What is Chill?
Chill is a modern Horror game that was originally produced by
Pacesetter Games, along with Star Ace and Timemaster. Pacesetter
faded away and Mayfair Games took up the torch of Chill.
They changed up the aesthetics of the book and released a nice
hardcover version. The game had changed very little, but
the book was nice.
The mechanics of Chill appeal to me. For a horror game,
I find that maintaining "mood" is very important. Breaking
into a five minute rules research session in the middle of a
climactic battle is a real mood killer. Chill is just
abstract enough to smooth things along. It has eight attributes
that I like, including a distinction between Dexterity and Agility.
I also like the Luck attribute. The percentile system
is not always a simple "beat the target number" system.
Rather, there is a system in place for varying degrees of success
that I find easy to use yet effective in allowing more skilled
PCs to be cooler. It also makes skill contests richer.
The skills are nice and broad. All skills have three
general levels and the base score is determined by averaging
applicable attributes. For example, Pistols skill covers
all pistols. At each level of mastery, a new category
is learned from Automatic, Revolver, and Antique.
Damage is dealt out in terms of Wounds (fractures, cuts, etc.)
as well as lost Stamina (stun, fatigue). This allows for
the realistic option of knocking someone out without killing
In general, it is a nice system. I tried to switch to
GURPS, but it just has too many mechanics for a horror game,
for my personal taste, and I fear the mechanics of the game
would overwhelm any possibility for a good horror feel to be
And now the kicker. Chill is in production limbo.
Although there are number of people that still play it and over
a dozen web sites on the ring below, the game is not actively
being produced. Mayfair still sells Chill, but it is awaiting
someone to buy the license before it is produced again.
The upside to that is that the game is pretty cheap to buy if
you can find it. Even the Mayfair
web site gives a good 20% discount.