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Monsterhearts Supplements


Monsterhearts is my absolute favorite tabletop roleplaying game. First published in 2012, with a second edition in 2017, it is a game "about the messy lives of teenage monsters".

The major touchstones for Monsterhearts are things like Twilight, True Blood, maybe some Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. Unlike something like Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, player characters aren't a cohesive team by any means - the drama in the game comes largely from the fact that the characters are alone. While other games might handwave conflicts between player characters, they're at the (forgive me) heart of Monsterhearts. You don't team up to take down vampires. You talk shit about each other and have misunderstandings and cry when your boyfriend dumps you for someone else.

And it's not just being a teenager that sucks - being a monster in this is not a glamorous thing, either. More often than not it's a way to explore a type of trauma, mental illness, or unhealthy relationship. For instance, The Ghost is an analogy for depression - someone who feels unseen and and as though their best days are behind them, with no hope for a future. The Hollow is about being manufactured - an android or golem or Frankensteined monster that has no place, no purpose, and no sense of self. The Infernal is about biting off more than you can chew, letting your morals slip "just this once", until you no longer recognize yourself. And so on.

This is a game that encourages you to step far outside of your comfort zone - to embrace a character who is troubled, confused, and hurting. It asks you to lean into their pain. It is a powerful game and it does well what I think RPGs and good Horror Movies should do - build empathy for others.

I have two supplements released for Monsterhearts. The first is a rules enhancement and guide called All The World's a Stage. This one adds in a new type of character to hopefully increase collaborative storytelling, make it easier to keep the player characters at odds, and lessen the game facilitator's burden.

The second is called Camp Blackwood but I refer to it more as Camp Monsterhearts. While Monsterhearts normally takes place in a small town, focused largely at high school and individual homes, this is a setting primer that moves Monsterhearts to a summer camp. With that comes new challenges like an inability to truly get away from your problems, a struggle to find alone time, an explosive amount of feelings compressed into a short time frame, and it also brings in the potential for some more horror elements as well, drawing influence from several horror movies and books set in summer camps.

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