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Monster of the Week - action horror RPG


Doctor Shark
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A monster lurks in the shadows…

Most people don’t believe in monsters, but you know the truth. They’re real, and it’s your task to bring them down. 
 

Monster of the Week is a standalone action-horror RPG for 3-5 people. Hunt high school beasties a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, travel the country to bring down supernatural creatures like the Winchesters, or head up the government investigation like Mulder and Scully. 
 

So grab that fireplace poker and your spell book, because we’ve got a monster to slay! 
 

Written by Michael Sands, published by Evil Hat Productions and powered by the Apocalypse World system, Monster of the Week seeks to replicate the fun, adventure and scares of popular shows like Stranger Things, Supernatural or X-Files. 

It’s a story-driven RPG that’s fairly rules light, and the purpose to create a shared narrative - it’s billed as a “conversation”, and not about numbers and mechanics. Dice are used to show success or failure of moves, there are a couple of stats to add to those rolls but otherwise it’s pretty free form. Everything you need to play comes in a single book (although there is an additional book with extra mysteries and stuff to expand on the original). 

 

Your character 

Your character is known as a Hunter and fits one of the following archetypes, known as “play books”

 

The Chosen - you are special, the chosen one, the only one who can stand against the darkness 

 

The Crooked - a life of crime didn’t prepare you for this, but it’s not so different from the underworld you already occupied

 

The Divine - you are holy, the light against darkness, you will eradicate shadow

 

The Expert - You’ve read the books, done the research, you know everything there is to know

 

The Flake - There are patterns everywhere. It’s all connected. Only you can see it, but the signs are there. Something is coming. 

 

The Initiate - Your order fights against the darkness to keep the normal world safe

 

The Monstrous - You fight the good fight to keep the monster at bay, knowing you’re only one bad day away from becoming the monster yourself

 

The Mundane - monsters don’t just attack those with powers and abilities. Sometimes normal people get caught up in things and have to do their best to survive. 

 

The Professional - this is your job. You are paid to hunt monsters. And you love your job. 

 

The Spell Slinger - fight fire with fire magic. 

 

The Spooky - you can do things, things no one else can. It helps you help others, but sometimes it’s hard to maintain control. 

 

The Wronged - they killed your family. Took everything from you. But you’ve spent years training, preparing. Now it’s time to take the fight to them. 
 

These are just the core hunters - there are many more available (the meddling kid, the constructed, the mad scientist), or you can just make your own! The trick is there can only be one of each Hunter type in each game. You can’t have two chosen ones, for obvious reasons! (*cough* Kendra and Faith *cough*)

 

You and your fellow investigators are taken through a “mystery” by the GM, or “Keeper” in this game’s terms. It could be something like investigating a haunted house, trying to perform an exorcism, looking into alien abductions or fighting the demons of hell. Although it’s called Monster of the Week and is perfect for one-off adventures, you can run campaigns (or “seasons”) with longer story arcs if you want. 
 

The basic moves

 

Act under Pressure - can you do what needs to be done when the heat is on? 

 

Help Out - two heads are better than one; give another Hunter a bonus to their rolls

 

Investigate a mystery - used to work out what kind of monster you’re dealing with using the clues available to you

 

Kick some ass - pick up your weapon, psych yourself up cus it’s time to fight! 

 

Manipulate someone - convince someone to do something which they may or may not want to do

 

Protect someone - your friend is in danger - can you get their in time to help? 

 

Read a bad situation - some people have a sense for when they’re being watched, or walking into a trap…

 

Use magic - used to cast magic spells or use enchanted items. 
 

In addition to the basics, each class comes with special moves unique to them and might include something like “Preparedness” which allows you to roll to see if you have a rare or unusual item tucked in your backpack just when you need it. Or there’s “I’m here for a reason” - if you die, you can spend luck to miraculously survive because it is not yet your time…until you run out of luck.

 

Moves are the main mechanic of the game; each time a player performs a Move two six-sided dice are rolled and the Hunter modifier is added or subtracted to give the final result. If the result is 10 or more, the Hunter does what they set out to do. Results between 7-9, they do it, but there’s always a cost or a choice to be made. However, if the result is 6 or below, things have not gone well…


Has anyone played? I was thinking of running a game for my family. My eldest is only eight so I’d have to adjust it so it was more Scooby Doo than Buffy, with super soakers of holy water, but I think it could be fun! 

 

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