[MH-OOC Thread]Anyone interested in messy teenage monster drama?

edited July 2012 in Out-Of-Game
So, from the website

"If you like supernatural romances, or stories of monstrosity and personal horror, or if you just like watching sexy people ruin their lives, then you’ll love this game."

Anyone interested in playing? I think I'd want 5 at most.
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Comments

  • When am I not interested in messy teenage monster drama? When I've been taken over by an impostor, that's when.
  • Yeah, I may be interested in playing MH. I have a lot of mixed opinions on the game but I think it is well-suited for this forum play as so much of being an angsty teen is inside your head and this is a pretty good way to express that.
  • I'm interested. I think playing with Scott and Kelsey would be a hoot. But if there's someone who is dying to play who isn't already in a game here, I'd be willing to step back (sadly).

    What's expected post frequency, Trevis?
  • One to two posts on weekdays, a post on weekends. More frequently if you can. And letting us know when you're going to be out of commission.

    Scott, is there something we specifically need to avoid? What's mixing your opinion?
  • I'd love to give this game a shot one day but barely have enough time for current commitments. Rain check for next time?
  • edited July 2012
    Hey, I've run the game a few times and been in several con sessions (Two with the author, incidentally) and found my reactions mixed. I think you need some really good agreement on the tone, the setting, how the characters mix. For instance, are the existence of monsters secret? Then all the players should probably agree that that's important to their characters or things can blow up with one word or one phone call. I think a couple of the playbooks can be a problem if treated wrong (mostly the ones which aren't monsters) but they can work well if merged into the monstrous characters and given a reason not to just freak out, or warn the authorities. Also, I think one or two of the expended playbooks can be a problem.

    But the issue that gets me often are the moves, they don't really resolve anything but cause deeper connections and conflicts, you can't wait for conflict to be handled by a move like in Apocalypse World all the time, they often just give you an impression how to bend the scene, but you need to get out of it yourself. There was a tendency to go to moves too often, too, early in play. It work best when they are used sparingly and then come out when it's a big moment.

    And the players, i think, need to understand that "strings" in the game are important and compelling, and mean something. It's very easy to dismiss them but they are fundamental to the game.

    Just my two cents, really... it can be a great game, i think, and well suited to online play so I'm game to give it a try.
  • No that's cool, Scott. I've only played it a few times myself, a couple of times with Joe, so your observations are helpful. I don't know that I know the pitfalls of the game. I like the idea of it, and the play I've had has been pretty good, but I haven't run it before.

    Hm.

    So it sounds like there's stuff we need to be pretty clear on. I admit, I assumed monsters would be secret. We'll keep an eye out if somone picks a human playbook. When you say that, are you just talking about the Mortal and the Queen, or are you also including the Infernal, the Chosen and the Witch? All of them are pretty much human. The vamp, werewolf, ghoul, ghost, and fae, angel and selkie... and the snake guy (can't remember that one just now) are actually other creatures. I'm not sure about the Hollow.

    Which playbooks do you find problematic?
  • The mortal, the queen, maybe even the chosen could feasibly have the problem of connections. I like the queen, actually but he/she just needs to blend in with the monsters in some way.

    I think the biggest thing to look out for is that the serpentine adds a lot of external complications which may not touch other players very much if you're not careful.

    Don't mean to put any negative light on things, all in all it's a good game, but it might not be what you expect before delving in to it.
  • I think I'm interested, but I never did buy Monsterhearts. Do I really need anything other than the skins and reference sheets (on the website), or is that enough to get along?
  • That's probably all you need.
  • That should be all you need. I'll explain anything else.
  • So I have Rich, Scott, Kelsey, and maybe Michael?

    Good, so now we should pick some skins (playbooks). You can get them from this link. You can get them from the website linked above too but my link includes the skin for the Hollow.

    And here are the other two LE ones. The Selkie and the Serpentine.

    It sounds like the last can be a little problematic, so keep that in mind. I'll have to look it over again and decide if I want to include it at all.
  • I'm thinking Fae or Queen.
  • I'm considering Ghoul or Hollow right now, still undecided.
  • I'm thinking Selkie or possibly Witch.
  • I think I'm gravitating toward the Mortal. Maybe an Infernal, but probably Mortal.
  • I think I might be interested in fuzzing those two, actually. Probably playing Mortal, but make it an overly-inquisitive Mortal who's picking up Infernal moves in play. As such, it could be interesting to hook up with someone who has a skin with connections to greater powers, like Witch or Fae.
  • If everyone is interested in lots of classroom/school drama, then the queen might play well. If that's not compelling to people I'd probably go Fae. In any case I think most of the PC's in the game should be monsters, so if there's a mortal and witch I'll likely go Fae.
  • I think I'm going with Selkie, so Scott feel free to pick whatever you'd like!
  • So it looks like no one overlaps in terms of playbook interest. So cool. Pick what you want.

    In terms of setting, I'm thinking suburban public high school in southern California, majority being middle to upper-middle class. Some real rich kids and of course some who aren't . It would work well for the Selkie. As would the Pacific Northwest, in which case we would have plenty of woods for a Fae too.

    If anyone is more keen on playing either small town or urban high school or maybe a private school, or a different location, speak up.

    Monsters can pass, but are invested in being secret. If the Queen comes up, Scott, I'll trust we'll work out his/her connectedness.

    Michael, you get to do your backstory last if you're going to be the Mortal because you have to choose which of the Monsters will be your lover.

    As for lines and veils, I'm pretty much thinking R-movie level. When there's sexiness, it won't be unreasonably graphic. Sexual violence won't occur onscreen. Offscreen, if it comes up we'll talk about it.

    If anyone has anything they think should be mentioned, let me know. Otherwise, let's get a sense of who these people are. Pics if you can find them! If not, that's cool.
  • Likely going with the Fae, going to sleep on it.... er... not literally. That would be weird.
  • I'm not particularly interested in classroom drama, as such. I guess I have the feeling that if a substantial slice of the PCs are literally non-human, then they probably have concerns that - even to a self-absorbed teenager - are going to loom larger than normal highschool crap. My feel is that classroom drama should have impact on occasion, but it's usually a backdrop.

    I'm not a big fan of suburban California. It has the feeling of being a little too worked over and vanilla, media-wise. Pacific northwest sounds pretty good, though. I'd suggest somewhere in the Texas/Southwest area, but that probably wouldn't fly for a Selkie.

    I would prefer a public school to a private school, yeah, though some kind of magnet school could be sort of interesting. That's just a thought, though ... I don't have any specific suggestions. I'd like to have a school large enough to have a broadcast program.

    I saw that bit about me introducing myself last. I might say a thing or two, but just don't consider it binding until we're done here.

    For lines and veils, what you said there seems fine, but maybe we should readdress that once the characters are sorted. If there's a flesh-eating Ghoul, for instance, we may want to attach some addenda.

    Are we all the same grade, in the same classes, that kind of thing? I don't particularly care one way or the other, but classroom stuff is likely to be less important if we're not. I think I'm inclined to play maybe a junior.
  • Texas might work if we're near the ocean, so near the gulf. I don't know about woods in the area. I suppose there would be some. A big enough high school to have media would be fine.

    A lot of the shared social structure revolves around being in the same classes, so yeah, eveyone's probably the same grade.
  • I'm not really attached to Texas or whatever - it's just a different spin. Pacific northwest is also good. I'm just not a fan of California for this.

    It looks to me as if the skins in the link you posted two days ago are an older version than the skins that can be downloaded from the website. The differences are mostly in layout, but I see at least one important difference, being that the skins from the website say you take your stat line and add 1 to one stat. Also, your link refers to the Spurn Someone move, instead of the Shut Someone Down move.

    Am I reading that right? The skins from the website are newer, and correct?
  • Yeah, probably. I might have put up the wrong link. Use the website ones.
  • Posted By: Michael LoyI'm not particularly interested in classroom drama, as such. I guess I have the feeling that if a substantial slice of the PCs are literally non-human, then they probably have concerns that - even to a self-absorbed teenager - are going to loom larger than normal highschool crap. My feel is that classroom drama should have impact on occasion, but it's usually a backdrop.
    I'm actually seeking classroom drama, thought it was a focus of the game.
  • I guess it depends on what you mean by classroom drama. The school will be a major location and one that you're at fairly often. It's also going to form the core of your social world, like it does for many teenagers.

    The point of the genre this emulates though is the mix of ordinary teenage stuff with monster stuff. I think both are a big focus and complicate each other. So... I don't know Michael, does that put you off?
  • Posted By: Michael LoyAre we all the same grade, in the same classes, that kind of thing? I don't particularly care one way or the other, but classroom stuff is likely to be less important if we're not. I think I'm inclined to play maybe a junior.
    I'm good with being a junior. Makes teenage sex a little less squicky. I think we share homeroom, so we're all in the same grade, I assume.
  • edited July 2012
    Huh. I don't see that - classroom drama being the focus of the game. Does any of the source material chiefly focus on classroom drama? Buffy the Vampire Slayer doesn't, and it's not my impression that Twilight does, either. I think those things both include it, but pretty definitely focus on using high school as a backdrop for the supernatural side.

    True Blood gets mentioned in association with this game, but that doesn't use classroom drama at all, and it's probably an outlier. And I don't know much about Jennifer's Body.

    Though I could be talking about something different from you. Like, I know early Buffy had a lot of episodes where they took some normal high school thing (domineering jocks) and blew it up into something outlandish (jocks getting possessed by hyena spirits or some damn thing). But I don't think that kind of thing is classroom drama ... wikipedia tells me that episode got resolved with magic spells and someone getting eaten alive by a pack of hyenas, which I think is definitely a different genre.
  • Here's the relevant bit from the book.
    "While the default assumption in Monsterhearts is that the PCs are teenagers who go to high school together, this doesn't need to be the case. It's fine to have the game focus on twenty-somethings who work together, or a sports team, or some similar departure from the high school milieu.

    If you choose to shift away from that default, it's important to know what the high school setting and teenage protagonists were providing. Otherwise, you might lose some of the magic that keeps this game alive and interesting.

    The PCs need to be in the midst of a major transition. They need to feel alienated - both alienated from their own bodies and alienated from the world at large. They need to be put together in an environment of petty social politics.

    The game flourishes when PCs are passionate, dramatic, catty, loveable but unlikeable, confused, and divided against themselves. It doesn't have to be teenagers who share a home room, but that's the assumption that the game is based on.

    On page 136, there are instructions for creating a homeroom seating chart, and using it to create compelling drama. If your game doesn't take place in a high school classroom, try to find an appropriate equivalent to the seating chart."
    So the important things are the alienation and petty social politics.
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