Blood, Glorious Blood!
A Recipe for Blood - Lakes of Rubber Blood - Things To Do With Blood

Blood is one of those essential props that turn up again and again. Regardless of the game you're running, at some stage you will undoubtedly want to simulate an injury or death. If you're playing Cthulhu Live then there are occasional moments of intense gore to be simulated; if you're a Masquerade player, blood is as essential as a place to play.

Below is a recipe for edible blood, a how-to for huge volumes of gore, and some handy blood tips that I've stumbled across over the years. Enjoy - and remember, you can never overdo it!

A Handy Recipe for Edible Stage Blood

This recipe makes 1.5 litres of edible, sweet-tasting stage blood, handy for oh-so-many uses around the home. The blood is based on sugar syrup and will keep for ages (it's so sweet that it is actually toxic to mould), it tastes nice and most importantly, it is cheap and easy to make. There's just one safety note: Because this blood is almost pure sugar, make sure you don't inadvertantly feed it to a diabetic player!

Like all other stage blood varieties, it stains, so use stain-proof kitchen gear to make it and make sure that you don't get too much on player's expensive kit. To make this blood you will need a large saucepan (at least 3 litres capacity), 1.5 litres' of bottles with really good caps or stoppers, a funnel, something to stir it with, and a set of teaspoon-type measures.



  1. Bring the water to the boil in a large saucepan.
  2. Gradually add the sugar, stirring until it is all dissolved. There is a lot of sugar in this recipe, but trust me, it will all dissolve in the end.
  3. Return to the boil.
  4. Boil gently for 10-12 minutes. Remember that boiling sugar can exceed 100oC, so do not leave this unattended and do not do this when there are small children or the pathologically clumsy around. If the pan looks like it will boil over, take it off the heat rather than turning the heat down - it's far faster.
  5. Leave the syrup to cool to room temperature. This could take an hour or two.
  6. Stir in the scarlet, raspberry and green food colouring. The green takes the 'fake red' edge off the colour. Test the colour of the blood against your hand by running a little down a finger to see if it looks like a nasty cut.
  7. When you're happy with the colour, pour the blood into bottles and seal. It should keep for at least a year.

Lakes of Rubber Blood

So, the plot you're written demands that an area be flooded with blood - but the guy who owns the site doesn't want you to ruin his carpet. What do you do? Rewrite your killer scene? Of course not - you make rubber blood instead!

"Rubber blood" sounds like the dumbest idea since battleboard combat, but it really works and is dead easy to do. The idea is simply to make sheets of poured-latex that look like pools of blood. Then all you have to do is lay them on the floor, and voila! Instant bloodbath!

We tried this out with great success in Thirteen Chimes At Midnight, where a suicide was required. The biggest visual impact we could think of was to have the victim lying in a bloodied bath, with her slashed wrists hanging over the edges and the floor awash in gore. In addition to a number of pools of blood, we also made some rubber splashes that we stuck to the tiles above the bath. To finish off, we drizzled some of our stage blood over the "wounds" and left her for the players to discover.

So, here's how to make pools of blood:

  1. You will need liquid latex (available from craft shops and some marinas), red colouring (we used inks and acrylic paints), an oven and at least one flat baking sheet (non-stick is best), an empty jar or bottle and quite a lot of cling-film.

  2. Fill the jar two-thirds with latex, and add in your colourings. Close the lid and shake well to mix. Red ink alone will be too bright; I combined it with a dash of burnt umber (a reddish-brown) acrylic paint to dull it down. Because the latex is a milky white, your finished coloured brew will look nothing like blood; rather it should look like melted strawberry ice-cream, a lovely unrealistic pink.

  3. Get your oven up to about 80 degrees centigrade. Feel free to experiment with this temperature but watch that it's kept under 100 degrees. If the latex starts to boil then you will get bubbles in your blood, which rather spoils the effect.

  4. Pour the latex directly onto the baking sheet in dramatic pool shapes. You can use tins (or anything else heatproof) to get a straight edge or rebated corner if you want your pool to butt up against a surface.

  5. Bake for 10 - 20 minutes, until the milky colour has disappeared. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

  6. Lay out a sheet of cling-film on a handy surface.

  7. Carefully peel the latex sheet off of the baking tray. Try not to allow the edges of the rubber to curl up under themselves; if they do then it's a hell of a job to separate them. Lay the blood on the cling-film and immediately cover with another sheet. The cling-film is to protect the latext from getting bits of gack stuck to it, as well as to keep that sheets of blood apart. Another way to do this would be to dust the blood with talc, but by using cling-film you preserve the virgin shiny surface - important for blood.

Fun Things To Do With Blood

You've probably guessed by now that I love using lots of blood in my games. Here are some of the more amusing things you can do with it:

Poor Tortured Undead Soul

Vampires, so many tales go, weep blood. And if you're playing in a game with vampires, then it's likely that one or more of the vamps will, somewhere along the line, get upset.

Get the vamp to palm a small dropper-bottle - something like the little travel-bottles for contact lens fluid - filled with blood. When the undead darling starts to get upset, it's simple for him to turn away, apply the nozzle to the inner corners of his eyes, and squeeze. The result? Blood tears, without any hassle.

This trick is also great for faking nosebleeds, punctured eardrums, and any other little bleeds you can think of.

Bleeding Wrists

A little trickier here, but well worth it. Half-fill a condom with stage blood. Now tape it to the inside of your wrist with micropore surgical tape. When the time comes, you can cut the condom and your wrist will spurt blood in a disgustingly convincing way. The skill is in hiding the condom full of blood from the audience.

We did a beautiful vampire wedding with a couple of these; the two vamps cut their wrists into a large glass chalice and then both drank from it; with the addition of some melodramatic vows it worked very nicely and there was a great gasp from the other players when the first vampire's wrist spurted real blood. Mail me if you'd like a copy of the script.

They Got Me!

Cut a piece of sponge so that it will easily fit in the palm of your hand. Soak it in blood, then put it into a plastic sandwich bag. Put the bag into the player's pocket.


The player has his hand in his pocket, palming the sponge. When the gun goes off, he whips his hand out, and slaps it hard onto the shot bodypart. A white shirt is really nice for this. A huge splatter of gore sprays across his clothes (all very Sam Peckinpah) and he goes down. In the ensuing chaos, it's easy to conceal the sponge.

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