Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › What We Played: Rest In Pieces (Monsterhearts)

What We Played: Rest In Pieces (Monsterhearts)

Shuo
user 13294625
Seattle, WA
Post #: 56
Jacob, The Chosen (Xander)
Lydia, The Witch (Martin)
Crow, The Fay (Pat)
Zoey, The Hollow (Shuo)
Chuck, Jared, Laura, Cain, GM (Jamie)

Once upon a time in Seattle, there lived a human named Jacob. With stubborn unwavering eyes and a "destined" look, he fights monsters with a cat-turned-human companion (Zoey) and a fay (Crow). There's also an irritable witch named Lydia that tags along, bound by old high school friendships and guilt (Zoey used to be her cat before the accident).

Everyone is gathered at the Sorrento Hotel where Zoey and Crow's boss, Jared, is having a big party for all the employees of his coffee shops. Crow reunites with an old high school bully, Chuck, who had previously estranged him from many of his old friends by spreading a rumor that Crow was gay. Crow does some sweet-talking and Chuck eventually comes out to him. The fay accepts him with open arms and they have a quickie in the hotel. Meanwhile, Jacob finds Cain, the frankenstein-ish monster that have been hacking up innocents and taking their parts for himself. They fight with words and blades in the hotel's back alley.

Lydia, who saw a vision that something bad was going to go down in the hotel, tries to find Zoey to warn her. She ends up finding her and Jared in a compromising situation. Zoey was trying to use sex as a means to get her co-worker fired, but her bluntness about it ended up backfiring. Zoey and Lydia arrive at the alley just as Cain is about to get away. Cain grabs Lydia after she unsuccessfully tried to read his mind and a chase ensues.

Eventually, Zoey lures Cain into the open with Jared as bait. Jacob makes short work of Cain and the day is saved thanks to our heroes.

I really enjoyed my first Monsterhearts game. It's a good mix of personal drama, monster fighting, and cheekiness. A few of us found it a bit weird that you can only seduce / manipulate the other PCs to do what you want unless you have a string on them but it probably makes sense if played in a high school setting.

Thanks again for facilitating, Jamie!
Pat
user 8415259
Seattle, WA
Post #: 37
Jacob makes short work of Cain? Ahem, I think Crow's torpedo kicks deserve a little more credit.

Monsterhearts was fun, although I found the interpersonal relationships to be more interesting than the pursuit and combat. I also found the experience system presented motivations counter to my character concept. I put points into "Hot" and took the "Unashamed" Fay move with the idea that Crow would be a mischievous, amorous fellow who plied men and women with sex and then hooked them with pillow talk promises. That's the way I played him initially, too, but since it was my "Vitality" and "Dark" stats were the ones highlighted, I wasn't getting much XP. Noticing that the other PCs were advancing without me, I started having Crow gaze into the abyss and attempt to torpedo kick Cain (2/3 ain't bad!), but it was in the interest of the mechanics rather than story.

Jamie said this session was the most "Buffy" he'd seen Monsterhearts get, so maybe all the pursuit and combat of the Big Bad was rather atypical. In any case, I'd definitely play it again. Thanks Jamie!
Shuo
user 13294625
Seattle, WA
Post #: 57
Pat, don't be ashamed that Crow is more of a fighter than a lover. All my character did was smell things a lot so... yeah, stats.

It kinda was off-putting that the GM and the person who held the most strings on you had such a huge influence on how you developed your character. Jamie, are you all supposed to agree on what's highlighted or are you meant to be at the whim of what others decide?
Jamie F.
user 12636925
Bellevue, WA
Post #: 77
The highlights for me were:
When Zoey was seducing her boss but didn't really get human sexuality, skipped foreplay, didn't see why it should bother anyone when Lydia came into the room, etc.

And the ultimate revenge on a gay-basher: seducing him and getting him to admit he's gay too.

Yes, pretty much up to whims, though usually players will be 'nice' to each other and highlight the stat you want leaving the GM to be 'mean' and highlight your weakest stat (or your Dark, which is a good general advance-the-story-no-matter-what-you-rol­l stat). I personally like the XP thing because it gets me out of my comfort zone when playing and encourages me to roll my lame stats - and in a multi-session game, they generally all get covered so everyone ends up trying everything. It's also fun to say, "Fuck you, game," and do the thing that doesn't get you XP. It was awesome that Pat kept rolling Hot, he owned that part of the story.

If we kept playing, I think Chuck would totally fall for Crow, becoming more and more needy and problematic. And because Zoey's got herself fired, you and Jacob would have trouble covering rent. Jared, now that he knows monsters exist, would try to expose y'all. And the Sumerian gods Lydia and Jacob talk to would make their presence known more ... and their agenda wouldn't match up with yours.
Shuo
user 13294625
Seattle, WA
Post #: 58
I'd totally watch that. Multiple seasons of it too.
Martin
user 10655881
Seattle, WA
Post #: 9
I was troubled by the XP thing too. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad if it were a multi-session game, but single-session it made two stats just feel completely irrelevant. I rolled on Cold all the time anyway, but it felt like killing time until I could get in another Dark or Hot. That said, having to come up with ways to use those did drive a fair bit of plot. I wonder if in single-session play it might not be better to have the highlighted stats shift two or three times a session so the other stats get some use.

Also, I missed the one-roll-per-conflict we get in most other story games. It was anticlimactic to have roleplay repeatedly interrupted to roll Cold for an individual putdown, rather than finishing a scene and then rolling to see if the putdowns really stung. Also, it made it a good idea to do the same thing over and over again to rack up XP.

I think we lost out a lot by not having inter-player conflict, and having an angry baddy who prevented us from developing any. The scenes where the protagonists interacted with each other were strong, and I wished we'd had more of them.

I liked the quick character creation, and the Darkest Self mechanic, and the idea of Strings. I'd definitely try it again sometime.
Xander V.
user 14240548
Seattle, WA
Post #: 10
Yeah, the pick-2 mechanic is really not meant for one-shots. Why should someone else get to decide what's interesting about your character when it's the only screen-time you'll ever have? GM picks one/ you pick one would work better.

If I had to do it again I wouldn't have taken Chosen. It's a big departure from the PC-relationship drama of AW. That and the out-of-high school setting.
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