Monsterhearts - Waygate County Records
At first, it seemed innocent. It gave you things, made you feel good about yourself. You came to it with your problems, and it fixed them. When you asked how you could return the favour, it told you to be patient – that all debts would be settled in due time. That was the first time you heard it mention debts.
You’ve got Satan as your corner-man, or a demon in your brain. Or maybe the stars glow just for you. Regardless, you owe a debt to something much bigger and scarier than you’ll ever be.
Choose a name:
Baron, Cain, Chloe, Damien, Logan, Mark, Mika, Omar, Ophelia, Poe, Yoanna
An authoritative name, a cowardly name, a name implying doom, a fierce-sounding name
Choose one in each list:
distant, quiet, anxious, tense, frantic, vicious
empty eyes, calculating eyes, burning eyes, flickering eyes, piercing eyes
bartered soul, last-chancer, returned, emissary, legion, lackey, chosen
Hot -1, Cold -1, Volatile 1, Dark 1
You owe debts. Give away 3 Strings, divided any way you like between the dark power and the other characters.
Someone thinks they can save you. Gain a String on them.
You get this one, and choose one more:
X Soul Debt
Name a dark power that you owe a debt to. Choose two Bargains that it has made with you. It can hold Strings against you. Whenever it collects 5 Strings against you, trigger your Darkest Self.
O Dark Recruiter
When you bring an innocent soul to the dark power, mark experience.
When you lash out physically against someone, on a 10 up, they lose 1 String on you. • On a 7-9, add to your list of options: they lose 1 String on you.
O Can’t Save Myself
When somebody saves you from forces too powerful for you to reckon with, they mark experience, and you gain a String on them.
Come up with a name for your dark power, if you know its name. Choose a title from the list, to describe this entity that you’ve made your bargains with:
O The Poisoner
O The Trickster
O The Connoisseur
O The Fallen
O The Glutton
O The Emissary
O The Butcher
O The Tyrant
Or, if you prefer not to know what or who you have been making bargains with, that’s fine – just let the MC know.
Choose two Bargains that the dark power has made with you:
O The Power Flows Through You
You can give the dark power a String in order to add 2 to your next roll (choose before rolling).
O Numbing It Out
You can give the dark power a String in order to remove a Condition or up to two harm.
O Elsewise Power
You can give the dark power a String to use a move you don’t have, just this once. This move can come from any playbook.
O Uncanny Voices
You can give the dark power a String in order to realize a secret about someone you’re talking to. The owner of that character will reveal one of their secret fears, secret desires, or secret strengths (they choose).
O Strings Attached
You can ask the dark power for something that you really, really want. The MC will attach a price to the thing you want, and hint at an undesired twist in its nature. If you pay the price, you’ll get what you’re after.
When you have sex, the dark power loses a String on you and gains a String on whoever you had sex with.
You can’t get what you need, anymore. The world has left you cold and alone, shivering in the wake of your own addictions. The dark power will make some open-ended demands of you, and it’ll promise you some lucrative (and perhaps volatile) things in return. Every demand you fulfill brings you a little closer to feeling whole again, to rekindling the fire in your heart. Whenever you fulfill those demands, remove a String it holds on you. You escape your Darkest Self when the dark power has no more Strings on you, or when you agree to an even worse bargain with an even more dangerous dark power.
O Take another Infernal move.
O Take the remaining Bargains.
O Create a new Bargain (MC approval).
O Take a move from another Skin.
O Take a move from another Skin.
O You have Needy Fiends.
O Add 1 to Hot (max 3).
O Add 1 to Cold (max 3).
O Add 1 to Volatile (max 3).
O Add 1 to Dark (max 3).
Playing The Infernal
Powerful, desperate, addicted. The infernal has a demonic sugar daddy – someone who gets them things they want. At a price.
The central mechanical game that The Infernal plays is choosing when to give the dark power Strings (via Bargains). The Infernal is extremely powerful when they’re borrowing power heavily, but eventually they crash and become powerless for a while.
It’s important to remember that the crashing part isn’t a punishment, but part of a story arc. There’s no need to avoid the crash, nor to stop using Bargains once the dark power has 4 Strings on you. Your character is interesting and powerful because they are compliant with this story arc of meteoric power and sudden withdrawal.
With Dark Recruiter, the specifics of what it means to “bring someone to the dark power” is left up to interpretation and context. It might mean a sacrificial killing, it might mean physically presenting them before the dark power, or it might mean something different altogether.
With Strings Attached, you’ll never get exactly the thing you’re looking for. The MC is instructed to add an undesirable twist to the thing. If you want a car, it might be stolen, or possessed, or have a dead person in the trunk. You can always turn the thing down.