New Skin: Best Friend

  • 2 Replies
New Skin: Best Friend
« on: August 10, 2013, 11:19:43 AM »
Started playing Monster Hearts just this week, and I love it!  But, one of my players didn't like the idea that being a mortal meant sex was always going to be a bad thing.  So, I decided to try and create an alternative mortal character.  For inspiration, I was thinking of Xander and Willow from Buffy, but also characters like Hanekawa from the Monogatari anime, and superhero characters, who always seem to have that one best friend who knows their secret identity and can't help but get into the thick of trouble because of it.

Mechanically, they work by building friendships with other characters, learning their secrets, helping them along.  And for a darker twist, I made it so that some abilities lose effectiveness after you've used them more than once on the same person, so that even though their friends will rely on them, they'll want more, even if it means replacing the old ones.  As for the Darkest Self, I wanted something that takes all that trust they've built up so carefully and then just exploit it.  In any case, here it is.  Let me know what you guys think.


The Best Friend

Despite all the craziness of this messed up town, you always keep your feet on the ground.  Your friends might be freaking out, panicking, angsting, and screaming over the latest “incident”, but you have the inner strength to take it all in stride.  And there’s something strangely attractive about that...

Playing the Best Friend

Sensible, likeable, but not really standing out in a crowd, the Best Friend is pretty normal on the surface.  But, they’re well equipped to deal with even the most dangerous and weird supernatural situations.  They thrive when making and helping their friends, and they can help tame the darker natures of monsters.

Many moves don’t directly benefit you, but help those around you.  This makes you extra attractive to monsters, who can use your moves to further their own agenda or simply take advantage of you.  That’s okay though, because the more they do, the tighter bound they become to you.

Stop that Nonsense can be powerful, but it’s not the kind of thing that’s going to work forever.

Don’t think that being a best friend is the same as being altruistic though.  The Best Friend’s Moves are stronger the more friends he has, and less effective the more you use them on the same friend.  And what better way to make a new friend than by betraying an old one?

Sex Move

When you have sex, cancel the sex move of your partner.  If this was your first time, you both then mark experience.  If the sex involves more than one partner, then each new combination lets everyone mark experience.

Darkest Self

Why do you have to solve everyone’s problems?  No.  You’re going to BE their problem.  You know their secrets, now it’s time to use those against them.  You know what they want most, so you’re going to make sure they never get it.  Your friends are monsters, and they need to suffer for it.  You leave your darkest self when you’ve either caused 3 harm or done something truly terrible to your friend.


 Take another Best Friend move.
 Take another Best Friend move.
 Take a move from another Skin.
 Take a move from another Skin.
 Take a move from another Skin.
 Add 1 to Hot (max 3).
 Add 1 to Cold (max 3).
 Add 1 to Volatile (max 3).
 Add 1 to Dark (max 3).

Best Friend Moves

You get this one, and two more.

Friendly Advice
When someone tells you their problems, you can give them some helpful bit of advice.  Gain a string on them which you can use boost their roll when they follow your advice.  If you use the string to lower their roll by 1, you both mark experience.

Common Sense

You can roll with Cold instead of Dark when you Gaze Into the Abyss.  When you do, on a 7-9, you can pick one from the 10+ list instead, but instead of visions, you are simply thinking things through logically with a good deal of perception.

Helping Hand
When you can help someone in a scene--stand behind them while they intimidate someone, act as their wingman when they’re hitting on a girl, get into a fight with someone--they carry 1 forward.  If this improves the roll by a step, gain a string on them.

Background Character
When you run away in a scene with a friend, add these options:
10+: You hide or back into the corner, and they ignore you completely to focus on your friend.  When you fight your fear to act, carry 1 forward.
7-9: You hide or back into the corner, and they ignore you completely to focus on your friend.  You gain the Terrified condition and can’t act to help.

Sharing is Caring
When you know the true nature of a friend, you can use one of their Moves that they’ve explained and shown you.  When you do, they take a string and you take 1 harm, unless you’re in your Darkest Self, in which case you only choose 1.  The first time you use a friend’s move, they mark experience.

Stop That Nonsense
You can spend two strings on a friend to take them out of their darkest self.  When you do, it’s only after they hurt you in the process.  Take 1 harm and mark experience.  Increase the harm by 2 each time you use this move on the same person.

Just the Thing
Once per scene, you have something that comes in handy perfect for the situation.  A key to the teacher’s lounge, a cross necklace to stop vampires, a car to get around town, fluency in german to understand what that weird foreigner was saying, etc.  If the thing is used to directly help a friend, you each gain a string on the other.

Re: New Skin: Best Friend
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2013, 10:14:45 PM »

Needs more dysfunction. This is a game about monsters, right?

Re: New Skin: Best Friend
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 10:01:41 PM »
I agree. It's an interesting concept and not a bad start. But it should be more monstrous. A Move that gives incentive for them to reveal themselves to you and also something that might incentivize the inevitable betrayal.