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Story Games Seattle Message Board What We Played › Mayhem at the Masquerade (Monsterhearts)

Mayhem at the Masquerade (Monsterhearts)

Dani L.
user 87036972
Seattle, WA
Post #: 8
The MC- Jay

The Cast, in Alphabetical Order:

Esme the Angel- stunning with wounded eyes. She had been tempted into sin by a demon. He was her first love and their relationship meant she was banished from heaven. Joe, a man somewhere in his thirties who lived on the outskirts of the town in a trailer found her and picked her up. As far as anyone knows, he’s her uncle. Neither of them asked too many questions of the other, which helped keep the weirdness at bay. The new girl in town, she had a reputation as somewhat aloof. (Dani)

Lunaris the Fae- mysterious with lyrical, mesmerizing eyes. Faeborn, his parents had been sent to do some scouting of the human world and he was enrolled in high school to help with recon. His mother had a kinder view of the humans than his father did but neither opposed the study. Fae society was undecided on how to handle mortals but all agreed that more research of the humans were needed. He had a unique view on the world, including ownership and relationships. (Shimon)

Rodin the Witch- coy with deep eyes. His life changed forever during a camping trip over the summer. When he got separated from the group, he met Abrielle, an older lady who began his instruction in the dark arts. He was missing for some time but turned up later a changed man. Everyone around him was a piece on a gameboard to be moved and used as necessary. Woe to those who got in his way! (John)

Summer the Hollow- disheveled with wide eyes. She is the product of her parent’s wish for a child. Seeing as they had gone years without being able to conceive and had no desire to deal with the expense or red tape of adoption, they went to Abrielle who gave them instructions. Instead of getting the baby they hoped for, they got a teenage girl. They were loving but overbearing, encouraging her to take part in many school activities. She took her cues from those around, sometimes to disastrous effect, and went for what she wanted. (Erin Sara)

The story began at a pep rally for the sports teams where a few of the clubs also got a chance to get people excited about what they’re doing. It was also the assembly where the King and Queen for the Harvest Dance (which had a masque/costume theme) for the underclassmen were announced. During this scene, Summer managed to attract the attention of a jock named Tanner and earn the ire of his girlfriend Sondra. Rodin successfully avoided making trouble for himself by getting Mitch, a brutish (and not very bright) boy to go confront Peggy, a fellow student he had problems with. Esme managed to diffuse the situation in the time-honored tradition of kissing him. Lunaris took Peggy away from the situation. As it happened, Rodin was attracted to Mitch, who was convinced that their kiss now made Esme his girlfriend. (She sort of went with it.) The Witch cast a hex on Esme that made her see everyone looking at her creepily, which seriously unnerved her.

After a scene where Summer and Esme went shopping to help Summer pick out an outfit while being stalked by Rodin, there was a brief interlude where one of Esme’s brethren warned her about a student at school. Lunaris and his mother had a nice chat before the dance began. Rodin talked to Lunaris upon arrival and seized the moment to steal a sympathetic token. Summer arrived and had a brief confrontation with Sondra before going to change into her costume.

She emerged just as Sondra was approaching the stage with Tanner to claim their crowns as King and Queen so that the other girl could see Summer was wearing the same costume and pulling it off better. There was another spat between the two. Meanwhile Rodin attempted to cast a hex on Lunaris that failed- not just because the thing he’d snatched didn’t belong to the Fae- and drove him into his Darkest Self.

His next hex made Esme (his target) and several other students see the flames of hell and demons all around them. Esme went into warrior-angel mode and accidentally injured several of her fellow students, who were all panicking at the visions people farther away from the epicenter couldn’t see. During this scene, Lunaris and Summer bonded (with kissing) as he tried to stop her from intervening. Sondra once again picked a fight with Summer that she lost.

The illusions finally wore off, leaving everyone scrambling to bring order to the situation. Mitch thought the way Esme had handled it was really hot. Rodin stepped in, casting a hex on Mitch, as he attempted to throw Esme off guard and get her to leave, first by flirtation then by threat. He told her about how everything that happened was because of him. The confrontation ended with him getting punched in the face. Rodin stormed off but was approached by Sondra who wanted in on whatever it was he was into. He pointed out Summer and Tanner in the throes of some heavy making out. Tanner broke up with Sondra and agreed to start dating Summer. That was where the story concluded.

It was a fairly successful game of Monsterhearts in my humble opinion. There were love triangles and fights and angst and awkwardness and terrible teenagers doing terrible things, which is what it is about. There wasn’t really any intrusion from an outside menace or sinisterness in this game. Not that it was necessary! The PCs created plenty of drama for themselves. The MC did a good job of making sure no character was neglected, although the Fae didn’t seem to have as much screentime as some of the other characters. It concluded pretty neatly but definitely would have set things up for future episodes. At the end, it seemed that Rodin and Esme were well on their way to becoming bitter enemies, Summer had an antagonist of her own in Sondra and Rodin was very aware that something was going on with her. Lunaris would have been sucked in to this due to his connections with the other PCs.

Anyway, mechanical questions as well as scene stuff (“could my character notice that?” type things) came up a few times. None of the answers seemed to detract from the experience though. Even with new players the mechanics are simple enough that questions don’t bog the game down and everyone was a good sport. I'd say the system served its purpose well, framing a story about supernatural teenage melodrama and adding a nice element of randomness with the dice. Good times were had all around it seemed. Well, by the players and MC at least. ;) But that is the fun of Monsterhearts.

Thanks to Jay for MCing and for Erin Sara, John, and Shimon for their creativity, energy, and helping make this a good experience.

- Dani, aka Esme the Angel
Jay L.
Bellevue, WA
Post #: 22
Thanks for the write-up Dani! It was great to play with you.

I think something that went particularly well with this game was that everyone had moments (some of them very small) where the tack they'd been taking wasn't quite working and they quietly adjusted to make things more fun for everyone. It seems like such a simple story games technique, but I've had other games of Monsterhearts at Meetups and conventions go wrong because players got hung up on a course of action that, had they been paying attention to the other players around the table, they could have seen was not going to enhance the group experience.

Your comment about how the game ended (with a lot of potential for more) is, alas, a symptom of MH really shining in multi-session play. If I don't leave a one-shot wanting more, I consider it a failure. :-)

We did fail by one of my common metrics: nobody triggered any sex moves! Maybe next time.

Dani L.
user 87036972
Seattle, WA
Post #: 9
You're welcome, and thanks again. It was really nice to meet you all and play with you guys!

That's cool to hear you say. :) It was definitely a really good time. I enjoyed all the PCs and NPCs. I am glad that I am not the only one who had fun with this session.

I have heard that Monsterhearts can go wrong and I can see the potential. But with the right group, it does what it is supposed to do well and can do it in a lot of ways.

I felt that was more about the choices made by characters than the setting. Which is not a bad thing at all. It was an interesting and highly entertaining session that would have made a fantastic "pilot."

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