Wednesday, March 18, 2015

[*World Wednesdays] If I Could Play Monsterhearts, I might play as...

I've actually played two one-shots of Monsterhearts already, the second of which I have to say I found more enjoyable than the first. Still, since I've decided I would like to play again, and that I wouldn't mind trying out a campaign if given the opportunity, I thought I'd post about which skins I'd consider playing next time.

The Fury: I didn't play this in the two one-shots, the first time because one of the other players had an issue with it (that it was too focused on cool powers and not enough on messy social situations) and the second because another player called it first. While it may have a heavy focus on weird powers, I like the underlying theme to the skin: a victim pushed too far by his or her tormentors who snaps with catastrophic results.

The Ghost: This is another option I didn't go with for the previous oneshots, having been warned that the skin isn't recommended for first time players. I can understand why, but I'd still like to give it a try sometime. If I had to give a reason, it's probably that I like having problems to solve, and the Ghost has a potential mystery plot built in: the truth about the circumstances surrounding their death.

The Hollow: The Hollow is a created being, which could mean anything from being a Frankenstein's Monster-like construct to a mystical force given physical form (like Dawn from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). The underlying teen metaphor of struggling to find one's place in the world is one that appeals to me, and I like the options available for the character's origin - particularly 'part machine' and 'once a demon'.

The Infernal: This is choice is a little out of my normal comfort zone, but I've been trying to push that boundary a bit lately. From the APs I've listened to, it seems the Infernal can have a tendency of becoming the villain of the game (or at least a minion of the actual villain), and I'm not normally one for playing 'bad guys'. Still, that's not always the case, and I do like characters who struggle with temptation the way the Infernal does. Besides, if he or she does end up being a villain, it might be a fun change from the norm.

The Queen: Another odd choice for me, but I'd consider it for a couple of reasons. First of all, there's at least one move in the Queen skin that I don't like, the use of which made me a bit uncomfortable in my first oneshot. In the Safe Hearts article, one recommendation is that you try playing a skin that makes you uncomfortable to make sure its handled in a way you find acceptable. That alone isn't a good enough reason to play the Queen, but I do have another which makes it more appealing to me. One of my favourite supporting characters from the manga Ranma 1/2 was Nabiki Tendo; a manipulative mercenary who always found some way to profit on the craziness around her. If I make a Queen whose clique has the 'They're Connected' tag, that might be one way to play a similar sort of character. Of course, if there's a skin that more closely matches the concept, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

The Werewolf: Back at my old RP society, I had a werewolf PI in an open-ended urban fantasy campaign who I really miss playing. His history got far too convoluted to detail in one of my 'Characters I Would Like to Play Again' posts, but I'd like to have a go at rebooting him as a Monsterhearts character, then maybe carrying him over to Monster of the Week or Urban Shadows. I never did explore how he actually became a werewolf, so it might be fun to explore that in a game of Monsterhearts.

Honourable Mentions
The next two are skins I already played in the one-shots, but I wouldn't mind giving them another go.

The Angel: In my second one-shot, I played the Angel Israfel (going by the name Izzy), who left Heaven to evade his responsibility to blow the trumpet signalling the End of Days. I never explicitly stated this though, just alluded to it through his aversion to trumpets despite being able to play just about any other brass or woodwind instrument. Those who know me well might guess that I came upon his name in the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion. It's a silly notion, but I'm tempted to try playing an Angel skin named for each one of the Angels from that series, though I doubt I'll actually want to play the same skin seventeen times. That said, I can see some fun to be had in playing Tabris - the Angel of free will, self-determination, Choice and alternatives - as a rebellious teenager. ('I'm only playing the role You gave me, father.')

The Chosen: This was the first Monsterhearts skin I played and it went a little poorly. I thought that was because I was trying to play it in a one-shot and it's a skin better suited to campaign play, but I've since been told that's not necessarily the case. I'd like to give the skin another shot to see if I have better luck with it the second time around.

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