Author Topic: Threats  (Read 2629 times)

mcdaldno

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Threats
« on: August 22, 2010, 02:46:41 AM »
So, I'm pretty clear on how the PC/PC interactions work.
The PC/NPC interactions are a little less clear.

So: How do threats work in Monsterhearts?
Are they like in Apocalypse World, but re-skinned?
Are they somehow more personal, and spun from the issues of particular monsterhearted?
What, what?

I'm imagining that the game loves:
concerned parents
clans, coteries, covens, cliques, clutches, packs, orders
worse monsters
angry villagers
pure and innocent souls
horny teens

But how do you map Threats and the threat mechanics to Monsterhearts?
Any ideas welcome.

Jeff Russell

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Re: Threats
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 05:15:15 AM »
Okay, I don't have anything extensive or rigorous right now, but here's some thoughts. Those categories you just listed? All good threat categories. I wouldn't be overly concerned with 'skinning' the AW categories of threats, or even necessarily the threat moves (unless you see some that just scream out "Monsterhearts!"). In AW it's all about scarcity and fragile safety/stability, so threats are things that put those issues into a dynamic situation. Since Monsterhearts is all about conflicted teen relationships and monstrousness/humanity, I think threats need to push those buttons specifically.

So, like, concerned parents or clans/cliques/etc would be things that push the character to be more like his/her inherent nature (mortal or monster type) and less involved in the dangerous-sexy relationship. Horny teens on the other hand would have moves like "tempt characters away from their lovers" and what not.

"Threats" in the literal sense of causing danger are always gonna be pretty useful and exciting story fodder, but I think you have the opportunity to come up with some really cool story-pushing moves/archetypes that "threaten" the status quo and bring the desired conflicts into focus that aren't necessarily "things that want you dead!".

But then, I'm super unfamiliar with the source material, so what do I know? :)

mcdaldno

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Re: Threats
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 01:26:18 AM »
In AW it's all about scarcity and fragile safety/stability, so threats are things that put those issues into a dynamic situation. Since Monsterhearts is all about conflicted teen relationships and monstrousness/humanity, I think threats need to push those buttons specifically.

So, like, concerned parents or clans/cliques/etc would be things that push the character to be more like his/her inherent nature (mortal or monster type) and less involved in the dangerous-sexy relationship. Horny teens on the other hand would have moves like "tempt characters away from their lovers" and what not.

"Threats" in the literal sense of causing danger are always gonna be pretty useful and exciting story fodder, but I think you have the opportunity to come up with some really cool story-pushing moves/archetypes that "threaten" the status quo and bring the desired conflicts into focus that aren't necessarily "things that want you dead!"

Awesome. I like this.

Do you think that the format that Threats take (4-6 categories, each with 4-6 threat types, each with 1 hard move associated with it) should be the same in Monsterhearts? Is there a different way to present/structure the notion of threats?

As far as Fronts/bigger picture, I'm starting to develop some ideas. So, picture this: there are Issues, and then there are Fronts. Issues are all about personal issues, as exacerbated/highlighted by Threats. Issues are all about a particular character (or couple of characters). Fronts aren't about your characters, Fronts don't give a shit about your characters - Fronts are things that effect the world, like Fronts in AW.

Issue: Family In Crisis
Affects: Lillith (the Witch PC)
Threats: James, the Overzealous Father (Authority Figure: Controlling); "We need to stick together, now more than ever" (Family: Needy).


So, here's an issue for Lillith. As you can see, it is a Lillith-centric thing. It serves to highlight some issues that Lillith is facing, since we've seen over the past two sessions of play that she's struggling to establish her agency and identity.

Issue: They Know Too Much
Affects: Mark (the Vampire PC); Caranine (the Fae PC)
Threats: Sheriff Jameson (Authority Figure: Leader); The Incident at the Waterfall (Situation: Gossip Chain); Concern Parents' Group (Situation: Sounding the Alarm).


Here's an Issue that started out being about Mark, but then Caranine got wrapped up in it too. It's slowly becoming less about Mark & Caranine, and more about the safety of the monsterhearted in general. If it gets any worse (and looking at the Concerned Parents' Group threat, it probably will), it might morph into a full-on Front.

Front: Gwendolyn's Revenge
Dark Future: Gwendolyn's posse of undead cheerleaders will take over the school, drunk with power, exposing their true nature to the wrong people.
Threats: Gwendolyn (Villain: Unstable); Kaitlyn (Villain: Mindless); The Teachers Won't Stop Her (Situation: No Leadership); The Cheerleaders (Clique: Aggressive).


Ah, here we go. A full-on threat. Gwendolyn is a Ghoul, and she's ghouled her best friend Kaitlyn. These two are the co-captains of the cheerleading squad. The cheerleaders are, under the mighty leadership of two undead monsters, preparing for what seems like an all-out takeover of the school. If the monsterhearted PCs don't do something, these idiots will full on wreck everything omg.

Jeff Russell

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Re: Threats
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 04:14:08 AM »
Hmmm, the whole "Issue" concept seems pretty neat, but one nice thing about threats is that they manifestly affect everyone, but possibly in different ways, giving you a nice way to draw together and wedge apart the players. The "Issues" might end up being loads of prep for something that mostly or only affects one character. Overarching threats also provide some coherency to the 'themes' of play without them being whambam in yo' face. Sooooo, I think what I'm saying is that Issues are cool and probably worth developing, but it'd take some work to keep in mind what threats are for and what issues are for. I'll let you know if I can come up with some suggestions (the stuff you detailed all sounded good to me).

Daniel Wood

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Re: Threats
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 09:00:09 AM »

Yeah I think you might be better off trying to align 'Issues' with the fundamental scarcities in AW, so that you have a shortish list of very strong, fairly universal issues (this shouldn't be hard, the characters have a pretty tight theme) that are expressed through your shiny new threat types.

Bret

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Re: Threats
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 11:54:18 PM »
So I think the game is about Threatening relationships between people, right? So you'll have Fronts like:

Exclusion
Rejection
Jealousy
Competition
Immaturity
Self-loathing

etc.

And Threats are the ways in which NPCs threaten relationships:

Authority: Types - Teacher (impulse: to force responsibility), Parent (impulse: to protect), Coach (impulse: to win), Principal (impulse: to bring order)

Cliques: Jocks (impulse: to physically dominate), Dorks (impulse: to hide), Bad kids (impulse: to break rules), Preppies (impulse: to socially dominate)

Supernaturals: Vampire (impulse: to seduce), Werewolf (impulse: to destroy), Ghoul (Impulse: to consume), Warlock (impulse: to break natural laws)

Though supernaturals here don't need to map directly onto skin types. It's the impulse that matters, so a 'vampire' could be some sexy ghost looking to lure people into her haunted house or a 'werewolf' could be an angel with a flaming sword who wants to destroy everything impure. There are probably better names, that's just off the top of my head.

Edit: Durf, maybe name them something ovious like Destroyer and Seducer or whatever.
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mcdaldno

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Re: Threats
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2010, 01:00:36 AM »
Bret, you've absolutely nailed it. Thanks.

I'm going to take some time, and then sit down and try to formalize this stuff into a list.

First, though, I am going to have some ice cream, and then some alcohol, for the work week is over.

Bret

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Re: Threats
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2010, 12:08:36 AM »
Landscapes and Afflictions can still be valuable here too but need to be retuned. You're not threatening lives, you're threatening relationships.

I think you definitely need Locations a la The Bronze in Buffy. Hangouts (impulse: to create nonthreatening chitchat) or Lovers' Lane (impulse: to create sexual tension) and probably more.

Afflictions I'm seeing being more things like Class Event (The Sadie Hawkins Dance or The Big Game) or Rumors and things like that.

My weekend brain is on right now so I'm not coming up with a ton of specific ideas.
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