The Giallo Trilogy is series of role-playing game scenarios inspired by Italian thrillers of the 1960s and 1970s. These can be played either as true gialli or, alternatively, as supernatural stories. Even though some gialli feature strange phenomena, especially in Dario Argento’s filmography, they dismiss otherworldly creatures. Since Postmortem Studios’ trilogy was adapted to a game called Actual Fucking Monsters it would have been kind of strange if no occult entity would make an appearance. Nevertheless, monsters were made less conspicuous than they are on most horror role-playing game scenarios and optional to use, so these could stay true to the movie genre.
There’s a lot to mine here, and I think that was really the point. This isn’t meant to be a linear adventure to drag players through, from inciting incident to climactic finale. This is a stage for your players to explore, allowing the story to form around them.
Matthew J. Constantine’s Blog
The most “giallish” of the three Postmortem Giallo scenarios, Orpheum Lofts can be played as a straight J&B sponsored Italian thriller or, for a more intense psychological horror atmosphere, using Roman Polanski’s Apartment Trilogy [Repulsion (1965), Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and The Tenant (1976)] as inspiration. If you would rather go for a supernatural approach, don’t worry: one of the main influences for the Lofts is Dario Argento’s Inferno (1980). By default it takes place in mid-1980s in a old decaying – once luxurious – apartment building inhabited by a full cast of strange characters. It includes stats for Actual Fucking Monsters, but can be easily adapted to any system. There’s a tie-in one shot scenario for Orpheum Lofts, Her Hear Was a Locked Room and Nobody Had the Key, which you can download here.
“There are so many hooks, adventure seeds, background information, biographies and agendas concerning all the non-player characters there (…). It’s an awesome scenario like the others, very sophisticated in its approach.“
Abraham Zetina, Talking About Games
The Memorial is a contemporary horror scenario partly inspired by giallo movies, and partly influenced by Lars Von Trier’s cult TV series Riget (1994), Milos Forman’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and The Killer Nun (1979), an Italian “video nasty” classic starring Anita Eckberg and Alida Valli. There’s certainly some Green Wing, ER, House M.D. and Scrubs in it, but preferably not that much, as it is meant to be horror after all. It is set in the early 1990s and it has several connections to the previous scenario (Orpheum Lofts), which means they can be played sequentially.
“To be honest the three “giallo” scenarios are vile, and this one in particular.”
James T, verified purchaser DrivethruRPG
“If you buy a ticket to an R-rated movie, and you walk in and you clutch your pearls at the horrible content you’re being bombarded with, it’s your damn fault. Grow up, you bought the ticket!”
Heathendog, Legion of Myth
In the last module, The Sisters of the Seven Sins, set in Portugal in the late 1970s, players may take the role of nuns, Vatican authorities sent to investigate reports of demoniacal manifestations, reporters exploring the story behind an atypical catholic sisterhood or even criminals, working on a devious plan to restore a sinister painting to the convent where it originally belonged. There are no connections to the previous scenarios, except for commons influences such as gialli and exploitation film.
The Giallo Companion includes:
– An introduction on the giallo genre in movies and role-playing games.
– Rules for running giallo scenarios using the *Punk game mechanics (adds optional rules for fear and sanity, advantages and disadvantages and expanded critical hits inspired by James ‘Grim’ Desborough’s Blood!).
– The one-shot scenario Her Heart Was a Locked Room and Nobody had the Key (previously available as a blog post).
– Floorplans for the Orpheum Lofts building.
– A cover by Jonathan Torres, aka The Basic Expert.