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Messages - Mike Sands

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Monster of the Week / Re: New Playbook - The Traveler
« on: August 10, 2020, 09:35:16 PM »
As a Keeper I am wary as it could be used to prevent a crime at the start of the mission, thus massively short circuiting your session.

I can't really see what you mean here. Yes, it allows the hunters to jump back in time to earlier in the monster's career, but you will still need to do everything to investigate and defeat it.

In fact, I quite like the idea of doing all the investigation in the "present" and then jumping back in time to solve the problem before it happens (and thus save more people!)

While I gather this was already used for the (utterly delightful) Tome of Mysteries expansion, are you still interested in/accepting new scenario submissions? I've created one that I'm fairly proud of and was hoping to submit. :)

That's right, this call led to the Tome of Mysteries.

I'm not looking for any more submissions at the moment, but I encourage you to self-publish it. Third party licensing for MotW is covered at

7. See above. I'd be surprised if MotW didn't have an analog for go aggro.

For the Apocalypse World 2 "sucker someone" - i.e. "go aggro" when the target can't do anything - the target just has to suck it up. Monster of the Week doesn't have a player move for that exactly, but the Keeper move "inflict harm as established" does the job.

So yeah, if a target doesn't defend themselves... they just take harm. (And it does not trigger "kick some ass").

(Lots of stuff about inflicting harm)

Thoughts, how is this handled?

I think you are skipping over the inflict harm move for the Keeper being "Inflict harm, as established."

If you go through your problematic results, thinking about what danger has been established in the game fiction makes the answers come out easily.

For the case where
the monster try to disarm them, or push past them to get inside somewhere
then kick some ass is not triggered, as that's specifically when the monster is trying to fight back. To resolve this you could allow the hunter to inflict harm as established (i.e. via their weapon), and then use Keeper moves to disarm or have the monster get by.

For the suckering case,
a PC, say, shoots at a monster that does not itself have a ranged attack from a short ways away, I guess I should just have it deal damage and not make a roll at all
. That's right - if you just shoot a target that can't shoot back, it's not kick some ass either. It might also be act under pressure if the target is trying to dodge, or any other move that applies.

For ganging up:
several people attack a foe at once, it starts to get narratively really odd when its hitting back at all of them at the same time (assuming its not something with super speed or lots of arms)
. If the monster has established it has limited attacks, then some hunters cannot be harmed - good for them, bad for the monster. (Note that I'd usually have a dog-pile like this be a single kick some ass roll, with the other hunters helping out or even protecting someone, which simplifies things a bit).

Monster of the Week / Re: Custom Move for Slenderman
« on: April 13, 2017, 05:22:15 AM »
It's best not to have any "nothing happens" results - maybe on a 10+, let the hunter erase a mark (if they have any)?

I also like to add an incentive to do bad stuff at a monster's whim - I'd offer "Mark experience when you do what the Slenderman wants" in addition to the effects you have listed on a 6 or less.

[This is why I tend to think that advance planning (which MotW says not to do!)

That's a major misunderstanding. Clearly planning is required, which is why such a lot of the book is devoted to mystery planning.

What you shouldn't do is plan how the mystery will play out. You prepare the situation as it stands when the hunters arrive, what happens next is up to the group as the hunters do stuff, and you see what happens as a result.

Monster of the Week / Re: The Divine Move: Smite, Too Powerful!
« on: February 25, 2017, 06:36:30 PM »
Plus, if someone takes "smite", that says to me "I'm not interested in puzzling out monster weaknesses".

Multiple items, sure.

Yes, things with the small tag or which are so obviously small you don't need to tag them.

Monster of the Week / Re: The Divine Boss from beyond move question
« on: November 18, 2016, 05:25:01 PM »
I just didn't want it to be a default option.

We want your mysteries! A not-so-secret cabal are going to put together a collection of Monster of the Week mysteries, and we need writers!

It will be a profit share gig, so each piece contributed will earn you a share of ongoing sales.

We’re interested in short (less than 1000 words), creative mysteries that have a cool concept and are easily adaptable to the users’ individual games.

I’ll be including my expanded weirdness rules for games that are more Fringe and X-Files than Supernatural and Buffy, as well, so mysteries that use those would also be appreciated. Get the draft at if you haven’t seen them.

We would also be interested in (in order of desirability) play advice, art, custom moves and other rules variants, and new hunter classes.

If you have ideas for other material, please write up one short sample mystery or other material (up to 500 words) and email it to me at by the 18th of December 2016.

Monster of the Week / Re: Another noob question: Smite
« on: October 25, 2016, 09:23:18 PM »
In cases like this, one thing I like to do is give them monsters where just destroying the creature might not be the best option. A classic example is a traditional werewolf, who is just a regular person most of the time.

You can also tap into the divine's mission, and potentially give them extremely powerful enemies (such as demons and devils). Sure, you have their weakness covered, but you still have to kill it.

Monster of the Week / Re: The Expert's Precise Strike
« on: October 24, 2016, 06:13:02 PM »
You would roll this after another move - note that the trigger is "when you inflict harm on a monster," which will often be when you just resolved a kick some ass move.

Monster of the Week / Re: Change this hunter to a new type.
« on: October 05, 2016, 11:13:13 PM »
It depends.

Look at the detailed description (p121 of the revised edition), and it should be clear. The hunter keeps those things that they should keep, and discards those that are left behind by this change.

Sometimes a hunter keeps all their moves, sometimes they might keep none. There's no overriding rule here, because it always depends specifically on the experience of the current character and the change they go through.

For the advanced moves, ask yourself if they are starting again from the beginning or if the hunter can still use the experience they have already gained.

Monster of the Week / Re: More Weirdness for MotW
« on: September 06, 2016, 03:51:38 PM »
Cool, thanks for the report.

Monster of the Week / Re: More Weirdness for MotW
« on: August 31, 2016, 02:26:24 AM »
Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate them.

I'll leave things as they are for now, however. I think that the harm cost of TK offsets its general usefulness (which the other weird abilities lack).

And for the case when a certain ability doesn't fit a game or character concept... well, you don't have to allow them all. I'll add some words to that effect, and suggest that probably hunches, sensitive, or use magic should be the default options for characters who aren't especially drawn to a particular option.

And I certainly have no plan for integrating them into particular hunter classes - they're specifically for the case when you don't just want to have everyone have use magic. But, depending on the game concept, you could allow all or a subset of them.

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