Monsterwarts

edited November 2012 in Story Games
Thought, as I reread HP & the SS: 2-3 Witches and an Infernal for a Monsterhearts con one-shot set at Hogwarts. No lack of sign-ups, that's for sure. The idea is that the Infernal is someone with no real magic power; they depend on their bargain to get them through their classes.

Could also see Lula's Genie as a non-student PC, once that playbook is playtested.

Instead of homeroom seating chart, you could have your DADA seating chart...

Potential pitfalls?
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Comments

  • Ooh man, the Witch is nasty. Do you want your Hogwarts to be so dark?
  • Part of the strength of Monsterhearts, to me, is that as a monster, you have this big terrible secret that you have to keep hidden. You're a vampire! You're a werewolf! You're a witch! Nobody understands what that's like. Nobody understands what you're going through. You know, teenage life in a nutshell.

    Now, I'm not saying the system wouldn't work for messy teenage drama set in Hogwarts, because it totally would, but I do feel you would be losing something (at least for the Witches) if you take that away, put them in an environment where that's totally normal. I guess you could try and focus on another part of the metaphor, developing powers you're not sure you can control. Maybe a few custom moves like when you try to cast a spell you haven't yet mastered or something.
  • Good point, Ben! Worth thinking about.

    Maybe a kind of X-Men-like Hogwarts (where everyone is different and unsure of themselves) would be better suited for this?
  • I think you can retain this premise while diversifying the skins present, if you're interested in doing so.

    For example:
    Harry is The Chosen.
    Hermoine is The Witch.
    Draco is The Serpentine or The Queen.
    Ron is The Mortal or The Neighbor (a skin Jackson Tegu is working on).

    I would love to hear about your Monsterhearts At Hogwarts game if you play it!
  • I think to handle the situation Ben brings up, you should really, really emphasize strings. In other words, so what if (almost) everyone there can do a bit of magic, in a semi-real high school setting (almost) everyone can go to their classes and pass with an okay grade. The push in Monsterhearts comes from various characters' need to transgress and what happens to each other when they do.
  • edited November 2012
    Oh man, X-Men: Mutanthearts Academy would be HOT!
  • I really like Joe's take on it, with divergent playbooks as normal. You could add a custom basic move too - When you cast a spell outside of class ...

    This got me to thinking too. Has anyone played vanilla MH with a Boarding School as the setting?! I never even considered it before. Awesome.
  • I think I'd want a move made for the magic of each of the classes.

    http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Hogwarts_subjects

    "All first-years at Hogwarts must take seven subjects: Transfiguration, Charms, Potions, History of Magic, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Astronomy and Herbology. Flying lessons (on broomsticks) are also compulsory.

    At the end of their second year at Hogwarts, students are required to choose a minimum of two additional subjects from the following list: Arithmancy, Muggle Studies, Divination, Study of Ancient Runes and Care of Magical Creatures.

    Very specialised subjects such as Alchemy are sometimes offered in the final two years, if there is sufficient demand."
  • Yes to diverse playbooks, and to a move for each class.

    I'd say, at a glance:
    Transfiguration = Volatile
    Charms = Hot (duh)
    Potions = Volatile
    History of Magic = Cold
    DADA = Dark
    Astronomy = Cold
    Herbology = Hot
  • edited November 2012
    An MC special rule:

    When someone uses magic outside of class, your next NPC acts at an advantage.
    If, however, they used that magic to defend their friends, then your next NPC instead acts at a disadvantage.
  • Who's the "you" in that last sentence, Joe?
  • (it's sloppy writing that I revised.)
  • Exactly! This is AWESOME. I so want to play this right now.
  • That reminds me of a visual novel type game, Magical Diary - one of its storylines is exactly like that.
  • Ah, now I get it! Excellent.
  • Also, the Werewolf skin could be used for an animagus, as long as their animal self was something rather tough. Ala Sirius Black.

    An Infernal would just be a student allied with Voldemort, like Draco is later in the series. (Draco changes from a Queen to an Infernal about halfway through the series, I'd say).

    Fae also fits. Maybe Victor Krum was one? :) Certainly Fleur is.

    And of course, Moaning Myrtle the Ghost. Having a ghost PC would be interesting - maybe they're still attending classes?

    Pretty much all the skins work, which is awesome.

    Maybe add a common move for doing simple charms and hexes. Or just assume that it's a thing people can do, given the setting. Most of the time in the books, magic is just a method people use for shutting people down, or lashing out violently, right? If you approach it that way, it doesn't need a move.
  • The Witch then specifically becomes a practicer of hexes and dark arts.

    Everyone can wave a wand around as justification for a basic move.
    But it's the Witch who goes home to a boiling cauldron and a red-hot rage.
  • OK, I'mma run this at Dreamation.
  • Going back to Ben's point, I think picking out playbooks that would have something to hide in the darker-Hogwarts context it sounds like you're after is the way to go. As other posters have suggested- the secret Dark Arts user, the Voldemort supporter and the Animagus are all in-fiction types that would have reason to hide their nature. On the other side, have the Chosen One and the friends who are supposed to fight them. Or have his friends be the Dark Arts users. Or just have everyone be Junior Evils, because the Chosen One never left Privet Drive.

    This sounds pretty delicious. Joe even put together a cool Monsterhearts Sports Expansion Pack if a Quidditch match comes up.
  • a boiling cauldron and a red-hot rage.
    Surely it's an icy fury?

    Also the Selkie could be a shapechanging interloper, hitched a ride with those underwater ships from another school and decided to stay.
  • This is getting pretty hot.
  • Oh Yes it is. It may just become my default 'setting' when pitching MH.

    So normally in the first session, you go with Home Room - questions - gather information - ideas for scenes - develop a roster of NPCs - frame ahead to something interesting: go with a Party, a Fight or a Disaapearance...

    What are the Monsterwart equivalents?

    Homeroom = Shared 'class': Potions, Defense against the dark arts, divination, spells, monstercraft etc...
    Party = After Quidditch, a festive seasonal shindig, a dance, a wedding, a visiting school, Hogsmeade free time etc....
    Fight = Wizard Duel, a quidditch match

    Any other ideas?
  • Blanketing the world in darkness = Secret Death Eater rituals conducted by the DADA teacher in the forbidden cellars of Hogwarts. Venturing into the haunted forest under the light of the moon. Bumping into someone else sneaking around the dark corridors of Hogwarts at night.

    Home room = ask provocative questions to establish which class (for a longer game)
    End of Season episode = Wizarding trials, visit from the other schools

    How do Houses fit in to this? Other than a line to choose in the Skin. Not every playbook gets every house, maybe. Cold = Ravenclaw, Dark = Slytherin, Volatile = Gryffendor and umm Hufflepuff is... Hot... Yeah, anyway.

    Edit the origins a bit. Mudblood, muggle born, pure blood, some different terms for the same thing, maybe differ across skins.
    Something about giving away or earning house points? Conditions? Strings? Hmm, another choice on some moves, maybe? When you lash out physically... Get caught and lose House Points.
  • What are the Monsterwart equivalents?

    Homeroom = Shared 'class': Potions, Defense against the dark arts, divination, spells, monstercraft etc...
    Party = After Quidditch, a festive seasonal shindig, a dance, a wedding, a visiting school, Hogsmeade free time etc....
    Fight = Wizard Duel, a quidditch match
    You should always start in Defense Against the Dark Arts.
  • What about House-specific ways to earn xp?

    Gryffindor= doing something courageous or daring
    Ravenclaw= utilizing knowledge
    Slytherin= resourcefulness or cunning
    Hufflepuff= patience or loyalty
  • What about House-specific ways to earn xp?

    Gryffindor= doing something courageous or daring
    Ravenclaw= utilizing knowledge
    Slytherin= resourcefulness or cunning
    Hufflepuff= patience or loyalty
    Gryffindor = When you put others at risk to pursue an ideal.
    Ravenclaw = When you use intellect to silence others.
    Slytherin = When you lie, cheat, or steal.
    Hufflepuff = When you let others use you.
  • I don't have much to contribute here, but I do like casting the playbooks as various kinds of magicians, rather than having actual werewolves, vampires and elves as PCs.

    And Joe's XP-actions are awesome.
  • edited November 2012

    Gryffindor = When you put others at risk to pursue an ideal.
    Ravenclaw = When you use intellect to silence others.
    Slytherin = When you lie, cheat, or steal.
    Hufflepuff = When you let others use you.
    Gold. Of a darkish hue.


    Edited to add- on those readings, maybe Slytherin is Hot and Hufflepuff is Dark...
    Where I'm going with this stat/house tie thing is that the sorting hat nominally puts you into the house that you are best suited to, right? (I might be wrong on this). Maybe the choice of house for your skin is tied to your higher stats. (Incidentally, the Chosen is Hot and Volatile). But this might just be an insufficiently thought through and unnecessary restriction.

    Regardless, I could see Joes actions expanded into House moves, which would line up well with those stats. Though the Ravenclaw xp action is basically shut someone down.
  • edited November 2012
    When you risk others to pursue an ideal, roll with Volatile.
    On a 10 up, they count as your Gang, until someone is seriously hurt. Opportunity to pursue this ideal is their trigger.
    On a 7-9 they count as your Gang and are triggered in pursuit of your ideal for a scene, but some or all are going to suffer for your idealism.
  • This is the first Harry Potter themed game that has drooling to play.

    Bravo sirs and madams, bravo.
  • Gryffindor = When you put others at risk to pursue an ideal.
    Ravenclaw = When you use intellect to silence others.
    Slytherin = When you lie, cheat, or steal.
    Hufflepuff = When you let others use you.
    <3
  • Edited to add- on those readings, maybe Slytherin is Hot and Hufflepuff is Dark...
    Where I'm going with this stat/house tie thing is that the sorting hat nominally puts you into the house that you are best suited to, right? (I might be wrong on this).
    What if your choice of house had color added to reflect your choice of +1 stat bump at character creation? Gryffindor gives you +1 volatile, Ravenclaw gives you +1 cold, Slytherin +1 hot, and Hufflepuff +1 dark. That way the Sorting Hat is putting you in a house you have a natural affinity for compared to others of your class. An Infernal who joins Slytherin would have 0 hot, -1 cold, volatile 1, dark 1 at the first session while an Infernal who joins Hufflepuff would have -1 hot, -1 cold, 1 volatile, 2 dark.

  • Gryffindor = When you put others at risk to pursue an ideal.
    Ravenclaw = When you use intellect to silence others.
    Slytherin = When you lie, cheat, or steal.
    Hufflepuff = When you let others use you.
    So very Monsterhearts. Never stop making games, k?

  • edited November 2012
    a more flexible variant...
    now I think about it, acknowledging the House-Stat tendencies, reinforced with these House move, should be enough, right? I mean, why stop someone if they really want to play a Death Eater in Slytherin with 2 Dark? Although I do like the way you phrased it, with the choice of house giving the stat bump.
  • Looking through the skins, who or what in HP is the bigger bad the Infernal could make a worse bargain with to escape their Darkest Self??
  • edited November 2012
    Into which house did the Sorting Hat place you?
    Slytherin. +1 Hot. When you lie, cheat or steal, you can also clear a Condition.
    Ravenclaw. +1 Cold. When you use intellect to silence others, either give each other a Condition, or each lose a String on the other.
    Gryffindor. +1 Volatile. When you put others at risk to pursue an ideal, they count as a Gang, triggered into pursuit of this ideal.
    Hufflepuff. +1 Dark. When you let others use you, mark XP.

    (edited to be more like text for the Skin booklet, and to remove the second-move dependence from Ravenclaw, which was a guaranteed additional 7-9 option when Shutting them Down. I like the idea of Ravenclaws being both more distant and considered freak-ish by other houses. Less than enthralled by this phrasing either, though, and it's not as good as the other Houses move. Maybe just 'give them a Condition'?)
  • Yeah, I like 'give each other a condition', for Ravenclaw. Since that is so narratively open.

    Oooh, How about?
    Into which house did the Sorting Hat place you? Choose or Have the character who has the most strings on you reveal your true colours.
  • edited November 2012
    Nice, Noofy.

    Into which house did the Sorting Hat place you? Choose or have the character who has the most strings on you reveal your true colours.
    Slytherin +1 Hot. When you lie, cheat or steal, clear a Condition.
    Ravenclaw +1 Cold. When you use intellect to silence others, give each other a Condition.
    Gryffindor +1 Volatile. When you put others at risk to pursue an ideal, they act as a Gang for you until someone gets seriously hurt. Their trigger is pursuit of this ideal.
    Hufflepuff +1 Dark. When you let others use you, mark XP.

    Edit-
    Is the Ravenclaw move just less cool than the others? Slytherin are shifty bastards you can't pin things on, Gryffindors whip up gangs which get others hurt, Hufflepuffs are rewarded for their masochism, while the Ravenclaw move is just kind of 7-9. I want to add something to it. So, having demonstrated their intellectual superiority while reinforcing their outsider freakish braininess:-
    Ravenclaw +1 Cold. When you use intellect to silence others, take a String on them and they give you a Condition.
  • Agreed, Cneph. I disliked that you could get the same thing on a middling 2d6 roll using Shut Someone Down. Getting the string instead is sick.
  • edited November 2012
    Ravenclaw +1 Cold. When you use intellect to silence others, they must either Hold Steady or Act at a Disadvantage to speak out against you.
  • That's even better, except it does nothing to an NPC. You should keep the String v. Condition option, and say "If they are a PC, you can choose this option instead: they must either Hold Steady [et al]"
  • edited November 2012
    See, you can spend a String to have someone hold steady, or to have -1 on a roll against you. '-1 on a roll' means an NPC would act at a disadvantage, which definitely leads to bad things for that NPC.
    This formulation effectively spends the 'string' and means the move isn't the only house move that needs to penalise the character explicitly.

    (edited to better reflect spending a string for -1 on a roll).
  • Ravenclaw +1 Cold. When you use intellect to silence others, they must either Hold Steady or Act at a Disadvantage to speak out against you. If they do, they can give you a Condition.

    I do still kind of like the idea of the Ravenclaw picking up conditions for being such a smartarse. (Sorry to keep serial-posting like this, I may be breaking forum etiquette)
  • Ravenclaw +1 Cold. When you use intellect to silence others, they must either Hold Steady or Act at a Disadvantage to speak out against you. If they do, they can give you a Condition.
    Ravenclaw. +1 Cold. When you use intellect to silence others, they choose: give you a String on them, gain the Condition silenced, or blurt out something stupid.
  • Joe nailed it :)

    What about a list of Hogwarty type conditions for ideas? Vx just can't keep his influences outa folk's hacks of hacks :)

    silenced
    terrified
    gormless
    smug
    conceited
    cowardly
    selfish
    mean
    traitorous
    suffering
    hostile


    More?


  • watched
    failing
    muggle
    half-blood
    death-eater
    teacher's pet
    bookworm
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