I ran MotW at Gateway 2011 in LA over the weekend and it went down really well. All 4 players had a great time and one of them wants to run it for some friends of his.Here's my report
In the first session, I ran Monster of the Week for a full table of four players. I had played with three of the four before and GMed for two of them a couple of times. Monster of the Week is designed to handle episodic monster hunting settings (Buffy, Angel, Supernatural, X-Files) and my scenario "A Town Called Malice" was at the X-Files-y end of the spectrum. I offered a restricted set of characters; the investigation types rather than the ass-kickers with the exception being the Initiate as a thematic anchor for the group (the group were associated with his ancient order of monster hunters). The character options were: the Mundane (think Xander), the Expert (Giles), the Flake (the Lone Gunmen) and the Spooky (a creepy sorcerer); the Flake was not chosen. I won't say too much about the game as I expect to run it again, so suffice to say it went well.
Between the game itself, and subsequent conversations, I learnt a lot about running AW games and about running MotW specifically. The playbooks we used were all flavourful and the history options resulted in a fun group dynamic and really supported the theme and genre. My only concern on that front is that calling gear "crap" is too much of a hold-over from AW. Maybe just call it "gear" or "stuff" (as the text
does frequently). "Crap" is jarring.
Aside from that, as I was looking back through the playbooks to see if I had specific comments about the player moves, I realised that while all of the moves are really evocative and fit the genre really well, I am uneasy about some of them.
The Initiate's Sacred Oath is a mechanically sub-optimal choice (does nothing useful and lets you mark XP once per "quest") and the Mundane's Don't Worry, I'll Check It Out and Always the Victim seem like they'd probably generate only the same amount of XP (or less!) as having one of the active playbook moves with a checked stat.
Have you considered giving these very flavourful moves to the respective classes for free, then having them pick 3 moves from the rest? Perhaps there's a dynamic that happens in play that makes these abilities more useful than they appear. Has anyone else had more experience with these moves?