Monster of the Week Tabletop RPG
Monster of the Week by Michael Sands is an action-horror TTRPG that puts players in the shoes of hunters on a quest defeat supernatural monsters. Based on the popular Apocalypse World RPG system, this game allows players to create and explore their own action-horror adventures. Whether hunting high school beasties a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer or investigating government anomalies like Mulder and Scully, Monster of the Week can emulate any of your favorite weekly serial adventures.
Game Mechanics: Simple, Intuitive, and Fun
Monster of the Week features a straightforward game system that allows players to take on the role of hunters, track down and battle supernatural creatures and solve mysteries. The game includes eight moves that players use to investigate and deal with monsters, including Hunting Ground, Read a Creature, and Aid or Interfere. These moves are easy to understand, simple to use, and allow players to focus on the excitement of the game.
How the Game is Played: A Thrilling Adventure Awaits
Each game session in Monster of the Week begins with the creation of a mystery that the players must solve. The GM (Game Master) uses the mystery-creation tools provided in the book to craft a compelling story, including all the necessary information and clues for players to follow. The players take on the role of hunters, each with their own unique skills and abilities, as they work together to unravel the mystery and defeat the supernatural creature at its heart.
Throughout the game, players will face challenges and engage in battles with supernatural creatures. The outcome of these encounters is determined by the players’ actions, the GM’s decisions, and the game’s mechanics. As players solve the mystery and defeat the creature they will earn experience points that they can use to improve their characters and make them even more effective hunters.
Steps to Play
Character creation: Players create their hunters by using the character creation rules provided in the book. This includes choosing hunter types (e.g. Crooked, Spell-Slinger), assigning attributes and abilities, and determining their backstory.
Form a hunting team: Players work together to form a cohesive hunting team. This could involve assigning roles, discussing tactics, and establishing a plan of action.
Choose a mystery: Players can either create a mystery using the mystery-creation tools provided in the book, or they can use one of the two ready-to-play mysteries. The mystery should describe the monster they are hunting and provide the necessary clues and information to track it down.
Investigate: Players use the eight simple moves provided in the game to investigate and gather information about the monster. These moves include things like “question authority,” “sneak around,” and “research.”
Confront the monster: Once the hunters have enough information about the monster, they can confront it and attempt to defeat it. The outcome of this confrontation will depend on the players’ choices and rolls of the dice.
In Monster of the Week players create their own characters based on a variety of basic character types or archetypes. These include:
- The Hunter who has dedicated their life to hunting down supernatural creatures.
- The Expert who has a deep understanding of the supernatural world
- The Spell-Slinger who uses magic to defeat supernatural creatures
- The Muscle who is the physical powerhouse of the hunting team
- the Wild Card who doesn’t fit neatly into any other category
Each of these character types has their own unique abilities and strengths, allowing players to create characters that reflect their personal play style. Players can also create their own unique characters, combining elements from different archetypes to create a truly custom character.
Monster of the Week Dice Mechanics
Monster of the Week uses a modified version of the Powered by the Apocalypse (PbtA) system. It uses 2d6, where players roll 2 six-sided dice to determine the outcome of their actions. If the total of the dice roll is equal to or greater than the player’s stat for that action, the action succeeds. If the total is less than the player’s stat, the action fails. The GM also rolls 2d6 to determine the outcome of monster actions but instead of a fixed stat the difficulty is determined by the situation and the monster’s abilities. Players can also spend “hold,” which they earn by making moves that create dramatic tension, to modify their dice rolls and increase their chances of success.
What You Need to Play: Everything You Need for an Exciting Adventure
To play Monster of the Week all you need is the book. The revised edition includes character creation rules, eight simple moves to investigate and deal with monsters, thorough mystery-creation tools, and two ready-to-play mysteries. The new edition also includes an introductory mystery, example monsters like Balkan vampires, werewolves, and other-dimensional creatures, and hunter types like the Crooked and the Spell-Slinger.
How do I learn to GM Monster of the Week?
Read the book: Start by thoroughly reading the “Monster of the Week” book, paying special attention to the rules and mechanics of the game. This will give you a good understanding of how the game works and what your responsibilities as a GM will be.
Familiarize yourself with the role of the GM: In “Monster of the Week”, the GM is responsible for creating and running the mysteries, controlling non-player characters (NPCs), and determining the outcome of player actions. Understanding the role of the GM is essential for running a successful game.
Create a mystery: Use the mystery-creation tools provided in the book to create a mystery for the players to solve. Make sure to include all the necessary information and clues for the players to follow.
Plan out the game session: Decide on what you want to happen during the game session, including any events, encounters, and obstacles you want the players to face. Make sure you have a good understanding of the game mechanics and rules, so you can effectively run the game.
Practice: The best way to get better at being a GM is to practice. Start with a simple mystery and gradually increase the complexity as you get more confident.
Go with the flow: Be prepared to adjust your plans on the fly as the players make unexpected choices and decisions. The key to being a successful GM is being flexible and adapting to the needs of the players and the story.