This is the second installment of my actual play log of a monthly Monsterhearts game that I’m playing with Jamie Fristrom, Sev Trooskin-Zoller, and Erin Sara Beach-Garcia. You can find the first installment, which contains basic information about the characters in the story, here.
As this was our first session, we spent some time talking through our setting (modern day, in a fictionalized Concrete, WA) and doing the homeroom seating chart. I have to say, as an opinionated aside, that I really enjoy the seating charts. Beyond setting up some interesting NPCs for the game, I feel that it really gets a lot of work done setting expectations and normalizing genre for everyone assembled. The results of that work are the characters summarized in my first post.
Miss Mayberry, the home room/English/Social Studies teacher set the class up for some unstructured study time. Tucker, the captain of the wrestling team and our resident asshat, was languidly lobbing spit balls at the back of Logan’s head from two rows back. Logan contacted the Emissary on his smart phone to determine what it would take to cause Tucker to choke on one of the projectiles. The cost, telling Tess (the girl sitting between the two) a secret about himself, was too high, and Logan kept things low-key. Meanwhile, Brooke made a show of going up to the teacher’s desk to ask a question as cover for passing a note to Anita (“This school needs a party. Stat!”). She followed this up with a note to Peter (through the hands of smitten and disgruntled Tom) stating that there would be a party in the woods that night. To Brooke’s chagrin, Peter passed the note on to Tucker.
P.E. for the boys. “Coach” Bartlett was yet again making the class play football, and every fumble and error resulted in running laps. We see Peter making his way slowly around the track, smoking a cigarette. Bartlett tells Preston, his favorite, to stop Peter. Preston throws the ball at Peter, who catches it and tries, ineffectually, to throw it back hard at his head. The “coach” tells Peter he has to come to “football practice” after school.
Meanwhile, in art class, Brooke makes a point of getting an easel next to Amber and asks her to the party. Amber is suspicious of social sabotage of some sort, but eventually promises to come.
Cut to the party that night. It’s out in the woods down by the river. This is the only place for kids to hang out in the area, so it’s well-used. Between Brooke and friends, enough alcohol has been gathered to sate the crowd. Bea is on hand providing weed—it isn’t clear whether she’s selling or giving it away. Brooke is trying to be nice to Amber. She invites her over to where the cooler kids have been hanging out by the inevitable fire and gives her a wine cooler (or more up-to-date girly drink). Tess and Anita aren’t quite convinced that they should be hanging out with Amber, and accuse Brooke of taking her on as a “charity case.” Brooke pulls them aside and tries to get them to stop being bitchy, but they resist and go their separate ways. Brooke is accused of sympathizing with a slut and of being obvious.
Meanwhile, Peter is shotgunning beers with Tucker and they are both a little wasted. Shelly is pissed that Tucker is getting drunk with his buddies instead of her and starts exchanging innuendoes with the more sober Peter. They are both momentarily turned on, but Peter’s conscience gets the better of him, preventing him from going off in the woods with his friend’s girlfriend. Shelly, not in the mood to feel rejected, sees that Tucker isn’t even paying attention and therefor can’t get jealous, and stalks off.
Concurrent with the beginning of the party, Logan dons his ski-mask and prowls the streets “on patrol.” He eventually finds Jeff’s parents behind a bar in mid-drunken-altercation. He tries to cow the dad with his super-heroic presence, but fails and inadvertently insults the mom, who punches him in the face. Undeterred, Logan lays out Jeff’s dad cold. This causes Jeff’s mom, Lacy, to start yelling for help. The bartender-cum-bouncer comes out of the bar with a baseball bat. After a brief exchange, Logan tries to punch the guy, who fends him off easily and takes his ski-mask. After a little more posturing and flailing, Logan leaves.
Back at the party, Peter drunkenly tries to look into the abyss, but fails. He is dazed and woozy from the experience, and in that state he runs into Bea. He convinces her to sit and smoke a joint with him, and turns her on in the process. They go off to Peter’s truck to have sex.
Brooke apologizes to Amber about her bitchy friends and takes her out to lay on the big rock in the middle of the river and look at the stars. They talk for a little while, but Amber continues to be uncomfortable, both socially and physically (it’s cold out on the river late at night). Brooke convinces Amber to go play video games together at Amber’s place (Amber is into video games). Amber still suspects social sabotage, but Brooke walks through the party to the parking lock arm-in-arm with her to reassure her that everything’s okay.
Logan, discouraged and unmasked, decides to go to the party (where better to find trouble, after all?) He arrives to find Tucker smacking Shelly around. With significant help from The Emissary, Logan steps up and give Tucker a little of his own medicine. Tucker leaves, and Logan tries to take advantage of the situation to arouse an already receptive Shelly. After failing that, he joins the party proper and tries to be cool. A group of freshmen seem impressed, particularly Marshall, who seems to admire him. After a short conversation, Logan manages to out himself as a geek.
Logan walks to the parking lot and sees Peter, post-coital, leaning out of the truck, chest-hair bristling and coolly smoking a cigarette. Logan is a bit turned on. They talk a little and Logan realizes that Peter wants to be friends like the old days, but wants Logan to be more cool (or at least less nerdy). Logan tries to be cool by talking about how he punched Tucker, with limited success. He notices that there’s a girl in the truck at some point.
“Who’s that in the truck?” Logan asks.
“I don’t know.” Peter pauses for a beat, then, “Just fucking with you, it’s Bea.”
Peter drives both Bea and Logan home. He drops Bea off first and smacks her ass on the way out of the truck. She’s pissed at him.
While the second half of the party is going on, Brooke and Amber are at Amber’s house playing video games. Brooke isn’t very good at them, but laughs good naturedly whenever Amber shoots her in the head. After a while of letting things unwind on their own, Brooke starts to offer some physical reassurance—a hand on a shoulder, for instance. Soon they are making out on the couch. It’s obvious that Amber is craving affection. It doesn’t go any farther than that. As she leaves, Brooke gets Amber to promise that she’ll try to stand up for herself more, at least when she has Brooke to back her up.