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Messages - Evan Torner

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AW:Dark Age / Re: First-Time Players
« on: October 13, 2014, 10:00:42 PM »
Whoops, I couldn't find this thread for some reason, so I posted a new one:

AW:Dark Age / Playtest: Tree Island of the Squirrel God
« on: October 13, 2014, 09:59:38 PM »
Overview: There is an island, on which stands a massive tree, where the two peoples who worship the Squirrel God – the 16 Warriors and the Acorn-Bringers – quietly feud over how to worship their deity the best.

The Cast:
• Azita (Dragon-Herald, Acorn-Bringers, played by Simone) -- Seer and eldest of 3 daughters (Nika and Asta being her sisters)
• Fiery Frank (Blacksmith, 16 Warriors, played by Alex) -- A fierce, straightforward blacksmithing type who recently the brat Orly as an apprentice
• Arsalan (Court Wizard, Acorn-Bringers, played by Michelle) -- A wise and brave magic-user, recently returned from abroad
• Hilda (Peasant Beauty, 16 Warriors, played by Kat) -- An heir of the Queen's of the old blood who likes to shirk labor, recently placed in charge.
• Farid (Wicker-Wise, Acorn-Bringer, played by Jan) -- Slightly-demented healer who lives underneath the tree's ancient roots
• Silas (Outranger, 16 Warriors, played by Timo/Alexa) -- Strong, silent type who loyally serves Ebrill

The NPCs:
• That Creepy Troll from the Darkness
• The Freelanders -- Keme, Eero, and Fulvius. (Keme presides over forestlands. Fulvius is ambitious and presides over prairie and owns a large fishing boat fleet. Eero has a beard and many herds on his land. All are dangerous and encircle the island.)
• Ebrill (Keep Liege, Acorn-Bringer) -- Manages the Feasts, recently left Hilda in charge
• Dev (War-Captain, 16 Warriors) -- Brutal, terrible man. Recently captured by Fulvius
• Zoish (Castellan, Acorn-Bringer) -- The person in charge of the island's defenses
• Abadi (Priest, Acorn-Bringer) -- A devout, affable priest whose son Orly is a total brat.
• Orly (Apprentice to Frank, Acorn-Bringer) -- A total brat.
• Henri (One of the 16 Warriors) -- One of the youngest of the 16 Warriors

What Happened: Arsalan returns from abroad with news that famine is affecting the lands outside the island. This may bring new threats, such as starving people invading the island for food. Meanwhile, Azita has been receiving strange visions of something dark beneath the island, as well as a potential invading force. Ebrill calls a meeting to assign the peoples to various tasks, and it becomes quite obvious that very different ideas about how to manage the place are at play. Fiery Frank turns his attentions to the island's weaponry, as Azita tries desperately to wrangle the ornery kids Orly and Henri. Hilda winds up getting out of any real duties, and sent Dev off to negotiate with Fulvius (as Azita also has a vision of Fulvius' warriors preparing for battle). Fiery Frank takes Orly as an apprentice. Silas sneaks off to do reconnaissance of the Freelanders, and winds up in Eero's court, negotiating a possible deal for the Freelander to invade his neighbor Fulvius. Dev is captured by Fulvius, and Ebrill goes off to save him, leaving Hilda fully in charge. Meanwhile, Arsalan and Farid head down to the catacombs beneath the tree to discover a dark passage that reveals a terrifying Troll. They are now both running away. Azita is mustering the rest of the warriors to meet the challenge of Fulvius' invading army, but it's taking some time.

That was first session, about a month ago. Second session is tomorrow night.

The main two questions:
• How do I get player-characters to be deeply intertwined from the start without something similar to Hx or Strings?
• How should we deal with the fatigue of reading through all these lists? (I think our group hit our "too much of a good thing" limit...)

AW:Dark Age / First-Time Players
« on: September 16, 2014, 07:40:27 AM »
As I announced on G+, I will be running AW: Dark Age tonight with an audience almost entirely new to the hobby of RPGs, some of whom don't speak English as their first language.

I will be posting my feedback on this thread, and I have largely ignoring other threads for the sake of an "authentic" playtest.

We'll see how this goes!


Sagas of the Icelanders / Re: AP Report: A Cliff in Iceland
« on: May 11, 2014, 04:24:29 PM »
Here is the link for the scans of our characters and relationship map after Session 1...

Sagas of the Icelanders / AP Report: A Cliff in Iceland
« on: April 16, 2014, 02:26:15 PM »
AP Report: A Cliff in Iceland

So we played a game of Sagas of the Icelanders in Iowa City, IA on Sunday, and here's a brief recap of what happened:

Our cast consisted of Helga (A Woman, played by Val), Isgurd the Lean (A Matriarch, played by Dan), Mjøl (A Shield Maiden, played by David), and Oddleif Red-Cloak (A Wanderer, played by Jim)

We used the standard family tree included with the Sagas Kickstarter centered around Reykhólar (Beneath the Seabird Cliffs), such that the following facts were established:
• Isgurd the Lean is married to Hrafn, a Go?i who is becoming fanatical about his devotion to Odín in his august years.
• Hrafn and Isgurd possess a Slave Thora, a capable young girl, as well as a Bound Debtor Tór, who is bad news and well-and-truly hated by the spirits.
• Hrafn and Isgurd also have three children (that they know of): Helga, her brother Orm, and youngest sister Unn. Orm is an adventurous sort who’s looking for the hidden treasure near Pelle Strand together with Tór. Unn is a precocious young girl who is best friends with Thora.
• Mjøl was betrothed to Orm in order to tame him and make him a man. (And GRANDBABIES - Isgurd wants some of those.)
• Helga is married to Gísli Greyback, Iceland’s most boring and hardworking husband, and has a foster daughter Ísar Pálldottir, who is a Shield Maiden in Hrafn’s warband.
• Also included in Hrafn’s warband: Orm, Gísli, Tór, Mjøl, and Mjøl’s ugly drunkard Huscarl Ref (son of Sturla the Bald, who was good friends with Mjøl’s far-flung-but-generous father Magni Salt-Beard).
• One of Mjøl and Helga’s dear friends Solveig the Sei?kona hails from Aedaklettar (Island of Monsters). She is traveling in the area, exchanging her medicines for hospitality.
Hafni Hafnisson is a bold, rich go?i with a band of Huscarls, searching for the hidden treasure on the Pelle Strand.
• Last, but not least, Oddleif Red-Cloak is related to no one… but has just recently arrived.

What happened:

It’s spring on the Reykhólar settlement. Mjøl can be found sewing in her small hut away from the main homestead lodge where Isgurd and the rest dwell. Orm suddenly bursts in, bearing a nasty, bleeding cut on his right hand. Shivering, he lays down and Mjøl quickly stitches up his wound. Orm is evasive about how he received it. “I fell,” he says, and she can’t get anything more out of him. She uses the opportunity to have him promise to no longer seek the treasure on Pelle Strand, as it is taking him away from his other household duties.

Meanwhile, Helga and Gísli are at home, with the latter having just returned from chasing a goat all day. Helga has been managing the household very well, and has saved up some silver. They discuss what should be done with the silver, and Helga makes the case that they ought to purchase a gold armband to adorn her arm, so as to increase her visibility and prestige in the community for being such a good keeper-of-house. Gísli acquiesces to go have one forged for her, but only if Helga takes it upon herself at some point to talk to Hrafn about being more present in the daily lives of his own family.

Isgurd is making yogurt with Thora as Hrafn moves a boulder from the garden, grumbling all the while. Thora accidentally drops something in the yogurt and, in her irritation, curses Odín’s name. Hrafn hears this, flies into a rage, and comes over to beat Thora. Isgurd intervenes and defends Thora against his wrath. It is during this exchange that Oddleif approaches the family. Very quickly, Hrafn begins to assume that Oddleif is Odín in the flesh and acts servile toward him. He brings Oddleif up to the temple, and gives to him a gold anklet (for women) that he is nevertheless to wear concealed under his clothes… were he the true Odín. Oddleif takes the anklet, but says little.

The family all sits down for a meal, welcoming Oddleif to the homestead. Isgurd uses the opportunity to offer Mjøl her fine dress for her wedding to Orm. Thora and Mjøl are both enamored with Oddleif, but it is only Thora who makes an overt gesture to try to seduce him, which he rebuffs. Mjøl nurses her passion quietly.

Summer arrives. Mjøl knows that Oddleif bears some sort of secret, but she cannot quite get at what that is during their many long conversations. Solveig arrives at the homestead expressly to heal Orm. The reduced warband (Tór, Ísar, and Ref) were sent on a trivial task and now have not been seen for several weeks. Meanwhile, rumors of the treasure at Pelle Strand have spread, and now numerous warbands from various families are there, looking for the treasure.

Helga and Solveig nurse Orm, whose condition has considerably worsened, as they get some fresh air on the Seabird Cliffs. It is then that Solveig suggests Helga go down to the Pella Strand to retrieve some rockfur – an herb that grows on a butte there – for an herbal remedy for Orm. Because the warband is gone, Helga has to enlist the help of Mjøl for her journey to the Pelle Strand. Mjøl has just prayed to Odín and received word from the wind spirits that she must beware her own heart, and should take up some activity to distract herself from her feelings for Oddleif. Helga’s task is just the remedy needed. The two of them borrow a boat from the three nearby fishermen who live and sleep together and head to Pelle Strand. There, they see the trading post at Pelle Strand in flames. Not deterred, they make their way to a nearby part of the beach (where the butte is) and climb halfway up the butte to retrieve some rockfur. No sooner have they retrieved it, however, when Hafni Hafnisson and his loyal Huscarls come marching down the beach. After a heated exchange of words, it is obvious that Hafni’s designs on the two women are less than noble. As they gear up to kidnap the two women, they are suddenly ambushed by Hrafn’s delinquent warband. Ísar and Tór manage to each kill a Huscarl, and Mjøl plants her spear in such a way as to stab Hafni’s horse and crush him under it. The three remaining Huscarls flee dishonorably and in duress, swearing revenge. Mjøl most notably takes Hafni Hafnisson’s sword as her own. Ísar looks pregnant, and it is established that she is having Tór’s baby.

Isgurd sends Oddleif to go find word of the treasure, as she is increasingly interested in what wealth it may bring to her family. She also then confronts Gísli and makes him re-affirm his commitment to Hrafn’s warband, should the others never return. He reluctantly signs on. Oddleif meets the rest of the party – Helga, Mjøl, Tór, Ísar, and Ref – and then presents them to Isgurd. Mjøl and Helga rush to Solveig and then create the herbal remedy for Orm. Orm immediately starts feeling better. Some chaos and confusion ensues around what is going on with the treasure, etc.

Later, Helga meets Ísar and establishes that, no, Ísar doesn’t actually want to settle down with Tór. So Helga agrees to deal with her foster daughter’s child in her own house. Oddleif is seen talking to himself on a cliff, talking about how he’s keeping his promise. Mjøl has a tender scene with her forbidden crush Oddleif and gives him Hafni Hafnisson’s sword as a gift. Isgurd oversees the wedding between Orm and Mjøl, and ensures that they go off together to lie together and conceive a child. However, they did so in Hrafn’s temple to Odín, which bears many many ill portents. Orm will pass away within a few months after their marriage.

What will happen to Oddleif and Mjøl’s simmering, suppressed passion?
How will Isgurd seize power from Hrafn?
What unique piece of adornment does Gísli wind up bringing to Helga?
What manner of revenge do Hafni’s Huscarls have in store for them?

Find out next time!


Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: July 01, 2013, 09:29:19 PM »
The rumors are true.

There will be a 10-year reunion of the Mirkshires crew this month, and it is going to tie up absolutely every loose plot thread you can recall from this game.

Heh, you wish.

Stay tuned!

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: January 10, 2013, 08:59:58 AM »

It really helps to know that there's an actual audience out there wanting to know what happened... I will do more summaries like this in the future!

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: January 09, 2013, 02:01:57 PM »
Monsterhearts – The Mirkshires – Session 8: The Harvest Dance Finale

[Author's Note: This is the much, much belated summary of our final game session in September 2012, now already warped by some time, distance and memory loss. But completism is as completism does, and I've dubbed 2013 the Year of the Tied-Up Loose Threads. Therefore, read on and enjoy!]

Readers should also note the transformation of Terrifying Fake Gerard into Jacky, a Chosen, by way of his merging consciousness with the body of Eight. They should also note that there were 4 custom moves in play during this session, specifically geared for the following situations:

* When a picture is taken of the couple
* When someone becomes the Harvest King / Queen
* When someone attacks the Goat God
* When the Wild Hunt catches up to you

Those moves are unfortunately on the laptop that's in the shop, so they will be posted for a later date...

Love Letters:

Dear Levi,

You're entering into the human party world for the first time and you're operating on sheer gut instinct.

Roll heightened senses.

On a 10+, you adapt well. Take 1 forward to dress up and look smokin' hot.
On a 7-9, you take one of the following Conditions: too much cologne, underdressed, or something wrong with tie.
On a miss, take all of the above conditions for the partial success.

Your doting MC – Evan

Levi failed, of course, and the "cologne" smells basically like animal musk... 'cause it is.

Dear Seth,

It's now your responsibility to take on the Wild Hunt. What do you do?

Describe your nasty preparations and choose one:
* You take 1 forward, but the Harvest Dance preparations make you vulnerable (Goat God gets 1 String on you)
* You take the Conditions "Natural Leader" and also "Paranoid."
* You get a String on the Goat God, but he becomes fully aware of your presence in the area.

Your doting MC - Evan

Seth chooses option 3, especially because he's laying metallic spirit traps for the fae all over the school.

Dear Olivia,

Your House of the Spooks (the Ghosts at the Crossroads) are themselves spooked, and want to hang out with you tonight. Is that cool?

Roll to manipulate an NPC.

On a 10+, they sincerely help you make this an awesome evening. At some point this session, use the ghosts to soften a hard move against you.
On a 7-9, as above, but they are confused by Levi. Their investigations haunt him for the rest of the evening, and he gets a String on you as a result.
On a miss, no good can come of this. The ghosts take 2 Strings on you and will find a way to cause appropriate mayhem without your consent.

Your doting MC - Evan

Olivia gets a partial success, and Levi becomes a werewolf haunted by an overeager pack of ghosts.

Dear Jacky,

Eight's body is super comfortable compared with the weird doll-in-Gerard fake body you had earlier. But one thing appears to be odd about this whole set-up.

Choose one:

* Your mind transfer has actually left a physical trace. Describe it and take that as a Condition.
* Perversely, your lust for Six has only grown stronger after merging with her sister, and she finds it kinky too. Six gets 2 Strings on you.
* You know that something dark still resides within you. Whenever you hit your Darkest Self, the MC gets to choose which one manifests between the Ghoul, Hollow and Chosen.

Your doting MC - Evan

Jacky chose the fact that she's still perversely and intensely attracted to Six, even though she now has an almost identical physical form.

Dear Gerard,

You were totally prepared to invade the town with the Wild Hunt. You're totally not ready to attend a dance with a fae.

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, you keep cool and take 1 forward to not look like an idiot.
On a 7-9, you have to come up with a clever, Gerard-style solution to an unforeseen problem.
On a miss, you cannot go through the evening as cool as a cucumber. In fact, you're shaking. Take the Condition "Shaking."

Your doting MC - Evan

Yeah, Gerard totally failed that one. He added the Condition "Shaking" to a litany of other Conditions (though admittedly not as many as last session).

Dear Ping,

To be fair, Gerard's the one to make or break this evening once and for all. It's up to him and him alone to determine how far you two are going to go.

He gets 2 Strings on you.

* If Gerard publicly compliments you on your appearance tonight, he marks experience and you get to take 1 String on him.

* If Gerard makes an ambitious promise to you about your relationship, both of you mark experience.

* If either of you rescue each other from mortal danger, both mark experience.

Your doting MC - Evan

Ping will wind up checking off the first two options over the course of the session...

Dear Six,

Though the Crafts Trailer folks did a bang-up job on the outfit, it may or may not be the kind of thing one would actually wear to a dance of this caliber.

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, you can seduce anybody in that get-up: 1 forward to turn someone on.
On a 7-9, your outfit crosses into new terrain for a high-school dance. You're innovative, but the first person who mocks you gets 1 String on you.
On a miss, your outfit is weird and you take the Condition "Overly Sensitive" regarding it.

Your doting MC - Evan

Six gets a partial success, so Six's dress has a dead leaves falling off trees motif that's more than a little strange-looking.

What Happened:

The ostensible outline of events for the evening looks something like this:

* Couples are announced to the Harvest Dance at the door of the gym
* Then the couples will get their picture taken
* Then there'll be some mingling and lame dancing to songs like Cotton-Eyed Joe.
* Then the Harvest King and Queen will be elected. They will slow dance.
* At 11 p.m., the lights will be turned on
* The after-party would then be held in a nearby mall.

Of course, the Goat God has been ramping up the Wild Hunt for the last 7 sessions, so that plan will get interrupted.

As established last session, Mirkshire Regional's gym has been decorated, but much more gaudily than Six would've allowed had she not been screwing around the last few days. Pumpkins are wrapped in aluminum foil to make them "sci-fi," with one giant silver papier-maché pumpkin dominating the part of the room where photos are taken.

Jacky and Tyrone are the first couple to show up. Jacky is in a stolen blue dress, Tyrone looking total Gangnam-style in large sunglasses and a pimpin' fur coat. Sheldon and Asha are the two committee members greeting the couples as they come in. Jacky turns everyone on as Eight in that dress, even getting Asha to give her an almost involuntary public kiss as she enters. When they get their picture taken, it reveals faint cuckold horns over Tyrone's head.

Seth and Six are the next couple to enter - Seth in his severe black euro garb, Six in her dress that looks like dead leaves. After an awkward moment with Sheldon (who had to carry the torch of the Harvest Dance), Six leads Seth to the picture area. The picture is blurry but contains souls. The dagger at Seth's side appears quite clear in contrast. Meanwhile, Six looks as if she is holding a doll.

Next couple is Olivia and Levi, the latter of whom is smelling mighty musky. Olivia is wearing a sort of Cheetos-colored dress, while Levi looks like, well, Meatloaf. Their picture is also blurry but containing souls. Specifically, all the ghosts haunting Levi crowd in on the photograph.

The Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" comes on, and Ping and Gerard enter. They had showed up in an actual pumpkin coach, a pumpkin coach in which they had some satisfying sex before showing up (Gerard gets one of Ping's eyelashes out of the deal). Upon entry, one of the steel fae traps forces Ping to hold steady (which she fails -- but I don't have any notes about what happened with that *shrugs*). Ping is in a sleeveless pseudo-dress with coattails, playing the gender ambiguity to the hilt. Gerard is in a rumpled suit. Asha cannot bear the sight of Gerard coming in with Ping as his date, so she runs off to the bathroom to "collect herself." Later on, she openly kisses Six to try to get Gerard's attention. Gerard and Ping's photo is imbued immediately with magical potential.

After everyone has arrived, the dancing begins in earnest. Seth takes Six off to a corner to make out. The disco ball's slow rotation accentuates the ghosts flitting around in the air. The elections for Harvest King and Queen reveal the winners: Gerard and Ping! And once they are elected, the Wild Hunt that has been fomenting all around the school (but which the fae traps have kept bay) suddenly manifests itself.

All of the humans freeze in time within the room, and our monsters are left alone with the Goat God standing in the spotlight. He's come for what was promised him by Ping at the beginning of the game: Six or Eight. He's got one claw on Six, the other on Asha, such that Jacky reveals her true feelings by charging in and rescuing her. They share another kiss, but this one's creepy because Asha's still frozen in time. Six's dead leaf dress sparkles and envelops Jacky with additional power to confront the Goat God. Then Six tries to step on the Goat God's hoof, but can't quite manage to break his grip. The stress on Seth transforms him into his Darkest Self with his hissing snake voice, and he tries to cut the Goat God with his dagger. The attempt to touch the Goat God causes him to begin to rot on the inside, which is horrible. Then Gerard calls out the Goat God and brings his past sliminess to bear on him: he is a coward who collects dolls and has no business running off with these dolls. Some discussion reveals that the Goat God is also kind of an adolescent in this way, and he is made to sulk and wander back to the Wild Hunt.

[In my notes, it says "Rotting Pumpkins." Anyone remember what that was about?]

The aftermath: no one goes to the lame Mirkshire Regional after-party.
Jacky and Asha go off and have sex.
So do Olivia and Levi, back in Levi's trailer. They decide that they were really meant for each other in this way, and should probably leave this town to go on joint adventures together.
Later, everyone meets up at the Denny's (the "Gay Denny's" as they call it in town, since half the employees are of a certain sexual persuasion). They have a peaceful sort of dinner moment, like that scene at the end of The Avengers.

And so...
Seth continues to rot from the inside, meaning his relationship with Six cannot ultimately last. He journeys away, a doomed soul with an obligation to carry on his family's traditions. The cursed dagger makes him into the perfect Elric clone.
Levi and Olivia take their wolves, ghosts and trailer on with them to diverse adventures.
Six and Jacky apparently no longer have a mom (since Eight killed her), so they toy with the idea of creating a new mom of their own, so as to avoid foster care.
Gerard is offered a place in the fae court with Ping, but Gerard wants to grow up a little first. He wants to give it a few years to decide.
Tyrone, stood up by Jacky and generally rejected by the real world to which he returned from his goat-curse existence, becomes a Diabolical... and the next villain?

Thus ended one of the most cheery games of Monsterhearts likely ever run/played.

Thanks again to Kat, Meg, Vincent, Julia, Eppy, and Emily for enjoyable evenings full of food, high-school reminiscing and a whole lot of (fictional) debauchery.

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: September 25, 2012, 06:32:46 PM »
This game officially ended a week ago, but I'm dragging my feet on the AP because I've got a billion things to do by the end of September. Fear not – you shall see the end of the story yet!

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: August 24, 2012, 03:25:57 PM »
Monsterhearts – The Mirkshires – Session 7: The Doubles

[Author’s Note: Yeah, we were going to start this session with a brief prolog before the Harvest Dance, but then that didn’t happen. It turns out that sometimes the best way to make story happen is to put all the monsters in one room and let them have it out.

In addition, I actually now know exactly what Fronts I’m actively pushing for next game...]

Love Letters:

Dear Six,

In preparation for the Harvest Dance, you have committed some time and energy to decorating the gym in addition to fighting Eight or whatever.

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, you come up with a brilliant decorating scheme. Take a String on everyone who attends.
On a 7-9, you threw it all together, but it still looks pretty good. Take a String on whoever compliments you on it.
On a miss, all this other crap meant that Sheldon had to do it for you. Sheldon takes 3 strings on you, and he’s angry.

Your doting MC - Evan

She blew this one entirely, so this is going to be one half-assed high school dance.

Not that it’s exceptional in that respect, or anything.

Dear Ping,

Terrifying Fake Gerard and Gerard – you’ve “been” with both of them, so you also know something about them both in comparison.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, ask both TFG and Gerard what their secret weakness is, and take 1 forward against both of them.
On a 7-9, ask either TFG or Gerard what their secret weakness is, but it’s only true if you spend 2 Strings on him.
On a miss, after all this time of trying to get to know humans, you realize that you’re still kinda stuck about what either of their deal is. Lose all Strings on either one or the other Gerard.

Your doting MC - Evan

Ping rolled a partial success, so she’s figured out that Gerard’s secret weakness is that he actually, genuinely wants somebody to believe in him.

Dear Terrifying Fake Gerard,

Eight has your memories. But you got some of hers as well.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, ask Eight (Six) any or all of the following questions:
• What happened to the previous incarnations of you?
• Who has been the best friend/lover you’ve ever had?
• What will you do in this life that they didn’t accomplish?
On a 7-9, ask only one of the above. In turn, Eight takes 1 string on you.
On a miss, your brain is both empty and flooded at the same time. Any time you want to remember anything important, give a String to the nearest person on you, until you remedy this.

Your doting MC - Evan

He nailed it, so he got a flood of info about Six’s past lives: Four, we recall, was beaten to death by her mother and buried in the backyard. Five actually ran away, so she may still be at large. Terrifying Fake Gerard turns out to have been the best lover that generational memory can remember, however, and the doll’s new major objective is to kill her mother...

Dear Gerard,

You have assembled your battalion and are ready to charge out across the Veil. The night before, you deliver a rousing speech.

Roll to manipulate an NPC.

On a 10+, the Unseelie are awestruck by your power. Remove Terrified and I Fucked Up as Conditions.
On a 7-9, your speech is good, but your display of power lacking. Remove the Terrified condition, but one of the Unseelie now openly conspires against you.
On a miss, you faint in the middle. Weird...

Your doting MC - Evan

He only gets a partial success, meaning that Benthem (a half-person, i.e., an Unseelie that looks like only one half of a human walking around) is conspiring against him.

Dear Olivia,

Thanks to Officer Harris’ ghost telling you about his secret shack, you take a peek and find a remarkable amount of weapons and supplies for a post-apocalyptic scenario.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, there could always be more supplies, but there’s definitely a concealed bunker underneath the shed which could house someone for months or even years.
On a 7-9, there’s at least enough weaponry here for you and your entire gang of ghosts to take the Condition “Well-Armed,” and you could give Levi that Condition too.
On a miss, as above, but Officer Harris’ wife sees you and calls in the parapsychologists.

Your doting MC - Evan

She totally fails this, so she has access to the bunker and all the guns (including a pearl-handled revolver named “Sally” which she gifts to Levi), so Officer Harris’ wife calls in the parapsychologists. [NOTE: The pace and content of this session didn’t let me deal with this at all, so it’ll be saved for next time, which’ll make it all the messier.]

Dear Seth,

Your family has been mostly OK with the new living arrangements, but your sister is very suspicious of your friends.

Roll to shut her down.

On a 10+, you calm her down with the promise that they are additional protection against the Wild Hunt when it arrives. Take 1 experience
On a 7-9, your sister is unconvinced, but you secretly drug her to sleep for the weekend.
On a miss, your sister somehow gets out and there are now BIG problems.

Your doting MC - Evan

She fails. Her sister’s loose – that’s going to suck!

Dear Levi,

You just saw God, and that was odd. It’s making you feel kind of humble now.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, take the Howl at the Moon move, but change “moonlight” into “God’s light.”
On a 7-9, add the question “What does my heart tell me?” to the Heightened Senses roll.
On a miss, adopt a new quirky behavior that is an outward sign of your Reluctant Deist condition, and give the first person who sees it a String on you.

Your doting MC - Evan

D’oh! He’s now got a quirky behavior, and now it’s up to the other players to spot it.

What Happened: The session begins in the wee hours of the morning before the Harvest Dance.

The opening scene is of Eight’s journey around town: into Gerard’s family’s house to suck out their memories, a trail which then leads her to the bar (where she feasts and even retrieves a pistol from one of her victims). She finally returns to her mother’s (and Six’s) ranch home... with the gun. It’s creepy.

Seth slept like a log last night, and so didn’t catch the loud crashing sounds from the kitchen as his agitated sister broke out of her confinement. His mother is aghast and charges Seth with bringing her back. Seth runs outside, his dagger content at being drawn for the purpose of possibly dispatching the sister. Levi in the trailer outside awakes to his home being crushed by a gargantuan silver-scaled anaconda with little limbs like an Eastern Dragon. He switches to wolf form (Darkest Self) and gives the snake a bite, only to draw back a slightly dislocated jaw. Olivia phases through the wall of the shed on the Enkidu property and mobilizes an array of garden tools to fly poltergeist-style at the writhing snake. It works in pinning it to the ground. Seizing the moment, Levi mobilizes his full pack to worry the snake and it works: Seth’s sister is brought from destructive victory to crushing defeat. Seth’s mesmerizing command “Don’t touch my sister!” is the only force that keeps Levi and the wolves from ripping the snake apart. Levi calls off his pack, but then bowls over Seth with a headbutt to show he’s still in charge (resolves Darkest Self). Slowly, they carry Seth’s unconscious giant snake sister back indoors. They take Gerard’s uncle’s pickup to school, with Levi riding high in the back. Olivia and Seth have a heart-to-heart about keeping their options open as the three of them ride into their joint future on the Enkidu Estate.

Terrifying Fake Gerard is meanwhile at Gerard’s parents house. They’ve all had their memories leeched out of them, so TFG, Gerard’s uncle, mother, and father are now all sitting around the breakfast table, confused. They spend their morning trying to find out who they are and what kind of job they should go to. Gerard’s alcoholic uncle wants something to drink, so he and TRG head over to finish breakfast over at the Hot L truck stop. TFG is looking at Gerard’s uncle very hungrily during the meal (which is a non-meal for a ghoul). As soon as they get into the car, TFG devours the uncle. Then he sets out for school.

Before Eight arrives at her house, Six is sitting on her bedroom floor and gazes into the abyss. She learns exactly what Eight is doing and how to stop her. Ping, who wants both Gerard’s help in retrieving Eight and a threesome with Six and Gerard, takes Six with her beyond the Veil to the Tree of Darkness. There, Gerard is found suiting up for battle. When Six and Ping show up, his sergeant Griswold begins to posture with his sword, and Six shuts him down. Suddenly, Benthem shows up with the Goat God in tow. He shows the Goat God clearly how Gerard still consorts with the Seelie. The Goat God does not exhibit so much interest in Ping as he does in Six: after all, she was what was promised. Six responds by grabbing Griswold’s sword and running away through the Unseelie camp, beating away as many of the gathered Wild Hunt masses as she can. Based on the Goat God’s sense of betrayal, he relinquishes Gerard ... banishing him naked into homeroom! Ping and Six follow.

All of the characters appear in homeroom at around the same time, and all normal students quickly evacuate except for Tyrone. The melee begins. TFG obviously wants to eat Gerard, so he goes for it. But even though he’s naked, Real Gerard has been training with the Unseelie long enough to put his double in an armlock and hex him so he can’t fight. Levi then tackles TFG to the ground and they have a kind of lame high school struggle on the floor. Ping gazes at Levi and entrances him into stopping the beatdown on TFG. Olivia is still angry about TFG eating Six (well, Seven) all those days ago, so she triggers her Darkest Self and wrecks the classroom with her crazy poltergeist telekinesis, lashing out at TFG. Levi calms her down. Seth has meanwhile locked the door and is piling desks in front of it as Assistant Principal Grumley calls for them to let him in. A huge discussion follows the fight: accusations and jealousies and other assorted personal business gets tossed about. Students gather outside the classroom to figure out what’s going on. Olivia disperses the crowd by openly screaming through the wall and spooking everyone out in the hallway as the entire rest of the monsters climb out of the classroom and head for the hollow tree by the football field. There, they meet none other than The Principal himself: a smallish man in a red shirt with beard stubble and glasses that gleam in the sunlight. But those who gaze into the abyss quickly learn he certainly isn’t human. Without revealing too much about himself or his motives, he lets on that he knows about each and every one of their special powers, and highlights the fact that Eight stealing folks’ memories around town is actually a greater threat than the Wild Hunt to happen tonight. Together, they head down to confront Eight on her way to school. Ping runs off to get her Jury of Fae to help.

During the ruckus, Olivia and Levi actually sneak off to have sex in the 7/11 breakroom. It’s a kinky quickie. Olivia learns that Levi would be jealous if her recent interaction with Seth in the truck turned into anything more, and Levi was wondering why he (as teen werewolf hotness) isn’t enough for her. She’s been under a lot of stress and all the magic weird crap is making her confused.

Eight confronts the rest of the characters in the parking lot of the abandoned-Walmart-cum-evangelical-church. Eight sees Six and, without further ado, shoots at her. Seth lunges forward and takes the bullet in his left shoulder. Six talks to Eight and gets her to hesitate enough to wish that “all the good parts of TFG and Eight’s memories unite in Eight’s body, and all the bad parts of TFG and Eight combine into TFG’s body.” So now TFG’s consciousness is effectively in control of Eight’s body, and the hostile TFG’s body attacks Gerard again. Gerard and the evil doll are about ready to wrestle each other again when Seth mesmerizes the evil doll, and Ping opens up TFG’s skin and pulls out the doll inside it. It’s wicked-looking, with big teeth. Levi smashes it on the ground after telling it he’s coming for his master. He’s real defensive, especially of Olivia, and he and Six come to a heated argument about the nature of the new Gerard-Eight (Gerate?) she’s created.

Gerard has run away at this point, and he runs smack into Ping’s Jury of Fae – and the jealous Rowan. Rowan seizes the opportunity to try and cut off Gerard’s head, but again Gerard outmaneuvers his assailant. Ping walks in and stares down Rowan, who then abruptly leaves the Jury in favor of the Unseelie Wild Hunt. Gerard and Ping talk a long time and conclude, after some serious plot stuff and whatever, that a threesome would be a good time/idea.

Olivia, Levi, Seth, Six and Gerate all wind up at the hospital for Seth’s sake (the bullet wound). Gerate finds the psych ward and all the spontaneous amnesiacs Eight created. Blessed with the memories of a dozen people, Gerate begins to unburden herself of the memories back into their original owners. It’s also apparent that Gerate is no longer a doll, but a real human, one with a repository of memories and a destiny [Vincent retires TFG’s Ghoul Skin in favor of The Chosen Skin and renames Gerate “Jackie”]. Seth ends the episode by telling his father that he’s in charge of tonight’s defense against the Wild Hunt, and Petros acquiesces to his increasingly forward teenage son. It looks like Olivia, Levi and Seth are now a cohesive living and fighting unit in preparation for tonight’s chaos...

The couples for the Harvest Dance that will happen at next session are:
– Olivia and Levi
– Six and Seth
– Gerard and Ping
– Jackie and Tyrone

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: August 02, 2012, 01:58:00 AM »
Monsterhearts – The Mirkshires – Session 6: Mise en abyme

[Author’s note: What a rush this game was! Not only were there a lot of balls in the air, but some of them flew right into the hoops that I wanted them to. Kat (Six) showed up via Skype only for the last hour, hence her truncated (but very important) entry. If this session seems jam-packed with various violent confrontations, just know that the storm is only beginning. Next session is the Harvest Dance, and the Wild Hunt...]

Love Letters:

Dear Seth,

At lunchtime, Mike’s girlfriend Jennifer accidentally spills some milk on your nice leather jacket. Then she remembers at that moment that you’re hot... and rich.

Roll to turn her on.

On a 10+, you get a String on her and get a glimpse of her snake tattoo.
On a 7-9, your dagger hums the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen’s “She’s the One.” WTF?
On a miss, in the clean-up, she figures out you have a dagger at school and takes a String on you.

Your doting MC - Evan

Seth gets a partial success – the dagger cryptically hums a tune, and moves on.

Dear Levi,

Football practice comes around. You’re tired and just want to go home to hang out with Olivia. But there are all these guys in your way...

Roll to lash out physically.

On a 10+, you legitimately tackle a good majority of the football team into submission. Take the Condition “Best Tackle in the State”
On a 7-9, as above, but someone gets hurt. Bad. Describe it, and they get a String on you.
On a miss, on your very first tackle, there’s a crunch. Take 1 harm and someone else gets hurt bad.

Your doting MC - Evan

Levi takes a partial success and finds himself landing on Mike’s collarbone during an unexpected collision. Fortunately, he’s now “Best Tackle in the State”

Dear Ping,

The hair you’ve lost doesn’t seem to be coming back any time soon. Ugh! But there’s this old cosmetic elixir given to you by a human wizard from back in the 17th Century.

If you quaff it, roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, it even tastes good. Your hair restores itself, and you take 1 forward on your next Hot roll.
On a 7-9, your hair comes back, but a different color.
On a miss, the elixir gives you a fixed gender! Pick one and stick with it until you remedy it with some concerted action.

Your doting MC - Evan

Ping also scores a partial: sie quaffs the elixir, and hir hair grows back all white-gray, even hir eyebrows. Sie has a kind of anime look to her.

Dear Gerard,

The Goat God has expressed displeasure at having so many Seelie prowling around his camp this close to the Wild Hunt. You have been tasked with evicting them however you see fit.

Mark 1 experience if you prompt  a rout among Ping’s jury of fae.

Mark 1 more experience if you convince Ping not to join you during the Wild Hunt.

Mark 1 final experience if you use physical violence to accomplish any of these goals.

Your doting MC - Evan

This gets resolved within the session (read below): Gerard gets to mark 2 experience.

Dear Terrifying Fake Gerard,

When Ping finally showed up near school today, you caught a whiff of a familiar scent ... your own.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, yes, you know that Ping and Gerard have been romantically involved. Take a String on them both.
On a 7-9, that scent makes Ping also weirdly delicious. Give that description to her as a Condition.
On a miss, your hormones kick in and you are turned on. Ping gets a String on you.

Your doting MC - Evan

TFG fails this roll and is totally turned on by Ping.

Dear Olivia,

You’ve been hanging out at Levi’s place lately and – guess what? – he’s got some really interesting stuff in here with all the wolves. And not all of it has physical shape.

Roll against Dark.

On a 10+, you’ve found substantive memories of Levi’s childhood in this trailer. Take 2 Strings on him.
On a 7-9, take a String on Levi. Mark experience if you use it in your next interaction to bring up something embarassing or rep tarnishing from your searches.
On a miss, the wolves grow wary of you and you don’t know why.

In all cases, mark 2 experience.

Your doting MC - Evan

Olivia fails it, so one of Levi’s aunts gets very territorial and eventually evicts the ghost with her snarling.

What Happened: It’s after school. Terrifying Fake Gerard (TFG) catches up with Ping on her way home. Ping teases him about his status as a double of the “real” Gerard, and TFG gets mad. But when he takes a swing at hir, hir martial arts experience comes into play and she pulls him into a tight headlock. Levi is standing nearby, having watched the whole thing. He’s got an agenda: he needs to borrow Gerard’s uncle’s pickup in order to move his trailer full of wolves away from prying eyes and police suspicion until the whole mess with Officer Harris (who’s suspected to have died of a wolf attack) has calmed down. Ping lets TFG go (after the struggling turned hir on too), and TFG in turn agrees to meet Levi at the school with the pickup at 7 p.m. The mood moves from violent to sexual as TFG propositions that maybe they could have a threesome, or even a foursome, once Olivia suddenly shows up.  Olivia will have none of it: she and Levi have a stable relationship, and she unleashes her big scary face on TFG to keep him away from them. Olivia and Levi then go off to conspire how to move trailer and get the police off the wolf angle. Olivia offers to talk to Officer Harris’ ghost down at the morgue, and they set off for the hospital. Meanwhile, Ping propositions that sie and TFG have sex (“I have a present fondness for humans”, sie says). TFG is confused about what that means, especially because sie’s also sleeping with the real Gerard. Ping eventually seizes control of the situation and has him take hir to Gerard’s actual apartment. There, they do the deed in Gerard’s bed (with Ping as a man), and TFG gets a new hunger for sex with Ping. He promises her after coitus to eat the real Gerard once the Wild Hunt is over (“I don’t know why he deserves anything I don’t deserve.”)

Seth goes home and meditates. His visions reveal that yes, his father Petros is playing a dangerous game by having him capture several fae on the eve of the Wild Hunt, and begins to doubt his old man’s sense of judgment. Once rested and fed, he heads back into town to find Mr. Vanze at his usual bar hangout, distraught over Officer Harris’ death. Seth deliberately tempts him to look for explanations beyond a mere wolf attack, which is exactly what Mr. Vanze already is doing.

Olivia and Levi show up at the morgue, and Olivia smooshes her way through the morgue wall to let them both in. She then calls up the ghost of Officer Harris from behind the drawer where he lies, and the ghost lunges out to punch her in the face. Apparently, she interrupted his descent into the happy place just before the afterlife. He relates the full story of his death, which gives them a clue as to TFG’s responsibility for it. Harris also reveals that he was something of a “prepper” in life, and that he had a shed full of “equipment” that they can use if they so desire. He wants them to at least tell Harris’ wife that he loved her. After Harris’ ghost climbs back into his frigid corpse, Olivia and Levi get kind of kinky and have sex right there and then on the nearby gurney. The Ghost sex move triggers: Olivia asks Levi “Do you wish you were just human?” Levi replies that he sometimes wishes he were just a wolf, actually. Levi asks (without speaking) “What are your intentions with this relationship?” and Olivia is content to tag along as a long-term ghost with whatever course Levi’s life might take, until he tires of her.

Gerard has been ordered by the Goat God to evict the Seelie from the premises, so he  gathers together Griswold and the Boar-Headed Fiend to go throw out Ping’s jury of fae. This takes the form of him walking into their camp, smashing Rowan’s ambrosia glass into his pretty face, and ruining all their possessions. The Seelie flee to Ping’s healing pool to recuperate and stew about this unexpected loss. We learned that several of the fae are there due to human lovers being somehow involved in the hunt. Albert and Ashley are two half-fae who are being hazed by the Seelie by sending them near the Wild Hunt preparations. Rowan is there due to the fact that he’s a cursed Seelie. They’re all pissed about losing territory to Unseelie bullying. After Ping leaves Gerard’s apartment, she heads directly to the healing pool and finds them there. Ping and Rowan have a verbal stand-off over Gerard’s tormenting of them, and Ping’s Darkest Self is triggered. Hir eyes turn midnight blue. Sie finds Gerard, and they convene under a tree. “You’ve got to get me out of here,” Gerard says, desperation in his eyes. Ping looks at Gerard in relation to the Goat God’s plan and realizes that the Goat God is grooming him to be a powerful general in the Unseelie army. Ping will rescue him, but she “needs him to be nice to hir.” Remember that the Fae Skin’s Darkest Self is about every speech act turning into some kind of promise. Ping knows now that she desperately needs Six’s doll to trade to the Goat God for Gerard’s life, and hurries over to Six’s house.

Levi, Seth and Olivia all gather at the school to receive the pickup truck. Sure enough, TFG comes roaring into the parking lot at the wheel. Levi asks TFG point-blank if he killed Officer Harris. TFG confirms it. “This shit’s on my family,” Levi yells, and the situation intensifies. Seth goes into a trance and realizes that TFG really is bad news: a bundle of teeth and an insatiable hunger behind a Gerard mask. He flips out and goes in for another punch at TFG. TFG anticipates it and punches him in the side instead. It’s when Seth’s on the ground of the parking lot that Levi tackles TFG and throws him on the hood of the pickup. Levi demands that TFG confess to the crime, that he go to the police right now and do it. “They’re not equipped to deal with me,” TFG gurgles, and then tries to escape. Levi responds by throwing him through the truck’s windshield. He then demands TFG just “get the police off the wolves’ backs” somehow. TFG has to go do this right now and starts walking away, while Levi pees on the pickup to show dominance. Olivia comforts Seth in his overwhelmed state right now. Seth perks up and offers some of his family’s property as a new site for Levi’s wolfpack trailer, which everyone thinks is a great idea. All three of them pile into the pickup and head for the trailer park. Upon arrival, Levi gets his neighbor Wayne the last six-pack from his fridge, then corralls the wolves in his trailer to make the move easier. Seth is meanwhile tracing a circle around the trailer, ripping into the very fabric of time and space with his dagger. The dagger in turn believes that all the content it is encircling will soon belong to it. There’s a mental struggle that ends up granting Seth the dagger’s respect and a kind of marriage between the dagger and Seth. Seth’s Darkest Self is triggered, and his eyes glow green with flame again. The dagger cuts the final length of the circle and the pickup, the trailer and everything nearby fall through space to become relocated on the hill just outside Mirkshire Mansion. During that brief trip, Levi cracks and thinks he sees God (new Condition: Reluctant Deist). Upon their disorienting arrival, Petros eyes his son’s work with suspicion. Seth approaches him defiant with rage, ready to battle his father over his stupid decision-making and rules. But when Levi and Olivia stand by Seth’s side in this fight, it reconfigures social relations and he calms down a bit. His story is beginning to diverge from that of his family, and that’s OK. Levi sniffs the air and notices that near the basement, there’s something that smells like pits of snake venom. Seth hisses at him: “Levi, get away from there!” Olivia meanwhile gazes into the abyss to see Seth’s snake cult history, in which complicated plans are used to achieve simple means of wealth and control. She feels better prepared to defend Seth against his own family, should such a time come. The three of them establish new home territory up on this hillside.

Six enters the game at this point, and gets the following love letter:

Dear Six,

You go off to create the extra version of yourself. It’s a combination of concerted wishing and strenuous investment of your power.

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, you create an exact duplicate of yourself. Decide if you want to take another playbook or not.
On a 7-9, you create a flawed version of yourself, meaning it is unstable in some fundamental way. Put a Condition on it.
On a miss, you wish something terrible into existence, and it gets away from you.

In any case, Mark 2 experience.

Your doting MC - Evan

Six fails, meaning the new version of herself (Eight) is a terrifying double that does nothing less than feed on human memories. To start, she devours Six’s memory of the successful ritual and runs off, leaving Six searching for the doll which she thought she lost. Ping shows up through Six’s window and demands the doll, which Six no longer has. They discuss a variety of alternate options, including stealing a baby. They choose to steal from Six’s mother’s doll shop instead. Ping confesses to sleeping with TFG, and proposes a potential four-way orgy later on with TFG, Seth, Six and hirself, which sie also views as a promise (!) of some kind. In any case, they head to Six’s mother’s doll workshop. Six was not prepared for the horror of her site of origin, so she assumes the position of a doll on the rack for a little while. While doing so, she has a vision of the evil memory-eating doll she has wished into this world, and what to do to stop it (give it to the Goat God!) When Ping helps Six come to consciousness again, they know exactly what they must do now.

TFG is walking toward the police station when he spots Eight (whom he presumes is Six). They lovingly touch, embrace, and kiss each other, meaning that Eight just devours all of TFG’s memories in a satisfying slurp. In turn, TFG begins to bite on Eight’s tasty neck, and Eight responds by shoving him away – a confusing gesture coming from Six! TFG doesn’t know what to do, so he runs away. Eight heads over to Gerard’s apartment to wait for him. While TFG is making his getaway, he runs into a drunk Mr. Vanze, who’s in a vigilante mode and spots TFG with the blood fresh on his lips as the killer of his dear friend Officer Harris. He assaults TFG with a broken bottle, and TFG responds by taking a bite out of his arm. TFG is badly hurt in the encounter, but manages to bowl Vanze over drunk. A fresh amnesiac, he wanders off in search of his memories – which he can only get from Eight’s mind itself.

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: August 01, 2012, 12:38:56 AM »
Monsterhearts – The Mirkshires – Session 5: Love and Curses

[Author’s Note: This is the first game I’ve ever MC-ed via Skype, and boy did it go better than expected! Eppy and Emily bought a mic for the occasion, which they put in the center of the gaming table, and then broadcast my presence from Ithaca on their big flatscreen TV. I’ve never been so large. After a while and a few minor hiccups (like I couldn’t see 2 of the players), I really did forget that I was using Skype at all, and achieved a great state of flow with regard to the game. Unfortunately, Meg (Olivia) could not make it. We presumed she was exploring Levi’s trailer park and aspects of her new relationship. Not so much time elapsed, anyway. She could easily join the fray.]

Love Letters:

Dear Seth,

Your father gave you an awesome dagger, and you have only begun to figure out just how awesome it is.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, you stumble upon the dagger’s one additional power that makes it a formidable artifact.
On a 7-9, you stumble upon the additional power as above, but the encounter leaves you with 1 harm.
On a miss, the dagger has a mind of its own, an agenda of its own, and secret powers you barely fathom. It takes a String on you.

Your doting MC - Evan

Seth fails to gaze into the abyss and, hoo boy, the dagger is much more than it appears. It wants to be wanted, held, touched. It will become the focal point of Seth’s attention for most of the session.

Dear Six,

Oh my God – Terrifying Fake Gerard biting that police officer actually just triggered some kind of flashback.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, you somehow see human death in a continuum with human life and doll life. Remove your “Drained” condition.
On a 7-9, you flashback to witnessing a savage violent act in your past and see it in full detail. Mark 1 experience if this causes you to make a scene at home.
On a miss, your encounter with Terrifying Fake Gerard launches you into a debilitating nightmare from your past. Hint at it and then become your Darkest Self.

Your doting MC - Evan

Six gets a partial success, meaning that when she enters the house, she has a flashback of one of her previous doll incarnations, a 5 year-old with a serious biting problem, just biting and biting on her mother until fended off.

Dear Ping,

Your front door suddenly opens, and it’s your parents and sister!

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, the place is tidy, you’re in fine form and so are they. Take the Condition “Loved.”
On a 7-9, they walk in on you doing something embarassing. Describe what it is, and how you recover. Take the Condition “Suspect.”
On a miss, they walk in on a messy yurt, an out-of-sorts Ping, and they look like they’ve had a rough week.

Your doting MC - Evan

Ping gets a partial success, so she’s running around the house in faerie wings while blasting filk music. Ballada, Chriswind and Sheba are all shocked upon arrival.

Dear Gerard,

While in the Tree of Darkness to meet with one of the Goat God’s minions, you pass a creepy looking dollmaker’s workshop. The hulking gnome with the delicate hands looks up at you.

Roll to manipulate an NPC.

On a 10+, he gives you one of the ghoul dolls with a smile. Change your “Terrified” condition to “Curious”
On a 7-9, he comments on your fine skin. You can either accept the compliment graciously and get a String on him, or you can flee the scene and not have him get a String on you.
On a miss, you see the copied skin of someone you know (another PC), and he gets 2 Strings on you.

Your doting MC - Evan

Gerard is totally successful at charming the pants off this creepy gnome dollmaker. He is handed a creepy toothy doll as a reward.

Dear Terrifying Fake Gerard,

Mmmmmmm – you’ve got fresh cop on your tongue. You’re satiated... and also a little horny.

While hobbling away from the crime, roll to turn Six on.

On a 10+, you get to take 2 Strings on her, or impose an uncomfortable condition.
On a 7-9, you obey the usual turn someone on roll, but Six gets to call all the shots.
On a miss, no, this isn’t sexual. It’s that warm, “love” feeling you felt earlier. She gets 2 Strings on you.

Your doting MC - Evan

Terrifying Fake Gerard gets a partial success. On the way home, Six totally holds Terrifying Fake Gerard’s hand, and he’s now a ghoul in love (if he wasn’t earlier).

Dear Levi,

While working at the 7/11, some goth jerk accidentally scratches you with his silver-spiked bracelet as he buys his clove cigarettes.

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, you put a bandage on it and, well, that’s it. Remove a Condition.
On a 7-9, it hurts more than usual. Take 1 harm that won’t go away until the end of the session.
On a miss, FUCK IT’S NOT HEALING. Take 1 permanent harm, until you take a specific course of action to remedy it.

Your doting MC - Evan

So this was a litmus test to see if silver harms the werewolves in this story universe. A total failure on this roll determined that it does. He takes a nice long scratch on his arm and it won’t stop bleeding...

What Happened: It’s 2 a.m. Terrifying Fake Gerard (TFG), who’s covered in a police officer’s blood, and Six head back to Six’s mother’s house holding hands, only to find Six’s mother silhouetted in the doorway. Fortunately, she’s something of a terrible mother and so she accepts Six’s non-chalant offer to have TFG spend the night. Six’s mother has them clean up the bloody mess that they may have tracked into the house, and then points out the couch to TFG, making no effort to make him sleep in it. Six and TFG spend the night together as two dolls in love, lying side by side.

Mystical snake dagger hissing at his side, Seth walks into the 7/11 with a purpose, only to find Levi hopelessly mopping up the blood streaming from his wrist with napkins from the donut rack. Seth knows a guy who can help fix Levi’s injury, and Levi makes a bid to close the store, much to the chagrin of a sleazy trucker dude who was just stopping by for some cigarettes. They roar through town on Seth’s bike up near the Mirkshire Seminary, where one of the school’s psychologists – Dr. Rupert Hess – has his residence. Dr. Hess lets them in to his creepy snake cult living room, has Seth take his dagger outside (as it was acting up) and pours some painful black healing powder on Levi’s wound. Levi’s silver wound burns away, and Seth keeps his own problems in check by tying his ornery knife into its sheath with a rope.

Ping’s parents return and relate their harrowing events they just experienced in Seelie politics: an old feudal conflict had turned ugly, and they had to commit a fair number of heinous deeds to come out clean. Ping slowly begins to reveal all that’s been going on over the past several days, including hir having sex with a human (Sheba was jealous: “But I want to have sex with a human!”), and making deals with the Goat God. As soon as hir parents catch wind of her riding in the Wild Hunt next week, however, the yurt vanishes and Ping is left out in the cold fae forest, banished. Seth is on a mission to get beyond the Veil anyway, so he and Levi pull up conveniently around the time Ping loses her family. Seth unsheathes the snake dagger and its corrupting power instantly possesses him, turning him into his Darkest Self: a version of Seth with burning snake eyes. The blade tears inelegantly through the Veil and they find themselves standing before Ping. Levi gets between Dark Seth and promises to protect Ping against Seth’s dagger (in that faerie contract sorta way). Ping warns Seth that he cannot take that snake dagger into the Unseelie camp, for the Unseelie would tear him apart at the sight of it. “I could put it inside me,” Seth offers, and attempts to do so. Seth’s merging with the dagger transforms him into a giant snake, as Levi leaps at him in wolf form to keep Seth from starting an Unseelie war. The giant snake coils around the wolf and squeezes it until it goes limp. It is at this point that Gerard enters on patrol with his men, riding atop shaggy, tiger-sized carnivorous goats with fiendish looking horns...

7 a.m. It’s time for the early bird meeting to plan the Harvest Dance. TFG and Six managed to make it, sharing the committee work with the geek Sheldon, the art-geek girl Sam and Gavin the fashion-head. The theme for this Harvest Dance is pumpkins – Six is in charge of decoration, TFG will MC the event. A suggestion to have the theme be more like “space pumpkins” is not turned down. Gavin at some point compliments Six on her idiosyncratic outfits and Six, who hates those clothes, takes Gavin up on his offer to design her some new threads.

Seth and Levi show up, bruised and exhausted, at Levi’s trailer park only to find a police car and an animal control truck parked outside Levi’s trailer. A fairly well-liked cop named Officer Harris had been killed in the wee hours of the morning by what was apparently a wolf, and they wanted to investigate that high-school kid who kept all those wolves down in the trailer park. Steven the animal control guy is intent on searching the trailer until Seth bribes him not to. Nevertheless, it’s important to note that TFG’s ghoul attacks seem like wolf attacks to the authorities, and everyone is put on high alert regarding wolves.

Homeroom sees the arrival of Levi, Seth, TFG and Six, all in various states of sleep deprivation. TFG is clearly still all about Six, and so when Asha comes in and tries to flirt with him, she gets completely shut down. But her frustration pales when compared with that of Mr. Vanze, who comes in extremely distraught. Apparently, the murdered Officer Harris was also a fan of Machiavelli’s The Prince, and he and Vanze would talk about it over beers at the local bar. Six has a bone to pick with his mentioning of alcohol and his personal life, so she mouths off and Vanze makes an example of her: he has her stand up in class and describes how much of a loser she is to everyone. This prompts several others (TFG and Seth, especially) to try and shut Vanze down, with varying degrees of failure. It’s sort of a big mess, and detentions may have been handed out. After class, TFG finds in Gerard’s locker a nude photo of Asha.

Ping and Gerard discuss the morning’s events while standing on the outskirts of the Unseelie camp at the Tree of Darkness, only to be approached by some of Ping’s own jury of fae (all kind of seedy Seelie, who did not turn up while Ping’s “family” was around). The first one who approaches is Tigerlily, a kind of transparent floating creature with a lamprey mouth. Another is Rowan, a smoking hot and majestic Legolas-type fae. And that’s when the crap hits the fan – Rowan sees Ping, who had a fling with Rowan back in the day, and hir feelings come rushing to the surface, which Gerard sees. Gerard gets really jealous of Rowan, turns into his Darkest Self, and hexes Ping with a hair loss curse. In his rage, he hits himself too and they both begin to lose hair in sticky clumps. They head to the healing pond to remedy the curse, which means more nakedness between Ping and Gerard, but the hair still won’t grow back. Ping wants Gerard to promise to be hir boyfriend, but Gerard *gasp* outright refuses to make exactly that promise. Angry at Rowan and confused by Gerard, sie goes back to school for a bit.

In chemistry class, a slow humming noise from Seth’s dagger begins to slowly (and unintentionally) snake charm the class. Everyone undulates from side to side as they work on their problems, and Seth meanwhile gets access to a wealth of knowledge from his dagger. The snake heads on the dagger give his hand a few love nips, and he realizes its goal is to please him. Levi might have passed Seth a well-thumbed copy of Elric at some point. In the meantime, Six is struggling with her chemistry problems and deliberately accesses the dollhouse of her imagination. Utilizing the “Metamorphosis” move, she turns down her current Combat Six and a prospective Nerdy Six in exchange for a Sexy Six. She then turns to Seth and seduces him into doing her chemistry homework for her (Seth is, after all, still smitten).  Later, Six and Ping meet up out by the hollow tree at lunch and make out. Ping brought Six a present: a box with a creepy doll in it, exactly to the specifications Six requires to make another version of herself to give to the Goat God in exchange for Gerard. She will have to spend some considerable time away from other people to complete the ritual, however, and is therefore fortunate that Seth is taking care of her homework for now.

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: July 24, 2012, 03:32:16 PM »
We're trying a telepresent MC (myself) for the next round of this.

God, I hope it works... for all involved!

Monsterhearts / Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« on: July 09, 2012, 07:52:00 AM »

NPC Roster: [I thought this play aid might be good for everyone, now that we’ve populated the world in sufficient numbers.]

Ms. Akin – The firm English teacher who assigns too much homework. Gerard passed in a crappy paper, which turned out to be switched with Levi’s paper.
Asha – Red-haired smarty-pants from homeroom. She’s supposed to go with Gerard to the Harvest Dance, though no one expects that will happen. She has a string on Levi over that crappy paper forgery debacle and has a condition “Bitch” inflicted on her by Six.
Ashton – Wise-cracking, charming jokester from homeroom.
Coach Baldwin – Coach of the Mirkshires football team.
Ballada – Ping’s mother; a pleasant sort. Currently off settling Seelie business
Bentham – One of Gerard’s Unseelie thugs. Has purple-ish skin. Led Ping and Olivia to the Unseelie camp
Boar-Headed Fiend – Gerard’s sergeant in his Unseelie regiment; beaten by Gerard in a square fight, but not before he devoured two of Gerard’s fingers
Chriswind – Ping’s father; a mirthful sort. Currently off settling Seelie business
Principal Daedala – the absentee principal supposedly in charge of the school; no one’s seen him before
Dolls One through Seven – All the previous versions of Six that aren’t Six. They have three strings on Six.
Emma – One of the football girlfriend trio. Todd L.’s girlfriend.
Ghosts at the Crossroads – Victims of an awful witchhunt centuries ago; one of them likes to cause car accidents at the intersection they haunt; They have a string on Olivia
The Goat God – Lord of the Unseelie, Rule of the Tree of Darkness, Head of the Wild Hunt; sometimes appears as a goat, but usually as an anthropomorphic goat being with a cape; took Gerard under his wing and allowed him to “fulfill his potential” as one of his generals, while having a ghoulish doll sewn into a Gerard-like skin to replace him... Terrifying Fake Gerard
Griswold – One of Gerard’s Unseelie thugs. Has four arms. Led Ping and Olivia to the Unseelie camp
Assistant Principal Grumley – bald assistant principal who actually runs the school’s operations
Nurse Hilda – part-time nurse at Mirkshire Regional; treats everyone like an elementary school kid
Jennifer – One of the football girlfriend trio. Mike’s girlfriend; made fun of Olivia
Lug – One of Gerard’s Unseelie thugs; Led Ping and Olivia to the Unseelie camp
Mike – The letter-jacket wearing football jock from homeroom. Jennifer’s boyfriend. Got Levi to join the football team.
Minerva – Seth’s mother; wants Seth to be prepared to take over the clan when he comes of age
Olivia’s Step-Father – Doesn’t yet have a name, but hugely important to Olivia’s back story; just recently died.
Petros – Seth’s father and head of the Serpentine clan; looks like Vincent Price, except in tacky leathers and with an albino snake
Rita – Blonde girl with amazing eyes from homeroom. She’s good at chemistry.
Sheba – Ping’s sister. Ballada and Chriswind took her with them when they left all of a sudden.
Sheldon – Nervous, smart and scrawny guy from homeroom. Six accidentally pushed him over in his desk and severed his finger, which the nurse reattached just in time (so he’s got a big bandage on that finger). He’s also on the Harvest Dance committee and recruited Six and Terrifying Fake Gerard to help him.
Ms. Suka – The beautiful-but-scatter-brained chemistry teacher.
Todd L. – A football jock. The quarterback. Emma’s boyfriend.
Todd W. – A football jock. Thick-headed and brutish. Wendy’s boyfriend.
Tyrone – The boy from Olivia’s history class who went missing last year when he was turned into a goat; Adopted Korean-American; single mother in complicated relationship; spent the night at Olivia’s place
Uncle Max – Gerard’s dad’s brother; kind of a live-in jerk
Uncle Snarls – Part of Levi’s wolfpack family; picked up a chill recently and did the honorable act of throwing himself off a cliff, much to Levi’s inner torment
Mr. Vanze – Their homeroom teacher. A tweed-wearing know-it-all stuck teaching political science and economics at Mirkshire Regional. Has strings on Six and Ping.
Wayne – Levi’s next door neighbor. He’s a couch potato who watches a lot of game shows and professional wrestling, but otherwise a generally good guy
Wendy – One of the football girlfriend trio. Todd W.’s girlfriend
Wyl – brother of Ping; serves administrative functions somewhere in the Seelie courts

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