The messy lives of teenage monsters...
By the time they hit adolescence, most people have gotten over their fear of the dark. They spend their midnight hour on gushy phone calls, diary ramblings, and wet dreams. They fall asleep peacefully, assured that the shadows hold no monsters.
But the shadows do hold monsters. You know because you’re one of them. Wickedness dwells within your heart, hunger courses through your veins. High school weighs on you and teen drama puts you on edge, but you have power. What do you do next?
Monsterhearts 2 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 of having a body that is changing without your permission.
This game is powered by the Apocalypse World engine. It draws inspiration from Twilight, Buffy, Ginger Snaps, The Vampire Diaries, and The Craft.
Reference Sheets and Core Skins – this link contains the player sheet, the MC sheet, and the ten Skins included in the main book (The Fae, The Ghost, The Ghoul, The Hollow, The Infernal, The Mortal, The Queen, The Vampire, The Werewolf, and The Witch). The reference sheets are just single pages, but the Skins are designed to be printed front-and-back and then folded. This is everything you need at the table with you to play, aside from pencils and dice.
Small Towns is a collection of eight different one-page settings for the game, allowing you to set up and dive into play as quickly as possible. Each of these settings is authored by someone different, bringing you a mix of brilliant and diverse voices: Jackson Tegu, Ciel Sainte-Marie, anna anthropy, Marissa Kelly & Mark Diaz Truman, Kieron Gillen, Kira Magrann, and Naomi Clark!
Monsterhearts is a fantastic game to play but on top of that it’s my very favorite text in RPGs. The book is crystal clear, inspiring for play, and a real pleasure to read.
-John Harper, author of Blades in the Dark
In Monsterhearts, you explore some difficult themes: dysfunctional relationships, teen sexuality, coercive power, trauma, abuse, violence, and queer marginalization. The game includes a full chapter on how to handle difficult themes with care and limits.
The Chosen is an additional Skin you can add to your game. They’re a warrior, sworn to vanquish darkness and evil in the world. But with such a heavy burden to bear, and surrounded by a monstrous lot, will they be able to hold to their noble and powerful sense of self? The Chosen isn’t included in the main book because it dramatically changes the tone of play, pushing toward a story about tense allegiances and moral turmoil.
The Serpentine is another option to throw into the mix. They’re caught between the human and serpent worlds, between a manipulative family and everyone else. How will they adapt, and who will they trust? This Skin isn’t for every group, especially if you’ve already got a lot of characters competing for spotlight. The Serpentine brings with it a host of side characters who remain mostly private throughout the game.
The Cerberus is weird and conceptual, created for a fan. What if you were a three-headed dog, covered in writhing snakes, tasked with guarding the gates to the afterlife? And what if this was all an elaborate metaphor for playing Jughead from CW’s Riverdale?
The Disciple is obsessed with their work: gathering power to summon a world-threatening demonic force. This is a skin exploring radicalization, obsession, and self-perpetuating loneliness. Is The Disciple’s fate already sealed, or can their apocalyptic mission still be abandoned? This skin speaks to contemporary trends and tragedies. It’s not for every group.
Finally, there is an inDesign template available if you want to lay out your own skins and small towns. The master pages are filled with section-by-section tips for how to bring it all together. To get your hands on this, email me! firstname.lastname@example.org
What about the first edition?
In March of 2014 I released Safe Hearts, a guide to navigating boundaries and vulnerability in Monsterhearts.
Wondering what’s new in the second edition? Click here!