It All Ends In Tears - Monsterhearts and Fiasco

edited March 2013 in Story Games
Planning to play a one-shot Monsterhearts game, or interested in playing but want to get started fast?

I made a Fiasco playset suitable to a standard Monsterhearts game (a dark and angst-ridden high school town full of potential problems, but without the tongue-in-cheek humour of Fiasco). It's more detailed (some Elements are more like oracles) but also more generic, so it should be plenty reusable.

This is the first draft, I'd love some feedback. I bend the rules a little here and there, hopefully without too much damage done.

Better yet, try it with some friends and let me know how it went.

UPDATE: New, proper Monsterhearts-looking version with complete instructions is here:

It All Ends In Tears (last updated March 2, grab the latest copy!)

To see how it works, open it up, the instructions are all there (and discussed in more detail on the last two pages).

Comments

  • This is a perfect match. Cool. I hope I can test this with my people soon, MH and Fiasco were the biggest hits in last year.
  • This might be a good starting point for a Twin Peaks kind of game. Hmm.
  • edited February 2013
    @Jason_Morningstar:

    I have a rather specific question for you:

    I put in a restriction on which dice are used to establish and define Elements (to constrain choice with the large number of dice used). You must have experimented with some similar devices when you were designing Fiasco. But you left it wide open instead. Do you have any thoughts on this? Emergent effects, other issues?

    Why did you choose not to include any limitations in die choice during the Setup?
  • @CoveredInFish - please let us know here in this thread if you get a chance to try this out!
  • Paul, you're right that I tried a zillion different ways, and early in the process die choice was much more constrained. Based on a 16-die procedure I concluded that less was more, and that tighter constraints in handling were not useful. The early iterations were much more complex and locked down in a variety of ways.

    Put in practical terms, in the canonical four player game each person is making four choices during the setup, which is a good number in terms of fun and handling. If each person had to make eight you might want to provide some procedural guidance to narrow down the decision space a bit.
  • Thanks, Jason. I'll have to try this with a live group and see whether it makes more sense to just ignore the black/white limitation, since the number of choices per player is almost the same. (With 3 players + MC, it's 18 dice, so two players end up making five choices, the other two make four. I suppose adding one more Element to make it work out evenly wouldn't be bad either.)

    Not too hard to do, anyway, as the group prefers.
  • I've edited the original post slightly. Hopefully, it's an improvement in clarity.
  • edited February 2013
    This is an awesome random quickstart generator. It looks perfect for convention one-shots.

    I wanted to see more actual blood in the blood relations category when I read the heading:
    Blood brothers/sisters (which seems especially dangerous if one of the ones involved was The Witch or The Fae)
    You've spilled blood together, either each others' or someone else's (this could handle both fighting and blood bonding and even vampire feeding)
  • Rob, I like that! Want to take a shot at rewriting that section?

    Blood is certainly very thematic for Monsterhearts.

    Ultimately the biggest problem with this is deciding what to leave out. I have a list of things I wanted to include but couldn't fit in.

    "The school valedictorian", for Personalities, "the star athlete", "an unfortunate tattoo, already cause for regret", etc.
  • edited February 2013
    Bloodier version, as requested. Did my best to ratchet up the tension or the implications of all of them.

    Blood Relations:
    Living in the shadow of the older sibling
    Fraternal twins (1-3) / recent step-siblings (4-6)
    Related by blood, but only one of them knows it
    You've spilled blood together: each others' (1-3) / someone else's (4-6)
    Kissing cousins (that one time)
    Blood brothers/sisters
  • "The school valedictorian", for Personalities, "the star athlete", "an unfortunate tattoo, already cause for regret", etc.
    Valedictorian is a conclusion, rather than an ongoing identity, during high school. It's like prom queen. It happens right at the end rather than early on, so it's more of something you work toward rather than are. So it's good to have both of those as a need instead of an identity.

    Star athlete is there as athletic rival. That works.

    And tattoos tend to be more of a college thing than a high school thing. You need to be 18 or have parental permission, right? It's ok to skip that.
  • Great stuff, Rob. Thanks! I dig, very much.
  • It's interesting how my "siblings" entry implies a young and helpless sibling, under the protection of the older one. (In other words, the attention flows from the elder towards the youngest.) Yours implies a rebellious or jealous younger sibling. (So the attention flows from the younger to the eldest. I think I like yours better, I'll put it in. But is there a way to rephrase it so as to keep both implications?
  • One more thought:

    It may be good to treat the MC as a player in the original relationship web, as well, as long as you make sure all the PCs have connections to each other. This means that instead of creating an extra Personality, you create a a Relationship for one of the PCs to the MC.

    So, with three players named A, B, and C:

    A - B - C - MC

    Create four Relationships. A to B; A to C; B to C; and one player to the MC.

    At the end, place a Personality between two of the players.
  • For a Personality, here are two good provocative questions:

    1. Choose a player and ask, "How does this Personality make your life miserable?"

    2. Choose a different player and ask, "Why do you desperately need this Personality's help or favour?"
  • But is there a way to rephrase it so as to keep both implications?
    I couldn't think of one. And I think emphasizing the rebellious younger sib over the protective older one is the right way to go.

    The protective older sibling is too much like unconditional love and acceptance. It's the fact that the younger sib fights it and rebels against it and doesn't want it that makes it broken - which is what makes it Monsterhearts.

    That's why I specified that they are fraternal twins, not identical. Identical twins tend to have a deep bond and get along at a core level even when they argue. Fraternal twins tend to be drastically different in a way that people find ironic, given that they are twins (I know that's true for my twin cousins).

    And I specified that they are recent step-sibs because, to me, that implies tons of tension that hasn't been resolved yet.

    I think Blood Brothers/Sisters is the only one that doesn't imply tension directly. But when you combine that with some of the skins, like the Witch or Fae, the implications of having performed a blood bond ritual are hugely intensified. Plus, in a lot of stories, becoming blood brothers is something you do when you're like 11, but then 5 years later when you're in high school, you've drifted in your friendship quite a bit and started going in different directions. So that works nicely as a "we used to be much closer friends then we are now" setup.
  • All improvements, and I figured as much when I read the original text. In case you haven't downloaded the latest version, I've kept your text almost verbatim for the "Blood Relations".
  • Sweet! Glad it was helpful.
  • Very much so. Want to rewrite all the other categories? (Ha!) I'm kidding, of course.
  • edited February 2013
    The last page (Personalities) can also be used as an NPC generator in the game, if necessary.

    In fact, the whole playset can be used as a giant random table by the MC, if they're ever stuck for ideas. Roll up a Personality, a Need, and a Thing, and you've got something you can introduce to frame a colourful scene. An NPC who seems aimless? Roll up a Need for them. You don't know where the cult's meeting will be held? Roll for a location. Etc.

    I'll edit this text into the original post, as well.
  • I've uploaded a proper "Monsterhearts"-looking version of the text, including all the procedures and advice as well as a few more Personality options (and some corrections), and included the link in the original post. I think the Fiasco version is prettier, but this matches the mood of the game better. Check it out! The content is also improved.
  • edited February 2013
    UPDATE: New, proper Monsterhearts-looking version with complete instructions is here:

    It All Ends In Tears (last updated Feb 21, grab the latest copy!)

  • We tried this method out with a group consisting of a few poster from these here forums.
    I personally did not think it really helped much, I am sure the characters would not have been the same without it that is for sure. But the way Fiasco creates a circle in pacing and relationships, where it moves from one character to another in focus and often only connects two of them is not the same as Monsterhearts set up of personalities, which is more of a web I would say. Or a plane where positions to one another show the relationship. Which becomes clear in the different ways you can visualize the setups. With the seating chart for example.
    So there was a bit of a disconnect in focus for me. I also think that in Monsterhearts the realtionships usually grow out of the characters, who are the focus of the narrative, while in Fiasco the characters grow to fit relationships. Again not a perfect fit. So you do not have a perfect mix in the end.
    It is also a question of character ownership that might be important for some people. With the way how others can define major parts about your character in Fiasco by choosing certain items. In Monsterhearts some answers for questions can do that too but ruleswise the ways to influence how someone plays their character is highlighting stats. Which is different than defining something about the character.
    I could see it work differently if the Monsterheart characters are created first or the Skins selected and then there is a Fiasco round.
    Overall I do not see much of a benefit for me from using It All Ends in Tears. Maybe I would like it better if it moved away from the Fiasco formula, which is based on a different focus and pacing, and more became a random table to inspire you for playing Monsterhearts.
  • edited February 2013
    Thank you for the feedback!

    I originally wrote "It All Ends in Tears" to help people like myself: people who really wanted to play Monsterhearts but weren't 100% sure what the genre was, exactly. People who aren't be sure what kinds of contributions would be appropriate and what kinds of contributions wouldn't. This playset would allow a group like that to jump in and start playing.

    I can see how it might not be terribly helpful to a group of people who already totally "buy into" the Monsterhearts concept and have lots of ideas ready to go.

    I'd love to hear more about how it went, whether here, by PM, or in another thread. What specifically went well, and what felt off or went wrong? For example, you mention that Fiasco "creates a circle" whereas Monsterhearts is "more of a web". But in a typical group (MC + 3 players), the Fiasco setup would create a relationship from each character to every other character, which is, precisely, "a web".

    And if you had more players than that, why couldn't you use the normal tools you would use to create those missing relationships? ("So, Carli, why is that you don't sit near Bryce in class?")

    You also mention that you didn't like how Fiasco-style relationships allow others to define things about your character. But don't Monsterhearts strings (backstories) do exactly the same thing, and even in a very similar way?

    In other words, I'd love to hear some more about the game and how it went, in as much detail as you have the energy for. Do you remember how many dice you used, for example?
  • I have some experience with Monsterhearts now and had a grasp on the teenage drama genre from the beginning, so I am indeed a different target audience.
    I will ask the other players if they want to give some feedback too, when we play again tomorrow.

    We had indeed four players and we did use the usual tools to fill in blanks where they were left open. Which worked out but contributed to the feeling of not benefitting too much from the hour invested in "It All Ends in Tears".
    We used the number of dice suggestes in the supplement, so 4 for each player and 6 for the GM.

    The difference between the Fiasco way of establishing relationships and the Monsterhearts way of using questions and strings is in my eyes mostly character ownership. In Monsterhearts you will only get strings relating to your character (who allready is defined in some ways) and give away strings by answering questions about your character about their realtion towards others. It comes from the character perspective allready. Of course you can answer in ways that make others redefine their characters and/or challenge them, so there is a similarity. In Fiasco you set the relationship first and you can define anywhere, between two other players and about things that do not relate to your character.
    So with that in place the character creation after the Fiasco round felt more like creating a Fiasco character than one for Monsterhearts, I enjoy both but realised the difference. I created my character in ways to fit the relationships established by the Fiasco round and afterwards gave my strings away too in ways that fit what has been established before and mirrored the allready established things. In a normal game of Monsterhearts the character would have come first and then the relationships would have been established, informed by what I allready know about who I will be playing. With It All Ends In Tears you are informed by what relationships your character will have to fit in.
    I like the resulting character and enjoy playing her, yet I realise the difference in my thought process and what definde her.

    I might write more later, about the web and circle difference too. I want to express it clearly to not confuse myself or others before discussing it.
  • That makes a lot of sense, thank you for clarifying!

    Monsterhearts starting Strings often let you make decisions about other characters. For example, one of the Fae's starting Strings is: "You have captured someone's fancy. Take 2 Strings on them."

    Fiasco Relationships, on the other hand, are vague enough that the player can still buy in or out. For instance, if our characters are sharing the Relationship "forbidden love", and it's not something I want to deal with in the game, we can decide that it's your character who is in love with someone forbidden to them, and my character is involved in some other way (i.e. a love triangle or similar situation).

    So I suppose your concern is about situations where I might choose to define a Relationship or Need between two other players?

    I could see that being a house rule for It All Ends in Tears: you can only define Relationships or Needs that you share with other players. And probably a good one.
  • Concern, concern... It is one of the points where I see a difference that leads to a different experience from "regular" Monsterhears.

    You can give strings and receive strings from NPCs in Monsterhearts too, so I would keep those in too of course as possible relationships. If you really wanted to merge the rules having It All Ends In Tears give away strings might be a way to do that.
    Of course a difference between a Fiasco Relationship and a Monsterhearts String is that you can use the String to do pretty much whatever and the Relationship is centered around something specific.

    No control over who captures your fancy is one of the core elements of Monsterhearts too and most or all of the other questions have results that could happen in game too. Like saving the Vampire's live, falling in love or lacking subtlety. Characters however are less likely to become fraternal twins in the middle of the game.
  • Thank you for the feedback. I hope you'll be back with some more details and/or thoughts (particularly from some of the other players, perhaps?).

    I have no doubt that using this playset produces a "different" experience from the RAW (of course it does!), but I'm having trouble understanding from your description exactly how that affected the game. I hope to hear more in the future! Thanks again for giving it a try.
  • Honestly? When I first saw this thread I thought it was a Monsterhearts-themed playset for Fiasco, not a Fiasco-themed generator for Monsterhearts.

    Looking over the document, I see no reason it couldn't work either way.
  • Very true!

    (I can see a few reasons it's not ideal for Fiasco, however. Besides, we already have some good high school monster-type playsets out there, like Hellmouth High and Camp Death.)
  • I am very late chiming in on this thread (haven't been online much this week), but I thought I'd throw in my two cents. I was in the game with Biest, and I agree with what he says.

    But just a few other things I want to point out:
    * Whether it was ultimately useful or not, the playset/generator had some very creative ideas. I'd really like to see it as just a standard Fiasco playset that happens to share a theme with Monsterhearts -- though, as you note, this may already be crowded territory. (I don't see a huge overlap between IAEIT and Camp Death, and I am not familiar with Hellmouth High.)

    * The one part of IAEIT that I thought really had a lot of potential for Monsterhearts use was the Personalities/Reputations charts. My groups have never really had a lot of trouble coming up with NPC ideas, but this seemed like a really great way to create some compelling background characters. You might consider adding more student options, though; the ratio right now is 3:1 (adults:students), and I think it should be more weighted towards students. Maybe have six categories total, and make it 3:3 or even 2:4 (adults:students).

    * Biest touched on this, and he's one of the people I've played Monsterhearts with the most. But I've had a few other games as well. And generating character has never been a huge challenge in any of them. But I know others have had this issue when first playing Monsterhearts, so -- as you note -- perhaps I am just not the target audience for this generator.

    * One of my favorite parts of the Fiasco set-up is choosing dice for OTHER players' relationships -- giving them a meaty challenge to play out. Similarly, I love it when those other players make bold set-up choices for me; it really forces me to be creative with Fiasco. However, I was really not a fan of this concept when it came to setting up Monsterhearts characters. Perhaps it's because I seem to have more of a personal connection to my Monsterhearts characters than my Fiasco characters (which is ironic, since most Fiasco playsets are more "down to earth" than Monsterhearts settings). Or perhaps it's because I'm typically tied to my Monsterhearts character over mulitple sessions, while my Fiasco character is used and discared (usually much the worse for wear) after one night. But to me, the guiding principle is this: Fiasco is about seeing your characters ultimately fail; Monsterhearts is about seeing your character ultimately succeed. It's even part of the MC's rules: "Be a fan of the PCs." No matter how much horrible distress we put them through, we want the Monsterhearts PCs to persevere; the exact opposite is the case with Fiasco. As such, I think I want to have a little more control over the character I end up playing.

    As I noted above, I think some of the concepts and writing within this generator were very well-done, and I would be very interested in any straight-up Fiasco playsets you may have written (or may yet write).
  • edited March 2013
    Thank you for commenting! I've been thinking about this ever since Biest left his impressions, and hoping s/he would say more.

    I think you're onto something, definitely, and your comment gets to the heart of some of that stuff. I'm definitely thinking about this, and will continue doing so.

    I wonder how much of this is personal, as well?

    For instance:

    1. I find it pretty easy to come up with high school student ideas. (And we have the "seating chart" tool for this.) Even just selecting a reputation at random works (Personality: classmate, then pick a reputation). But figuring out what kinds of adults might be involved was less obvious to me, so I went through a brainstorming process to come up with this list.

    Also, your ratio of 3:1 for adults isn't quite right, since there are many options on the list of Personalities who could be high school students (I count a total of 11 out the 24 options). (It could even be higher if you're willing to have a student who is also the "sports coach" or a student member of the School Board, or something similar.)

    I've considered adding more, but since Personalities are chosen with a single die (rather than two), too many options clouds the process. I liked it best with three categories only, in fact, which is how it was in the original version. Hmmm.

    2. I see this is as a tool for one-shots or "pick up and play" types of games. I would use different tools with a committed group of gamers preparing for a long campaign.

    This process takes away some of your choice in exchange for the creative constraints it provides. All play procedures do, right?

    On one end of the spectrum, you create a character completely from scratch, and work everything out on your own. On the other end, you're handed pre-gen characters with everything decided for you.

    Monsterhearts is somewhere in the middle because of the way playbooks, provocative questions, and Strings/backstories help you start playing faster by taking away some of your freedom in defining your character.

    This playset takes it a little bit further yet, by providing more creative constraints: of course it's a tradeoff, in my mind.

    I'd like to chat some more about how choosing elements for other players affects the game negatively. Were there specific moments in your game that jumped out at you as negative/unwelcome? Was there some reason that you didn't feel you could say, "Hey, can we not choose that option? I don't want to play a drug addict..."? Can you relate some of these?

    The reason I'm curious is because the Fiasco setup is very vague about how it applies to the various players. For instance, if you and I share the Need "to get laid", what does that mean? It could mean we both want to get laid, for different reasons. It could mean we want to get laid *with each other*. It could mean only one of us wants to, and the other is trying to help. It could mean only one of us wants to, and the other is somehow in the way. It could mean one of us wants to and the other is worried about it happening, or would be hurt by it happening.

    I would use that ambiguity in this process to let the players decide how they want their character to be presented in the game. Pick the option which suits you best! I don't think you should ever feel like a choice is forced on you by the playset.

    That said, I think in practice I would use an unofficial house rule: Relationships and Needs should only be defined by one of the players sharing that Element. (Also, don't pick something your partner isn't excited about, obviously!)

    It's also possible that Needs aren't the right fit for Monsterhearts, and need to be replaced with something else (like "Problems" or "Situations").

    (Note also that I can't take credit for all the interesting ideas in this playset: I pilfered many, many other playsets mercilessly! But thank you for the kind words.)
  • For the personalities, maybe a job list would help. Something like:

    The one who works…
    At the funny smelling ethnic restaurant
    With dad’s construction crew
    Babysitting practically every Friday and Saturday night
    At the pool every summer
    Flippin’ burgers and drawin’ soft serve
    Somewhere they are horribly embarrassed to be seen
  • edited March 2013
    I like that!

    Although I tried to make most of my entries have strong implications for status (some of these jobs sure do, as well).

    (How about "works in the Student Life office at school"?)

    Anyway: like I said, my main concern is that too many categories makes the choice too broad. Ideally, you'd only have three choices per die roll. If we're making a standard 6x6 Personality grid, though, "Odd Jobs" would make a great category.

    The final category, of course, would be "Incidents"...


    Edit: Another fun thing to do with "Personalities" is to have each player roll up one option for a parent figure. ("My dad's the bouncer at the local nightclub..." "Mine is the school principal!")
  • Incidentally, it looks like I will be running this game tomorrow!

    So wish me luck, and I'll see if any of these problems will crop up. I expect they won't, because I'm playing with non-gamers! They won't have any expectations of character authorship and stuff like that. Still, I'll keep an eye on all these issues mentioned here and see if I notice anything.
  • (It is he)

    Those expectations about character ownership can come up quickly or be asked about like "What can I decide about my guy? Can I say he is the captain of the football team?" or something like that. From my experience that is one of the things that come up relatively early. "What can I define about the world?" and "What can I define about my role?" I guess those are questions that can arise from just explaining the idea of roleplaying games.

    But now away from the sidenotes ;)


    We create two personalities in our Fiasco stage. They did not show up in the first session of the game (which would have been the one shot I guess, but I can't know what the GM had planned.) The session turned into a rather closed room szenario of a church group (the Queen's cult) get together. With the Queen's clique and the other characters being guests as well. (My Ghost was not invited but just haunted the place.) Then the relationships of the characters started to determine the actions. My Ghost girl did bully the Queen because she blamed him for her death. The bully / victim relationship came from the Fiasco playset and worked well with the "someone knows you are dead" question.
    Some others were created more from the lines of questioning after characte creation and making the fiasco relationships work. So they all did creepy things to one another and my ghost mostly was the antagonist for the first session. Till the Angel showed her his true form and she got a bit freaked out herself. I guess there never was an opening for the Personalities we created to come in and the MC did not force them in. Which was good judgement and he made the right choice to go away from the setup there. Like a GM leaving his premade ideas or notes behind when the group is doing something else can be in many games. The notes just were on the table openly ;)

    Considering the adult / teenager ratio of characters. I think it is fitting for the genre if few adults really have a personality in the story. Usually they are teachers or parents or monsters and only shown in that function. Of course sometimes we recognize more in those adult characters but usually they are rather reduced in their importance for the story. Teenagers however often have more personality (if they do not vanish into the mold of their clique or subculture) or play a more important role. Which works for the teenage perception of their world.
    The father in Twilight as an example. Who is a rather chill dude and likes to drink his beer after work. Likeable guy to the adult viewer (or reader but more so in the film version, where an actor had to play him somehow and thus define a personality and an approach, humanising him). For Bella, his teenage daughter, and to teenage viewers he is not a likeable character. As an uniformed policeman and parent he is a symbol of grown up authority to rebel against. As someone who lacks the ambition to do anything more with his life than he is doing at the moment and who is happy with his small rural world he stands for stagnation and is an antithesis to change something the teenagers desire. So if we want the narrative to stay in the teenage perspective maybe it would not work to create the adult characters with a mature perspective and understanding, instead concentrating on the boring and clicheed parts. Making the adult world unappealing and to stay with the themes of the game monstrous.
  • I agree! "Make humans seem monstrous" is particularly well-suited to the adults in the game.

    I put the Personalities sheet the way I did mainly because I figured each Monsterhearts game would benefit from 0, 1, or 2 adult Personalities, but no more (and I imagine it would be 0 or 1 in most games, unless you create two Personalities AND you choose adults each time). It is a teenager's story, after all!

    I also suspect that teenager NPCs get created more easily and more naturally via provocative questions and Strings/backstories, anyway. (For instance, the Queen starts with a direction to create three NPC gang members.)

    So which parts were fun, and which stuck out as problems?
  • edited March 2013
    OK, I've updated the document just a touch, for clarity and formatting (and changed the number of dice based on some tests I ran).

    Tonight I'll be playtesting this with a group of non-gamers who have no clue what they're about to get into!

    For generating "random" school kids, I'll follow my own advice, above: don't bother with "Personality", just roll a Reputation. ("The kid who's known to have been involved in a very inappropriate relationship" is plenty enough for me.)
  • Okay, brief after-action report:

    We used the playset with a whole group of non-gamers, and it worked wonderfully for us. We brainstormed a fantastic situation everyone felt very strongly connected to, and they all want to play again. Whenever we felt like some was incomplete, we generated a new Element from the playset, and kept going. I'll post about the results in a separate thread and link back here, but it worked wonderfully.

    The only thing that was potentially "wrong": at one point, the players felt a strong urge to ignore the black/white die restriction for creating Elements, and so we broke that rule once (or maybe even twice). I'm torn on whether this is a big deal or not--I could certainly see removing that limitation at some point in the future.
  • That is good to hear. I say It All Ends In Tears is a sucess then, if you got much enjoyment out of it. If it created the "true" Monsterhearts feeling or if it was really necessary is nothing that we can really proof or nothing that will be the same for any group or individual.

    I would say make the black / white die thing a suggestion and let them take the better idea if that works out. The dice colors have no mechanical meaning later on and while restrictions may breed creativity sometimes it is better to just go over that and choose the cool thing. Unless you want to challenge yourself.
    (If you broke the rule once you probably had to break it a second time too. If everything was defined in the end.)
  • Thanks, Biest. You're quite right about all that.

    I'll post a write-up about my game sometime tonight, if all goes according to plan.

    The way the playset elements and the backstory stuff combined worked out for us exactly as I'd hoped. (For example, the playset element "a murder by accident, and the person you thought you killed" combined with the backstory "someone saved your unlife once" immediately inspired us for a hit-and-run car accident which almost killed our Vampire, and we all loved that idea. How did someone save the vampire, lying bleeding in the middle of the road? By letting him feed on their blood, of course. That felt like a perfect Monsterhearts moment to us. Dealing with the repercussions of this event is the main plot point in our game now.)

    In the meantime, I'm still hoping to hear more from you or your players about what didn't work with the your game. I have no doubt that something didn't click, but I can't quite understand what it is from what you've written. I'll try rereading all your posts to see if I missed or misunderstood something you wrote.
  • I think it is just that. It did not click and felt different in the ways I tried to describe while also not different enough to really warrant the afford of the Fiasco stage. But we weren't really hurting for inspiration, just willing to try out this new thing. (Or so it was with me, I can't of course speak for the others.)
    So I would not say anything specifice did not work or went wrong. It just did not convince me. Somewhere between the Fiasco stage and the first scenes of play I mentally switched from Fiasco to Monsterhearts mode and mood, they did not really coexist well. But that might be a result of the routine in playing both and in this group too.
  • Gotcha! It may just not be to your taste, period. There's always room for subjectivity and taste in this gaming world, and that's a good thing in my book.

    (Still, once I post the results of my game setup, I'd love if you could comment and say whether it sounds like what you did, or something different. Who knows, maybe I didn't communicate how I intended it to work very well, or maybe my players or yours did something different aside from following the written directions!)
  • I just started a new thread about my first run of this. Here it is:

    Link to actual play thread
  • I used this again to start up a Monsterhearts game a couple of days ago. It delivered nicely; getting everyone into the mood to play and giving us some great material to kick off the game.

    The only downside is that, first, all three PCs decided they were "outsiders" (including a Mortal whose origin is "new kid in town"). There's some room to play with that, but it makes getting immediately into the high school drama a little trickier - we have to set it up first, and only then create drama.

    Second, the players chose several purely-supernatural elements, which I also finds shifts some of the weight onto my shoulders (as the MC). But I'm looking forward to our second session!
  • An update on the outcome of the second "It All Ends In Tears"-powered Monsterhearts game, this time Monsterhearts 2.

    This time we got to really dig into the game and play through a full season. It was exciting, suspenseful, and we got a ton of material out of the starting point provided by the playset. There were interesting relationships at the school, lots of background supernatural material/information, and it all ended in a dramatic love triangle blowing up, with one PC walking in on the other two losing their virginity to each other (a Werewolf and a Mortal). The Werewolf, mid-transformation, jumped out of the bed and, after a furious fight, pushed the Witch (the third member of the triangle) out of the window. He fell into the pool below, where the police who were called to interrupt the party eventually found his corpse.

    A great ending to the first season, with the final "shot" being of the Witch's body floating in the pool, surrounded by syringes, underwear, and empty bottles of beer. The Witch announced that he had just earned an advance and took the "No Rest for the Wicked" move, which we interpreted as a "post-credits" shot of him waking up, a day later, in the city morgue.

    I'm very happy with this playset and it's delivered for me each time I've used it, even - especially! - with non-gamers who are shy to just dive in on their own. Throwing it down on the table immediately gets things rolling.
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