Whatever your circumstance, you will most likely find yourself at home this Halloween. While most of us won’t be able to go trick-or-treating in the neighborhood, visit a haunted house, or host a Halloween party, there are some great ways to get into the spooky spirit in the comfort of your own home.
This guide is to help anyone who enjoys Halloween and tabletop games, which is really the best combo! Even if you are just looking for something fun and different to do on October 31st, you’ve landed in the right spot. The most important part is choosing the right game, so we will take a deeper look at games in the end. Here’s your gamer guide to have the best quarantine Halloween in 2020:
- Decorate your house
- Dress up
- Grab some spooky snacks
- Set up a video chat
- Find the right game to play on Halloween night
1. Decorate your House
Let’s start off with decorating your space. Most of our tabletop gamers out there have either a table or room that they play their games in. This year, that may be your home office. Either way, decorate the space that you will be playing in.
You can add a Halloween themed playmat/table cloth to your game table, cover your shelf-of-shame with cobwebs, or even grab this owlbear trophy figure for your game room to add ambiance. Figure out if you want to go the spooky, scary, or creepy route for your game room, and have fun with it.
For example, if you wanted to play Clue on Halloween, you could decorate the space like a crime scene. Fill your space with crime scene tape, a pinboard of suspects, and even giant cardboard cutout of the game board in the background!
2. Dress Up
For most, Halloween is the one time of year you can dress up, so don’t forget to do it this year. Just because you will be at home, or meeting up online, does not mean you should skip out on your costume. We recommend dressing up as a character or in the theme of the games you will be playing.
Let’s stick with Clue for our example. Your family could each take their favorite character, and dress up as them for Halloween night. This adds another great layer of creating a special experience for Halloween, and a fun way to use your DIY skills. Who’s got dibs on Colonel Mustard?
3. Grab some spooky snacks
Candy is the one thing that most kids (and kids at heart) look forward to on Halloween. While you can certainly pick up your favorite candy at the store, we think its even more fun to put your nerdy twist on the snacks. You can either grab some inspiration for spooky snacks or add a twist to your fall favorites.
For your Clue themed night, make some fun cookies in the shape of the weapons that could have been used. Or create snack bags that look like the fabled top secret envelope. If you are looking for more savory options, what about a faux Mrs. Peacock’s’ favorite Shark’s Fin Soup, or fake Monkey Brains mentioned in the movie?
4. Set-up a video chat
Go ahead and skip this step if you are playing with the people you are quarantining with this Halloween. For those of us who are looking to play online, setting up a video chat has never been easier. We like Discord, which makes it easy to setup a private chat for you and your friends.
Whatever service you use, agree on the platform before Halloween, and figure out how to bring your game to video chat. Using websites like Board Game Arena, or games like Tabletop Simulator can be an easy way to play. We go over some of our favorites in the next section.
5. Finding the right game for Halloween
The most important step for any good Halloween event is finding the right activity for your group. Whether you decide to play with the people you are quarantining with, or play online together, we have a little something for everyone. Here are some of our favorite tabletop games to play on October 31st.
Celebrate Halloween with a scary board game
Let’s start with board games. Our favorite way to celebrate Halloween is by playing board games that are extra spooky. We’ve compiled a list of great games to play at home, or play easily online.
The Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow
In Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow, everyone has a secret identity in a small village town. You will play in alternating Night and Day phases. In this social deduction game, the wolves come out during the Night to choose their next victim, and everyone plays in the Day to discuss who done it. Villagers work to stop the wolves, and werewolves hide in plain sight to try and eat the entire town. The best part? You can play for free online. Play this classic game of Werewolf with Board Game Arena. You can host a private game for 8-12 people, and use a voice or video software to see everyone while you play (we like Discord and Facebook Messenger for this part).
Mysterium is a fun cooperative game for 2-7 players. One person plays as the “ghost”, while other players are psychics trying to interpret their visions. Work together to figure out who killed the ghost, where they were, and how they did it. The ghost gives clues by using cards that may symbolize a part of the mystery for each player. You can find this game on Tabletop Simulator, or play via webcam. You can play the game easily if the “ghost” owns a copy of the game, and sends out clues via a chat, or holding up cards for the players to see. As long as everyone can see the cards, it should be a fun time.
Play as investigators, and find out the secrets that lay within Arkham Horror. This cooperative card game is set in a world with mysteries and monstrosities, and is perfect for a long night of gaming. You work together to find clues, and solve the mystery before it is too late. Once the Ancient One awakens, it must be defeated. Otherwise, the space-time continuum ruptures, and all of mankind will suffer. This game has multiple scenarios to make each playthrough a little different, and you can continue to buy new scenario expansions to keep solving new mysteries. You can also customize your deck with different cards, and make it your own. If everyone has a copy of the game, you can set up the same scenario and play together over video chat, or setup a game in Tabletop Simulator.
If you are able to play board games at home with your family or roommates, try out Betrayal Legacy all month long! This legacy game takes you through multiple generations of families cursed with coming back to the haunted house. You work together to solve the mystery, until one person betrays everyone else. The rooms of the house are built throughout the game, so you get something different each time you play. Its very immersive, and brings a new life to the original Betrayal at House on the Hill board game.
Celebrate Halloween by playing Magic the Gathering
Magic the Gathering may not come to mind when you think about Halloween, but it is the perfect game to play to enjoy the spooky themes Halloween brings out. Tribal decks are a lot of fun, and stick to a creature type throughout the deck. Zombies, Dragons, and Werewolves, oh my!
Build out a couple tribal commander decks, or give a theme to the people that you are playing with and really lean into it. You could dress up as your tribe and have a lot of fun Halloween night. The best way to play at home virtually is with Spelltable, where you can easily see everyone’s play space and cards.
You can even grab some pre-made Battle Decks from Card Kingdom, and play right away. Grab Sinister Shrines, or New Blood to fit in perfectly with Halloween night.
Celebrate Halloween with a spooky RPG
Halloween is all about dressing up as someone else, and role-playing games take that one step further. That’s why we believe the best way to celebrate Halloween is with a spooky one-shot role playing adventure.
Since quarantine started, we have seen a resurgence of webcam Dungeons and Dragons. Lot’s of people are taking the time to work on their campaigns, join new ones, or even play for the first time online. With software like Roll20 or Fantasy Grounds, you can bring your maps to life and help keep track of your game easily. While you can certainly create a spooky one-shot in that system, you can also try a new RPG all together! Here are some of our favorites:
Vampire the Masquerade
Driven by hunger, and tethered by your worldly desires, playing as a vampire can lead to some interesting role playing opportunities. Vampire the Masquerade gives you the opportunity to play as a vampire in a gothic punk parallel world. This RPG is highly thematic, and has a dice system that depends on success and failures. Add some extra Halloween flavor by dressing up as your character for video chat. Will you fall victim to your desires, or overcome challenges without loosing your humanity?
Call of Cthulhu
Not only can you get what you need for 10% off this month, Call of Cthulhu is perfect for spooky investigations. Play as an investigator checking into the weird and chaotic events happening in your town. While you can’t take on elder gods head on, you can find ways to stop them from being summoned. This really immersive roll playing system is great for groups who prefer role-play over combat, and is easy to pick up with their starter kit. Already love Call of Cthulhu? You can read more about Chaosium’s other role-playing games in our pubspot article.
Tales from the Loop
If you are more into Sci-fi then straight up horror, give Tales from the Loop a try. Strange alien and futuristic tech sprinkles the landscape, and you are the only ones who seem to notice. You play as teenagers investigating strange occurrences in your small home town near the largest particle accelerator, and deal with everyday issues. The balance of world ending events, and dealing with your school bully in the same setting makes for a great session.
Tales from the Loop is perfect for Halloween because of the mysteries, nostalgia, and being able to run a small and contained adventure in one evening. You can easily play most role-playing games online, as long as you can roll dice, have a place for visuals, and understand the rules.
No matter what options you choose, we hope that you are doing it safely and comfortably. Feel free to stop by your local Mox Boarding House to grab any of your board game night supplies for Halloween Quarantine, and a spooky sticker that we will be handing out all month! Join us on our Discords to find other tabletop gamers in your area, and setup a virtual game (Seattle / Bellevue / Portland).
-See you at Mox