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The Mall (2022)

Back to the mall! The Mall (2022) is another adventure zine for Liminal Horror (a hack of Cairn, but there are conversion notes for The Company and Agents of ODD included). I seem to be developing a thing for mall-based horror. Shame I didn’t like Silent Hill 3 all that much…

Anyway, the year is 199X and the mall in Carpenter, Oregon, has been struggling. Current management has plans, but they have less to do with increasing commerce and more to do with shapeshifting eldtrich horrors. This goes about how you’d expect.

Couple neat things. The kick-off is a raffle to give away a car, which has attracted a number of folks to the usually desolate mall, who are then trapped when the supernatural forces are unleashed. Those folks soon form factions, hole up in safe spots and hoard resources. Coupled with the way events and encounters cascade, these factions of relatively normal people give the adventure a surprisingly dynamic feel.

The other thing is the Whisper Card mechanic, which, basically when terrible things happen to a character, they get a card with roleplaying prompts or, in some instances, an indication that they have been replaced by the entity. This is pretty great! Its the first time I’ve seen someone try to implement something that works like the Alien RPG’s secret agenda cards and this is particularly exciting because the Alien cards are basically single use, tied directly to the action of specific cinematic scenarios. The Whisper Cards, though, are not tied explicitly to The Mall — you can adapt them to any sort of game and still have them function pretty well. Exciting stuff!

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