the horror shows up.
    • We’re going to often focus on humor, flawed characters, and often messed up social situations to draw you into the game.
  • Horror is better when it stays with you:
    • We’re going to give you the tools to have truly disturbing memories of your characters’ final moments.

Focusing on Characters

The key to fear, when you’re sitting completely safely on a soft chair with chips and soda within reach, is love. Loving your characters is integral to being genuinely troubled by their horrific experiences and ultimate demises. So, we want to help you love your characters through deep, extended role-play that goes far beyond meeting in a tavern, hunting down clues, or fighting enemies. In The Worst Days you’ll build characters together, develop them through social interactions, and explore their relationships to understand who they really are.

Not a Power Fantasy

If your idea of a power fantasy is playing Gina, a girl-obsessed 18-year-old who works at a mall record store in 1995, is constantly arguing with Tony who can’t take the hint, and endlessly sucking up to her boss Skoot, who is high most of the time and can be generous with the work schedule, then sure, this is a power fantasy. But for most people, playing Gina will be about exploring her world for a few months, shaking their heads when she does something they don’t approve of, and then sitting back and saying, “Wow,” when she is slowly absorbed into that glistening red mass that’s slowly rolling through the mall.

Relaxing into Horror

It might seem counter intuitive that horror is better when you’re relaxed. What about all that high-tension music they throw into horror films? Well, beyond thinking that that’s some cheap-ass-shit and that real horror doesn’t rely on that, it’s important to distinguish between different kinds of being comfortable. The Worst Days wants your skin to crawl, and your mind to focus on the insane events that unfold at the table, but to get there, we want you first to be comfortable that you’re only going to get the kind of horror that you signed up for. Safety Tools are an important part of that, making sure that players know that they won’t experience the kinds of horror that make them more than uncomfortable, or uncomfortable in the wrong way.

We also firmly believe that horror is better when you’re nice and relaxed into that “let’s save the orphanage” ski-competition drama, and up to your neck in cheesy flirting, practical jokes, and some terrible choices about how much your character drinks. When one of the happy-go-lucky NPC’s ends up splayed out in a cult-like sacrifice, the monstrosity of it appears more starkly and shockingly than if you were already experiencing a grim-dark horror story.

Horror That Stays with You

The best horror moments are the ones that stick with you long after you leave the table. By inviting you into humor, inter-personal relationships, and sometimes difficult choices, we want to create a bedrock upon which to build long-lasting memories of horror. In the last three and a half years, many of our players still remember how their characters met their ends, the fun, funny, and scary moments that preceded them, and the surreal, horrifying events that led to them. This, we believe is both far more effective that quick jump-scares, and far more satisfying.

Come Join Us, Won’t You?

If delving into moments in the lives of young adults right before they meet a modern day necromancer or meet their ends running from the thing rising from below their small town, then we invite you to head over to our page and pick up a copy of The Worst Days to play with your friends. And, if you do, we’d love to hear about your adventures, ideas, and suggestions.

And if you do come along with us, we hope you have the best time!

A Hyper Short History

The Worst Days is written by J.W.G. Wise (Weeping Cedars, Samite, Wrought of Amber) in 2020 with the hope of trying to make a TTRPG that would allow players to invest deeply in their characters, and therefore be concerned and hopefully scared when terrible things happened to them. Since then, The Worst Days has undergone years of testing, changes, and sometimes massive reworking to streamline the game down to the version being released in February 2024.