Thursday, February 21, 2013

Monsterhearts: Home Session 1 (Set-up)
I'm probably gonna do a decent amount of goth metal on these Monsterhearts APs. The Birthday Massacre is among my favorites.

Hey there, first AP post in a damn long while!

So our group is playing Monsterhearts. We have a couple of line-up shifts from what I was expecting! I'm not gonna bother with an intro to what the game is - it's an Apocalypse-Powered high school teen monster sex horror story. That may seem like an odd mash-up of genres, but it's very much akin to Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Vampire Diaries, Twilight, and Being Human.
Kenny as Cain the Infernal,
Daniel as Cole the Ghoul,
Me (Max/Ego) as Alex(ia) the Doppleganger,
and Kris as the Master of Ceremonies!

Before I go further, if you don't know about The Doppleganger, it is of my own creation and is available for free download HERE.

You can probably see a few things that are a little out of the ordinary. Daniel is back, now Skype-ing in from university after graduating Air Force basic training (he's training to be a cryptolinguist). Kris is still Skype-ing in from university, but this is his first time running the game remotely. I'm evidently playing my own unofficial Skin - this is my first playtest of it. If you pay attention to my group's continuity, you'll notice Luke isn't here. We had some scheduling issues - Luke is somewhat interested in playing, so hopefully we'll see him soon enough. Lastly, Kenny wasn't initially the hottest on the game. I gave him a legitimate out that we could just game, like, ApW or something, but he said he was cool with giving it a shot, but after the first real gameplay session we might have a little roster shift.
Through the course of this session, I acted as MC in a lot of interactions because of familiarity with the text.

I should call out that I'm probably the only one in the group very okay with queer content. Kris is okay with its presence I think, and I don't think any of us are actively biased against homosexuality, but for everyone else talking about it is pretty awkward. Especially for my two Skype folks whose dialogue usually ends up spoken not just to the group, but also aloud in front of whichever room-mates may be present at the time. Kenny too has some awkwardness about it. As such, while I'm sure some gayness will creep in, the game will likely be pushing the Dark And Horrifying rather than the Hot And Sexy.

The brunt of this post is just character descriptions so I'll have something to reference in later posts if I can keep up the discipline to write them. I'm really gonna try though, since these are also operating as my playtest.

Cain the Infernal: I predicted immediately that Kenny was going to be The Infernal. I never had a doubt. Anyway, obviously he picked Cain for a name. He picked vicious for a look, and burning eyes for the other. His origin he picked was Emissary, which is pretty badass. His stats are Hot -1, Cold -1, Volatile +1, Dark +2. The moves he picked are Soul Debt (obviously) and Dark Recruiter. His bargains are The Power Flows Through You and Numbing It Out.
So now that I've given the run-down of him by-the-numbers, I can talk about his more interesting parts! Cain is the agent of The Fallen, a great spirit that was once an angel. Cain has been a servant of the Fallen for a very long time. Cain grew up in an orphanage, one of those awful and cruel-ish ones. He was 4 when the Fallen first showed itself to him. As he grew up he had a fairly close relationship with The Fallen. Finally, not too long ago, the Fallen asked his first real debt: to kill the headmaster of the orphanage. And Cain did it, made it look like an accident, and got away with it with The Fallen's help. Since then The Fallen has treated him as an emissary. And his job as emissary has been to start bringing people to him (hence Dark Recruiter).
I asked Kenny what exactly "vicious" looked like. He said it was like, green spiky hair, and some scars, and piercings, and probably a black coat and all of that. Basically he's punk. I followed up with what exactly "burning eyes" really looked like. Kenny gave me a cooler answer than I expected, his irises are literally green flames without pupils, about the same color as his hair. He can disguise it though.
He is currently a senior at the high school. We actually had an interesting kind of discussion about the best year of high school. Dan and I both said Junior, Kenny thought Senior. I think Kenny enjoys the autonomy of it all, and it totally makes sense for Cain.
As for his Backstory options, his 3 Strings to give away as debts all went to The Fallen actually. His other, someone thinks they can save him. Cain thinks it's me, Alex, and I totally agree with that idea, so I've got a String on him.

Cole the Ghoul: I called Daniel as playing a Ghoul or a Werewolf, and managed to be dead on with that as well. I'm glad to have a Ghoul around, they move the action forward really nicely.
Anyway, so Dan is playing Cole, a gaunt Ghoul with hollow eyes. He was resurrected as an origin. He has Hot -1, Cold +2, Volatile +1, and Dark -1. His moves are The Hunger, which he hungers for fear, Short Rest For The Wicked (YESSSSS) and Disaffected (YESSSSS).
I'm gonna talk about Dan's move selection for a moment, because I think he picked the array I wanted to see the absolute most. Fear is the best long-term hunger for a beginning player in my estimation. Flesh is a little on-the-nose, it makes things come to a head very quickly, while power and chaos are a little abstract for someone used to playing the barbarian. Fear is abstract, but it's also really obvious how to cause it. Short Rest For The Wicked is one of my absolute favorite moves in the game, it's tough as balls and awesome, and was among the few moves that I REALLY want to copy with my Doppleganger. Lastly, Disaffected tells me something I wasn't actually expecting - it's a (for him) boost to Turn Someone On, and that indicates an interest in actually USING that move, which was something I feared Daniel might shy away from. Alex might not be used to being turned on by being fucking terrified, but as a player I'm sure as hell ready for it.
Cole has been dead for a week. No one found the body really in the meantime, so he's just been missing for the week. The first day of the game is the first day back in class for him. He was the passenger in a drunk driving accident - the driver survived, he didn't quite, but woke up soon afterward. The driver obviously hasn't admitted to anything. He's also in homeroom with us >:D (that was one of my homeroom questions I put forward, "Where does the driver of the accident that caused your death sit?").
For his Backstory questions, someone reminded him what love was, when ge thought that death had stolen it away from him forever. He chose Alex, so that makes sense. So I have a couple strings on him. As for if anyone saw him die or come back to life, he said that Cain saw his return to life - I'm not quite sure how that'll flavor the action. But they've got strings on each other now.
Cole is a junior. Not the top of the school, but pretty good.

Alex the Doppleganger: Alex is female, it's short for Alexia but goes by Alex. I like this name because it's a really gender-neutral shortening. I chose to be female for the benefit of the others actually - as The Doppleganger, I'm going to be doing a lot of stalking, and I figured it would be easier on everyone if I was female so it wasn't a constant push of the gay stuff. It lets other characters get into messy sexy stuff of their own volition as well without triggering any queerness. I coulda pushed the other way, but I'm not gonna make them uncomfortable. I've never played a female PC before (though obviously I've GM'd female characters), so I'm trying my best to avoid stereotypes, but I'm new at this particular thing.
For look, I picked forgettable and prying eyes. I was really tempted by paper-white skin, but I decided to not go with another visible sign of things, fading into the background is what I want for now. And my eyes are prying for what makes all these other people so perfect.
For origin, I'm a stalker. It was between that and wannabe, and I kinda feel like bein' a stalking type.
My natural stats are Hot -1, Cold -1, Volatile +1, Dark +2, so the same as Cain actually. That's okay, I don't have Walk Like You, Talk Like You so I'm not gonna end up cloning my own stats.
I obviously have Transform, and took Be Like You because it's the move that most needs some playtesting. I've gotten kinda lucky - both other PCs have required negative moves (Soul Debt, The Hunger) so there's awful things that the MC can saddle me with.
The most important question is: who am I impersonating? I waited til my backstory asked it to decide since I did backstory last (I wanted to know who I would be copying), and based upon my urge to "save" Cain and his bad boy senior attitude, I wish I could be like him. I've been watching him, closely. And now I can become him. I've only done it the one time so far, and unfortunately, Cole caught me turning back! So he has strings on me.
I'm a sophomore. That puts me in a great place to really admire a senior, and to be drawn to the juniors too.

So let's recap the little web among us.
Alex wishes she could be like Cain and thinks she can save him. Cain saw Cole come back to life. Cole was shown love again by Alex, though that doesn't necessarily mean he's IN love with here. He's also seen her shifting, though didn't see what form.
That's a mess waiting to happen.

So I don't actually have the complete seating chart in front of me, but I'll call out some interesting individuals in this horrible class.
Cain and Cole sit next to each other in the back of the room. To Cain's other side is Dominic, a rich kid who's an occult wannabe, the sort of guy who buys a lot of Hot Topic and goes to the creepy ritual shops. Cain likes him, they hang out together, and when Cain finds real materials in those ritual shops Dominic is willing to buy 'em for him.
My best friend Jam, who sits behind me, is a quirky sort of fellow, but they're a total flatterer, and that makes me feel like I'm actually wanted. They're like that to everyone, but it still makes Alex feel good.
In the front-row, we have the good kid Neil Peart. For being a good kid, he made a mistake - he chose to drive drunk (he has no history of doing it) and got Cole killed. But he's generally a good kid! Also in the front row, right in front of the teacher, is super-Christian Elizabeth. She really doesn't like Cain.
And one guy has been missing for a week now, he hasn't shown up and there's been no news of what's up with that. This was a gift from me to Kris as a kicker tool.

So that's the set up for our Monsterhearts game! Hopefully I get the chance to play tomorrow, but I'm not so sure. I'll keep you all informed!
End Recording,

No comments :

Post a Comment