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A classic "whammy" from Poltergeist (1982 franchise): an investigator hallucinates eating crawling, maggoty meat, and then peeling his face off in the bathroom mirror; of course, there's bound to be a sanity roll in there somewhere...


A "whammy" is the term used by Call of Cthulhu (d20) to describe a cinematic technique portraying a psychic impression, vision, hallucination, nightmare, etc. experienced by an investigator under the influence of the unnatural.

These little sequences represent disturbing visions and other strange events that don't have a direct role in the plot, and could as easily be figments of the investigators' imaginations as they could represent the results of hauntings or psychic abilities, but do suggest something weird and wrong is going on, which is a nice way to emulate the style of horror films like The Legend of Hell House (1973 film), The Shining (1980 film), or Poltergeist (1982 film); these "whammies" are a nice innovation that can be used in BRP scenarios as well.


  • TO DO: Quote the basic idea from the D20 rulebook.
  • TO DO: Provide some ideas and cinematic examples of how this works.
  • TO DO: Categorize this page.