Tuesday, March 5, 2013

STMS Season Finale! [Monsterhearts]

(Click HERE for my first Monsterhearts roundup)

So, The Sexy Teenage Monster Show wrapped up its first season this week. Since it was the last session of the season and one of our players (the Chosen) was going to be unable to game for several months, we had a lot of things happening at once, trying to wrap up as much as we could. It got a bit jumbled here and there. More than a couple times, my players broke into a bit of meta gaming. “I need to get into a fight or some other Volatile conflict so I can mark my last XP and get my final advance!” That kind of thing. Normally I'd poo-poo that kind of thinking, but again, it was the season finale, and I tried to be accommodating without breaking things too much.

Here are the highlights of the last session...

Lillith the Fae switches skins to Mortal, chosing Caleb (the werewolf that wants her dead) as her lover. The player decided that when she betrayed her father, the Faery King, he stripped her of her fae nature. When Lilly's mother (still a fae) discovers this, she FREAKS OUT and disowns her, driving her out. (Accept people, but only conditionally)

Lacuna the Angel-turned-Hollow has “explosive amnesia” (a phrase we always say in our best Calculon voice.)

Caleb the werewolf blows up Lillth's home. Building maintenance is his part-time job, so we decided that, sure, he knows how to sabotage a gas line. (Be a fan of the PCs)

A big werewolf/fae/chosen/angel rumble in Gabriel's living room triggers a fatal heart attack in Gabriel's father. (Make them pay a price)

The Fectori tell Gabriel that they can bring his father back to life (“You'll never know the difference, Gaaaabrielll...”) if only he'd just join them. (Tell them possible consequences and ask)

Gabriel's sister discovers the body of the dead police detective in his bedroom. (Expose a dangerous secret to the wrong person)

Lacuna comforts Lilly while the former fae has a nervous breakdown. Their clumsy teenage sapphic sex allows Lilly (now Mortal) to change her Lover to Lacuna.

To my surprise (although I should know better at this point), Lilly orchestrates a big four-way sex scene between all the PCs. It triggers all their sex moves at once. I tell the two male PCs “I don't care if you never touch each other, it counts as having sex with each other.”

Lilly and Caleb come to a tenuous peace. After the sex-party, Lilly, Lacuna, and Caleb form a strange three-way relationship.

Caleb spills all the beans to his father, a powerful werewolf himself. Dad has something planned that involves the nazi-era crates hidden in his study (setting up for next season by announcing future baddness)

Gabriel takes the fight to the Fectori, leading them deep into the haunted mines and brining the mountain down on top of him, trusting that his God-touched powers will seal them away, like the angel once did.

So here's what I've learned from my first season of Monsterhearts...

Things live and die by strings, something that was quite obvious by session 2.

My female players are more filthy and depraved than my male players could ever hope to be.

There's a fine balance between continuing to escalate problems for the PCs and stepping back to let things shake out, especially when there's a built in time-limit on the campaign. I have to fight my instinct to keep piling on trouble.

If and when I run a new game of Monsterhearts, I will not use the chosen. It draws away from the internal conflicts by defining an outside “bad guy.” That said, I'm glad I used it in this first-run. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a better point-of-reference for most of my players rather than Twilight or Vampire Diaries.

When we eventually get around to Season 2, I think I'm going to skip ahead several months, perhaps all the way to the first day of the next school year. That'll give the town a chance to recover from the weird murder spree. It also gives me a chance to get my players to write “What I Did on My Summer Vacation” essays. 

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