So this weekend at #ForgeMidwest I ran Camp Monster Hearts.
So this weekend at #ForgeMidwest I ran Camp Monster Hearts. It was probably the best con game I ever ran. Tim Koppang played an Infernal name Poe, tom Fendt played a Werewolf named Luna, and Stephanie Strickling played a Witch named Marina. The set up established that Luna was in the middle of a fight with an NPC named Sam with Poe watching, and that the administrator Tanya is missing and that Marina knew more about it than she should. We also established that Poe wanted to Fuck an NPC named Jessie. Luna also wanted to fuck Jessie, and be friends with Marina. Marina wanted to Fuck Poe.
We started with the fight starting at the wake up bell, in which Luna easily beat up Sam (who was a swimmer, no match for a werewolf in any form), but since this is Monster Hearts, did so sexily and turned on Poe, who gave her his switch blade. Marina meanwhile was sneaking out of the Big House (where the administrator lives and works) and making it to the rec hall for breakfast.
Poe made it to breakfast late, but Luna gave up on that. The project director Carl wouldn’t let Poe in as punishment for being late, so Marina tried helping out but Hexing Carl with a wither. Unintended consequences meant that when Carl’s teeth started falling out mid sentence new needle like teeth painfully grew in their place (wither isn’t a nice spell). Poe freaked out thinking that his Dark Power Sysphan was messing with him and started freaking out. This was quite the scene so Marina rushed out and took Poe away from the prying eyes.
Meanwhile Luna was looking for an alternative way to satisfy her near unquenchable appetite. She headed over to the field where the camp raises pigs to slaughter one. Well, killing and butchering a full grown hog is harder than it sounds so Luna’s struggle to do so with a pocket knife attracted Natalie, the woman in charge of raising the pigs. At first Natalie was confused, than disgusted, then astonished that Luna would even try this. She decided she would sit and watch Luna try to butcher the pig and eat it cold, which turned out to be pretty funny. Well Luna became frustrated and decided to go partial wolf, which turned out yo be a bit teen wolfy at this stage. Well this didn’t go exactly as planned, and she smelled something unnatural which pissed her off.
So out in the woods Poe was still convinced Sysphan was messing with him so Marina tried a bit of parlor trick magic to convince him that she had her own power. She managed to conjure the illusion of a flame in her hand, but Sysphan managed to implant his visage in the flame. So Poe was convinced Marina was also being manipulated by the Dark Power so he asked the price for Sysphan to leave Marina alone forever. His price was for Poe to give Sysphan claim on Jessie, to which Poe agreed. Of course this was a verbal contract, so Marina heard the whole exchange.
This is where Luna showed up, but rather than being able to calm herself down and turn back into a human, she went darkest self. Poe used some demonic power to wrestle savage wolf Luna and Marina hit her with a stick so the two could run away. Of course this made Marina a target and she got chomped on the leg which snapped Luna out of it.
Luna and Poe carried Marina to her cabin where she sent Luna away and bandaged up her leg and applied a cure for a werewolf bite (Luna was unsure if her feral side chose to transmit blessing or not). Things were getting heated with Poe offering his shirt for the bandage and while he failed to seduce, Sysphan had his back to still make sexy.
The three met up at the dock for swimming. Poe wanted to check in on Jessie to see what his deal meant. Jessie was there cheering up Sam and dropped the two were family. Jessie seemed normal until they started the sentence ‘The blood of the innocent…’ and Sam finished ‘will make the forest grow.’
He joined up with Marina and Luna who were talking about what happened. Marina interrogated Luna using a ring of truth and went into her darkest self to do so. Luna revealed that it was the sent of Marina’s magic that drew her notice and that the smell was completely unfamiliar to her. Luna tried to make assurances that now that she knew Marina wasn’t in danger. Marina decided to use Luna to find Tanya and told Poe and Luna that Tanya was her coven memeber.
Poe was on board for helping, but they found that everyone one at the waterfront had lined up on the dock and were silently staring at the three. They decided that it was about time to get moving. They rushed to the big house, but a councilor Johana caught them. Luna and Marina were able to use their injuries to create an excuse that they were going to the infirmary. Johana decided to shuffle Poe into the rec hall to do choirs while she took the other two to get treated. The kitchen staff told Poe to sweep up the kitchen, but bolted first chance he had, causing a huge mess and starting a fire.
Luna and Marina were able to lie their way out of the infirmary (but not until she took an overboard dose of codeine 3), and the fire allowed the three to get everybody out of the Big House. Luna tried to pick up a trail but instead passed out and had a vision of Sysphan. The Demon tree told Luna about how Poe gave Jessie to it and offered to share them with Luna. This infuriated her and when she came to, she attacked Poe. Marina decided to discourage the fight by withering Luna. Already being in her darkest self, Luna molted very painfully leaving her completely tender. Luna cool-aide manned out of there.
With no leads on what happened to Tanya, Poe asked Sysphan for another favor, and Sysphan was completely willing to provide a hint for the cost of a fifth string. The demon revealed that Natalie knew exactly what happened to Tanya, and Poe carved the name in the floor so he could sneak out and find somewhere quiet to ride out the withdrawal.
Marina got the message but became more worried about Poe and went to find Luna to get help freeing him from Sysphan. Luna agreed and they tracked Poe to the sand dunes.
Meanwhile, Poe was trying to figure out what Sysphan wanted to get back on their good side. Sysphan was more than happy to ignore the formal summoning process and instead told Poe it wanted a monster’s teeth. The full set. To make it easier it provided a sledge hammer. This was around the time Luna and Marina showed up. Marina blocked the way for Poe so Sysphan commanded him to break her knee. He tried but found he was under a binding making all violence he committed on others bounce off.
Of course that just prevented Sysphan from using Poe to physically harm the others, not other forms of harm. the demon commanded Poe to cut off a pinky which he did so with his teeth. Getting the message, Marina asked what Sysphan wanted, which it responded ‘my forest back’. Not just the camp, but the entire region which was one big forest. Unable to do that, Marina offered to buy Poe out of the contract which the demon agreed. Seeing that we were at a point that playbooks were going to change, and that we were close to the end of the four hour block, I called this end of session.
Overall the play set did exactly what I wanted, create a fast easy way to run a player generated setting with engaged characters within a con slot. There a few things to tweek, but nothing major. At this point I feel things are close to done. I want to thank tom Fendt, Stephanie Strickling, and Tim Koppang for the excellent game.