Dread, the horror RPG powered by a Jenga tower, is meeting Judge Dredd, the iconic 2000 AD comic-book character, in a new roleplaying game that has a name so obvious it’s frankly a wonder why this hasn’t happened earlier.
Dread: Dredd marks the coming together of Epidiah Ravachol and Nathaniel Barmore’s acclaimed game of block-pulling and the law-dispensing street judge of Mega-City One. The standalone one-shot has been created to mark the 45th anniversary of 2000 AD, the long-running British comic in which Dredd first appeared in 1977, and will be published by the tabletop division of 2000 AD owner Rebellion.
Released in 2005, Dread uses a tower of blocks - like those found in Jenga - to replace the conventional dice of a tabletop RPG. Instead of rolling to resolve encounters, players must pull a block from the tower. Success means, well, success, while knocking the tower over results in their character’s sudden and untimely demise.
The rules-light RPG isn’t fixed to a single setting and sees player characters created through a series of questions. In typical horror genre fashion, they’re not given a long life expectancy. Our own Alex Meehan called Dread "an RPG with the potential to instill a genuine sense of unease in its players" over on Eurogamer.
Ravachol has penned the upcoming Dread: Dredd, which brings the setting-agnostic system of the RPG to Dredd’s home turf of the dystopian Mega-City One. Rather than controlling Dredd and his fellow judges, players take on the roles of democracy activists who must reveal damaging secrets about the Justice Department to the city’s public by broadcasting them at an Aeroball game.
“A Dredd setting for a Dread game has come up more times than I can count over the past couple decades,” Ravachol acknowledged. “Never something official. Never something beyond a little adventure for between friends. Never something I got around to doing. And then this hit, a now or never chance to score big in Mega City - the opportunity of a lifetime!”
The gameplay system remains the same, with players pulling blocks to resolve risky encounters and tests. The deadly outcome of failure is also unchanged, although players can get some assistance through their characters’ unique abilities. A new gameplay mechanic inspired by the Dredd setting was also teased.
Dread: Dredd will include the game’s modified ruleset and character sheets for the game’s four to six players - including the GM-like Host - alongside information and a reference list of possible encounters for running the one-shot scenario.
The game will see a digital release only, with a PDF available from March 30th.