AP: The Mirkshires

  • 22 Replies
AP: The Mirkshires
« on: June 11, 2012, 09:18:48 AM »
Kat, Meg, Vincent, Julia and I are playing Monsterhearts now. It's a blast with everyone drawing on their angsty teenage years – much pathos to be had!


The Setting: The Mirkshires, a range of woodsy mountains in New England, at Mirkshire Regional High School, an awful place.

Our cast of characters thus far:
Olivia -- a brooding Ghost with piercing eyes who died when her drunk stepfather flipped the car off the road back in 1965. She's 15 forever. (played by Meg)
Ping -- a mysterious Fae with piercing eyes who was born to a fae family out in the woods that is thoroughly amused by the prospect of Ping "trying out" human high school for a couple years. (played by Julia)
Six -- a haunted Hollow with wide eyes, brought to this world as a product of a wish for a doll-like teenage daughter by a single mother (played by Kat)
Gerard -- a brooding Witch with smirking eyes who dabbles in witchcraft. He's got a defiant streak in him, and resents his live-in uncle, who seems to be drawing red eyes on some of Gerard's drawings (played by Vincent)

What's Happened Thus Far:
Exploration of where everyone lives and what sucks about getting up and going to school, as well as part of the first day of class after some kind of break, including homeroom with Mr. Vanze (a snooty politics/econ. teacher) and chemistry with the ever-welcoming Ms. Suka.  Other students in their homeroom thus far are Mike the clueless football jock, Ashton the charming class jokester, Asha the bossy honor student, and Rita the quite blonde girl with amazing eyes.  In brief – Ping has turned Gerard on with a drawing, Gerard has shut down Mr. Vanze with his snarky comments, and Six has gazed into the abyss during chemistry class only to find a vision of a previous version of herself "Three" making out with Ms. Suka.

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2012, 03:22:32 PM »
Oh man, for some reason reading the name Three was like having someone kick my heart. I suddenly care a lot about Six' plight, and whether she'll finally be the one that's good enough for her mother.

This sounds fun. What was your favourite moment? Were there any snags?

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 09:11:40 PM »
I think the best moment for me was just watching Six interact with the various characters – Kat plays a very good "blank slate," and everyone just projects their love/interests onto her.

Ping and Gerard very well could have started a tug-o-war over her after Ping passed Gerard the note.

No snags per se, though it's a bit odd not to do a Hx/Strings wrap-up at the end of the session like in AW. MC-ing Monsterhearts has made me realize that, while similar to AW, it really is its own game.

So hats off to you, Joe, for making that happen!

(And now we've played a second session, so...)

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 09:47:44 PM »
Monsterhearts – The Mirkshires – Session 1.5: Wolves and Goats

[Author's Note: A heck of a lot transpired in this short session and, unlike when I'm a player, yours truly as an MC can't write down every move that the players make and whether or not it succeeds.  So if I gloss over details and such, please help fill them in.]

[2nd Author's Note: Oh my God, this was such a blast!!]

Two new characters have joined the story:
• Seth Enkidu -- a sleek Serpentine with hypnotic eyes from a secretive and nomadic family. Dresses like a Eurotrash greaser. He just moved into town and has taken over the Mirkshire Mansion with his family. (Played by Emily)
• Levi -- an unkempt Werewolf with predatory eyes who was raised by wolves. He's muscular and kinda cute with his large sideburns. He lives in a trailer park west of town – Mirkshire Manors – along with the wolves who raised him and who constitute his family. Works a night job at 7-11 to pay for the trailer. (Played by Eppy)

What Happened:  Seth and his pet bat live in a tower room in the decadent mansion overlooking the town with his parents.  The one crappy thing about his home life is that he has to feed his sister Georgina every morning. Georgina is some scary-ass snake monster in the dark, vault-like basement, which currently only has a rickety wooden door between her and the rest of the family (someone's gotta work on that).  Seth's mother reminds him that maybe he'll have to be in charge one day, so he should learn how to cope with his sister.  Meanwhile, Levi has to get up early in the morning, push the dogs off him and run his way from the trailer park to school, a journey he makes on foot every day.

All the other characters get love letters describing some things. Here they are verbatim, along with the results:
"Dear Ping,

You come home from school to discover the following note from your parents:

Dearest Ping,

We have been called away on “serious business.” It’s our wish that you stay put, stay low, and continue your “life” until our return. It should be nay more than a fortnight.

Your adoring parents,
Chriswind and Sheva
  (and your sister Ballada)

P.S. There’s some food in the fridge, we suspect. Check.

P.P.S. A Wild Hunt is on this weekend. Stay indoors. :-)

Your doting MC - Evan"

Ping's empty house beyond the Veil now feels lonely without everybody. She's jealous that her sister got to go as well.
"Dear Six,

You have a dream that you’re standing naked in a waist-high pool of water before five other indistinct shapes.
Your former selves, maybe?

Roll to manipulate an NPC.

On a 10+, you can ask them up to two questions with reasonable expectation of a coherent answer. Ask away!
On a 7-9, you can ask them a question, and they get to ask one of you. Mark an experience and they get two strings on you.
On a miss, they were just reasserting their control. You begin to drown, and they take as many strings on you as they feel like. Then you wake up.

Your doting MC - Evan"

Six gets a miss. Drowning is an unpleasant sensation!
"Dear Olivia,

Every day, you have to visit the scene of your fatal crash. It’s just one more thing that keeps you from getting your homework done.
Today’s different... somehow.

As you stand forlornly at the side of the lonely road, roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, you find a good reason to stop having to come here as a ritual. The next time you come here, it’ll be special.
On a 7-9, you see a flash of your stepfather’s ghost in the ditch. That’s new. And he gets 1 string on you.
On a miss, the day’s only going to get worse from here. Become your Darkest Self.

Your doting MC - Evan"
Olivia nails it, and realizes that her still-alive step-father finally died at some point that day. A huge weight lifts from her shoulders, and she feels like she can now maneuver in society with a little more freedom (as a dead person).

"Dear Gerard,

Oh no! Mrs. Akin the English teacher handed back your Chaucer essay with an “F” grade on it. You realize someone cleverly switched their paper with yours.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, you know who did it and you know why, too.
On a 7-9, you have clues pointing to two suspects, but you can’t be sure which one is the culprit. Mark experience if you confront both of them.
On a miss, it was quite possible that you actually did turn in a shitty essay, and that you sabotaged yourself. WTF? This calls for some black magic...

Your doting MC - Evan"
Gerard gets a partial success, meaning that he suspects Levi and Asha of doing it.


The students all make it to homeroom this drizzly morning. Mike the football player confronts Levi (who was sleeping in the back) and asks him to join the football team, since he's so brawny and committed to walking to school each morning. Mr. Vanze takes attendance in an asshole way and calls out Ping on his/her ambiguously gendered quality, more to regain his authority than anything else.  Ping and Six skip class and smoke faerie dust in the tree on the west side of campus, but Six remains unaffected. Meanwhile, Levi's "marking his territory" outside the school near the two smokers when he recognizes the scent of some mysteriously large dogs/wolves in the wilderness.

In chemistry class, Gerard confronts Asha about the 'F' paper, a matter about which Asha appears to be somewhat embarassed (a successful 'shut her down' roll).  She later passes Gerard a note to have him meet her after school. Later, at lunch, Seth and Six go out to a hollow tree out by the football field while the rest of the gang have a lively lunchtime conversation in which some of their supernatural backgrounds are subtly mentioned (but the secret's not out of the bag for any character by any stretch of the imagination). Seth kisses Six, and she faints like a rag doll.  Seth winds up carrying her awkwardly back across the football field to the school.  Levi finds Asha and tries to ask her out to the Harvest Dance and take the fall for him about Gerard's paper (turns out it WAS Levi who swapped the papers), but she doesn't communicate with him eye-to-eye really. Poor Levi.

In English class, Mrs. Akin assigns the class a passion play "Everyman" to be read aloud tomorrow.  Six will play Everyman, Ping will play an Angel, Olivia will play God, Gerard will play Satan, Seth will play a butcher, and Levi will play Town Guardsman 2 in Act II. Then Six looks out the window to see a goat-headed cloud full of gathering faerie armies (the Wild Hunt), and she freaks the fuck out. In the ensuing mayhem, poor Sheldon's desk gets knocked over, severing his right pinky. He is taken howling to the nurse's office, and the rest of class is eventually dismissed.  Ping skips the rest of the day's classes and goes home to scry with the Faerie King in a bowl of water. She is informed that her parents have left her "in charge" during the Wild Hunt as they're off taking care of important matters. Then the call is interrupted by the image a dark demon goat's head.

After school, Ping puts out the word that there's a party at her house tonight (since she's bored and lonely at home without her family). Six gets the "call" on her hand mirror before climbing on board Seth's motorcycle. Gerard, who had been invited earlier (as he's the object of Ping's affections), meets with Asha at the bus stop.  She confesses that she set up the situation with Levi in order to show off her mad skills at altering her fellow students' grades after the fact in the school grading system... thus proving that she was on Gerard's level. She asks him to the Harvest Dance, and he says "yes," but he thinks her plan was stupid and tells her so. He then uses his bibliomancy to divine what on earth is going on: he gets a vision of Olivia's step-father being laid to rest in the coffin at a distant funeral. and almost gets a vicarious experience of being buried alive. Speaking of Olivia, she follows Levi back to the trailer park and they have a romantic moment in his trailer, watching his neighbor Wayne's bad game shows through the window and drinking soda (Levi offered Olivia a beer earlier, but given the role alcohol played in her involuntary death... was maybe not the best idea). Levi's non-functional phone rings and Ping invites them both over to her party tonight.  Ping also imposes a condition on Gerard: he gets to mark experience if he publicly turns Asha down for the dance (in favor of Ping).

As Olivia and Levi are moving through the woods to go to the party, they are attacked by several stray faerie dog-wolves in town for the Wild Hunt. This triggers both Olivia and Levi's Darkest Selves: Olivia goes invisible and starts stabbing wolves with her umbrella, Levi goes into wolf form and starts biting into the fae attackers. This battle delays them in arriving at Ping's forest yurt behind the Veil, where the others have gathered. Ping asks everyone to remove all their metal objects, and they're in the middle of doing this when Levi shows up in a wolf rage smelling of dead faerie.  Chaos ensues: Levi lunges at Ping, who has hir arrow knocked on her fae bow, only to rip into the face of Six (who somehow appeared between them). Six does not bleed and repels the attack, while Ping fumbles around for what to do next. As Levi gears up for a second assault, Gerard proceeds to knock Levi on the head. Olivia, still invisible, angrily grabs Levi by the mouth while Seth commands Levi to stand down.  The Darkest Selves are then resolved by Levi throwing Olivia aside (hurting someone he cared about) and charging Gerard, while Olivia is acknowledged for her efforts to stop Levi and reappears. Ping finally manages to get an arrow off that sticks into Levi, and Levi runs off into the woods, eventually making it safely home to his trailer.  Olivia and Gerard get into a huge fight over what was the proper strategy in that situation, never mind all the crazy supernatural shit that just went down, and Gerard (shoeless, 'cause he had to take off his steel-toed boots earlier) runs off into the woods.  Dozens of meters from the road, he encounters a goat, runs, trips, and falls. The goat turns into a goat god with a flapping cape and a nasty grin. "Welcome to the Hunt," he says as he repels Gerard's ineffectual magic, and Gerard is captured.

The rest of the students make it to Ping's relatively awkward and uncomfortable "party."  Some bits of confused conversation later, Ping just gives up and calls one of her brothers in the scrying bowl. Her brother Wyl divines the nature of Gerard's plight - he's been captured by the Goat God! - and that it's up to them to get him back, as the rest of the fae are preoccupied.

Night begins to fall, and everyone's parents are going to be pissed...



  • 203
Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2012, 11:41:01 AM »
I have nothing constructive to add other than adoration for what is happening at your table and a love of goat-headed demons.

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2012, 03:07:08 PM »
Ooooh, tell me you're going to Fastaval next year, Evan. I'd love to play Monsterhearts in the indie block, and if nobody else wants to run it it means I'll have to!

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2012, 02:56:32 PM »
I don't know, I'd like to go to Fastaval next year, Tore.
God willing, I'll get to go.

But regardless and above all: get the Danes hooked on Monsterhearts!

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2012, 06:24:24 PM »
Oh, I already have two steady groups running... You can read my VERY long and somewhat confused write-up (hard to focus when you have an 18 month old who wants her daddy all the time) over on storygames.

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 10:09:26 AM »
Monsterhearts – The Mirkshires – Session 2: Doll Feast

[Seth and Levi couldn’t make it, so we ran a short session with our depleted numbers.]

What Happened: It’s 2 a.m. Seth presumably dropped off Six at her mother’s ranch house before driving off to get an earful from his parents. Six walks in, flesh still dangling from her cheek, and her mother doesn’t really know whether or not she’s angry or just thankful that her “daughter” is home and in one piece. After some awkward moments when her mother tries to wish away the wound on Six’s cheek or, better yet, fix it with needle and thread, she settles on slapping a bandage on it for now. Six’s mother also shows her the new doll-like gingham dress she made for her, and sends her to “bed.”

Meanwhile, Ping and Olivia are gazing at the sad remains of Ping’s party in the faerie yurt just beyond the veil. Olivia is so angry at Ping because of how awful the resultant situation is: Levi and Six are hurt, and Gerard’s been kidnapped by the Goat God. But Olivia’s blame turns back on herself: for irresponsibly pursuing Levi, for tagging along with the wrong crowd and getting burned for it, and so forth. She now feels even worse. Ping has Olivia promise her to “Shut ... up!” (with the ellipsis almost becoming an expletive).

Ping wants to save Gerard from the Goat God right now at 3 a.m. so she and Olivia walk straight out of the faerie yurt and run smack into three Unseelie fae: Bentham, Lug and Griswold. It turned out that they had heard about the party at Ping’s house too and were wondering if there was any beer left. Ping has them take Olivia and herself to the home of the Goat God, and they good-naturedly oblige. Sie also calls Six on her mirror to help out. Six just wishes herself beyond the Veil to the forest where the others tread. This act of wishing, however, has unwittingly created a mere duplicate of herself and sent it beyond the Veil; Six is also still in her bedroom, pretending to sleep.

They make their way to the Tree of Darkness, the Goat God’s home, which is a giant tree made of distorted animal and human visages and limbs. A huge Unseelie war camp roils at its base, preparing for the Wild Hunt tomorrow. Wandering around on the edge of the camp, in a half-dazed state, is Gerard (actually Terrifying Fake Gerard -- Vincent made him as a ghoul). Ping immediately does not think this is Gerard, but stares into his eyes and is taken aback by seeing that he has all of Gerard’s memories. Unfortunately, Terrifying Fake Gerard is also kind of hot, like Gerard (turn someone on rolls for everyone!). The situation intensifies when several Unseelie guards notice their presence, notably a phalanx of 10-foot stone walls on legs, and then try to collapse on them. Gerard and Olivia run to the woods, while Ping dons hir furry cloak and heads toward the Tree of Darkness incognito.

After Six goes running into the woods too, Terrifying Fake Gerard suddenly grabs her and bites her shoulder. Olivia hits him nearby with her tire-iron like cudgel, but the struggle forces her tumbling down a slope out of reach. Six, who tastes like marzipan, starts biting Terrifying Fake Gerard back, and then (having achieved the Hollow’s Darkest Self) proceeds to feed herself to him in an ecstasy of self-destruction. There is naught remaining of Six’s body save a handful of chewed doll parts on the forest floor. Six then awakens in her bed, shaking.

Ping reaches the Tree of Darkness and finds a wandering goat to lead her to the Goat God. The Goat God eventually appears and expresses a general disregard for the humans scattered among his camp, as evidenced by the goat: with a gesture, he whips off its skin revealing Tyrone, a Mirkshire Regional student who went missing around the Wild Hunt time last year. Stark naked, Tyrone constitutes an additional irritant to Ping as sie tries to bargain for Gerard. Eventually, sie makes a contract: sie will trade one of the six “wish dolls” (i.e. Six) in exchange for Gerard.

The Goat God then shows her over to Gerard: he has been recruited as an office of Unseelie and will be leading a force during the Wild Hunt! Gerard is consulting his men, Bentham, Lug and Griswold among them, about his plan of attack on the Mirkshires tomorrow night. Ping pleads for him to come with hir, but he is obliged to stay. Ping at least has Gerard promise not to kill any fae during the Wild Hunt and, after more negotiation, decides to accompany him on the Hunt, which will cause her parents no end of distress. They pitch their mutual tents on either side of the division between the Seelie forest and the Unseelie camp as the sun rises, but not before Ping gathers what little remains of Six in a bag to possibly trade for Gerard...

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2012, 05:22:02 PM »
That last scene was sad-making. Blew the role that would have made it happier (no turning Gerard on, but he got a Ping's eye view of what happened since he left Ping's yurt) and made the role that just made the sad super sad ("I know these are Six's remains. And I guess I didn't tell the goat god that I'd bring her alive, so this shouldn't void our agreement. But more to the point, is this all that's left of my BFF? WTF happened?")
♥ Julia

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2012, 07:51:32 AM »
Monsterhearts – The Mirkshires – Session 3 (well, actually 4): La Ronde

[Author’s Note: Everybody was back and in good form for this session. Sex and violence and high school, all mixed with a hefty dose of dramatic irony that only Monsterhearts can really provide.]

[Author’s Sidenote: Something just struck me about our RPG lingo, namely: we frame units of time in terms of rounds, scenes, sessions, and campaigns, incorporating the respective discourses of boxing, film/drama, psycho-therapy, and war all at once. So the macro-scale level of an RPG story lets us perceive a field of conflict, the actual sitting with the players is just a form of group therapy, the scenes moments of acting, and the rounds as boundaried units of micro-conflicts. Hmmm...]

Love Letters: Because we have 6 players and 7 characters, the resolution of the love letters took enough time to merit its own section of the AP. Seth and Levi get to mark 2 experience as their consolation for not being able to make it last time. Here are the love letters verbatim, along with their results.
“Dear Six,

The psychic shock of losing your other body rips through you, and suddenly voices tear through your head.

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, you cling to the fantasy about a character of your choice, and it calms you down.
On a 7-9, you fantasize about Terrifying Fake Gerard and it feels wrong, but you calm down anyway.
On a miss, your “haunted” condition becomes “terrified.”

Your doting MC - Evan”
Six gets a miss, and winds up utterly terrified. Fortunately, she’s a Hollow and can easily resolve that situation by acting it out. More on that later.
“Dear Ping,

As you set up your yurt next to the Unseelie camp, you realize that your trusty bow is missing.

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, wait – there it is! You grip it with renewed confidence and take 1 forward as you prepare for the Wild Hunt.
On a 7-9, an Unseelie imp ran off with it. You catch her, but the Goat God gets another string on you.
On a miss, an Unseelie imp ran off with it. You hunt her down and, in a fit of rage, strike her dead. Congratulations - you’re now your Darkest Self!

Your doting MC - Evan”
Ping gets a success and it’s no big deal.
“Dear Gerard,

You are woken in the early morning by your men: the Boar-Headed Fiend (one of your sergeants) wagers he could command this bunch better than you. He calls for a challenge!

Roll to lash out physically.

On a 10+, you whip him soundly and he’ll actually support you from now on.
On a 7-9, you beat him, but take 1 harm and a hard-to-conceal wound to show for it.
On a miss, he whips you, you take 2 harm, and now the Goat God has to get involved...

Your doting MC - Evan”

Gerard gets a partial success, meaning he beat the Boar-Headed Fiend into submission, but not before it bit off his index and middle fingers on his right hand. He starts the game with an open wound.
“Dear Terrifying Fake Gerard,

You ate recently, and that was good. But you’re still badly wounded from that fracas with the doll and the ghost.

At some point this morning, choose a character who, if they agree to help heal your harm,  can mark 1 experience.

In exchange, you not only heal all 3 of your harm, but you also get to activate your Sex Move with this character.

Failure to do this in the morning will give everyone a string on you.

Your doting MC - Evan”
The time frame wasn’t all that generous, so he failed. Everyone got a string on Terrifying Fake Gerard, which pretty much represents the fact that by the end of the first 15 minutes of the session, word got around about his ‘condition.’
“Dear Olivia,

After a terrible evening, you crash and begin another round of blaming yourself for all that transpired.

Roll to gaze into the abyss.

On a 10+, you see an apparition that jolts you out of your self-hatred and blame.
On a 7-9, you see an apparition that jolts you out of your self-hatred and blame, but it takes advantage of your wounded state and takes 2 strings on you.
On a miss, you see only the world around you and it continues to suck. Everyone gets a string on you in your insecurity.

Your doting MC - Evan”

She gets a partial success. As she and Tyrone walk through the streets of the Mirkshires (more on that later), she spots the Hanging Tree where there once was a horrific mass hanging. Some of the more capricious ghosts spot her as she passes, and it’s obvious to them what just happened to Olivia.
“Dear Seth,

You arrived home late last night after dropping off Six, only to find your father hopping mad about your consorting with the Unseelie - and at this late hour!

Roll to manipulate an NPC.

On a 10+, he lets up after you give him a bribe, threat or motive.
On a 7-9, he simmers down, but sends you to spend the rest of the night with your sister as penance.
On a miss, same as a 7-9, only your father gets 2 strings on you and will be mistrustful for the near future.

In all cases, mark 2 experience points for the stress.

Your doting MC - Evan”

Seth gets a partial success. He spends the rest of the night in the basement feeding his sister the dead mice she likes and reading her an endless array of bedtime stories. He won’t be in great shape come dawn.
“Dear Levi,

Upon completion of your shift at 7/11, you come home to find your Uncle Snarls at Death’s Door thanks to that chill he picked up a few weeks ago.

Roll to hold steady.

On a 10+, you do what must be done.
On a 7-9, you do what must be done, but have to either openly express your grief during the process or take the condition “haunted.”
On a miss, it’s messy, emotionally painful, and disruptive to your sleep to boot. Take the “haunted” condition too.

Mark 2 experience points for the pain.

Your doting MC - Evan”

Levi gets a partial success. He takes Uncle Snarls to the nearby cliff where, after a long pause before the sun rises, the dying wolf throws himself off. Because Levi’s a teenage boy, he swallows the pain and takes the condition “haunted.”
What Happened: The following events encompass the 21-hour period between 3 a.m. until midnight on the Friday on which supposedly the Wild Hunt is to take place. Having been discovered as a goat in the Unseelie camp, Tyrone is wandering naked around in the forest near the Veil back into the human world. Olivia meets up with him and chats about his disappearance. It turns out that he was running away from his abusive home situation and wound up goatnapped. His memories from his time of being in a goat skin at the Tree of Darkness are pretty hazy, but involve eating grass and bleating. They pass through the Veil and back into town. Olivia sees the horrific apparition of the Hanging Tree with all of its ghostly hanging bodies, but it at least jolts her out of her self-hatred and blame for the whole situation – especially Six getting devoured and all.

Homeroom. Terrifying Fake Gerard is there, as are Levi, Six, and Olivia (Seth wanders in a little later and sleepy). Terrifying Fake Gerard immediately locks eyes with Six and totally falls in love with her. Six is called to the principal’s office, but decides to just go to the bathroom instead and ignores the call. Terrifying Fake Gerard tries to get Olivia’s help in wooing Six, but she (after last night) outright refuses. Oh, and Levi’s heightened senses absolutely tell him that Six and Terrifying Fake Gerard had sex (they didn’t). The rumor spreads anyway and Seth gets really angry, because of his feelings for Six. Mr. Vanze says some boring things and doesn’t care enough to force Six to go to the Principal’s office. After class, Sheldon asks the group for 2 volunteers to help out on the Harvest Dance committee for this coming Friday: Terrifying Fake Gerard and Six volunteer. Asha doesn’t like the way that Terrifying Fake Gerard and Six now have a thing, so Six gives her the condition “bitch” she gives Six the condition “slut,” which has a profound effect on her as a Hollow. Later, in Ms. Akin’s English class, Six, Levi and Terrifying Fake Gerard read passages from the old English play Everyman. They read about Death giving Everyman a choice between Heaven and Hell, and he’s like “Can we wait a while before I have to decide?” They muddle their way through the text, unconcerned with its relations to their own existence.

Meanwhile, in the Unseelie camp, Ping wakes up and finds Gerard with his missing two fingers. Sie takes him over to a nearby healing pool. Sie undresses and expects Gerard to do the same. He is so turned on by the situation that it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that they’re having sex (Ping as a “girl” by request) on the bank within half-an-hour. While they’re having great sex on the beach, the Goat God has mounted a phallus-shaped branch on the Tree of Darkness and made some sort of grand speech to the assembled Unseelie camp. Gerard missed it entirely. As per their Sex Moves, Ping and Gerard extract promises from each other: Gerard has to trust Ping completely, and Gerard gets Ping’s blue glass bottle pendant with “girl” faerie essence in it. After donning their clothes, Ping and Gerard discover from Griswold that the Goat God has capriciously delayed the Wild Hunt to the next weekend. This means Gerard has to get his Unseelie band in shape by then, and Ping has to go back to school. Gerard doesn’t think it’s a bad thing that there’s another form of him wandering around, attending classes with him. Once Ping leaves, Gerard drills his troops and gazes into the abyss. He realizes that his rag-tag Unseelie band are no different from high-schoolers, and he must rise to the level of “role-model teacher,” rather than general, to get them to behave. That or some strong teenage discipline.

Lunchtime. Seth walks up to Terrifying Fake Gerard and punches him in the face. This compounds Terrifying Fake Gerard’s harm (Vincent chooses to lose all his strings) and give him a bloody nose to boot. Terrifying Fake Gerard responds by biting Seth in the face. Six realizes this is over her and (to work off her “Terrified” condition) runs off to the crafts trailer, while Seth just gives Terrifying Fake Gerard the condition “snake food” and walks away. Olivia and Levi meanwhile debrief about last night by the trees... and share an awkward make-out session. Seth and Terrifying Fake Gerard later wind up at the nurse’s office, separated with just a thin curtain. They are both served detentions by Assistant Principal Grumley, who’s too over-worked to be otherwise bothered with conflict resolution. Nurse Hilda bandages up Seth’s face and leaves for long enough to let Six slip in unnoticed. She and Terrifying Fake Gerard make plans for later (with Seth overhearing them) and then turns to talk to Seth. Seth makes a direct suggestion (via the Temptation move): “I think you should stay away from Terrifying Fake Gerard.” Six absorbs the power and will now be able to use it in the future. Ping calls Six via her mirror and is confused that she picks up. Sie then makes the mistake of holding up Six’s doll parts and Six hangs up out of horror.

After school. Olivia watches Levi at his first football practice where, despite being super-tired and haunted, he pummels the crap out of the tackling dummies. This intimidates the entire team, and he’s pretty much appointed a linebacker position on the spot. While Olivia watches him (and the nearby cheerleaders), the trio of girlfriends Jennifer, Wendy and Emma start talking about her and giggling. Jennifer condescendingly asks Olivia “What’s your name?” and Olivia immediately goes to her Darkest Self. She vanishes, and loses any significance. Embarassed, she leaves. Seth surprisingly walks out and takes Olivia’s spot. After practice, Seth and Levi converse: Seth tempts Levi to cross over into the Fae realm with him, and Levi considers it.

Ping is waiting for Six when she gets home on the bus. When they go into Six’s living room, Ping examines the pictures of Six’s mom and gets a flash of recurrent images of violence surrounding the previous versions of Six. Apparently, Six’s mom is a doll-maker who is very disturbed and does not quite understand the havoc she’s wrought and wreaking. Six uses Seth’s power to tempt Ping not to hurt Terrifying Fake Gerard. But that’s not why Ping came over: Ping wants Six to make another whole double of herself in order to trade that with the Goat God for a whole Gerard. Six requires that Ping find her a doll that Ping “really likes.” And then Six and Ping have sex, this time with Ping’s both sexes exposed at once. They afterward extract promises from each other: Ping won’t tell Seth they had sex, and Six won’t tell either Gerard about it. Ping gets out of the house before Six’s mother returns, but only to find that her Seelie parents are still not back from their travels.

Levi comes home to find an invisible Olivia waiting for him. Her dress flutters to the ground, and Levi gets the hint (her Darkest Self goes away). He bowls out his family, and then they have werewolf-ghost sex. Afterward, Levi has formed a spiritual bond with Olivia, while Olivia sorts out the fact that she’s a ghost with Levi. She tells him about how she died and checks to make sure it’s OK that she’s a ghost from the 1960s (it is). In fact, Levi remarks “I’m totally a wolf dating a cougar.”

Seth goes home and talks to his father, Petros, about possibly helping out in the family business in exchange for some tools and connections needed to go into the Fae realm. Petros likes the way Seth is talking and promises to let Seth in on the reason why they actually moved to Mirk Manor in the first place... if he captures 2 fae and put them into cages he provides. He also gives Seth a sharp dagger that can cut through the Veil, but it is “not to be used on anything else, as it dulls the edge.”

11 p.m. Terrifying Fake Gerard meets up with Six, who climbs out her bedroom window in order to be with him. They go on a walk in the nearby bland suburban streets. They both ruminate about being doubles of other folks. Six wants Terrifying Fake Gerard to eat Asha at the Harvest Dance, and Terrifying Fake Gerard considers doing it in public. A police officer drives by and, in typical small-town cop fashion, tells the kids to go home. Terrifying Fake Gerard is hungry, so he throws a rock at the cop car as it passes. The car screeches to a halt and the officer (who shall be named next session) gets out to teach Terrifying Fake Gerard a lesson, but the Ghoul is already on him. Terrifying Fake Gerard takes a savage bit out of the cop’s flesh as he draws a pistol and desperately shoots him in the leg. Then his teeth sink into the cop’s jugular vein, and the cop goes limp. Six watches Terrifying Fake Gerard feast and goes limp like a doll to gaze into the abyss. She gets flashes of Terrifying Fake Gerard’s origin story: he was created as an ugly grey doll with nasty teeth in an Unseelie doll shop at the whim of the Goat God and then sewn into a skin copied from the real Gerard, which then filled with Gerard’s organs and memories. Once Terrifying Fake Gerard eats his fill in a fashion reminiscent more of a wolf attack than that of a human teenager (foreshadowing future badness), they hobble across the suburbs back to Six’s ranch home, where her mother is up and waiting for them...

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #11 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

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #12 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!

Re: AP: The Mirkshires
« Reply #14 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.