New Skin: The Mentor

  • 4 Replies
New Skin: The Mentor
« on: April 21, 2013, 10:53:26 AM »
A character in my game is a Chosen who wants to take on more of a Watcher role, so I whipped this up.  Feedback is appreciated, I'm worried that it might be too boring.

It's hard to step out of the spotlight, but that's what you've done.  Your time as the star is done, now it's time for someone new to shine.

The Mentor is an advanced skin.  Don't choose this as your first skin!  The Mentor is for someone who wants their character to step up as a tutor or sponsor to younger, newer Monsterhearts.  You can't use 'Choose a Move from another skin' to take Mentor moves unless you have changed skins.

Mentor Moves
Choose two.

You have an NPC apprentice, who has abilities similar to those from your original skin.  Whenever you are with them, they act at advantage.

First Aid
When you spend time with someone to tend their wounds, they heal 2 harm instead of one, and can recover from a condition.

Stand Tall
Add the following option to your list of 10+ options for Hold Steady: You and everyone who can see you get +1 forward to Hold Steady for the rest of the scene.

Training Montage
When you spend time and effort training someone, choose a move you know from your original skin and have them roll + Volatile.  On a 7-9, they hold one.  On a 10+, they hold three.  They can spend one hold to gain one use of that move.  They lose all their hold if they participate in another Training Montage.

Voice of Experience
When someone comes to you for advice, tell them what course of action you genuinely think is best.  If they follow it, they take +1 forward, and you mark experience.

Voice of Reason
When you try to talk sense into someone who is their Darkest Self, roll + Hot:
Hit or miss, they gain a String on you.  On a 7-9, they may choose to recover from their Darkest Self.  If they choose to remain in their Darkest Self, you get +1 forward against them.  On a 10+, they must recover from their Darkest Self.
On a miss, they gain +1 forward to their next roll against you.

You Can Do It!
When someone else is rolling, you can spend a String on them to let them add +1 to their roll by saying how you give aid, assistance, or encouragement.
You can spend a String on an NPC and offer aid, assistance or encouragement to have them act at advantage.
Mentor Darkest Self
They don't need you, they don't want your advice.  That's their folly; they might be younger and prettier, but they'll never have your knowledge and experience.  Time to let them find out the hard way.  You withdraw yourself from the world, letting others fail on their own merits.  End your darkest self when someone comes begging for your help, or someone you care about is seriously hurt due to your inaction.

Mentor Sex Move
Sex should be a beautiful, healthy thing between two consenting adults.  When you have sex with another character, you choose whether or not their sex move takes effect.

Mentor Advances:
+1 Hot (Max +3)
+1 Cold (Max +3)
+1 Volatile (Max +3)
+1 Dark (Max +3)
Gain another Mentor Move
Gain another Mentor Move
Gain a move from another Skin.
Gain a move from your original Skin.
Gain two Growing Up moves.

Re: New Skin: The Mentor
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 06:23:41 PM »
I think this is a really solid "growing up" skin.  The moves are solid, the darkest self is great.  The ability to gain growing up moves as a regular advance makes perfect sense.

I'd like to see training montage re-worked so NPCs can benefit from it.  It seems a bit silly that you'd have an apprentice that you're training, but then not be able to use this move to train them.

The sex move is good, but generic.  If this is intended to be the only "growing up" skin, it's great as is.  But if you want to leave space for others, you might want to come up with something more specific to a mentor-type character.

Re: New Skin: The Mentor
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2013, 11:50:34 AM »
I love this idea.  Some idle thoughts ...

Apprentice, while an essential concept, might be a little vague and advantage mechanics rely on the MC's careful attention.  Perhaps also give them mechanic where they are essentially a gang of 1, and also assist with your rolls?

OR write it as "You get "Apprentice" and two more Mentor Moves."

Stand Tall ... how often would you "hold steady" multiple times in a scene?  Perhaps make this a blanket +1forward for the scene?

Training Montage is fantastic idea.

Voice of Reason.  I think I'd like the miss to have more consequences...perhaps explicitly give MC an chance to make a hard move?  I can see coming up with some impromptu "gazing into the abyss" verbage and "the abyss in this case is the PCs Darkest Self."

Mentor Sex Move.... I think the sentiment here.  If you decide to change it along lines of arscott's advice, perhaps use "Oedipus/Elektra Complex" as inspiration?

Re: New Skin: The Mentor
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2013, 05:47:01 AM »
Feedback is appreciated, I'm worried that it might be too boring.

Yeah, it's a little boring. Who is this responsible, competent, inspiring person and what the heck are they doing in a Monsterhearts game? Needs a solid dose of dysfunction, ASAP:

* How about a 'Ripper' move -- unexpected resources/skills/memories/edginess from the character's past that help and complicate things in sexy ways.

* Voice of Experience is too easy -- when the Mentor gives advice in the MH genre, it never works out that smoothly. I'd love to see a move with some juicy 7-9 results, like offering experience to do the OPPOSITE of what the Mentor said, etc. I mean come on, since when do teenagers just listen?

* Apprentice is kind of neither here nor there. Is this person core to the skin or not really? I like the idea suggested above that the apprentice is automatically included, in which case the move could maybe be made more double-edged; after all, having an Apprentice is a responsibility. If they die under your tutelage that's a big deal, and they're a crazy teenager who never listens!

* An even stronger option along those lines would be to have the Apprentice work similarly to the Mortal's true love (look at Giles and Buffy and tell me these people are not dangerously co-dependent.)

* The Darkest Self makes sense, for an NPC -- for a PC it seems really passive. DSes should prescribe action, not inaction (the Ghost DS kind of has this problem too) -- becoming your Darkest Self is about becoming a monster, not becoming a less effective human.

* Voice of Reason 7-9 result: you can choose to become your Darkest Self in exchange for them leaving theirs? In fact I would make this the only way it works at 7-9 (or maybe add some other equally difficult options) and make the current 7-9 result the 10+ result. Forcing PCs to leave their DS seems sketchy to me.

* The Sex Move... are you telling me if Giles had sex with <any of the younger characters on Buffy> it would be a positive, fulfilling experience? Are you sure you wouldn't instead want to throw your television out the window and scrub yourself down with a wire brush? I don't want to sound moralistic here, but authority figures having sex with teenagers is not an unproblematic, easily-managed experience that works out well for everybody involved. And even if that could theoretically be true in real life, this is Monsterhearts! You're throwing away a huge opportunity to get some bloody fingerprints all over this skin.


I think in general the current skin reads like all the upsides of being the go-to authority figure with none of the downsides. Maybe as a secondary playbook for a PC who is already full of angst and screwed-up teenage responsibilities, it will still work out, but I think the moves need to point much more strongly towards all the serious, engaging emotional difficulties that come with trying to be a mentor to a (monstrous) teenager. Especially a Mentor who is not their parent, and is some kind of monster themselves.

This is not an easy job, and more importantly it's a job that is rife with great fodder for drama -- especially when you realize that the Mentor in question is probably going to be just out of high school themselves, and only barely managing to keep this 'adult' shit together. (Not to harp on the sources, but think about Buffy trying to be Dawn's 'mom' in the later seasons, work at the high school, etc.) Adding that element in to the existing moves, or creating some new ones along those lines, could definitely help keep the boredom at bay.

Thematically/source-material wise, I would also think about characters like Lupin/Sirius from the Harry Potter books as well. Mentors should have lots of unsettled scores and regrets, and resentment at not being able to just do things themselves.

Re: New Skin: The Mentor
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2013, 12:52:13 AM »
Harping sources, again: Also consider Buffy trying to lead a group of Slayers at the end of Season 7 and at the start of the comics. She was pretty hopeless at it, basically.