Author Topic: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game  (Read 12044 times)

Addled GM

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Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« on: November 28, 2011, 08:56:15 PM »
I have started up a monsters and other childish things game.  Character Creation is this weekend and I was wondering what to watch for as far as powergaming.  Some of my player are point-whoring power gamers. What breaks a game of monsters and are there any house rules that might help stem the flow?

As a note I'm only using the core MaOCT book and not bigger bads.

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2011, 09:26:56 PM »
Spray can get kind of goofy if your players get lucky, or creative with their use of Awesome x2 and Gnarly and/or Burn.  This can be solved by having Spray only allowing the inclusion of one extra match in your attack per rank.  This is one of the Extra tweaks they included in Bigger Bads.

It can also be a bit ridiculous if you buy multiple ranks of something like Tough or Gnarly.  It's fairly easy to have a part on your Monster that has at least 5 dice in both of these and Awesome x2 and still have 3 dice in your pool.   That part will get wiped out easily if you ever manage to actually do damage to it, but it would have enough Tough to be effectively invincible, and enough Gnarly to wipe out something in a few hits.  I haven't seen any players of mine take advantage of this because it's honestly a bit of a boring option, and it can easily be countered by using a Useful power that can Paralyze or Stun, or even a simple Defends location. 

Other than that, it's largely up to what creative uses players can come up with for their Useful powers.   A clever use of one of these can get past a lot of roadblocks in unexpected ways, considering there's no given limits to their capabilities.

In general though, Monsters is very rock-paper-scissors.  There's no real way to create an unbeatable combo that can't somehow be countered, at least as far as I'm aware.

crash2455

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2011, 10:10:02 PM »
Spray can get kind of goofy if your players get lucky, or creative with their use of Awesome x2 and Gnarly and/or Burn.  This can be solved by having Spray only allowing the inclusion of one extra match in your attack per rank.  This is one of the Extra tweaks they included in Bigger Bads.

It can also be a bit ridiculous if you buy multiple ranks of something like Tough or Gnarly.  It's fairly easy to have a part on your Monster that has at least 5 dice in both of these and Awesome x2 and still have 3 dice in your pool.   That part will get wiped out easily if you ever manage to actually do damage to it, but it would have enough Tough to be effectively invincible, and enough Gnarly to wipe out something in a few hits.  I haven't seen any players of mine take advantage of this because it's honestly a bit of a boring option, and it can easily be countered by using a Useful power that can Paralyze or Stun, or even a simple Defends location. 

Other than that, it's largely up to what creative uses players can come up with for their Useful powers.   A clever use of one of these can get past a lot of roadblocks in unexpected ways, considering there's no given limits to their capabilities.

In general though, Monsters is very rock-paper-scissors.  There's no real way to create an unbeatable combo that can't somehow be countered, at least as far as I'm aware.

It's really easy to powergame in MaOCT.  A player in my first set had a monster that had Toughx5 on every location.  Basically I could make nothing that would damage it that wouldn't OHKO anyone else in the party.  Also gnarly x5, spray x2, and awesome x2 on its attack location.

The thing I discovered from running Mrs Frieda's Halfway Home is that even though it's really easy to make a powerful, using your monster should always cause more problems than it solves.  Things ranging from getting in trouble with your parents to you one day noticing that there are strange men in black suits and mirror shades checking out your rose bushes.

For inspiration, think about The Iron Giant.  The kid in that movie had a 50-foot tall invincible robot built to fight and destroy.  The thing is that there were G-Men in the town looking for it, and the only time it was used, it was horrifying.  Emphasize this aspect if someone decides to use their monster.  Also, as stated in the book, while monsters normally have your best interests in mind, it has no ideas how human society works and generally has its own set of interests in mind.  In the lighter scenarios, a monster will sometimes get bored and cause a little mayhem for fun and then disappear at the first sign of trouble, leaving its kid to answer for the problems caused.

Addled GM

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2011, 06:54:26 PM »

Quote
Spray can get kind of goofy if your players get lucky, or creative with their use of Awesome x2 and Gnarly and/or Burn.  This can be solved by having Spray only allowing the inclusion of one extra match in your attack per rank.  This is one of the Extra tweaks they included in Bigger Bads.

It can also be a bit ridiculous if you buy multiple ranks of something like Tough or Gnarly.  It's fairly easy to have a part on your Monster that has at least 5 dice in both of these and Awesome x2 and still have 3 dice in your pool.   That part will get wiped out easily if you ever manage to actually do damage to it, but it would have enough Tough to be effectively invincible, and enough Gnarly to wipe out something in a few hits.  I haven't seen any players of mine take advantage of this because it's honestly a bit of a boring option, and it can easily be countered by using a Useful power that can Paralyze or Stun, or even a simple Defends location. 

Other than that, it's largely up to what creative uses players can come up with for their Useful powers.   A clever use of one of these can get past a lot of roadblocks in unexpected ways, considering there's no given limits to their capabilities.


Thanks for the heads up.  This will be very helpful. 

Quote
The thing I discovered from running Mrs Frieda's Halfway Home is that even though it's really easy to make a powerful, using your monster should always cause more problems than it solves.  Things ranging from getting in trouble with your parents to you one day noticing that there are strange men in black suits and mirror shades checking out your rose bushes.

I'm really going to try and utilize the MIB if they go nuts.  Would it be wrong for them to show up with a kid of their own or even a whole strike team should the player choose to have their monster go apeshit?  I think that is a perfectly exceptable response.


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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2011, 07:20:55 PM »
If the players get out of control use their relationships. Have the kids parents come out and threaten to ground them. Remember: their just kids.

And if you want to mess with a monster that seems impossible to hurt than remember that damage has more than one source: hurting a kid can hurt the monster.

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2011, 08:03:52 PM »
Quote
And if you want to mess with a monster that seems impossible to hurt than remember that damage has more than one source: hurting a kid can hurt the monster.

I am a bit hesitant at using this because it seems like a real dick move on the GM side. 

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2011, 01:12:19 AM »
I'm really going to try and utilize the MIB if they go nuts.  Would it be wrong for them to show up with a kid of their own or even a whole strike team should the player choose to have their monster go apeshit?  I think that is a perfectly exceptable response.

Sometimes you don't even need a monster, but that could always work.  In my campaign, the MIB has brought along flashbangs, proton packs, and (later on) a team of combat robots.  That was in response to one kid fleeing from their guardian by summoning a giant flaming bird and flying off through the city in broad daylight.  And routinely talking to it on the roof of a 3-story building.

Basically, any time they use their monster it should solve a major problem and create a whole bunch of other, smaller problems (things that the kids can possibly resolve if they've not used their monster in a dumb way).

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2011, 07:05:38 PM »
Well i'm in a bit of a pickle.  The characters are created and are not as rapey as they could be.
Before I start a game I always ask the players what they want out of the game, but my players number one goal is monster fights.

As such I'm going to use the XMFL as a backdrop, but I need some NPC monsters with some flair.  I've come up with a few, but any suggestions would be great.

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2011, 07:06:28 PM »
also any cool plot hooks that u wanna sling my way might come in handy.

crash2455

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2011, 07:39:50 PM »
I'm not going to say I'm a great campaign writer, but I'll hit you with my thoughts on the subject.

The XMFL-verse is one I'm less familiar with, mainly in that Monsters are actually accepted by society (to the point where they're used in sporting events).  As for plot hooks, I believe the campaign jumpstart comes with a few. 

I mean, if you want to run a campaign about kids who use their monsters in gladiatorial sporting events, draw on all the main hooks from other media and real life.  There are all kinds of stories about sports and the players thereof, ranging from the underdog to champ who becomes jaded and leaves his friends, etc. 

Regardless of the players' standing in the XMFL, simply being a participant is probably going to give them some level of celebrity (more if they're a favorite).  Something about trying to maintain a normal life of friends, school and hanging out when you've got fans, advertisers, managers, etc.

Also, you're using your best friend as a piece in a game by having him fight and wound others constantly.  There can be some drama between a kid and their monster.

There are all kinds of tropes you can draw on from this setting.  Additionally, see what other stories your players are making for themselves.

As for consequences with monsters and stuff, this setting is kind of a double-edged sword.  Everyone knows everything about monsters and are pretty cool with them as long as you don't start some shit.  However, everyone knows everything about monsters and their kids (which is to say that it's pretty hard to hide monsters in this universe). 

The MIB is probably more hesitant to act against monster kids, but when they do, it will be fast and brutal:  They know everything about the kid, their monster, their friends, family, etc.  Moreso if they're actually participating in the XMFL.  If they're not, the setting puts forth the idea that monsters are typically used as tools, provided they have anything that can help people.  Monsters (and by extension their kids) are now part of the labor force.  How they're treated there is obviously up to you, but it's a big thing in this setting.

Additionally, if your monster is used for any criminal activity, the police are obviously going to be aware of the supernatural and come after the kid or their monster if it's apparent that they've committed this crime, and since monster kids are normally celebrities, the manhunt will be pretty quick (or outsourced to an aforementioned governmental division).  Additionally, regular criminals might try to make crimes appear monstrous by nature, provided there's a monster in town that people would be uneasy about.

The XMFL is a good place tone-wise as it's more on the "Saturday Morning Cartoon" side of MaOCT, but still has the potential for drama.  Just be aware that if a monster fights a regular person, you are going to have a drastic shift in tone very quickly.  Those kinds of fights will never end without a huge mess (in both senses).

Anyway, that's my $2.  MaOCT is pretty easy if you let players make their own stories.  Find out what they want to do in the game and create NPCs that would fit in those storylines, in addition to any you have yourself.  Like a superhero game or an epic-level D&D game, don't try to plan things out too rigidly as Monsters have a tendency to eat plots and mend plotholes.

crash2455

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2011, 07:46:52 PM »
As for NPCs, I believe the setting also gives you ideas on some of those.  Things off the top of my head would be teachers, managers/mentors (people who used to be monster kids and are teaching these kids in the ways of properly using a monster), rival monster kids, fans, bullies (both supernatural and not), parents, etc.  Your first instinct may be to make very flashy NPCs to fit with the crazy setting.  You should avoid this for most NPCs and reserve the silliness for a select few.  Down-to-earth characters will make for a more relatable story, while the occasional zany person will remind them that there are, in fact, monsters in the school.

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Re: Monsters and Other Childish Things Game
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2011, 12:57:38 AM »
somewhat related: get all the MAOCT books (worth $175) for only $60! http://www.arcdream.com/zencart/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=45