Obscuritus.ca A nerd making a nerdy blog

Monster of the Week One Shots

A friend of mine was watching the Tabletop Fate Oneshot - which is apparently really good (the digression that I can't watch people play games, but LOVE listening to people play games is out of scope for this article but is weird), and in it they had the players run characters who were going to die to the monster. This lead to a discussion of character creation.

The design is basically, using the players to create the monster. So my idea is to give each of the PCs a quick character at the beginning of the session with these stats:

Run Screaming 6 Panic 5 Investigate Stupidly 4 Fight Wildly 3 Clever Tricks 2

Then, setup the scene - and the players have a normal life for a while, and then the monster happens. When the monster happens, the players roll 1 fudge die per point in the skill they are using. For each - they take 1 damage, for each + they gain a success. If they get 4 successes, they can get away. If they take 2 damage, they die. The players describe what happens.

For example, the PCs are all a family on a camping trip. As they sit around the camp fire, the GM narrates that they can hear something outside the firelight, and so one of the PCs goes to investigate. The PC who investigates rolls their "Investigate Stupidly" skill (you could argue the investigation is reasonable, but in this situation, you're yelling at your TV), they roll 1 + and 1 -, and two blanks. They're safe. They narrate that they go into the forest, and get bitten by something. They rush back into the firelight. The person playing the son decides to Panic, and rolls 4 +s and a blank! So - he decides that because he never leaves the firelight, he's going to survive because of that. The investigatior from earlier is going to try to fight - rolling another - and a +, so - he begins slapping at the things in the darkness, he pulls his hand away, revealing several bugs. The camera pulls back as you see bugs beginning to crawl into a hole in his neck. The other two begin to "Run Screaming", and, die.

Now - the GM knows, that the big bad is insects, who bite and then crawl into the host, and can't live in the light. This isn't going to go well.

I envision this as a game that predates a Monster of the Week or Bubblegum Monsters game.