This is a strange collection of things – these are things that, at one precise point in time, a crowd-funding campaign that I held achieved through meeting a series of higher dollar amounts than initially requested. These are the extras, the promises that were shaken on, the treasures already added to our hoard.
Prepare yourself for a change of tone and the cut-and-paste of non-sequitur. The Monsterhearts Second Skins project grew in these ways:
(First, a link to the completed crowd-funding campaign.)
When we hit $5,000
There’s no advice to play the Joke Skins. They’re semi-unplayable, that’s kind of the point. But here’s an idea – in the space normally reserved for play advice on the back of the Skins, we’ll have clever and comical microfictions – written by the likes of Joe Mcdaldno, Robert Bruce, and Brendan Adkins (who once went 7 and 5/6th years posting microfictions every weekday). Many L.O.L.s are in store!
Jackson Tegu has written several Skins for Monsterhearts. In this piece for What Big Teeth You Have, he describes what you should consider when writing your own Skins – a step-by-step guide to his particular take on making a Monsterhearts Skin playable, from the front end material, to the moves, all the way through to advice for the MC. (The notes for this are, as of this writing, already quite lengthy.)
When Morgan Stinson sits down to play a story game, he finds himself distracted by the possibilities of the mechanics. Not to make a story, necessarily, but to use them to triumph over the other players and the system itself. In this piece for What Big Teeth You Have, Morgan gives some laser-fine advice on how to bend the mechanics of Monsterhearts to your will, what Moves to take and how to position yourself fictionally for optimal play. Does Jackson approve of the messages contained herein? That’s not something that Morgan is concerned about. Morgan’s strategies will let you win Monsterhearts, no mean feat for a collaborative game.
When we hit 6,000
In Chapter 7 of Monsterhearts we’re instructed “If you want to modify what’s important… …you can do so by modifying existing basic moves” which is exactly what Ross Cowman has done. He wanted the Shut Someone Down move to provoke a more cinematic response from the recipient, so he re-wrote it. The new move is a lot of fun in play, and will be given to us on a player’s reference sheet with a slightly clearer layout.
So, the Joke Skins don’t have art. Tragedy! Wouldn’t it be nice if Jackson Tegu took some photos of his friends and people from his community and tried to muck about in Illustrator a bit to make them look kinda Monsterheartsy and slapped those onto the cover? Yeah, I thought you’d like that! So that’s what we’re gonna do. Just slap ’em right on there.
What Big Teeth You Have could do with a few more voices. So when the main pieces are all written, we’ll be passing them around under several pairs of discerning and practiced eyes. These folks will annotate the existing pieces with their additional insights or perhaps counter-arguments, leading to a much rounder collection of thoughts and advice. As of the moment, we have Morgan Stinson, Ross Cowman, Renee Knipe, Robert Bruce, Hanna Schiendelman, Orion Canning, Carl Rigney, Kira Scott, Fred Kraii, and Joe Mcdaldno on board.
When we hit 7,000
Loving Monsterhearts so much and being a dweller-on of things and a maker of music, it will surprise no one that Jackson Tegu has written two songs dealing with Monsterhearts-esque problems and solutions, set in a sort of mist-shrouded in-between of fiction and emotion. These two songs, “The Green Maria,” a quiet doom folk/metal ballad, and its b-side, “No Good,” a twangy alt-country rock waltz, have not yet been made available to any but attendees of Jackson’s live shows. Here’s our chance to get some low-fi bedroom recordings of the both of them!
Joe Mcdaldno has done such a good job with illustrating the Second Skins we’d like to ask him to make a few pieces for What Big Teeth You Have as well. As with the Second Skins illustrations, Jackson will take photos of people in his community and send them to Joe for interpretation, and when all’s done we’ll have four images to put into the book that keeps on growing.
There’s a tired and beautiful place called the Great Lakes of Iowa, and those lakes lend their name to a beautiful, dreamy Skeleton that Jackson Tegu has been idly working on through the latter half of the Second Skins project. A Skeleton is a scenario-type-thing, one which situates the characters with additional backstories and gives the MC lots of good questions to ask and locations to set the characters loose in, and then off they go. This Skeleton finds several of the calmer Skins meeting one another in the breezy summer at the celebrated vacation spot of yester-year. What happens? Play to find out. (Adds to What Big Teeth You Have)
When we hit 8,000
Ross Cowman has been bitten by the Monsterhearts bug, which is a wonderful thing. Here, he’ll give us a new Skin, still early in production – The Giant takes up more space than they want to, and have an incredible strength to go along with it.
Orion Canning has been playing around with making an angry Skin, one who gets into trouble, deserved or undeserved. Let’s meet The Firestarter. While they’re still early in development too, they’ve got trouble written all over them.
Jackson Tegu has a pile of notes for different Skeletons, those alternate settings that take Monsterhearts out of the classroom and set it down other places – a summer camp, the social circle surrounding a 24 hour coffee shop, a Wednesday night youth group, a school camping trip, the funeral of someone from the characters’ school. Jackson will create two-sided sheets for each of these, packed with MC advice, ideal locations, additional backstories for the PCs, leading questions, and a particular group of Skins to for the MC to field in the first place. This Closetful of Skeletons will grace the pages of What Big Teeth You Have.
When we hit 10,000 – The Abyss
Let us gaze into the abyss now, you and I. What shall we see there, I wonder? *rolls* Oh, a 10+. Well then, choose two from that list in front of you.
The visions are lucid and detailed? And they show you what you must do? Very good.
You see that Jason Morningstar and Autumn Winters have collaborated on a stand-alone game for when you are ready to take a light-hearted break from all the emo drama of Monsterhearts. A family of monsters has moved to a human town, each member trying to fit in, trying to help one another live a normal life despite being monsters. Psst! It’s also about the process of assimilation among immigrants! It’s fast to learn and easy to play. Introducing… The Monsters!
You see a new World of Dungeons expansion from John Harper, detailing the Second Skins both as monsters to face as foes, and as playable characters in the celebrated microscopic-word-count-footprint that World of Dungeons lives by. Comes bundled with World of Dungeons itself; everything you need to play!
You see Johnstone Metzger, huffing rainbows on the dark side of Saturn, barfing out Space Wurm vs. Moonicorn, an adventure scenario to accompany Adventures on Dungeon Planet and Dungeon World! Space Wurm vs. Moonicorn will include AT LEAST two new space fantasy themed Dungeon World playbooks based on the Second Skins!
You see a Live Action Role-Playing game being constructed, based solidly on Monsterhearts but taking the mechanics away from the table. Terry Romero, John Stavropoulos and Kira Scott combine their creative energies with Nordic Larp techniques to bring us this newest wonder.
Ah, some things for Monsterhearts itself, too!
You see another Skin revealing itself! Renee Knipe and Bret Gillan are working together to bring us The Reanimator, that super smart kid who sits by himself, not really knowing how to make friends. Well – he knows one way.
You see that Ben Wray is carefully tweaking a mini-supplement that can patch onto any Monsterhearts Skin – that is, whichever is the last of their kind. Just a few elegant little Moves, but The Last will bring an excellent richness to your table.
You see Amy Fox, editor of the original Queer Content section in Monsterhearts, preparing A Spectrum of Shadows – a short supplement on filling out the range of gender and sexuality; for MC’s and players, for Monsterhearts and beyond.
You see Kira Scott and John Stavropoulos building a Monsterhearts one-shot/convention toolkit. Chock full of devious and excellent advice for making your one-shot as sexy, weird, and intimate as you can in four short hours; the mechanics will sing and dance and PCs will have romantic triangles everywhere. Players will get a delicious taste and beg for more!
But over here, you see different interpretations of what a Monsterhearts scenario or setting might look like…
You see a vague vision of a wizarding school, leaning heavily on Hogwarts and the historic Scholomance, penned by Jonathan Walton. Oh little teenagers, your lives are about to change forever with your admittance to the School of the Arts!
You see that Spring break can be a time for love and for heartbreak, and terrible sunburns when coupled with a vacation to the Bahamas. Renee Knipe is only too pleased to weave together her daydreams in Bahamian Rhapsody!
And you see that the open road stretches far before you, much further than you ever thought you’d go. Stretches behind you, too, back to that insular little town. You and your friends are sure glad you didn’t bring any of that pettiness with you – and this hitchhiker you picked up seems like such a sweet person. Ben Wray gives us some excellent Car Troubles!
So that covers the lucid and detailed, hmm. As for showing you what you must do in order to roll in this pack of powerful PDFs… I think you’ve figured that one out, too!