How do you handle the Monstrous “Pure Drive” curse?

How do you handle the Monstrous “Pure Drive” curse?

How do you handle the Monstrous “Pure Drive” curse?

Whether as player or keeper, what experiences have you had with this aspect? My concern is that it would lead to a very one-dimensional character.

If Pure Drive: Hate, do you hate everything or does the player create a list of hated things? If Pure Drive: Anger, are you angry at everything, or do we allow that there are certain triggers? Or just whatever? What does Pure Drive: Pride even mean?

My experience in years past (okay, decades past) in other games is that characters with a single drive can tend to become comical and/or annoying to other players. Any suggestions on how to avoid that?

Quote from the Monstrous Playbook for reference:

Pure Drive: One emotion rules you. Pick from: hunger, hate, anger, fear, jealousy, greed, joy, pride, envy, lust, cruelty. Whenever you have a chance to indulge the emotion, you must do so immediately or act under pressure to resist.

3 thoughts on “How do you handle the Monstrous “Pure Drive” curse?”

  1. In this case (and pretty much all others), I flip it back around to the player, and make them expand upon it, usually with the group involved and before any history/relationships are decided.

    Then I take a few notes about it and make sure it does/doesn’t come up in play.

    For example, the last monstrous I had at my table did, in fact, pick rage, and I just asked them point blank “what does that mean?”

    First they were like “well I’m a monster so I’m angry all the time and stuff” and everyone else was like “oh but I don’t know if I want to be solving mysteries or impersonating cops or whatever with someone that’s just gonna start fights.”

    This kinda thing went back and forth and basically the player realized they had to kind of quantify and qualify a bit of that ‘rage’ which really added a lot of depth to the character and the resulting team/game.

    The main things he had to answer was:

    * What triggers this in me?

    * Is there any way I can deal with this?

    * What do I normally do to cope?

    * And for the rest of the folks, How do I normally act/react when Player gets monstro?

    Basically, the easiest pop culture thing to reference is Hulk in the MCU.

    His rage is an asset. It’s also a hindrance. He’s also extremely useful when NOT rage. Black Widow has worked with him on ways to calm him down, his rage has failed him and caused complications, etc etc etc.

    What this short bit of convo does is help put everything in context, and it allows a lot of deep roleplay.

    Suddenly you might see manipulate rolls to keep the dude calm, or difficult and tense sessions where the Player really SHOULDNT indulge, yet the NPC in question is goading them on.

    Seriously, flip that question (so to speak) back around at them, get them to explain and put some sorta framework on it, and then see how things play out from there.

    Sure enough, at my table, one history between the two players was the ‘calm them down’ kinda thing. Another didn’t trust them because they saw Monstro fly off the handle for a minor thing. And so on and so forth.

    Hope that helps.

  2. Lil Johnny Halfbreed Thanks for this detailed answer. I like the line about making characters useful when NOT raging. In the old, old days of playing Champions, we had problems with players wanting to put all their points into some type of “Berserk” mode. The character would be totally useless (and the played bored) whenever he was not killing everything in sight and making other characters try to stop him. That style of play can be fun if everyone is on board, and you lean into it. But not really suitable for a game where you are supposed to investigate and solve mysteries, etc.

  3. Ken Hubbard exactly! And I’m pretty sure there are plenty of ways a Rage-y character could thrive in a MotW team.

    I think the important thing with MotW (and probably all PbtA games) is that they leave the practical solution right out in the open: relation to the fiction.

    I’ve played and run my fair share of games in the past where “problematic character generation” basically killed the game before it started. You know, things like “well, maybe we shouldn’t have let Ronnie create a murderhobo for our covert spy/political intrigue game” and such.

    I think the problem with many games is that people are basically encouraged to create characters in a sort of vacuum, with teaming and the ‘game goals’ almost as after thoughts.

    By posing a lot of questions to the table, or just allowing folks to quantify or qualify their choices, as it relates to the fiction, it makes the characters end up with a lot more depth, while still allowing for a nearly infinite selection of chargen choices.

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