Trick or Treat (Hordes of Fun)

by Mike Young

Trick or Treat is a game of fast paced, quickly changing interactive scenes. It is ideally used to hone improv skills and thinking on your feet. The encounters should happen quickly and only last a minute or two. Trick or treat is not a serious game and should be taken in a lighthearted manner.

Trick or Treat is a horde game. A horde game has a core set of player characters and a horde of non player characters. The NPCs come and go, but the PCs remain throughout the game.

To play the game, youíll need 4 people to play the trick-or-treaters, one of which should be male, and at least 3 people to play the neighbors. The scenario is simple: Itís Halloween and Tom is taking his two kids and a neighborís kid out to get candy.

This game was created and run at the Microgame Mania panel at Intercon 11.5. Thanks to all who participated.

Game Prep

The setup is as easy as one, two, three. (1) Photocopy this page and cut out the character sheets and encounter sheets. (2) Give the character sheets to Tom and the kids and place the encounter sheets in a hat. (3) Have your NPCs (neighbor player characters) stand in a single file line facing Tom and the kids. Let each NPC draw an encounter from the hat.

When everyone is ready, Tom and the kids should knock on the "door." The first NPC should pantomime opening the "door" and Tom and the kids should shout "trick or treat." That starts an encounter that should last for a few minutes. The first NPC goes to the end of the line and draws again. Keep recycling until the encounters are gone. If an NPC feels that his/her encounter needs more people, use the next person in line. Please add your own encounters to the hat or post them to the message board at

Print these, 
cut 'em out, 
and give them 
to the players.

Player Handouts


You are Tom, a man in his mid-thirties and a recent divorcee. You have two children. Alice/Alex is about six and has been spoiled and thinks she/he owns every-thing. Jerry/Jill is a toddler and this is his/her first trick-or-treat.

You donít know much about your neighborís kid, but you have agreed to take him/her with you.

You are responsible for the safety of these kids and you take that seriously. Donít let anything bad happen to those kids. 


Hmph. Life was wonderful until your baby brother/sister came along. He/she caused your parents to stop loving each other and break up. Youíd like to get rid of him/her.

Being the oldest kid, you are in charge. Make sure you get the best of everything. 


You are just a toddler.  You donít really understand what is going on.  Scary and unusual things frighten you badly.  You like to put things, whatever you are given, into your mouth.

[Make up an unpronounceable set of syllables for your name]

You just moved here with your parents from a foreign country where all of your friends were and where life was better.

They donít have Halloween in your country so you donít understand what is going on.  Make sure you perform the rituals appropriate to your society (make them up), and let people know how much better things were back home.

Print these, 
cut 'em out, 
and put them
in a hat for 
the horde.


A witch with a poisoned apple for the prettiest.   A crazy person who puts large, easily noticed implements of destruction such as bowling balls and knitting needles in the treats.

Tomís ex-wife. You just had a bitter divorce.

A zombie with rotted candy.

An obviously stoned old hippie with hash brownies.

You were just trying to burglarize this house. You have no weapon.

An alien giving out Gribnif Pops.

Gypsies with strange magical powers. Donít forget to try to steal the children.

The class bully from Alice/ Alexís school.

A group of religious nuts. Make up the religion.

A fireman. This house is going up in flames!

A schizophrenic. You believe that the government is reading your mind with satellites.

A talking dog.

Whoops! You forgot that today is Halloween. You have no candy.

You have yummy broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts for the kids.

A giant squid.

The designer of this game.

You are secretly Superman. Donít let anyone know.

Youíre Mr. Rogers.

You are all the members of your favorite band. Sing for them.

You are Jerry/Jillís kindergarten teacher. He/She is failing nap time and youíve sent several notes home pinned to his/her sleeve.

You are in Alice/Alexís class and have a secret crush on her/him.

Tomís boss. The big report is due tomorrow.

A current or former President of the United States. The two folks next in line are your secret service agents.

A mime. Donít speak.

You are a poor, lonely ghost. You just want some friends.

Alice/Alexís best friend. You got better or more candy than her/him.

The odd foreign kidís parents. Make up a language.

A radio shock jock. Youíre on the air.

Tomís mom. Remember, heíll always be your darling boy.

A child from the rival tribe of the foreign kid. You hate each other.

An insurance salesman. You need to make the big sale.

You have the plutonium. Do they have the money? The code phrase is Trick-Or-Treat.

You have bizarre foreign candies.

You are a clown. Do tricks. Make the kids laugh.

Your house is a time machine. You have people from many different times.

An evil alien collecting specimens for your zoo.

You are on a diet. The mere mention of candy drives you into a feeding frenzy.

You are a bad standup comic. These folks must be your audience.

You are a normal, everyday person. You have normal candy. See how suspicious you can make the gang.

You are an auctioneer. Auction your candy.

You are a realtor. This house is for sale.

You are a robot. You have nuts and bolts for all the robot children.

You (and three other NPCs) are the evil trick-or-treaters from a parallel dimension. Try to replace the real PCs.

You are a witch.  Your house is made of candy.

Trick or Treat is Copyright © 2001, Interactivities Ink, Ltd.  All rights reserved.  Permission is granted to copy and distribute this game as long as this notice is included in its entirety.  Contact:,