03 December, 2012

Monsterhearts 2

Our four monsters hidden in a small town just outside Hobart...
Steve Grady, the Vampire (played by Daniel)
Rachel Lennox, the Angel (played by Ben)
Tia, the Chosen (played by Leah)
Evelyn Black, the Witch (played as an NPC by me)

First we looks at strings (the mechanic for describing relationships in the game)

  • Steve begins with a string on everyone. 
  • Rachel has 2 strings on Steve due to their ongoing relationship, and 2 strings on the mysterious guy from the morgue (and he has a string on her).
  • Tia has a string on Evelyn (she caught the witch going through Rachel's stuff looking for a magical focus item), she also has a string on Rachel, and a string each on "Danno" and "Tammy-Lynn" (a pair of other hunters she is acquainted with). 
  • Evelyn has a sympathetic token on the mysterious morgue guy (because I want a few ways to pull him back into the story for later).
  • An unknown person has 2 strings on Tia (someone is hunting her, or someone wants revenge over one of her past kills)

The story begins with the characters just finishing from unpacking their belongings. Steve doesn't believe in that coffin nonsense, he wakes up and looks in the fridge. We use this as an excuse to describe what's inside the fridge.

The bottom shelf is filled with blood bags for Steve to sustain himself while he settles into the new town. The shelf above that is filled with fresh fruit and vegetables because Rachel is a vegan angel. The next shelf up is filled with milk, eggs and protein formula, because Tia likes to keep in fighting shape...no carbs for her. The top shelf has a few frozen dinners, some junk food and energy drinks because Evelyn often pulls all-nighters while doing occult research.

It looks like the game is turning into a supernatural equivalent of "The Young Ones".

Prompting some action, someone knocks at the front door.

Each of the players chooses that their character will not answer the front door, eventually in order to reslove the tension, the Angel decides that she'll do what's right for the group.

A police officer asks if she has seen "this woman" as depicted in a photo. The angel says no, has a quick conversation with the police officer and we use this as an excuse to learn a little about the town.

Details are relayed to the rest of the group later. No-one bites at this story hook. We move to a few hours later. Night has fallen, Steve is settling in for a night of TV viewing, Tia is working out in the gym that she's set up in the garage, Evelyn is doing something private in her room, and Rachel is just hanging around being angelic...

Since I don't want this to stagnate, I decide that it might be a good time for a perception or awareness check...but such things don't exist in Monsterhearts. This is probably just a throwback to my typical style of GMing, I have a quick chec to see what might be most appropriate as an attribute to test against. But all of the attributes are basically used for active testing, not reactive...this is really a telling point about the Apocalypse World game engine. Everything is driven by the characters. That's one of the reasons why I've thrown an NPC into the household, because I don't know how well these players can handle the notion of driving the story for themselves.

Instead of pushing for a fit that doesn't seem right, I declare that the power goes out. Something for everyone to notice. Daniel declares that Steve is really annoyed, because "Swamp People" was about to come on...and it's a double episode. He heads outside to see if there is something wrong with the fuse box...but the whole town is down. The assumption is that Evelyn has been busy working on a spell that has gone wrong.

Next everyone hears a car crash out the front.

This really gets Steve into action, hoping that his car isn't damaged. Rachel heads out to see in anyone is injured.

Out the front is a mess...one car has run up the back of another, and the car in front has veered off the road into Steve's car, a possessed classic early eighties Honda Civic. The lady in the car at rear has passed out at the wheel, she has run up the back of a P-plater (for overseas readers, that's a young driver with a provisional license).


I could keep describing the game scene by scene, action by action, but I know that I usually skip this kind of stuff when it starts getting monotonous. So I'll just go on to describe the broad outlines of the story and the things we've learnt about the system.


The characters find out that the young driver stole his mother's car, he was trying to get away from something. They follow the mother home to an old sandstone mansion in a fenced off compound to the south of town (because we don't have gothic manses in this part of the world and it seemed as good a fit as any). Tia breaks into the compound with her extensive range of equipment.

The characters have started seeing black vans in town.

The climax of the session ends with the a few of the black vans pulling up out the front of the characters house. Tia tries to sabotage the van, but fails badly. Everyone feels a darkness descending on them. Roll to see if dark selves manifest.

End session.

Post a Comment