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Character Development Thread / Halloween CDT

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Character Halloween is the twelfth installment of the casual Character Development Threads.

Basic Information

Character Halloween, as the name suggests, is a Halloween-themed installment of the Character Development Threads. The thread is set in a deserted old castle within a desolate forest, where a group of characters have gathered on the evening before Halloween night. Naturally, spooky events will ensue...

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  • Tonally, Character Halloween is meant to be creepy but good fun. Writers are actively encouraged to have minor spooky events occur, and increase in number as the time in the thread grows later. However, this is not a horror-themed thread: these events should not be physically or mentally dangerous to characters (with one exception noted below), and the overall feeling should remain that of a PG-rated haunted house or something similarnote .
  • Characters can arrive at the thread by any means necessary - there's no requirement to particularly dwell on the specifics, though if it's helpful to your plans for the thread feel free to do so. A certain awareness that they're coming to a party or gathering might be helpful, but is also not required.
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  • While characters may feel free to investigate or speculate about them, the various supernatural events that will occur over the course of the thread are effectively immune to magical tampering from visitors. This should be considered a basic conceit of the thread, and it's encouraged that writers play along even if their character might otherwise be able to interfere with any supernatural forces.
  • This is a casual thread, meaning that violence between characters and severe disruptions of the thread environment are discouraged. Should violence occur, writers should feel free to invent explains for why it proves ineffective - preferably in a way that matches the tone of the setting.

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Locations

     The Grounds 

Map

A sprawling region that surrounds the castle. The castle itself sits upon a craggy cliff that rises up to overlook the surrounding forest. An old dirt path runs through a cleared part of the forest and up the slope to the castle gates.

The Forest

A tangled morass of trees, some in autumn colors and some of them leafless and dead. Some parts are clear enough to offer paths for visitors to explore. A few of the trees near the edge of the forest are strung with orange lights, but the vast majority have none and cast thick shadows as the sun sets. At night, the forest is full of the hooting of owls and, in the distance, the howling of wolves with a disturbingly-humanlike element to them.

The Graveyard

A small patch of land set aside for the remains of the castle's staff, it is fenced off but accessible. An empty gravedigger/caretaker's house sits at the front. Inside, a wide variety of gravestones and markings exist. During the day, it's a peaceful place of remembrance, but once night falls, it's rather more intimidating.

The Pumpkin Patch

A thick patch of pumpkins to the side of the path, overlooked by slightly disturbing-looking scarecrows that don't seem to do anything to prevent the patch from housing more than its full share of corvids. This might have something to do with the fact that they aren't always there...

     The Castle 

Map

An old castle in the Gothic style, with soaring, craggy towers and steep walls. Built from dark grey stone, it looms over the surrounding area. Though it has been kept clean and intact, there are only a few modern conveniences inside. The inhabitants of the castle are curiously absent, though visitors might see a black cat or two roaming the halls. Writers should feel free to invent new areas as they stray off the map, keeping to the basic outline.

Entrance Hall

A simply-decorated room with stairs and huge, ornate doors. It is lit only by a single chandelier hanging over the center of the room, and is full of cobwebs in the corners.

Dungeons/Crypts

Visitors following the staircase down from the entrance hall will be let out into a well-lit but stark antechamber, with entrances on the left and right respectively leading to the castle's dungeons and crypts. The details of what they contain are left open to writer invention.

Ballroom

An elegant if dusty room decorated with astronomical motifs. Two huge chandeliers are solidly affixed to the ceiling. The center of the room is a circular dance floor. Several tables, chairs, and benches are set to the sides.

Parlor

A small room decorated mostly in shades of green, with comfortable chairs and a fireplace. This room seems curiously immune to the unearthly aura pervading the rest of the castle.

Dining Room

A long, narrow table dominates this high-ceilinged room, that seems to have room for more no matter how many visitors are sitting at it. The light fixtures in the dining hall are all covered with cobwebs and flicker intermittently. Before night falls, much of the light in this room comes from windows set high in the walls.

Gallery

A long room with the floor covered by a dusty red carpet, this room is home to a collection of paintings and portraits of the castle's past (and long-dead) owners. Naturally - and especially as the night grows darker - their details tend to change when people aren't looking, and the eyes of the portraits sometimes seem to follow people.

Long Hallway

Running the length of the center part of the castle, this room has no lighting save for a few torches. It's dominated by a huge skylight covered in indefinably-unsettling stained glass artwork.

Central Tower

A winding staircase lit by flickering candlelight leads up inside this tower, periodically letting off into side rooms. Most of these are ornately-furnished but clearly long disused bedrooms, but the first room visitors will pass is a small/library, dominated by a huge portrait of an elderly man with a piercing gaze. At the top of the tower is a small but intricately-designed observatory that is full of cobwebs. (Writers should feel free to improvise details of other towers along similar lines).

Clock Tower

The upper portion of this tower is home to much of the castle's bat population, but this doesn't seem to stop it from periodically tolling out the time. The details are otherwise open to writer interpretation.

West Wing

Characters exiting the doors on the east side of the Long Hallway will find themselves in the castle's West Wing. While many of the rooms here are open to writer invention, one important fixed location does exist:

The "Fear Room"

Unlike the rest of the castle, where the various spooky events of Halloween night are essentially harmless, characters venturing inside this room may encounter things they find truly frightening, or otherwise deeply revealing of the psyches. Though no physical harm may come from entering this room, it can have a powerful effect upon the mind, and a sign reading "Do Not Enter" is affixed to the door in warning. Writers should feel free to heavily improvise when it comes to what their characters encounter should they disregard this warning, and cooperation is encouraged.

Characters and Tropes

     Active Troper Characters 

     Inactive Troper Characters 

     Tropes 
  • Anti-Climax: The group in the West Wing finds a mysterious box that burns Moreena when she tries forcing it open. After a lot of searching that involves an accidental trip into the Fear Room, they find a key and open it. It turns out to contain chocolate.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: A werewolf resembling a bipedal doberman pursues Tristane into the thread, only to encounter Recon, who kills it in about two posts worth of "combat" and takes its head to use as a hat.
  • Ghostly Chill: Krajn and Oswald encounter a number of periodic, inexplicable cold breezes in their explorations, and the ghostly entity that they eventually encounter also gives off a slight chill. Krajn finds it more irritating than anything else, since she's a qrtxian.
  • Halloween Episode: As the name suggests, the thread goes pretty much full out in attempting to represent a stereotypical scary movie setting.
  • Never Split The Party: Krajn and Oswald keep discussing the possibility of splitting up to cover more ground. They also keep rejecting it, because they have no way to stay in touch if they do.
  • The Speechless: The 'spirit of mischief' can seemingly only communicate by shaping dust or dirt into words.
  • Überwald: A good way to describe the setting as a whole, for reasons mentioned under Halloween Episode.
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