Town With A Dark Secret
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Basic Information

In this classic horror trope, everybody in a small town is in on a secret. The protagonist slowly begins to suspect something is wrong.

Related Tropes



Game and Story Use

  • Is there some sort of creepiness in your campaign setting that you just haven't been able to work in to the plot? Have the PCs stop for gas / dinner / the night in a small town. The trope is pretty strongly ingrained in our minds - one small hint (that things aren't quite as they seem in this quiet little town) will probably be enough to get your players to dig. Violently paranoid PCs might just torch the town to be safe.
    • Great way to introduce a monster type (Dopplegangers,Vampires, Cultists, Brain Worms, etc.) that you've been meaning to use for a while, without it feeling forced. If a dragon just swoops over the city, the players are left asking "how come we've never seen one of those before?" If that same dragon instead lives in a cave at the edge of a creepy little town, and is fed virgins every season by the creepy townsfolk who worship and hide him, the players won't bat an eye.
    • Cults generally are a small town thing - and in a polytheistic setting may be entirely legitimate. Even in the modern era, a less black and white campaign can introduce some interesting values dissonance as to whether or not the cultists are a valid target or not. Obviously if they are attempting to abduct the PCs and bury them under the corn field violence is more or less essential … if it's more of a case of perversion and silly hats, a massacre may be much less appropriate.
    • Again, for those who like ambiguity, the village's dark secret may be related with keeping the lid on a can of evil … they may well be murdering hitchhikers, but the alternative may be a lot worse…
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