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Monsterhearts 2
by Brenden L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2020 16:48:29

I have used this system to run a 2-shot adventure and we had an absolute blast. The rules are fairly easy to pick up; as someone with no prior experience in the Apocalypse World Engine, I had no difficulty understanding the rules and explaining them to my players. The character sheets (Skins) were fantastically well-formatted, further adding to the ease for new players. If you are looking for a fun way to let of steam, I definitely recommend this easy-to-play game to channel your inner teen angst!

That said, the book itself often feels edgy just for the sake of being edgy, and the content is painted as unneccesarily dark. It takes itself too seriously; adopting a very politically-correct/trigger-warning tone while diving headfirst into abuse/trauma subjects that are at complete odds with that tone. Steer clear of the heavy stuff, know your table, and you will have fun.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monsterhearts 2
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Monsterhearts 2
by Tim L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/07/2020 15:50:43

Monsterhearts 2 is an outlet for creative energy. Either for the MC (The Monsterhearts 2 equivalent of a DM) or the players. It's so nice to deal with petty high school drama and worrying about trying to remain hidden in a crazy world.

I fully recommend everyone to try out Monsterhearts 2 for the following reasons:

  • Be who you want to be. In Monsterhearts 2, everyone can be whatever monster or whoever they want to be, regardless of gender, sexuality, skin color, and things like that.
  • Tell a messy, beautifully chaotic story with your players. No need for big story lines. Make up a setting, choose characters, talk about boundaries and NPCs, and dive in! No other RPG system I played is that chaotic and prep-light.
  • An awesome community. I've never met a community that is that welcoming. Ask any question to, or have laughs with your new friends.
  • Inclusivity and consent. The topics of Monsterhearts 2 can be very raw and real, but with the consent guidelines in this book, as well as the proper understanding of what Monsterhearts 2 wants to be, You can have very fun RP without the nasty feeling of being left out or ignored, or worse.


Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsterhearts 2
by Clarity F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/25/2019 22:44:37

Easily the best-written RPG rulebook I've ever read. Also ranking among my all-time fav games to play! Absolutely worth your time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dream Askew / Dream Apart
by Lex P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/10/2018 22:55:19

A pair of wonderfully elegant games that I wish could've been my first. The writing is clear, evocative, and wonderfully supportive, acting not just as a rules text but as a gentle guide as to how to not make mistakes and reminder that it's okay if you do. Please take a look at this!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dream Askew / Dream Apart
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Monsterhearts
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/14/2018 06:13:30

Avery Alder's Monsterhearts has been one of those games I that I have wanted to review and play some more ever since I first encountered the First Edition all the way back when I was introduced to it at Gen Con.

Monsterhearts is a game on what it like to play teenage monsters. Monsters as metaphors for teenage life and feeling a little outside the norm. I think it is something everyone can relate too I think. The system is an easy one, based on the Apocalypse World Engine, something else I have wanted to delve into further. The base mechanic is simple; 2d6 + whatever mods (depending on the game), get higher than 10 for a success, or a 7-9 for something weird.

Characters have playbooks (much like many PBA games) but they also have a "Sex Move" they can use on other characters. They are teens afterall.

Don't expect a lot of combat here or a detailed combat system, this is not "Supernatural", this is Buffy in the early seasons, Twilight, or Carmillia the Web Series.

I am giving 1st Edition a nudge up in the ratings because that is the edition I played at Gen Con and the woman running it did a hell of job!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsterhearts
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Monsterhearts 2
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/14/2018 06:12:21

Avery Alder's Monsterhearts has been one of those games I that I have wanted to review and play some more ever since I first encountered the First Edition all the way back when I was introduced to it at Gen Con.

Monsterhearts is a game on what it like to play teenage monsters. Monsters as metaphors for teenage life and feeling a little outside the norm. I think it is something everyone can relate too I think. The system is an easy one, based on the Apocalypse World Engine, something else I have wanted to delve into further. The base mechanic is simple; 2d6 + whatever mods (depending on the game), get higher than 10 for a success, or a 7-9 for something weird.

Characters have playbooks (much like many PBA games) but they also have a "Sex Move" they can use on other characters. They are teens afterall.

Don't expect a lot of combat here or a detailed combat system, this is not "Supernatural", this is Buffy in the early seasons, Twilight, or Carmillia the Web Series.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Monsterhearts 2
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Monsterhearts 2
by Ben D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/23/2018 15:32:30

Monsterhearts 2 is a game for sexy teen monsters to have melodramatic interactions, but, it goes out of its way to be “sexy” and “edgy”, which to me was actually a turn off.

Mechanically, the game is fine. It follows the standard Powered by the Apocalypse layout, with a few minor name changes to suit the game’s style. I think MOST of the skins were well thought out, each skin representing a different kind of monster, and the abilities therein. I do not like the Mortal aka the human. Its abilities lead me to believe that the “best” way to play this character is as the victim of abuse, and you have very few choices beyond that.

The art is so-so. The cover is the best art by far; with the interior art looking like someone used a marker to copy pictured of goths and punks. The vast majority of the monsters look like normal people. Maybe this is part of the game, that monsters have to “blend in”, but for a game that pronounces itself as out and proud, I’d like the monsters to look like monsters, at least in some of the art.

The ZIP file is actually great. You can get the book with each page as a single layout, or lay out side by side. The player skins are laid out to be printed and folded into little player books, which I think is a good touch. There’s also a PDF of towns you can set your sexy monster abusive relationship game in, with potential story seed. (I found the towns PDF to be the best part of the book.)

All in all, I’m going to give this game a solid “meh”. It’s not sexy. It is melodramatic. It does have monsters. It’s a different kind of game, and Buried Without Ceremony should be congratulated for being daring enough to try it.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
The Quiet Year
by Michael L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/09/2018 08:05:03

Great game! my group used it to define the village and its surroundings for our D&D campaign. Despite being novices to the more freeform story driven games everyone at the table loved playing The Quiet Year. They wanted to play on when the game finished, and immediately came up with cool alternative settings to try the game in, to play again. As a GM in our D&D game I got a map full of exciting locations to get inspired by, and a shared history of the area that all my players are invested in.

overall; excellent game that nudges players to be creative. Well worth its pricetag as multiple replays are sure to bring out new exciting stories.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Quiet Year
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Monsterhearts 2
by Derek P. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/01/2018 12:36:56

Monsterhearts and Monsterhearts 2 are, in my opinion, the best written PBTA Games out there. Not a game for every table, but the perfect game to scratch your itch if you're looking for melodrama and the opportunity to explore characters in crisis. Genuinely give this book a read even if you're not interested in playing sexy teenage monsters, the insigns into playing people driven to make poor decisions will be worth your time.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsterhearts 2
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Monsterhearts
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/29/2017 12:32:52

I'm of mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, it is superbly well done. On the other, I feel a little like my social contract has been violated (joking a little).

I would guess that this is much closer to the horror sources listed than to Buffy or Twilight (even though it's clear where those inspirations come in in the mechanics, it's very nicely done). This is skewed towards true horror with a salacious, malicious bent. Which I can see is in the blurb, now that I'm looking for it and not blinkered by the word "Twilight". Firmly on the "these stories is a metaphor for the horrible things people do as adolescents" side. Much more complex and difficult than I expected. This is... a good thing? I think.

The mechanics are great and accomplish exactly what they promise. The "growing up" mechanics are brilliant. With the right group this would allow you to tell amazing, rich stories with emotional impact and sexy, disturbing things happening all the time.

Sadly, I don't have a group like that, but I'm still glad I purchased it and read it cover to cover.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsterhearts
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The Quiet Year
by A customer [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2016 17:46:41

Played at PAX and loved it. Purchased because I would love to play it again. My only reason for not giving this a solid 5 stars is that the purchaseable product is formatted as a chart where you can lookup results using poker cards. I would have liked to have seen a printable deck that I could cut out for a more seamless play experience.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
The Quiet Year
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Monsterhearts
by Harpal K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/09/2016 14:17:53

It's a teen monster drama RPG. I figure most people can figure out whether that will appeal to them or not, so I'll just say that if you're into the genre or into exploring teen angst in an RPG format, you should get this. It also excels in its capacity for (and insistence on) exploration of queer identity. A really good implementation of Apocalypse World's engine IMHO, the strings mechanic works really well, and it's a super fun game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Monsterhearts
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Monsterhearts
by Patrick S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/27/2016 07:29:41

After searching for a RPG that would allow stories like Beautiful creatures, Mortal instruments, RubyRed and such, I found Monsterhearts. I found funny the game mechanics where you either alter the mood of the opponent or get influence on him. But after studying it, it's sooooo narrativist, and will lead to only developing the characters' interactions and psychology and not develop a story, even less a campaign.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Ribbon Drive
by Brandon A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/17/2015 04:12:09

I'll start with my synopsis: Ribbon Drive is a GM-less game about characters on a road trip. The setting, characters and tone of the game are all determined by the musical playlists the players have prepared in advance. It's a good, solid game for when you're looking for a fun break from the norm; co-op storytelling best suited to a relaxed Saturday night with a good playlist and a good drink. Rulesmongers and munchkins need not apply.

I bought this game because my friends and I were looking for something a bit different than the normal Fiasco or Poison'd game to run on the nights between campaigns or on the weekends when we get together and hang out. We were looking for something we could all enjoy, something for just sitting back and telling a story, something that didn't require a lot of work or pre-planning, and something that went nice with a beer or cocktail in hand. Low key was the key here.

Ribbon Drive only hit three out of our four requirements, but that's not a bad thing.

Something we all could enjoy: Check! This game is huge hit with our friends that like storytelling games. Not so much with the ones that enjoy lots of crunchy rules bits. This is because it's a really rules light game. They're a bit vague to read, but make a strange amount of sense when you play. Just be sure to have the book handy your first time through and it'll all be okay. The hardest part for us is remembering to bring in obstacles. Most of our games tend to have fewer obstacles, and we like it that way, but that's going to depend a lot on your play style.

Something for sitting back and telling a story: Check! Ribbon Drive is great for telling a story, but whether you're laid back and sipping your drink or sitting on the edge of your seat screaming at your friends is going to depend on the music you're listening to. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH! Your game will vary wildly depending on the playlist. For a bit of illustration, one night we where we played two games, we started with two wildly different playlists. The first playlist, entitled "Lost Love," was meant to tell the story of two lovers breaking up and getting back together again. It led us on a melancholy roam across Southern Europe trying to help our best friend and brother to get over his lost love. Our second playlist was a mixture of speed metal and dubstep called "Madness" that started with a road trip of convenience to the funeral of a mutual friend and ended in a cocaine-fueled rampage across New Jersey. Part of the joy of the game is seeing how everyone reacts to your list and takes it in ways you never even dreamed of.

Something that doesn't require a lot of pre-planning: Nope! I need to be clear: getting your playlist right can become a labor of love or, in my case, an obsession. A playlist done right will provide an amazing guide to crafting your tale, but a poorly done list will quickly turn a game south. I highly recommend spending a decent amount of time putting your playlist together and then giving it at least one listen through before you debut it. We've found that good playlists take anywhere from 2-4 hours to complete, including that initial play through. We all agree that when you spend time working on it, rather than taking a few minutes and stuffing whatever looks good onto the list, you end up with a much better game. Having a few playlists ready made and available is a good idea for nights where you want a "pickup game" of Ribbon Drive.

Something that goes nice with a beer or cocktail in hand: Check! It's rules light, doesn't require a lot of intense strategy or math, and has simple characters that can be scribbled on a Post-It note, so it's a good game to play when you're drinking. It's not a Beer-and-Pretzels game like Kobolds Ate My Baby, but being a bit buzzed can put you in the relaxed state of mind this game encourages. Just be sure to consume your adult beverage of choice responsibly, assuming you're of legal age. Also, don't drink and drive, at least not in real life. Stay home and play Ribbon Drive instead.

The PDF itself is nicely laid out, with good font choice, nice contrast and use of color. The images are a bit distracting and feel quite random, but don't really hurt the presentation per se. Your mileage may vary. Multiple formats are included for various devices, which is a nice touch. All in all, well worth the asking price (at the time of this review and when I bought it: $8.00).

Occasionally, it seems a bit pretentious with the writing, wanting to be about living in the now, ignoring the past and forsaking the future, all for the sake of a transcendental road trip. Don't let it throw you off, it's not as pretentious as it pretends to be. We've run all sorts of games using the same basic rules: love stories to murder mysteries, Blaxploitation to shagadelic 60's super spies. It's all in the music you show up with.

We've played Ribbon Drive many times with groups ranging from three players in an intimate setting (completed in just over an hour) to an epic nine player adventure that took most of the night (around eight hours, not including the dinner break) and we've learned a few things along the way. Here are our tips and tricks for Ribbon Drive, presented in no particular order.

1) The more players you have, the shorter each individual playlist should be. Everyone has crafted a list they're proud of and wants a chance at having it played. The more players you have, the less likely you are to detour (switch lists). By keeping lists shorter, more music gets played and more people can shine.

2) They say 3-5 players, but you can do more, so long as you a) be sure to keep play moving smoothly, b) are prepared for a longer game, and c) are okay splitting the party. This is a road trip game and we've discovered that while cramming a bunch of characters into an 8 passenger van has a certain appeal, dividing up between two or three smaller vehicles makes for better story telling. We've used various plot devices (CB radios or walkie talkies usually) to keep the cars in contact and it can make for fun drama when the person talking isn't relaying the right message to the other car. Also, if you're playing 5 or less players, only take one car. Trust us.

3) Do not use Youtube videos, multiple CDs, or other things that have to manually be changed for a single playlist. It will completely destroy the game. You want to be able to set and forget, and much like real driving, too much messing with the radio will make distract you from what's important.

4) Don't bring printouts of the lyrics to the game. Do make sure to have a few cell phones or laptops where the lyrics can be referenced if needed. Our experience has been that slavishly reading the lyrics means you miss a lot of the point of the music itself. Listen first, read second.

5) The car is a character in its own right. It should have as much detail as any one of the PCs, if not more. Give it a make, a model, a color, even a name if that's what your characters would do with it. It's going to be the one near constant piece of scenery in the story and it will make a huge impact. Going to California in a faded VW camper van will give you different story than road tripping in a silver Porsche Panamera with custom rims or a black Chevrolet Suburban with dark tinted windows. At the start of each scene clearly state where everyone is in the car, or if outside of the car, where they are in relation to the car. Be specific as to who's in the driver's seat, who's got shotgun, and who is in back snoring. Don't forget to determine whose car it is and who has keys at the outset. This comes up over and over again, more than you can possibly imagine.

6) Expect your list to be played differently than what you imagined it. Everyone will react to your list differently and will have their own ideas as to what it means. Embrace it, let the other players show you a different side of your music. DON'T BE INSULTED OR ANGRY IF THEY DON'T "GET IT." It will just ruin the game for you and probably those around you. I've spent the majority of my life working in sound design and production (including six years as a professional DJ) and I have yet to make a list that gives me the exact game I want. That's okay, because that's not the point. The music is a guide, not a prison.

7) Lastly, make an effort for the music. If possible, play the music on a good sound system rather than off of a cell phone's tiny speaker. At the very least, steal those old computer speakers your parents have lying around and use those. When a bunch of people are talking, it's easy for the music to get lost. Set it at a comfortable volume where you can hear it and can still hear the person across the room from you. Pick one person to be in charge of the music, preferably the music nerd. Let them do what they do best so the rest of you can enjoy the game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ribbon Drive
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The Quiet Year
by William C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/17/2014 01:58:06

I love this game. It's very simple and allows for an insane amount of creativity. It a fusation of board game and rpg, not quite one and not quite the other. I have run this at three conventions as well as for friends and significant others of gaming friends who are not 'into' games and they all had a blast. While people mind find it daunting Rp'ing Grignar the Mage of the Three Spheres of Dawn, its a lot less stressful saying "Uh..the new scarcity is...hammers." and then draw a small hammer with an X through it or deciding that the new danger to the community is "Um...giant..crawfish..are..in the river and attacking our sheep!" and then draw a big old crawfish on the map. There are no numbers or columns and tons of dice to confuse or fret over. The act of drawing and watching things grow and change really draws everyone one.

The game recommends using a piece of printer paper or loose leaf paper, which works fine, for the map. I personally use one of those large wet erase roll up battle maps and a 8-pack of colored markers for all the drawing. It really gets people to be creative with the drawing. At every con most of the players end up taking pictures of the maps.

This is a game for any age bracket and player level. I've had hardcore grognards, 10 year olds and 40 year old mother who have never played an RPG in her life and each one loved it.

Buy this game. It's totally worth it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Quiet Year
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