New Skin: the Shit-Eater (trigger warning)

  • 3 Replies
New Skin: the Shit-Eater (trigger warning)
« on: September 01, 2013, 07:52:44 PM »
To reiterate:  this Skin incorporates the theme of eating disorders.  Furthermore, I am entirely uncertain about how I have incorporated them.  This is version 0.5 of this Skin for a reason, and that reason is that, although the theme of eating disorders is one that I want to address in this Skin, I recognize that it is dangerous dangerous territory and I am likely to accidentally trigger many people.  Part of why I am posting it is to seek help in correcting that, if it is even possible (I freely admit that it may not, but I would like to try).  It seems to me that I might need the input of others at this point in order to be able to address the issue with the sensitivity and maturity that the Mortal addresses codependency and abusive relationships, for example.

Another discussion about eating disorders and M<3s appeared on one of the three boards where I am posting this.  I would like to stress that this Skin is not in response to that discussion.  I do not want to diminish the important discussion and comments in that thread.

If the community would prefer to not host such a potentially offensive Skin or the discussion thereof, I completely understand and am happy to remove it if so.

Re: New Skin: the Shit-Eater (trigger warning)
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2013, 07:53:01 PM »
This Skin was inspired by <a href="">Tlazolteotl</a>, a Nahua (Aztec) goddess who simultaneously inspires and cleanses filth of both the literal and the metaphorical varieties.  I have been working with her intuitively for some years now and have just recently made a tiny amount of headway in learning how to do so in-tradition.  Please note that I said <i>inspired</i>.  This is not an attempt to capture Tlazolteotl's essence or to describe her in an RPG form; rather, it takes one element of her and throws it into the M<3s thematic blender to see if anything intriguing comes out at the end.

The Skin turned out to revolve around three thematic elements:
1) The bad influence who seems to feed off dragging everyone around em down.
2) The role of the outsider and (especially) the troubled kid as gifted counselor.  You don't go to the senior who's been with one boy/girl/otherfriend since junior high for relationship advice, you go to the kid who can't keep a relationship for longer than a week.  This also got linked with the role of shit in agriculture in my head.
3) Anorexia and bulimia.  More an idea of how someone whose food was shame and guilt and filth and emotional baggage would react to being in a M<3s scenario than anything else, this seemed to be the glue that made the Skin more than a bland list of powers.

That being said, I am utterly unsure that I have expressed these themes effectively (or, in the case of #3, respectfully) and would like advice.  <i>Purge</i> is the one I'm the least happy with, though <i>Binge</i> took the longest to take shape.  Any thoughts?

Re: New Skin: the Shit-Eater (trigger warning)
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2013, 07:53:28 PM »
The Shit-Eater
    You’re a bad influence.  You drag all your classmates down, down, ever further into shame and vice and shit and filth.  You can’t stay away from it.  It’s delicious.
    And it’s gifted you with an uncanny occasional maturity.  After all, what’s another word for fertilizer?  Yep.  Shit.  So sometimes, in the midst of being a bad influence and perhaps even because of it, you can give some really good advice.
    Sometimes, though.  Sometimes, you’d like nothing more than to turn back the clock.  To before everything got so fucking complicated, back when you were a good kid and the world sparkled and everything just worked.  The only way back is to starve yourself.  Refuse the yummy, yummy fucked-uppedness that surrounds you in this cramped high school.  Call the hunger holy, and last as long as you can before you binge.  After all, you have your own shit to work through, and it’s easy enough to purge.
    Caroma, Cloacina, Daisy, Damian, Georgia, Gerber, Kohler, Sterculinus, Theresa, Tlaelquani, Yolihuani
    An agricultural name, a bottom-rung name, a disgusting name, a foreign name, a religious name
    Desperate, dirty, friendly, obese, ragged, skinny
    Brown eyes, crazy eyes, friendly eyes, hungry eyes, wide eyes
    Ancient god, fetishist, human roach, perfectionist, budding psychologist
    Everyone knows what you do.  You like it that way.  Everyone gains a String on you.
    Someone compulsively uses your bad influence as an excuse to engage in their vices.  Gain two Strings on them.
    Someone comes to you with their shame, seeking absolution.  You don’t really like them, but they got some delicious guilt.  Gain one String on them.
    Cold -1, Dark 1, Hot 1, Volatile -1
    You get binge, and two more:
    Binge:  When faced with someone in their Darkest Self, you may gorge yourself on their filth.  This is highly obvious, leaves you vulnerable near the other person for a few minutes, and brings them out of their Darkest Self.  You gain the Condition shit-faced, then give the other character the option to trigger their sex move (if they’re a PC) and they choose one:
they tell you the one thing either about them or that they know that will hurt you the most
they get three Strings on you
you trigger your own Darkest Self
they lose their dark side until they somehow get it back
    Confession:  When someone unburdens themselves to you, choose one:
they lose one Condition, and you gain the same Condition
one String held on them by another character becomes a String held on you
    Eat Shit:  When you consume shit, either the literal consumption of fecal matter or in a more metaphorical sense (for example:  hearing someone confess their greatest shame, or witnessing someone engage in their secret vice, or being the victim of someone’s cruel psychodrama), choose one:
heal one harm
remove a Condition
mark experience
carry 1 forward
    Just Another Word for Manure:  When you have the Condition shit-faced and engage in a deeply emotional conversation with someone, remove shit-faced to choose one growing-up move.  The other character may use that move once, but not on you.
    Nothing Tastes as Bad as Being Skinny Feels:  When you refuse your third chance to use any of the following moves: binge, confession, eat shit, or shit-eating grin you may choose to take one harm.  Until you use one of those feeding moves, take one harm that cannot be healed until you do so and whenever you roll 10+ on any roll against another PC, they must choose whether or not their character enters their Darkest Self.  Should you refuse to feed two more times (for a total of five times), your unhealable harm increases to two, your Conditions give other PCs a +2 when they’re tagged, and a 7-9 forces them to choose; on a 10+, you choose.
    Purge:  When you have the Condition shit-faced, remove it to vomit your filth onto a person, a place, or an item.  A person so affected gains all of your Conditions (you lose them).  If you vomit onto a place or item, than anyone in that place or in contact with that item will be affected by all your Conditions (you still lose them).  In addition, carry 3 forward to hold steady.
    Manure:  When you have the Condition shit-faced and engage in a deeply emotional conversation with someone, remove shit-faced to choose one growing-up move.  The other character may use that move once.
    Shit-Eating Grin:  When you are present with someone as they engage in a vice or do something shameful, mark experience and you may immediately roll to turn them on with a +1 to the roll.
    Sex Move
    When you convince someone to do something sexual that they consider shameful or disgusting or sinful, they remove all their Conditions and everyone else loses all Strings they hold on that person.
    Darkest Self
    You will play the role they all want you to play, the externalized avatar of their guilty, shameful pleasure, and you will play it to the tee.  Polite society is a sham, a thin veil over the seething vice that is humanity.  Break it with a little push (okay, sometimes a big one, but that has its own pleasure), and let honesty rule.  Best of all, you ain’t gonna eat any of it.  Let them stew without your help.  The hungrier you are, the more control you’re in, right?  Come out of your Darkest Self when you witness someone owning their shit -- accepting and publically admitting or engaging their vices with neither shame nor guilt.
Take another Shit-Eater move
Take another Shit-Eater move
Take a move from another Skin
Take a move from another Skin
You belong to an Ixcuinan of Shit-Eaters
Add 1 to Cold (max +3)
Add 1 to Dark (max +3)
Add 1 to Hot (max +3)
Add 1 to Volatile (max +3)
    Playing the Shit-Eater
    Shit-faced is a very obvious Condition, but its appearance is up to you.  Do you appear drunk when shit-faced?  Does your mouth turn brown?  Do your moves grow feline, slow, and sultry like you’ve just had a really good orgasm?  Do you gain twenty or thirty pounds while you have it?  Or can you think of something better?



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Re: New Skin: the Shit-Eater (trigger warning)
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2013, 01:34:22 AM »
Frank but friendly feedback is the way I roll, so here goes:
1)Wow, interesting concept but this is just way too on-the-nose for me to ever use in the game. 
2) There's an awfully big straddle between the literal and figurative meanings of "eating shit" and I don't think it quite works. 
3) The whole playbook seems to be more about masochism than about eating disorders to me, although I'm only a mild expert in either subject (I work in mental health).  In my (limited) experience, eating disorders tend to run hand in hand with serious control issues. The kid who tries very hard to be perfect but has this urge that builds up over time that they can't control seems to fits Monsterhearts better than the one who wallows in their dysfunction.
4)Getting power through humiliation is a cool idea, I'd like to see other Moves that that cover the whole range of what might be interesting and useful in a Monsterhearts game, particularly things that could be done in semi-public, like while having a private conversation at a table in the lunchroom or while walking around the neighborhood.