Most teenagers get to grow up without encountering anything scarier than gang violence, drug overdoses and chlamydia. They think that’s the worst that the world has to offer them, and they have the luxury of laughing.
You don’t have the luxury of laughing. You know the world has hideous, horrible things hiding in the shadows. You know because you’re one of them. There’s wickedness that dwells within your chest, darkness that courses through your veins.
Most teenagers will never know that things like you exist, the secret monsterhearts.
Monsterhearts lets you and your friends create stories about sexy monsters, teenage angst, personal horror, and secret love triangles. When you play, you explore the terror and confusion that comes both with growing up and feeling like a monster.
Based on the Apocalypse World engine, this is a game with emergent story, messy relationships, a structured MC role, and a focus on hard choices. Monsterhearts draws on source material like Twilight, True Blood, Ginger Snaps, Jennifer’s Body, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Misfits, The Vampire Diaries, An American Werewolf in London, Cursed, and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
If you like supernatural romances, or stories of monstrosity and personal horror, or if you just like watching sexy people ruin their lives, then you’ll love this game.
In March of 2014 I released Safe Hearts, a guide to navigating boundaries and vulnerability in Monsterhearts.
Reviews and Interviews: Deeper in the Game’s review, Interview on Giant Fire Breathing Robot, Interview on Paper & Plastic, Reading Monsthearts (Wilper), Monsterhearts (at Derailed Gaming), Queerness and the Supernatural Teen Romance Genre
Actual play reports include: Toronto Teen Monsters, AP for a brand new MC, Two One on One Monsterhearts, Night of the Dance, Monsterhearts is Amazing! First Session, Edgegate Part 1, Helium Buffalo AP (audio recording), Tiend High School, Gamestorm Mini-Reviews,What’s Eating Allison, The Lesson, The Best Friends Club
“Monsterhearts is heartbreakingly good.” -Graham Walmsley, author of A Taste For Murder, Stealing Cthulhu, and Play Unsafe
“Y’know, Mcdaldnohas always made beautiful art, but I just got my copy of Monsterhearts and I’m especially impressed.” -Fred Hicks, author of Don’t Rest Your Head and Spirit of the Century
“Monsterhearts is seriously awesome.” -Carl Rigney, illustrious GM
“I am seriously impressed with Monsterhearts” -Josh Roby, author of Smallville Roleplaying, Sons of Liberty, and more
“Monsterhearts perfectly captures the awkward awesomeness of teen horror. Yes please!” -Ross Cowman, co-organizer of Fabricated Realities
“My first session, and it worked out beautifully. We all wanted to play again, and scheduled the next date. It seemed like it was all just mundane high school (crushes, IMs, jocks), but then Todd got hungry and it rolled from there. There was a lot of sexual confusion, awkward dinners with parents, emotionally distant and cruel teenagers – everything we wanted.” -Ethan Knudson, a satisfied gamer
“Basically, this is the best game ever.” -Rowan Cota, a satisfied gamer
“Last night’s first Monsterhearts session turned out pretty great! Three players, (male) Queen, Hollow, and Serpentine. There’ve already been a couple of assaults, minor police involvement, several vicious reputation-ruining efforts including sex photos and a PC planting drugs in another PC’s locker, a confession of dangerous gay love between PC and PC, foreshadowing of future capital-B Badness, and a desperate secret murder! Can’t wait to see what we get up to today.” -Christopher Murray, a satisfied gamer
“This is what Vampire: The Masquerade and all those World of Darkness games should have been.” -Jamie Fristrom, a satisfied gamer
“This game is a beautiful pile of emotional claustrophobia and fragile feelings and bad choices.” -Kit La Touche, a satisfied gamer