Monster Hearts with Two neophyte players

edited August 2012 in Play Advice
A while ago I played Monsterhearts with a few gamer friends + my wife who isn't really a role-player. She had fun though, and recently asked me to run another game for her and a friend of hers who has NEVER played an rpg before in her life. Any advice on introducing this game to raw beginners?

They are pretty familiar with the source material; J (my wife) loves Buffy / anything Whedon, and Being Human (the British one) and T (her friend) loves Twilight, and has also watched Buffy. The both obsess over Gilmore Girls and Downton Abby. [edit, I mention those last two because they are character-driven melodramas, even if they have no monsters]

I'd probably want to keep the game "Network TV safe" (PG-13ish themes with the sex glossed over).

(For the sake of full disclosure, this game will probably never happen, as J and T are always coming up with stuff they wanna do but never do half of them. They love planning stuff.)


  • Teach the rules as you play.

    Print each move on it's own card or a sheet of paper. When a player uses a move, give them the card.

    Even though you are MCing, also play a PC so there are 3 PCs with more potential for interesting rivalries and relationships.
  • edited August 2012
    Based on the combination of Twilight + Being Human + Gilmore Girls + Downton Abby, and how you've presented their interests... some recommendations for this pair specifically:

    Put on the table: The Mortal, The Fae, The Vampire, The Witch. Any combination of those is going to be full of melodrama, pathos, and complicated social positioning. You can even say, "I thought it'd be fun to play a game of Monsterhearts that was totally zeroed in on the melodrama and pathos and complicated relationships. That's why I've put these four on the table, and only these four. Both of you should choose one."

    Give them space to set up complicated relationship dynamics, and leverage those with your PC-NPC-PC triangles. Use your Principles and Hard Moves to push people towards broken promises and broken hearts. Ask lots of provocative questions, like "Why do you love this person? Is it really love?" and "Why do you trust this person? How have they broken your trust in the past?" and "So you're in love with Lucca - that's complicated, though, because you're already in a committed relationship. Who's it with, again?"

    Play with just you, J, and T. Constantly position yourself as the third wheel that ratchets up the PC tensions and complicates things.
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