Sunday, September 30, 2012

Monsterhearts (Gamerati Game Day) AP
This is the Revenant Mix of Liar by 8MM. Once again, this is Underworld: Awakening's score, which I just keep loving more and more. This, along with Evanescence's Made of Stone (Renholder Mix) (see Feb. Songaday day 1), were the first songs off the album I loved, followed later by Combichrist's Bottle of Pain, Stella Katsoudas's Killer & A Queen, and Lacuna Coil's Trip The Darkness, all of which have been posted before here at some point. Enjoy the song - it's long enough to help make it through such a dense post as this, and it's dark enough to work great for Monsterhearts.

So, I was at the Gamerati Game Day in Tacoma on the 22nd. Actually, I AM at the Game Day - I just finished session 1 and wanted to start typing things up in my in-between time. EDIT: Barely had any time between actually, done with the day and typing it up after the fact.
But hey, I'll talk real quic about the venue and the Game Day itself. Organized by the Gamerati, specifically Ed Healy and Joe England, it was held at AmVet Post 1 in Tacoma, WA. We had a decenetly sized hall with a bunch of tables. I showed up early, and was there before most of the players, but the volunteers and other folks (there were a few Pathfinder Society GMs and such already there) were nice. There was a wide array of things going on. We had card games, board games, miniatures games, trad RPGs (mostly Pathfinder Society) and a couple of indies. I spent most of the day with the story-gamer types, Jay Loomis (who ran two of my games), Erin Sara, and others. Everyone was nice, but especially early on we had the curious issue of too many people who were going to run games and not quite enough players. It balanced out pretty quick, but I know Ross had some issues finding people to play Serpent's Tooth (which if I come across you again at some point Ross, I'd like to play it). A special note goes out to the designer there who was playtesting what he called a "destructible card game" called Red Tape about bureocracy in Communist Russia: Sorry I didn't have a good chance to play it, it sounded really cool and I actually would still love to give it a shot some time, I just had my existing game commitments. Hit me up here or on Twitter if you're doing something that I could have a chance to play it at, I'd love to play it. Not playing those two games (Red Tape and Serpent's Tooth) are my regrets for the day. In the long run, I suppose not having enough time in the day to do even MORE awesome as my only regret is probably good.
I was also amazed at the prize table. Wow, you guys pulled together a ton of stuff. I would have recommended spreading out the raffles a bit more rather than two very-loaded drawing sequences. I also would have made it clear to people (maybe with a sign on the prize table) when the drawings would be. I can't complain though - I got drawn! I picked up Pathfinder: Ultimate Equipment. I know, I don't play Pathfinder, but it's a really pretty book and I have this enormous soft spot for item books. Though seriously Paizo: did we need separate entries for Trail Rations, Dwarven Trail Rations, Elven Trail Rations, Halfling Trail Rations, and Orcish Trail Rations? A bit overboard, don't you think?
All in all, I found it a pretty good venue, although not a ton for food. The Cafeteria closed up really early and didn't reopen the main internal doors, you had to loop around the building to get in there. Other than that, I was pretty happy with it for the size.
It took a bit to get enough players - none of us had signed up beforehand for the game, though I signed up almost immediately upon arriving. We were joined by a couple of further folks (Olympia I think), and we were ready. Oh, what were we playing? Oh, just this little game called:
MONSTERHEARTS (Session: Gamerati)

First, an aside for the uninitiated. Monsterhearts is a hack of Apocalypse World made by Joe Mcdaldno, that wonderful genius behind Perfect Unrevised, Simple World, and he's working on The Quiet Year, among other things. He does this Pay With Good Deeds thing that is fucking brilliant. I bought Monsterhearts at Go Play NW and though there was some interest from the group about some of the bits, we've been doing other things - D&D Next at the time. Apocalypse World was also easier to pitch to them, plus I was feelign like it at the time. The two of those, AW and MH, both are trying very hard to be my favorite Apocalypse-powered game. DW is great and all and I love it, but the genre of these two is simply more interesting to me. But I still haven't described the game itself!
Monsterhearts is a teen drama with monsters game. As Jay put it, it's like the Breakfast Club, except if they were all secretly monsters underneath all those other problems. They are horrible little people. It is a game that's a metaphor for the struggles of growing up and maturing and the body changing and social struggles and other teen things. It's really cool. It's probably the most liberal take on the AW framework, and the Strings mechanic (a variant on Hx which has its own token economy), which emulates characters' emotional control over each other.
Anyway, so we read out the skins (character classes, I guess) and picked our choices. It's worth noting that the Vampire was not available - aside from generally being a very obvious character to play oftentimes, apparently Jay has had bas expriences with the Hypnotic ability before thanks to it being a "force people, including players, to do exactly as you want" and if it fall into the wrong person's hands it can wreck a game. Later, I also noticed that the Chosen was also missing, and I'm not sure why. Likely because its abilities and tone are MUCH more suited to long-term play. So:
Jay Loomis as the MC!
Ross as the Queen, Cordelia!
Erin Sara as the Witch, Heather!
Orion as the Infernal, Mika!
And me, Ego/Max as the Hollow, Adam!

So, we described ourselves. Cordelia (which seems to be the only name on the Skins sheets ripped directly from a matching Buffy character) was a rich girl with her friends Jocelyn, Shawn (probably Sean, but I'm typing it as Shawn just because), and, um, another one. There used to be a Jenny too, and she used to date Shawn, except Cordelia didn't really like her so she broke up with her for Shawn and hooked him up with Jocelyn. She's all aloof, and has two dads (gay-married, both doctors) who are super-rich but are generally absentee parents. She took The Shield as her other move. The person she found threatening? Me, Adam. I watch her. I'm super-creepy. The time I was in her house without her knowingwas, uh, really bad. She wants to go into fashion. She's the most popular kid in school. Ross was really good - his dialogue and stuff was spot-on. He's played the Queen before, and he's certainly skilled at it! He made the interesting note that, by consistently playing the queen as rich, she almost seems like she has a super-power of her own among all these supernaturals.
Heather is a witch totally into Wicca. She's friendly and all, but she's vindictive, as are all Witches. Her initial sympathetic tokens were Mika's knife that he brings to school covertly that she stole and a sewing needle that Cordelia bled on. she took the Illusions Hex and the Ring of Lies Hex. She took Transgressive Magic, but I think she only used it one time. Her other backstory bit was that I caught her rummaging through one of my friends's things but kept quiet - I saw her steal Mika's knife. Heather learned about her powers through the Internet - as we decided, Wiccapedia.
Mika the Infernal is not a happy kid. He's in the debt of The Poisoner. He got tricked into service - the Poisoner gave him a long time of nightmares and restless sleep, then gave him peaceful rest, and then appeared before Mika and told him that he was in the Poisoner's debt for the peace and that he needs to pay that back. He's basically a burnout kid. His additional move was...I'm not sure, it didn't really come up. I think it was Dark Recruiter. His Bargains were Uncanny Voices and Strings Attached. He owed a debt to each of us I think - to Cordelia for straight up cash, to Heather for I don't remember, and to me for tutoring in History class. You'll see why I'm good there in a sec. I gotta say, if I was a big fan of Ross's acting for Cordelia, I loved Mika the character. The Infernal was my second choice that I was torn between that and the Hollow, so when Orion picked it he took out the hard part for me. And seriously, I really like Mika. He's sort of dating Jenny, the reject from Cordelia's clique.
And me, I played the Hollow, Adam. Look: Immaculate, Soulless Eyes. Origin: Once a Demon. See, I had a different vague idea of the Hollow before-hand, and when I read and picked it, and then when I actually started to make it everything went out the window because come on, tell me "Once a Demon" isn't amazing. Yeah, that's what I thought. So Adam was a boy who grew up through his normal life, and had a single dad Tracy (mom died while he was young), then out of the blue about two months ago the demon showed up and took permanent control of Adam's life. It doesn't have its powers, it doesn't have Adam's memories, it doesn't have any memories of its past self's deeds (though he can recall a lot of other things from demonhood). He's been trying to be normal but, well, Adam hasn't had to do high school before, ever. He's pretending to act as normal as he can when really he's confused and just doesn't care. People noticed a personality change, but he's started to do better at the pretending thing. He has an Inhuman Gaze (I used it!) and Metamorphosis (didn't use it - kept rolling super lame when I Gazed). My backstory says I've been taking social cues from someone and I've learned a lot about them - Cordelia, hence why I'm creepily stalking her. I don't mean anything by it, I really am just trying to learn, but man is that creepy. My backstory also says someone's seen through my invented past and realized it's all lies. I kinda fudged this one, but Mika's picked up on what happened. For the record, I took Hot-1, Cold-1, Volatile+1, Dark+2. Also, all of this former-Demon stuff is why I'm great at history - sometimes I'll say something that, uh, isn't quite out of the textbook. I say it's from the internet, but hey, I was kinda there.
As for highlighting stats, I actually picked everyone's but my own. Yeah, I had the highest or equal number of strings on everyone - apparently it pays to be the intelligent creepy stalker. I gave Cordelia Hot (easy, I know), Heather Volatile, and Mika Dark. Mika gives me Volatile, and Jay gives me Hot. I don't roll any Hot, and I do regret that.
We're all juniors at small-town Southwest US.

So we started with, as I've gathered is quite common, homeroom generation. Jay drew a circle of desks. We had an early-day art class, with the teacher being Ms. Dawnflower (who tells us to just call her Anita - she's a total hippy). Heather showed up first, and sat by the window, next to Juan. Juan is the apparently token Mexican that keeps showing up in Monsterhearts games. To her other side was, um, I don't remember. Must not have been that important. We decided I would be next to show up (I'm very orderly, I don't like things that take me out of my comfort zone, so I like to be there early. Also I kinda think that being very on-time is normal, which it certainly isn't). Next to me is What's-His-Name, but he was an asshole who I dislike because he always brings his breakfast and eats loudly and sloppily. It's just annoying. Across from me though is Nick, one of Adam's few pre-demon friends who is still post-demon Adam's friends. He saw the change in me, but he doesn't mind. I like him too. He's a huge goof. Mika selected his seat next, and sat next to me cuz we're apparently decent friends. He knows something is wrong with me, I just think he's weird, not a fiend-servant. Next to Mika is Danny, who's the art-genius of the class. He's an art snob. On the other side of him is Jenny, the ex-clique member and Mika's sort-of girlfriend. On Jenny's other side is Heather, so I guess I've cleared up that forgotten spot. Last of us came Cordelia and her posse, showing up with expensive drinks from the coffee shop. All of them but Shawn were there, cuz Shawn doesn't have this class. He was off in "Chemistry," cooking up some designer drugs for them. There were a couple others in the room that I don't recall, but the other important one was filled into the last slot: Heather's mom, Tammy. She wanted to take an art class somewhere, and is friends with Anita, and so sits in. Heather has a...strained relationship with her mom. Normal strained though, embarassed by her and feels oppressed by her and all (given the average teen environment, I gather that's normal at least. It happened to be entirely untrue for me personally, I have always had and still have a great relationship with my parents I think). And we had our homeroom!

The class started with Anita giving an announcement. As it was the last day before christmas vacation, we weren't going to have a very structured assignment. We were to paint (or draw or whatever, it was open medium) from our sould or some hippie crap like that, and were let loose to work. And we went to work, and Cordelia was basically directionless with what to do for this (admittedly, if I was asked to do this in class, I would be too). Everyone's going at it, and Mika was painting a raggedy woman on a street corner who was very obviously a prostitute, done with moderate skill - high school realistic, basically. I drew not an object but a pattern of black swirls and spikes on a red backdrop, something that I actually have drawn similar things to before, but in this case definitely demon-inspired. As Anita came around, she did the ever-embarassing thing of really liking mine and holding it up for the whole class to see and said some very pretentious artsy things about it (come on, I'm an artist and I still find a lot of art classes super-pretentious sounding). After being embarassed in front of the class, I felt like I had an opportunity to make a move, but I just wasn't sure what. Tangent from the summary time!
I have a hard time with Monsterhearts. This is my first time playing it, but even from reading it I predicted I'd hit this issue, and I did indeed. My issue is that my own experience was so utterly mundane. I had no class troubles, I was a nerd and generally not very social but was still accepted and experienced no bullying, I was friends with people from most of the circles of friends, and I had a group, my current game group mostly, who I could be cool with. I got into no relationships by mostly my own choice. What I'm trying to say is that the experience in Monsterhearts is extremely alien to me. My instinct is to be a good person, and, well, Monsterhearts doesn't really account for good people - they're there, but you sure as hell don't play them. It's weird for me to play a monumental asshole. This isn't a fault in Monsterhearts - it does what it's supposed to. It's just a serious learning curve for me, and I hope I did a good enough job. If I could get some honest feedback from one of the other players about how well I actually did, I'd be grateful, because I really want to build up the understanding of it to eventually run MH myself for my group. Anyway, back to the AP.
So Anita is going around and is talking to Danny in the background. Nick, grinning silently, picks up his canvas and shows it off to the class, aiming it very directly at Heather - the picture is Anita and Heather's mom going at it. Class is laughing, Anita comes over and Nick's canvas is back rolled down showing a bunny - but apparently, he's done this before. He's getting in trouble, and Tammy is getting super-embarassed, and Cordelia is disgusted by Nick, and I'm just laughing my ass off - both demon and Adam find this hilarious I think. And so everything is happening and Heather is darkly fuming and starts whispering under her breath. She rolls to Hex Nick, and it totally works. Nick starts freaking out about bugs everywhere and is goign crazy about it and Anita isn't believing and Nick falls on the floor, raving, until Heather's spell seems to go overboard and he starts vomiting up black goo all over the floor, and it just keeps going. Others are recoiling in shock, Anita is now freaking out and standing stock-still, and I'm still laughing - this doesn't really faze Adam, though he's starting to calm down a bit. Mika comes over and Anita is trying to tell Nick to knock it off, and Mika just mouths off at her about how "He's fucking dying, bitch!" and she gets upset at him and tells him to head to the principle's office and fetch the nurse. He heads off. Cordelia is bailing on this ("Oh my gosh, he's got ebola, ew"), and Heather slips out to the parking lot for a smoke. I'm now calming down and moving closer and trying to figure out what's going on - I'm feeling almost a kind of deja vu from this whole thing, something's wrong. I get closer, and touch the goo, and have some on my fingers, and well, I taste it. I wasn't sure how explicit I was supposed to be with my intentions (and this one is a hard one to reveal through just narration without saying the words), but I was really pushing to Gaze Into The Abyss. This is the equivalent of the Open Your Brain from AW, and just like Open Your Brain it makes itself my favorite move. I just love the Abyss. I try to do this at every turn basically. Thankfully Jay picked up on my intention, and I rolled my dice. I have a +2 on it cuz I have a great Dark, I should do okay, and this is my first roll of the game (and of the day), and all of these good factors combined to allow me to strike out completely >:|. Figures. The world fades into the background as I'm sitting there, and I see a figure. He appears to be a man, dressed as a male nurse, holding a large syringe in his hand. He turns toward me, and locks eyes, and I'm paralyzed by the exposure to this thing, and I just know that this is the Poisoner. We switch over to other people while I'm just sitting there now, staring at nothing with my finger on my lips like an idiot.
Mika is off going to fetch the principle, and is talking to him, and trying to bring him, and it seems that Mika's come crying wolf about this stuff before, and he's going all slowly, but they do start going. They talk as they go and we expose a bit about Mika being kind of a chronic troublemaker. Cut away to the parking lot, where Cordelia and her friends are getting ready to go to out for lunch, and Cordelia is talkign with Heather about how Nick is so bad and how that that was such an awful thing to do and stuff and Heather pretty muh didn't want to talk about it. It came out between players (though not in-character yet) that Heather has a crush on Shawn. We get a shot of Shawn coming out of the building, all cool with his shades on and his leather jacket slung over his shoulder (I would've hated this guy in high school). Heather wants to tag along, mostly just to try and get close to Shawn. They chat and Heather tags along and while they're in the car Shawn and Jocelyn start cozying up together.
Jump back to Adam, sitting in the goo, eyes locked with the image of the Poisoner. Mika comes in with the principle and nurse and sees me there as well and he slips out into the hall while the nurse is starting to attend to us. Mika closes his eyes and calls upon the Poisoner for information. He appears outside, and you can hear Adam gasp and hit the ground inside the room. Mika starts asking what's going on, and honestly I forget most of this scene except that he obliquely hints at my true identity (referring to "the demon boy"). Oh, that's one of the things! The Poisoner gives Mika his task - don't you dare fail again. He's to bring Jenny to the Poisoner with him - sleep close enough to each other. This isn't the first thing he's asked about Jenny though. In the past he's asked several things, such as putting blades in her food and such, and Mika keeps refusing. Mika begrudgingly accepts his task though. Mika goes outside to the front of the school. Oh, by the way, Mika's communing was a Gaze. Jumping just to me, I'm trying to get away from the nurse and the principle, I first try to just shrug off what just happened to me, but it becomes pretty clear that I ought to make a move. I chose to Run Away - I could have tried shutting them down, but either manipulating them or running would be worth xp, and I'm far better at running than manipulating. I very successfully got away! Figures that I can't pull that off with my +2 stat, just the +1 one.
So Mika is outside, and he sees Jenny and starts to go over to her. He tosses down his skateboard and rides over all cool-like, in an attempt to Turn Her On. He owns the roll and has this girl falling all over him. They talkin' 'bout going to the theater cuz it'll be so dark and quiet there, and they're walking toward the parking lot exit...when Adam shows up, all distraught, asking if he can tag along with the. Adam is the best third wheel. And hey, he's having a freakin' AWFUL day so far (Nick is FAR worse off, of course), I get where he's coming from wanting to be with people he knows, but seriously this could not be worse timing for them. The sort of "Hey, where you guys headed to?" "We were gonna go catch a movie together" "Hey, I love the movies!" sort of scenario with the dude you really just want to get rid of and it just isn't working. They let on that they're pretty much on a date and Adam kinda backs off. He asks if he can tag along just to the theater then, he'll get away after that, but if they're going to the same direction already, you know, why not? Mika's fine with it, though Jenny's hesitant. As we're walking out the parking lot, she basically parades Mika as they pass Cordelia and the others - especially Shawn. To be entirely honest, I'm not so sure she should be so proud - she's toting a burn-out demon-slave on one arm and a literal former-demon who's a total weirdo (and potentially a stalker of Cordelia's) trailing along. As we're heading along toward the movies, I'm chatting with Mika, and he's prying a bit into his suspicions about what the Poisoner said (calling me the demon boy and stuff), asking crap like "have you ever seen a dead body?" and stuff, with me denying things, and denying them POORLY. Jenny doesn't catch on, daft as she is, but Mika is starting to catch on.
So the others are going off to lunch at a very high-class, very upscale french cafe. A lot of fvery fun dialogue between the characters about the restaurant and numerous jokes about how "rich and cultured" they are (aka they're huge snobs). It spawned lines like Cordelia asking Heather "Have you ever been to France?" and Heather responding "Uh, I went to Canada once!". If you my viewers weren't aware, I'm actually Canadian (though I've lived in the US most of my life) so I found this kinda hilarious. This really ended with Heather kinda getting fed up with watching Jocelyn and Shawn fawn over each other and carefully and quietly stol something out of Jocelyn's purse and then excused herself to the restroom and starts to throw a hex over Jocelyn.
Now, a note from me. I don't remember exactly where in the game it happened, but at some point, Heather went Darkest Self as a response to a not-fully-succeeded roll. I don't remember where though. From what I can tell, it must have been around here, so for the purposes of the AP I'm going to assume this hex triggered it.
Anyway, so she sets up in the bathroom and burns the token and through it unleashes Illusions upon Jocelyn. Not the same Snakes and Spiders she gave to Nick though - she's going to give her the illusion of imaginary subtext. She's going to see subtext everywhere, even where there isn't. She starts to pack up her stuff and get away, without even returning to the table (which means, of course, that she just stuck Cordelia with her portion of the bill).
Back at the table, Jocelyn is now freaking out - she thinks that there's something going on between Cordelia and Shawn. And of course there isn't; Cordelia WANTS Shawn and Jocelyn together, but it all goes kinda nuts and Cordelia pays the bill (unbelievably large, of course) and they break for the day.
Back at the theater, before the movies start, Mika and Adam are alone in the restroom and Mika confronts me, asking me who I am. The effective conversation goes to the point of us both knowing who each other are, and me knowing that Mika is indebted to the Poisoner. Me: "Wait, you know the Poisoner?" Him: "Yeah, I do..." Me: "Hold on a second, you don't OWE him anything, do you?!" Him: "Um, maybe, yeah..." Me: "Oh crap.". Turns out the Poisoner makes a habit of doing this sort of thing. I may not remember myself as a demon, but I remember knowing him, and he's bad news, one of the worst. I also know that he wants Jenny too and that Mika has promised to bring her to him. To counter this, I spent my String over Mika to say that if he doesn't turn Jenny over tonight, he'll get XP - he'd be ruining Jenny's life by doing it. We go off to our separate movies.
Quick scene of Heather walkin' through the park and finding Juan at the playground, smoking some weed up on the monkey bars, and she joins him and starts smoking some herself.
Mika is with Jenny in the theater of a little kid's movie - it's the middle of the day on a schoolday, it should be empty. As they come in, well, there's a couple of kids and their parents. They're in the back, and it starts quiet, and basically she's fuckin' him in the back fo the theater. This would happen without a hitch if she hadn't gotten as loud as she did - one of the parents comes up and tells them to knock it off and that there are children present. Jenny didn't even register the intrusion, and Mika just told her to fuck off and mind her own business. The woman stormed off and brought the manager, and it was a whole thing where you know, like, they pause the movie, and the lights come back up, and Jenny isn't paying too much attention to this and the manager is coming in. The manager is a kid, only like 18 or 19 himself, and awkwardly tries to tell them that they can't do that, and how it breaks like a dozen rules, and Mika closes his eyes and calls on the Poisoner. Appearing in his mind's eye (and cocking one eyebrow at Mika), Mika tells him that he's trying to do what he asked, if he could just get these people to just turn a blind eye. The Poisoner is kinda irritated that Mika can't do even this without help, but gives him a deal: he'll get rid of the intrusions if Mika'll bring him a puppy. Mika hastily agrees and opens his eyes again and the manager is telling the mother to just go back to their seat and stuff, and Mika and Jenny finish their business. Thanks to the sex, Mika took a String on Jenny and the Poisoner lost one on him.. For the record, Mika was using the Strings Attached bargain. There's also a hilarious moment where Cordelia spends a String on Mika to have him pocket-dial her and cry out, "Oh my gosh, Mika, are you having SEX?" to give him the Pocket-Dialed condition.
So over in the other theater, Adam snuck into a rated R film, a really gory one. He doesn't care about the film - sitting in the dark, thinking about what Mika said in the restroom and how he doesn't even know what he did as a demon, he lets the fear and horror and blood-soaked atmosphere provided by the movie wash over him and consume him as he Gazes Into The Abyss about his past self. For once, I actually rolled properly and got clear visions. I saw myself, hidden just out of view of people, a rapid flurry of images of me, leaning into peoples's ears, and just the one echoing whisper filling my head, "You know you want to...", tempting people to, mostly, be unfaithful or lustful. I was a tempatation demon, an embodiment of lust (kinda hilarious now post-game, cuz manipulating and turning people on was pretty much the main thing I didn't do). I left the theater with a greater understanding of who I really am. I started to head toward home.
Mika is back at home now. It just so happens that his rich absentee parents have a VERY annoying little puppy! But first Mika gets a call from Cordelia, and they talk for a bit and Mika's getting this idea that Cordelia likes him, and she's all disgusted by his sex, and it's gloriously awkward. Mika's getting ready to try to figure out how on earth he actually GETS the puppy to the Poisoner. What ends up being decided by Orion is that Mika is going to grind up some sleeping pills and put them in its food (we're horrible horrible people, I know. Jay made the mention "hey, it's not every day I can bring Kill Puppies For Satan into things!"). He does it and brings himself into the abyss to commune with the Poisoner. The dog is there, but is instead a many-headed behemoth that honestly makes no anatomical sense, baying and growling from many angles at once. The Poisoner admits that he's quite pleased that, for once, Mika actually did his task. But of course, there's still the matter of Jenny... Mika objects and asks why he has to take her, and the Poisoner says it's not his business. Mika returns with a counter though - "If I get you someone else, can we leave Jenny out of this?" "Hmmm. Bargaining, Mika? Tsk tsk. Remember your place. However, who did you have in mind?" "Cordelia." And the Poisoner accepted this counter-offer - Cordelia is a far better prize than Jenny would have been. If Mika can bring Cordelia to the Poisoner, he'll be free of a bit more of his debt. He needs that desperately, because as the Poisoner has been saying, this is his last chance.
Adam is walking home through the park, and notices Heather in the distance with Juan. Adam thinks about passing by them unnoticed, but realizes that if he wants to know more about Mika and his connection to the Poisoner, he's going to need something significant of Mika's, and he knows JUST who has something - Heather. Adam watched her steal his knife. Heather's always seemed a bit timid, this ought to be easy. I come over, trying to be a little menacing, and call out at Heather. I tell her that I know what she did, and she responded kinda confused (well duh, I wasn't very specific). I say that I saw her steal Mika's knife, and Juan calls me out, saying "hey man, just chill", and I Shut Him Down by just pushing his high ass off the monkey bars, staring him down with my Inhuman Gaze. I succeed by like a mile, by the way. With Juan intimidated, followed by passed out from weed and falling-off-the-monkey-bars, I snarl at Heather to just give me the knife out of her purse and I promise I'll leave it at that. She doesn't take that though, refusing me and Shutting Down my social skills. So what does Adam do? He lashes out and grabs her purse, proceeding to dump the contents onto the ground, and grabbing the knife (and now I see all the weird witch shit she keeps in her purse!). She's furious, and thinking back, she starts to hex me. See, she advanced a bit earlier and bought the rest of her Hexes, and now that I think of it, I think THIS roll, as a partial success, triggered her Darkest Self, which immediately took effect and threw the Binding spell she put over me into overdrive. The monkey bars warped and bent themselves, wrapping me up in a coil of metal, holding me in place. She wanted to get the knife back from me, and I wanted to get away while still holding the knife. If I remember right, we decided I needed to Hold Steady and Run Away. I succeeded at both! Not sure how I pulled it off with my AWFUL Cold, but it happened. I got away, and my "safe" was I got to my home, and thankfully avoided an encounter with my dad.
After the fight, Heather is finished packing up her purse when she sees Shawn coming. She quickly finishes up and hurries over, where hse tries to catch his attention and tries to Turn Him On. It goes off successfully, except Ross spends one of the Strings that Cordelia has over Shawn to place a condition on him. He remembers back to the jealousy that Jocelyn showed earlier and feels like he should remain faithful to her; the condition is Turned Off. Ross, you wonderful asshole.
Up in my room, I took the knife and started to Gaze into it. My original intention had been to try to see Mika's connection to the Poisoner, but I saw what Hetaher just did, I wanted to know about HER through it. If she used it, or even if it was just in proximity to all that stuff, it must be connected to her. I got a partial success on the Gaze, and got a messy vision of looking into the knife, and seeing the reflection, and seeing THROUGH the reflection to see Heather, up at night with the lights out with only the light of the computer illuminating her, open to where she was learning magic, and I see the reflection in the screen and again see through it, finding my mind in a demonic landscape, filled with the servants of hell. I don't recognize anyone, but I know that her powers are demonic in nature.
Mika left his place and it's now quite late, and Mika is outside of Cordelia's window. He calls on the Poisoner to knock out her security, and the Poisoner agrees because it's so obviously toward his goal. Seeing Cordelia asleep, he crawls in through her window, with the intention of hiding and sleeping under her bed - hopefully that's close enough proximity. Apparently, that doesn't quite jive with Cordelia, because as he's climbing in she rolls over and shoots him with the gun she's been sleeping with ever since I was in her house. With Mika on the floor with a bullet in his arm and blood on the floor, Cordelia picks up her phone and calls Jocelyn. "You're gonna want to see this, come over right now."
And that's where the session ended.

Yeah, Monsterhearts is pretty fucking awesome. I gotta say that I definitely talked my way into situations where I was alone a lot, and I didn't have a real short-term goal. Like we talked about in the post-game, it really helps to pick the playbooks with integrated drives in them for con games, to get the action moving immediately since you know EXACTLY what you want. The big example that kept coming up was the Ghoul. I'd totally like to play a Ghoul sometime - and a Fae, and a Serpentine, and everything else. I love the game, and want to play more, but I think doing con stuff with it is best for me right now unless anyone in the Tacoma region is looking to set up a regular Monsterhearts game - I'm just not ready to run it for my own group yet.
I'm sorry this one took fucking FOREVER to post. The others should be much quicker, and I'm really excited to post about the Dungeon World and 13th Age games. Also, October Songaday starts on Monday, so be ready for a kick-ass month of music! Later folks!
End Recording,


  1. Thanks for the feedback. I'm glad you had a great time. Hope to see you at the next one!

    1. You've got it, and you can count on me being there!

    2. Man, what an awesome actual play! It's wonderfully detailed, I had a blast reading through it. It made me feel like a star, and helped remind me of some awesome moments, included some great moments the other players had since I wasn't paying enough attention (I have a bad habit of planning my next move).

      I thought you did pretty great as the Hollow. The Hollow was a tough character to play for me because I'm trying to be weird and confused and kind of distant and aloof, which can be hard to do while still keeping a strong connection with the other characters. But you put yourself right in the middle of a lot of good situations.

      My only problem with monster hearts is one session is never enough for me. Well, except for the first time I played, where I killed everyone else...

    3. Really glad you enjoyed it! Thats's exactly my reason for typing up these in such detail, to try and keep a record of all the awesome, for myslef as much as everyone else. We do so much cool stuff in games, and its a shame to lose it to the mists of memory.

      Thanks, I'm glad I was okay with him, I've felt a touch worried. He absolutely seems distant - his journey looks like it's a lot about introspection and self-discovery, and a lot of that goes on alone. I kinda imagine he'd be a really strong candidate in a 1-on-1 game.

      And I totally agree, one is never enough. Though I suppose killing everyone makes it really easy to know when the game is over!
      Thanks for all the kind words, looking forward to gaming with you again sometime!