Systems and Campaigns
- 7th Sea
- Base Raiders
- Better Angels
- Call of Cthulhu
- Capes and Cowls
- Don't Rest Your Head
- Eclipse Phase
- Engine Heart
- FATE Core
- Fear Itself
- Legend of the Five Rings
- Leverage RPG
- Little Fears
- Maid RPG
- Powered by the Apocalypse
- Red Markets
- Sordid Dystopia
- Spirit of the Century
- Star Wars
- Tales from the Wood
- The Quiet Year
- Trail of Cthulhu
- Warhammer 40k
- Wild Talents
We’ve talked about Monsters and Other Childish Things time and time again on The Drunk and The Ugly because it is my favorite RPG and because we play it very often. In spite of all that, we have yet to post a session of it. Until now.
A few weeks ago, our friend Nate (the guy who’s hosting this server) finally got his first set of dice ever, despite how he’s been gaming for over 10 years. Understandably, he wanted a medium to use them in. The Road Trip crew was unavailable and none of us really had anything prepared, so Nate wrote up a one-shot setting in about an hour. This setting was Mrs. Frieda’s Home for Terrible Freakish Children, and ended up becoming sort of a side campaign that is more flexible player-wise, as it’s a fixed position with lots of children, so kids can jump in and out as they need to.
In a nutshell, Mrs. Frieda’s Halfway Home for Children (its official name) is a halfway home for children taken from abusive homes. Why has it gotten the reputation that it has? Because most of the children here responded to the abuse in their homes with abuse of their own. Everyone has their own reasons for being here, and most of them are never going to leave this place with a new family. While everyone has secrets to hide, some kids have worse secrets than others: Some kids have “special friends” that would freak out everyone in the city, and others are slowly transforming into eagles. Not everyone has these kinds of problems, mind you, but a few kids within this establishment do. Mrs. Frieda’s is about the life and times of these children.
It’s Sunday at the Halfway House, and that means two things:
- Some boring missionaries from the LDS Church are going to come and give a short service
- The rest of the day is fairly open to whatever you want to do (LAZY SUNDAY!)
The missionaries at the Troy Ward have just switched out recently, and the new guy appears to be vastly different from the previous ones. That doesn’t mean that the kids are going to treat him any differently, though.
Following a very unusual service, the kids decide what to do with their day. It turns out that Emma just heard about a new movie coming out, and she’s gotta see it now.
So, the kids screwed up yesterday. They went to go see a movie that Mrs. Frieda specifically forbid and were spotted by. . . someone. When they had to hoof it, though, George decided the best way to escape was to call his giant firebird and fly back to the house. In any case, Frieda knew that they went to that movie, and found a suitable punishment: Helping out at the local LDS Church.
During the previous night, the kids were serenaded by their local pastor and missionary Elder Dane. The kids see the opportunity to go clean the church as a way to find out more about this very strange man. Meanwhile, everyone else proceeds to clean or set up the church in their own ways (sometimes ways that they’ve invented).
It’s late July at the halfway house, which is about the same as any time in the summer, except for the forgotten fact that Emma Vaerbond will soon be thirteen. Mrs. Frieda’s not really one for ceremony, and Emma’s never been exactly vocal about the special day, especially since her “special friend” always likes to celebrate the occasion in his own way. This year is no different.
Odyn, owed a promise of “playtime” with Emma, has made it happen. He’s whispering in a few ears, setting up a few birthday surprises, and doing his best to make sure Emma never forgets this day.
Emma’s friends? Well, they just happen to be excellent pawns.
Picture in your mind a far off time ago: Before the AP Site, the Podcast, and even back before this group existed. Way, way back in December of 2010, Sean and I were playing Minecraft together, and he told me that he was interested in playing Monsters and Other Childish things. At the time, I was running the Road Trip campaign for my friends nearby, and I had written a few side scenarios that I wanted to test out. I told Sean about these, and he sounded interested. He contacted his friend Nate and got him somewhat interested.
At the same time, I met Alex through another Minecraft server and asked him if he’d like to play along in some short games with Sean and his (at the time) unknown friend. Over the coming week, I would talk to each person about the characters they’d want to make, and by the end, we had Max Chang (the asian mathelete extraordinare), Daniel Kerington (the hero with as much courage as he has not-brains), and Charlie Bale (the lovable douchebag). In the discussion portion of the first game, we also talked up BattlePet Network, a stupid little TV show about training monsters and saving the world through card games.
As for the full setting, we’re playing Ross Payton’s Road Trip, which is basically a Summer Road Trip to save the world from an evil cult. This setting is wildly different from the standard Monsters and Other Childish Things setting in a lot of ways:
- It’s set during the summer, so no one has to go to school
- It’s a series of adventures all around the country
- Less imperative is placed on the “being a kid” aspect, and more on over-the-top goofy action and fun
- It is very story-driven
One of the reasons that I loved Road Trip when I was starting out with Monsters is that it’s a fully-written campaign. If you don’t know what your player-base is, Monsters is kind of a bear to write for. Road Trip simplifies things a lot by basically being a D&D campaign set in the Monsters Universe. It’s a series of small adventures all around the country which add up to stopping a big bad evil guy. And it’s a whole lot of fun.
Why is this session called “Session 0”? Because this entire adventure is non-canon. As I said, I wanted to playtest some scenarios for my other group, so this was going to be a set of disconnected one-off games. Shortly after we played this game, though, everyone agreed we should play the whole campaign. This session is remembered and occasionally referenced elsewhere in the campaign, and it’s the first game that we (The Drunk and the Ugly) ever played together.