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Monster of the Week
by Andrew M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/16/2014 22:00:32

Monster of the Week is an outstanding game. The Powered by the Apocalypse system works well for this cinematic genre, and replicates TV shows like Supernatural, Buffy and Angel, X-Files.

Pros: Fast, rules light system that focuses on the story that the players (including the games master, called the Keeper in this game) want to tell without getting bogged down in minute details that don't exactly help the story. Combat is fast, and the idea of the monsters being extremely resilient (if not immortal) unless their weakness is discovered makes the game challenging.

Cons: Some aspects might need a little tweaking to suit your group. Treasures and wealth are not dealt with, so players who love having that treasure reward from a good brawl might feel like their missing out. None of this really detracts from the game though, and could easily be slotted in.

Good game. Check it out.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monster of the Week
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Monster of the Week
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/15/2013 19:02:03

WHAT WORKS: The game closest to this that I have played is tremulus, and readers of the blog know I'm a big fan of that game (and I became a bigger fan after playing it with a group of three). The "Monster of the Week" genre is awesome (I love me some Buffy, Angel, Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, etc), and this game does a nice job of tackling the "Kick the Monsters in the Teeth" approach that tremulus does not (by design). Most of your major archetypes are covered in the initial Playbooks, and other books since then have been released (like The Exile, which is spot on for Sleepy Hollow's Ichabod Crane, or Summoned, which does a fine Hellboy).

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: I would have liked a few more monsters, maybe, though monsters are defined as much by their motivations as they are their stats, and the three monster examples are probably broad enough to give you an idea how to make your own. The "no prep" approach can be exhausting at times, if you aren't used to thinking on your feet (though players who are on board with the genre conventions and narrative flow can help that immensely). Games like this always seem like they could extra clarity, as well. I'm not a big booster of the idea of "limited edition Playbooks", which is a movement that has gained traction in the World Engine community (though I believe I have been lucky enough to get all of the available playbooks for MotW). Lastly, I am really not a big fan of the art. Just doesn't work for me.

CONCLUSION: This is actually on top of the "Would Love To Run" list for me, especially after my two games of tremulus. We tend to fall into "Action Hero" mode in our games, and Monster of the Week is less likely to punish you for that, so I think it would be a good fit for that. Clarity is an issue in the book (when everyone is naming a history tag for the other Hunters, I wasn't 100% sure how you reconcile them - do both apply? Do the players pick the one they like best? Do you just work it out? Because it's pretty easy to get conflicting results, or seems like it would be...the author clarified that you do, in fact, take both options and work it out). In short, the game engine is a blast, especially if your players are bought in on the "Fiction First" approach, and it does a good, if not perfect, job of genre emulation (Angel and Oz, for instance, would both fall under The Monstrous, making it impossible to have them both in a group at the same time). If you wanna do a Buffy/Blade/Hellboy/Sleepy Hollow/Supernatural/X-Files mash-up and you haven't decided on a system yet, this would be a very good choice.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2013/10/tommys-take-on-monster-of-week.html



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster of the Week
by Jonathan H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2013 16:38:04

This game is powered by the Apocalypse so you know it's going to be a good time. And let me tell you, it is.

Adventures in monster hunting comes to life like no other game on the market. Full of horror, humor, drama and excitement this game is something that really needs to be on your gaming shelf.

If you have yet to play a powered by the Apocalypse game you are missing out. It is a paradigm shift in how you run your games, interact with players and build the adventures. The game will almost effortlessly grow forth from the ideas of your players and quickly create one of the best gaming experiences for those that want to hunt monsters.

So go ahead and spend that 10 bucks and get in on something that you are missing!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster of the Week
by Samuel G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/22/2013 20:41:19

What to expect:

Amazingly low prep time once you've read the book. Do read, or at least skim, the whole book as about half of the book is about GMing. The steps are broken down to be as simple as can be. Having read them, it takes about half an hour for me to prep a session. That's including the printing of character sheets. The book even provides worksheets to walk you through the process of making campaign arcs, session plans, and monsters.

Full of flavor. The book itself has good flavor and is an interesting enough read, but the games ooze with flavor. Part of character creation involves choosing how you are connected to every other player character in the group, as can be found in some other Apocalypse World games. These connections really encouraged my players to interact in character, with feeling, and within minutes of beginning the first session. It was awesome. Add to that the little details (look, backgrounds, demeanor) that you choose during character creation, and everyone was in full rich character right away.

Speaking of character creation, it's all multiple choice. Like, your character sheet is a little multiple choice booklet. That may sound odd if you've never played an Apocalypse World game, but in practice it's fast and offers enough choices to feel like your character is uniquely yours. My players were all new to the system, one was a first time role player, and they all had characters within 20 minutes of grabbing a character sheet. You are, however, limited to monster hunter archetypes (like from Buffy, Supernatural, etc). Y'know, because that is what the game is about.

Mechanics/Combat? Super simple, as all AW games are. 2d6+Attribute. 6 or less and bad things happen. 7-9 is a success with a little complication. 10+ is a full success. There are charts on your character sheet for what the complications might be, and what success grants. They are, like character creation, multiple choice. This takes a lot of work off the GM, but players actually do have to look at their sheets after a roll to see what it does. That's new to a lot of players who are used announcing what they rolled and then sitting back. No, player, You tell Me what happens as a result of successful roll. The tactics are pretty light, but there, in choosing whether you want to go for the attack, helping someone else, or going defensive.

Experience and leveling up are important in this game because they happen often. Leveling up just involves choosing a new ability from a list... y'know... multiple choice style. Experience is given for using specific attributes or powers and, as such, is far less arbitrary than most games. You can expect to level up about once every session or two.

They layout is sensible, there is a good table of contents, and index. You should be able to find what you need. The art is sparse, but serves well. One bit of difficulty I had was when I thought I should be able to look up the roll for shooting something. It turns out there isn't a multiple choice table specifically for that. It's fine. You just need to use the Kick Some Ass choices or the Act Under Pressure choices, whichever make sense at the time. This just illustrates the fact that you do need to read the book first, so you don't go searching for things that aren't there.

Final Opinion: This is a total winner. While initially we didn't think it seemed so deep, we found ourselves deciding to play "one more mission", and finding more to play out. And having a blast doing it.

It may not please: tactical gamers who want maps, positions, bonuses and modifiers. It will please: fans of the Apocalypse World system, shows like Buffy or Supernatural, or low prep games.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monster of the Week
by Jamie N. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/04/2013 08:40:22

I am new to GMing (or, playing the Keeper in this book), but I have played roleplaying games for about 13+ years. I've been intimidated by the role, but I picked this game to run because of my confidence with tropes and my love for shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Supernatural, etc. I've ran three sessions so far and LOVE it.

The book says to be a fan of your hunters. I absolutely am. I really love the mystery arc worksheet the game provides and how to lay out the story with people, places, and a timeline. Everyone has their motivations and you, as the Keeper, get to be surprised and captivated by how your players solve and interact with the mystery and its components.

I can't recommend this game enough. It's so fun to run and it's fun to play. The system is great (based off the Apocalypse World 2d6 mechanics/moves) and there's countless resources out there to draw inspiration from. I actually used the example mystery from the book for our first game and found it enjoyable and successful.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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