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Topics - mcdaldno

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Apocalypse World / Spector vs. The New Rulers [AP]
« on: November 28, 2010, 07:39:54 PM »
Something's wrong with the world and I know exactly what it is.

It used to be better, of course it did. Back when humans ran the world, there was enough to eat and enough hope. We were free.

Now that's not what we've got. Now we've got this. Gorillas squatting in communes, in what was once America. Bulldogs running Britain. South America fragmented by great disaster and crater area, inhabited only by savage bat tribes. Killer whales launch raids on the Communi-Bear silo states.

And you, who are you? What makes you think you'll survive if you escape the wild human preserve? What makes you think that a tiny little pipsqueak like you will win against the new rulers?

Meet Spector

If anyone's going to be able to take down The New Rulers, it's Spector. She's got a van full of gizmos, lots of weird tricks, and some mad fighting skills. It's her against a feral world.

She's a Savvyhead, with a workspace (a van, weird-ass electronica, booby traps). She's going to escape the wild human preserve, and then journey across the world to find and defeat the four New Rulers, thus freeing humanity.

Except, there's one little problem that she doesn't see coming. David Bowie.

David Bowie Runs Earth A.D.

Nemomeme (Matthew) double-dog dared people to use the map from Kamandi as their Apocalypse World. Perfect. Me & Kaleigh have been looking to do some silly, action-y Apocalypse World gaming. This was the visual stimulation we both needed to get going.

But I didn't want this to be a game ABOUT Kamandi, just about this map. So I cut out the explanatory text at top left, and I pointed to the blond dude. "Who's that, Kaleigh?"
"Uh... David Bowie?"
"Yes, correct. He's probably the one who's ACTUALLY in charge, right? Not those New Rulers guys," I say, as I point to the four animal heads at the top right hand of the map.
"Yeah, he's sneaky like that."

And that was that. We dove into character creation. She made up Spector, and we talked about game tone as she did. It's going to be an action-adventure kind of game. We're going to hack some of the basic moves to make it more like a platformer video game - something like Ratchet & Clank, Jak & Daxter, or Sly Cooper.

So, like, to replace Act Under Fire:

When you platform around, roll +cool. Stuff like jumping onto something, dodging the roving laserbeams, slinking through the shadows past the gorilla commandos, etc. On a 10+, you do it gracefully. On a 7-9, pick one: you slip and have to try again, something blocks your path, you hurt yourself but succeed (1 harm).

I'm also adding new threat types. Warlord: Final Boss (impulse: to up the ante), and Brute: Mook (impulse: to get in your way).

My hope is that there'll be action-adventure platforming, with some cool boss fights. Some of those murderous Kanga Rats will be open to negotiations and deal-making. Some will just be mooks, clearly there for the head-bopping.

Since Spector's a Savvyhead, it'll be easy to plot out little "adventures." Spector wants to build jet-wings for her van, to fly it across the ocean? No problem. She'll need a Quantum Reactinator, and maybe a crew. Pom Pom the Kanga Rat snitch says he knows where you can find a Quantum Reactinator, just... it's guarded by some mean Leopard Sea Pirates.

We've done character creation. Kaleigh's off to roller derby practice. We'll start playing tonight or tomorrow.

Feedback welcome!

Monsterhearts / NPCs, Strings, and Playing with Few Players
« on: November 18, 2010, 05:30:36 PM »
This is who you want to fight:

You want the PCs to fight. I don't mean you want to have them swinging fists and firing guns all the time.

But you want the PCs to be getting Strings on one another, forcing one another into ugly situations, fucking one another, making promises to one another, loving one another, betraying one another, and doing horrible things for one another.

The PCs shouldn't ever "team up." They can depend on each other, and they can even do things to save one another... but they should never be... You know what, Spike says it better than I do:

Quote from: Spike (S03E08)
"You're not friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love until it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other until it makes you quiver. But you'll never be friends.

Love isn't brains, children, it's blood. Blood screamin' inside of ya to work its will. I might be love's bitch, but at least I'm man enough to admit it."

You never want the PCs to be friends, in that sense that Spike is talking about friends. This is part of the agenda: make sure that they are unaccepted. Blind love is okay. Acceptance isn't.

This is what NPCs are for:

NPCs are there for a few things:

1.) To form PC-NPC-PC triangles.

2.) To force pressure on untenable situations.

3.) To infect the game with interesting conflict, in the hopes that the PCs become host to that infection.

4.) To provide countermeasure. EX: Jake is playing Sylvan, the emotionally-needy Fae, and Carly is playing Lillian, the tough-as-nails Ghoul. They're in a relationship, but it's mostly about Lillian pushing Sylvan around, and meeting her needs at the expense of his. This is awesome! But give it enough time, and the pattern will become stale. Your job, as an MC, is to use NPCs to provide countermeasure and infect the game with new conflicts.

So, you introduce someone that challenge's Lillian's resolve, maybe. How about a werewolf dude... One who's personality is half The Joker (from The Dark Knight) and half Faith (from Buffy: the Vampire Slayer)... out to provoke Lillian and to test her resolve and to force her to see the path of darkness.

Or you introduce someone who sees Sylvan as powerful and unwavering, who looks to Sylvan for salvation. You give him a taste of being a hero, and then you remind him that he's trapped in an abusive relationship with a cruel dead chick. What then?

PCs and NPCs:

So, I'd make some of those expectations and goals clear to your players, at the outset. It is absolutely not their job to get along. It's their job to form dysfunctional, imbalanced relationships with one another and to fight for the acceptance that just straight-up isn't coming.

Now, use NPCs to reflect this dysfunction and to fuel it when it's not coming naturally. That's what NPCs are for. That, and to give interesting options and outs.

NPCs and Strings:

NPCs can take Strings, and people can take Strings on NPCs.

If you're a PC, you can take Strings on NPCs in the normal ways: turning them on, and any other ways that your moves give you.

The MC has an MC move that I forgot to list: "Have an NPC take a String on a PC". Narrate how this happens: a big threat, a turn-on, a magical ritual, helping them out at a crucial moment, etc.

As the MC, you get to just take Strings on them whenever you get to do a move. If the PC is in a relationship with an NPC, use this move all the time.

NPCs don't take Strings on NPCs. Boring.

Playing with Few Players:

If you've only got one player, play something else. This game will not work. I recommend My Supernatural Romance, by Jamie Fristrom. Or S/lay w/Me (despite its title).

If you've got two players, then you've got just enough to play. But you'll want to lean more heavily on NPCs than in bigger games. During "your backstory" in character creation, have each player assign one of their backstory interactions to the other PC, and then invent an NPC to assign any other backstory things to.

Does that make sense? Like, for example, The Vampire has:
someone once offered themselves to you in a moment of weakness. gain 2 Strings on that person.

someone once saved your unlife. give them 1 String.

So, the other PC? Either they offered themselves to you in a moment of weakness, or they once saved your unlife. Choose which. Now, invent a new NPC to assign the other one to. Just a name and a title, like: "Mrs. Beckins, my biology teacher, offered herself to me in a moment of weakness. I cut her down, left her crying, and now use it as blackmail whenever I'm doing poorly in her class." And then the MC writes down "Mrs. Beckins - Biology Teacher / Cougar" on a sheet of paper.

Managing Strings:

So, at some point in the first draft, I suggest using pieces of string to track Strings. That's actually a bad idea, I think. Instead, just write names down and write the number of Strings you have on them there.

So, if you're a PC named Jake, maybe your page will look like this:
Quote from: Jake's Character Sheet
Lukas - 3
Windy (NPC) - 2
Molly (NPC) - 1

And if you're the MC, you'll have to keep tallies for each NPC that has Strings, on who they have them on. So, something like this:

Quote from: MC Strings... on a scrap of paper
Lukas - 2
Jake - 1

Jake - 3

Lukas - 4

So, the MC has 3 different NPC's who have Strings on one or both of the PCs. Make sense?

Monsterhearts / Monsterhearts, a first draft
« on: November 09, 2010, 03:02:27 AM »
Check this out: Monsterhearts.

Feedback is lovely.

Monsterhearts / Rogue's Gallery
« on: October 28, 2010, 02:06:57 PM »
I was going to wait until I had the complete set and spring 'em all on you at once. But then I got way too impatient. Feedback Desired.

The Vampire:

The Witch:

The Fae:

That the Fae is a shirtless Asian boy delights me.

Monsterhearts / The Vampire
« on: September 29, 2010, 07:47:35 PM »
You are beauty eternal. You are the darkness that everyone wants to taste, but no one wants to understand. It's there in your eyes, and your carefully-chosen words, and your every gesture. You no longer have a soul. How does that make you feel?

Some vampire revel in that fact, their afterlife a tapestry of exsanguination and hedonism. Others hate the evil in their skin, solemnly vowing to a chaste and lonely existence. Either way, someone suffers. The choice is yours.


intense, aloof, pale, predatory, smoldering, old-fashioned

dead eyes, hungry eyes, thirsty eyes, lusty eyes, pained eyes

newly reborn, old by human terms, taken this century, many ages old, maker, lord


Hot +2, Cold +2, Steady +0, Volatile -1, Dark +0
Hot +2, Cold +1, Steady +1, Volatile -1, Dark +0
Hot +2, Cold +0, Steady +1, Volatile +1, Dark -1
Hot +2, Cold +1, Steady +0, Volatile -1, Dark +1

Basic Moves

You get all the basic moves.

Vampire Moves

Choose one of these two:

The Feeding
You feed on human blood. The blood of supernaturals works too. When you feed, choose 2: you stop when you intend to, you regain 1 Harm previously suffered, carry +1forward to your next roll, you don't trigger your Darkest Self. If this is the first time they've been fed upon, mark experience.

You suffer 1 Harm whenever exposed to sunlight.

Against One's Nature
You resist the call of human blood, feeding elsewise. When you take your intimacy with someone to a new level (being alone with them, kissing, fucking, and so on), you need to try to keep it together, resisting the urge to feed. When you defend someone from harm you've brought upon them, mark experience.

As long as you haven't fed upon a human recently, you are merely weakened by sunlight. Suffer -1 to all rolls while exposed to it.
If you have fed on human blood recently, suffer 1 Harm whenever exposed to sunlight.

And choose two more:

When you're alone with someone who has no Strings on you, you can roll +hot. On a 10+, all three. On a 7-9, choose 2: they don't realize you hypnotized them, they do exactly what you say to, it doesn't unhinge their sanity.

Gain +1hot (maximum of 3).

Marked for the Hunt
When you feed on someone, you establish a close bond with them. When you gaze into the abyss concerning their whereabouts, roll as if you had Dark +3.

You cannot enter the home of a mortal without being invited. When someone invites you, take a String against them.

Sex Move
When you deny someone sexually, take a String against them. When you have sex, lose all Strings with that person.

Darkest Self
Everyone is your pawn, your plaything. You hurt them and make them vulnerable, for sport, like a cat does with a mouse. Unless you manage to keep it together, you feed to the point of death whenever you're alone with someone. You escape your Darkest Self when you're put in your rightful place, by someone more powerful than you.

Apocalypse World / Neutralizing the Artillery
« on: September 29, 2010, 03:34:14 PM »
So, let's say I want to justify an apocalypse where there are no assault rifles, fighter jets and heavy transport ships. I want to de-militarize the world a bit, so that overwhelming force can only be achieved in numbers and skill, not in tech.

What are the possible explanations for this?
Brainstorm with me?

1.) In Dune, there are personal force-fields that prevent motion above a certain speed. Bullets are rejected, but knives & fists pierce it as long as they are moving slow enough.

2.) The Psychic Maelstrom is expressed through metal. To touch metal is to enter its world. Fighter jets, train tracks, cars & guns are all puppets of the maelstrom. It can control them, but it rarely rarely does so - and when it does, it's to build huge geometric constructs of trash, and so on.

Apocalypse World / How Tank Girl Saved My Apocalypse
« on: September 29, 2010, 02:49:38 AM »
I'm a big fan of having a point of reference before diving into a game. There needs to be something (a movie usually, but maybe a comic, or tv series, etc) to put everyone on the same page.

My girlfriend Kaleigh plays story games sometimes. She can be pretty timid about approaching new games, though, especially ones with lots of crunch & stats. Apocalypse World counts as a crunchy, stat-heavy game for the purpose of this story. I've wanted to play AW with her for a while, and have been looking for the right way to pitch it.

I feel like early buy-in is essential for Apocalypse World. Players need to feel comfortable making decisions that colour their world, and answering those provocative questions.

So, I suggested we start by finding that elusive point-of-reference movie - something that cemented our buy-in, informed our apocalyptic aesthetic, and made it easy to leap into play. And we ran through our options - 12 Monkeys, 28 Days Later, Road Warrior, The Road, Children of Men... We started to watch The Road, and then realized it was all wrong.

So we went to the video rental place (we live in a town with a giant, 7-room video rental store called Reo's), and we browsed their walls. A similar feeling of bland disinterest struck Kaleigh in the Sci-Fi section, and the Horror section. "I just don't really want some fighty movie, I guess." "This is all so grim."

I thought back to the post-apoc movies she'd seen that she'd liked. The City of Lost Children (surreal imagery, grotesquery, and a rambunctiously fluctuating pace) and Resident Evil: Extinction (one badass chick, walking through the desert) were the entirety of that list. But she really liked those two.

So, we ditched the Sci-Fi & Horror sections and doubled back to the Cult section. As we were heading over there, I asked more questions. Did she envision a zany apocalypse? A realistic one? A bright one or a drab one?

The answer finally emerged. Tank Girl. She'd never seen it, and I'd only seen brief snippets. We watched it tonight, and Kaleigh flipped out over how awesome it was. Crazy punk water-thieves. Mutant kangaroo people who dance and party in their secret lair. A 100% loco battlebabe who rides around in a kitted-out tank. Occasional musical numbers. Barren deserts. Inept corporate warriors. Oh my.

And so, buy-in is absolute and airtight at this point. We're going to be playing some batshit insane Apocalypse World soon.

Monsterhearts / The Genre, Encapsulated in a Single Moment
« on: September 25, 2010, 08:34:01 PM »
True Blood (Season 2 Episode 8 "Timebomb")

Hoyt is a pansy-ass momma's boy. Jessica is a newly-minted vampire.
They've fallen in love. They're both virgins.

And so they make love, and it hurts for Jessica of course, but it's all so perfect.

And then the next night, they start to make love again. Except that Jessica freaks out. It hurts even worse than the first time, and she bleeds again. And then the horror dawns on her.

See, vampires have magical healing powers. And Jessica was vampirized with her hymen intact. Which means it's going to keep on healing, every time.

Jessica weeps blood. Hoyt tries to console her.

Monsterhearts / Goodfang / Badfang
« on: September 23, 2010, 10:39:47 PM »
So, here's the thing with vampires: there are two different types. Both are incredibly different, and also incredibly consistent/insular/archetypal.

Type 1: Doesn't feed on human blood anymore, stiff-lipped, emotionally rigid, denies others sexually, constantly lords "you don't know what it's like to be a monster!" over humans, constantly lords moral superiority over greater monsters.

Type 1 Vampires once fed on blood, and were in their early days notorious as some of the worst killers ever. Thus, they are constantly brooding about their past, and will immediately threaten anyone who shows up from their past, due to the potential that figure has to pervert their new-found virtue or to spread tales of their ghastly past.

Type 1 Vampires include: Angel (Buffy), Edward (Twilight), Jasper (Twilight), Bill Compton (True Blood).

Type 2: Feeds on human blood. Sexy, seductive, predatory, conceited. Hedonistic, powerful, and constantly playing power games. Everything they say sounds like a metaphor for giving in, sexually. It's all about giving in to the desire, and being rewarded for it.

Type 2 Vampires are vulnerable to their baser instincts, and can hardly resist a chance to feed on someone, whether we are talking literally or metaphorically. This is their only undoing. But beware - the power they draw from human blood is mighty. Type 2 Vampires often travel together in groups (covens in the lexicon of Twilight, nests in the lexicon of True Blood).

Type 2 Vampires include: James & Laurent & Victoria (Twilight), Riley (Twilight: Eclipse), The Master (Buffy S01), Eric & Pam (True Blood, S01 especially), Liam & Malcolm & Diane (True Blood S01).

So! I'm thinking that I should have two different Skins for Vampires. Type 1 and Type 2 vampires have different strengths, drives, mannerisms, goals, and approaches.

So, introducing...

The Goodfang &
The Badfang.

What do you think?

Monsterhearts / The Witch
« on: September 22, 2010, 04:02:12 PM »
In every lock of hair, every furtive glance, every secret note that transfers hands during history class - there is an invitation. An invitation to be fucked with. Not that witchcraft is about fucking with others, but it's hard not to notice how utterly manipulable the world is.

Of course, a good witch like you knows restraint. A good witch turns a blind eye to all those invitations, and doesn't think about how sweet vengeance and control might be. A good witch is above that sort of thing. At least, most of the time.


lithe, guarded, coy, edgy, brooding

calculating eyes, sinister eyes, playful eyes, smirking eyes, deep eyes

vodoun, wiccan, shamanic, dabbler, born gifted, awoken


Hot +1, Cold +0, Steady +1, Volatile -1, Dark +2
Hot +0, Cold +1, Steady +1, Volatile -1, Dark +2
Hot +2, Cold -1, Steady +0, Volatile  -1, Dark +2
Hot +0, Cold -1, Steady +1, Volatile +1, Dark +2

Basic Moves

You get all the basic moves.

Witch Moves

You automatically get these:

Sympathetic Tokens
You gain power from items representative of a person - a lock of hair, their diary, a shirt they wore in gym class. People won't normally just give you these things - you'll need to steal them, or manipulate people into giving you them.

Every Sympathetic Token counts as a String.

You can cast powerful hexes on people. The most common way is to obtain a sympathetic token, and then expend it during a ritual casting - bubbling cauldrons, burning candles, buried symbols and that sort of thing. The second way is by meeting the person's gaze, and chanting at them in tongues. Since they are right there, no sympathetic token is needed. Hexes almost always wear off after a while.

Roll +dark. On a 10+, the hex works great, and can easily be reversed when you want to reverse it. On a 7-9, the hex works, but choose 1: the casting requires a blood offering of 1 harm, the hex has unexpected side effects, trigger your Darkest Self.

You start the game knowing 3 hexes.

And choose one:

Transgressive Magic
When your ritual transgresses your community's standards of morality or sexuality, take +1 forward on your roll.

Gain +1 Hot (to a maximum of 3).

You belong to a coven. One of them doesn't like you. When you want the coven to help you with a hex, roll +hot. On a 10+, choose 3. On a 7-9, choose 2: they do it, you don't have to get mean about it, the mean one doesn't get a string on you, you don't have to help any of them with their hexes.


The person loses all their hair, or their teeth start rotting and falling out, or their period comes now and it comes by the bucket, or their skin gets all sickly yellow and spotty. Whatever the specifics, it's bad.

Ring of Lies
Whenever the person attempts to lie, they begin to hear a piercing ringing noise. Big lies will often make their knees buckle and disorient them. Severe lies can cause harm and even brain damage.

Two people (other than yourself) switch the number of Strings they have against one another. You'll need a sympathetic token for each, or to chant at both of them.

Pick one: snakes and bugs, demonic visages, flashbacks, nonexistent subtext. The hexed sees that thing everywhere. You have no control over the exact images or iterations.

The person cannot harm others.

Sex Move
After sex, you can take a Sympathetic Token from them. They know about it, and it's cool.

Darkest Self

You hex anyone who slights you. All of your hexes have unexpected side effects, and are more effective than you are comfortable with. To reverse a hex requires that you try to hold it together, if the hex is even reversible at this point. To escape your Darkest Self, you must make peace with the one you have hurt the most.

Monsterhearts / Still in the game...
« on: September 09, 2010, 12:44:07 PM »
So... I wanted to update people who're interested in the game.

I just got back from PAX, and am finishing a move to a new place. I get laid off tomorrow. Suffice it to say: whirlwind week.

But starting next week, I'll be unemployed and looking to make art. Monsterhearts will start getting love again real soonlike. I'm probably going to try to hammer out the Vampire and Witch skins next, and then I'll have enough playable Skins to sit down and start playtesting.

If you're enthusiastic, use this thread to shout enthusiasm. It'll keep me enthusiastic. And then, soon, I'll get back to work.

Monsterhearts / Equipment & Harm
« on: August 30, 2010, 08:50:21 PM »

Generally, equipment doesn't mean a damn. You are not your fucking magnum. Generally.

There are two exceptions:
Adults carry +1 when using the most effective equipment for the job.
Teens carry +1 when using the most fitting equipment for the moment.

But astute readers will be in an uproar, surely! NPCs don't roll dice, so what is that adult +1 good for? Here's how: that +1 is fluid. Let's unpack an example:

Sheriff Dawson has wised up to Jason's situation. So when he pursues Jason into that locker room, he tells his men to hang back. And he pulls out his other pistol. The one with the silver bullets, each one sporting a cross crudely carved into its tip. Sheriff Dawson carries +1.

Right, so Sheriff Dawson doesn't roll dice. But he's pursuing Jason with a silver-bullet-and-holy-crosses pistol. So, "Jason, what do you do?" If Jason tries to seize something by force, and Sheriff Dawson is going to bring that gun to bare in process, then Jason is acting at -1. If Jason gets shot and then tries to get away, he's at a -1 because there's silver coursing through his veins.

Sheriff Dawson's +1 can be applied against a roll Jason is making. It can also be applied toward harm that Dawson is doing. That +1 is fluid, and it applies in the instances where Sheriff Dawson's equipment is most effective for the job.

If this sounds familiar, this fluid currency thing, you've read Sorcerer. It's a game about Infernals, only they call them something different.

Alright, teenager example:

Anita ("Needy") is straddling Jennifer, on her four-poster bed. She's got a boxcutter in her right hand, and is struggling to plunge it into Jennifer's heart. Yes, a boxcutter. Needy isn't the tried-and-true murderer here; she grabbed the only thing she could - something crude, and frail, but dangerous nonetheless. Needy couldn't have picked a more fitting murder weapon - it is a mirror into her state. It's poignant, or near fucking close. She carries +1 for it.

If Needy is a PC, then she just applies that +1 to relevant rolls, and to harm done. If she's an NPC, then it works like it does for Sheriff Dawson at this point: that +1 is fluid.

I stole that example from Jennifer's Body, by the way.


When you do harm to someone, if you're using your bare fists or a glass bottle or you're kicking at their groin, it's 1-harm. If you shove them down a small flight of stairs, or throw a chair at them, or ram their truck off the road but it doesn't flip, it's 1-harm.

1-harm is the kind of stuff that people gossip about in the change room.

If you shoot them with a gun, or you have giant fucking claws, or you get a solid hit to the temple with an aluminum bat, it's 2-harm. If you set fire to their house and they barely escape, maybe having to body-check a smoldering door in the process, it's 2-harm.

2-harm is enough to require medical treatment. It'll get you a couple days off school, if you let people know about it. It'll have the cops at your door, if it's reported.

If it's worse than that, and it's gotta be pretty bad, it's 3-harm.

3-harm is enough to make front page news, and to scare the shit out of the community, and to make small-town nurses queasy. When someone leaves someone else for dead in a movie, that's  3-harm.

Now, remember that adults can add +1 harm if they're using the most effective equipment for the job, and teens can add +1 harm if they're using the most fitting equipment for the moment. This +1 isn't factored into those break-downs above.

Harm & Theme

Monsterhearts isn't a game about vampire hunters sporting holy-water grenades, or special ops teams with assault rifles. It's about fucked-up teenage monsters.

It's important to keep your gun fetish out of your Monsterhearts game. If you're slinging 3-harm around, you better have a good thematic justification for doing so.

Monsterhearts / Threats
« on: August 21, 2010, 10:46:41 PM »
So, I'm pretty clear on how the PC/PC interactions work.
The PC/NPC interactions are a little less clear.

So: How do threats work in Monsterhearts?
Are they like in Apocalypse World, but re-skinned?
Are they somehow more personal, and spun from the issues of particular monsterhearted?
What, what?

I'm imagining that the game loves:
concerned parents
clans, coteries, covens, cliques, clutches, packs, orders
worse monsters
angry villagers
pure and innocent souls
horny teens

But how do you map Threats and the threat mechanics to Monsterhearts?
Any ideas welcome.

Monsterhearts / Agenda / Always Say / Principles / MC Moves
« on: August 16, 2010, 03:00:34 PM »

Make the players' characters' lives not boring.
Make the players' characters feel unaccepted.
Play to find out what happens.


What the principles demand (as follow).
What the rules demand.
What your prep demands.
What honesty demands.


Blanket the world in darkness.
Address yourself to the characters, not the players.
Make your move, but misdirect.
Make your move, but never speak its name.
Make monsters seem human, and humans seem monstrous.
Give everyone a life.
Acceptance is never absolute (or: Accept people conditionally).
Happiness always comes at someone else's expense.
Always leap to the worst possible conclusion.
Ask provocative questions and build on the answers.
Be a fan of the players’ characters.
Sometimes, disclaim decision-making.


Separate them.
Put them together.
Announce off-screen badness.
Announce future badness.
Inflict harm (as established).
Trade harm for harm (as established).
Make them pay a price.
Tell them the possible consequences and ask.
Offer an opportunity, with or without a cost.
Turn their move back on them.
Expose a dangerous secret to the wrong person.
Trigger their Darkest Self.
Herald the Abyss.
After every move: “what do you do?”

Monsterhearts / The Abyss
« on: August 15, 2010, 05:11:30 PM »
Here's what I'm thinking about saying, re: the abyss:

There's this thing called the abyss. You know where to find it. It knows where to find you.

It's the shit that's too awful to wholly exist. It's where kids get their nightmares, and schizophrenics get their delusions. It's where monsters get their power.

The abyss can make offers, and demands. It can cast visions and prophecies. But without you, the abyss is weak. It needs a partner with which to tango.

Your relationship to the abyss is your own. Like a terrible mirror, everyone sees something different.

Fae see a portal beyond the veil. Infernals see their dread benefactors. Mortals see that which mortals shouldn't see. Everyone sees something different.

And that's all I'm currently planning to include. Thoughts?

I don't imagine The Abyss as something that is as pervasive as the psychic maelstrom - it's just that hell/otherworld/darkness/self-reflection that you know all too well. Sometimes you find it, and sometimes it finds you.

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