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Monster of the Week
$20.00 $10.00
Publisher: Generic Games
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.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Monster of the Week
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