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🎨 Creative [Chuubo's] Monster Mash!

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#1
Alright, it's finally started! A brand new campaign, and the next in my "do campaigns where everyone has the same Arc" trend...

Monster Mash

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” ― Leonard Bernstein

Years ago, the world ended. The Sun fell from the sky, and there was darkness. Countless worlds were swallowed by the waves, and on the waters of Big Lake the universe settled into silence. On the shores of a small town, all that remained of Creation, people went about their lives, as the edges of reality battered them. Storms of rust, Excrucian recruiters, and refugees from the universes that had fallen came to Town, but the townsfolk were confident that the worlds would be restored one day, and they did not fear.

Strangest of all were the kaiju. To most people in Town, they are simply unknowable things - strange, towering monsters that appear from time to time, flail about, and perhaps attempt to eat everyone. They are caught, and they are killed, and their meat and bones and leather are integrated into Town, and everyone is quite respectful of the great beasts who feed them.

But what are they, truly? Are they important to the ecosystem of Creation? And what do they have to do with Rinley Yatskaya’s decision to start a pop punk band?

Monster Mash
is the story of a group of young people who have, wittingly or unwittingly, pulled back the curtain of reality and stepped into a world of myth, who have found themselves thrust into the still-beating heart of the universe. They are a true band of heroes, and their story is one of growth and change, expanding the borders of the universe one song at a time. Some of them are… dangerous. Some of them are confused. A few are simply delighted.

But if they don’t figure out what they’re doing pretty soon, they’re going to crush Town into flinders.

Monster Mash is a Techno campaign for Chuubo’s Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine. It is a musical adventure of giant monster battles and the songs of the heart, starting in the harbour of Fortitude and expanding to the islands of Big Sea and the lands beyond. As a Techno campaign, Monster Mash uses the following XP Actions:

  • Discovery, in which you find something and are suprised or excited;
  • Foreshadowing, in which you are swept up in something you’ve been paying attention to;
  • Shock, in which you are stunned or overwhelmed; and
  • Sympathetic Action, in which you reach out to someone who is in pain.

Techno campaigns also make heavy use of Transitions, in which the HG takes control of a scene transition to relate something poetic or lyrics, and Rituals, in which play transforms into a ritualized element. In Monster Mash, the most common Rituals are:

  • Musical Duels, in which the players express themselves against adversaries through descriptions of musical emotions;
  • Kaiju Battles, in which the players transform and oppose a kaiju menacing Town; and
  • Musical Kaiju Duels, in which the players transform and use music to oppose a kaiju and soften its heart.

These Rituals will often bleed into one another depending on the situation.

Monster Mash also involves the following Campaign Properties:

  • Songs Must Be Honest
  • Nothing Is Lost Forever
  • Everyone Can Be Musical

They aren’t impossible to overcome, for a dedicated miraculous character, but they will be as true as the universe can make them.

So come, and meet the members of Heart Attack!, the newest band in Town…

  • Rinley Yatskaya, the Rising Star, to seek a world of adventure and excitement;
  • Souen Shonen, the Idol, to be cursed with beauty and the awe of your fans;
  • Mira Andreev, the Old Friend, to be burdened with old promises and responsibilities;
  • Jasmine Apocynum, the Rebel, to seek the truth at the heart of music;
  • Akkoro Kawaguchi, the Octopus Singer, to be enthralled by the power of others;
  • Leroy Keen, the Has-Been, to hitch your wagon to someone else’s dreams;
  • Ruth Cooper, the Roadie, to work to keep the band together;
  • Duriel, the Maggot-Lord, to act as band manager and learn what it means to be human; or
  • The Hollyhock God, to present the magic of the world and give the band a stage to play on.

Read on, as we meet our cast...
 

Felix

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#3
I have already picked out Soun's theme song in my head Looking forward to seeing if it fits even slightly.
 

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
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Validated User
#6
Indeed!

Unfortunately, I have an almost immediate note. I have some paid stuff that just dropped across my table, so my free time is liable to taken up by it. This in turn means a slight delay on Rinley's adventures. I'm going to see about having her up in the next few days, but no promises. :(
 

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#8
Okay, we're back! Editing is done for the time being, which means I can go back to being an irresponsible person. And speaking of irresponsible people...

The Rising Star
Rinley Yatskaya

Role In the Band: Lead Singer
Other Hobbies: Hiking, Fencing, Storytelling, Chilling Out
Age: 15
Favorite Style: Jazz! No, folk rock! No, punk! Maybe ska? No, definitely R&B, although...

Step 1: Who Are You?

You’re a hero, that’s who!

You pretty much have to be! You’re the youngest child of the Yatskaya Shrine Family, which makes you the heir to a legacy of great heroism, and to top it off, you’re named for the greatest hero of them all!

You just… aren’t that heroic yet.

Your mother was stolen by birds. Your sister is a Dread Witch, menacing the roofs. Your older brother serves as the ambassador of Death Himself, and you… are a kid! You’ve got a handle on the basic arts of the Yatskaya - cat-speaking, an affinity for the sea, and walking the world of dreams - but you aren’t that good at any of them, and you don’t really have any heroic deeds under your belt. And you’re 15! You are running out of time!

… is that right?

  • Yes, although you didn’t mention that I’m a girl.
  • Yes, although you didn’t mention that I’m a boy.
  • Yes, pretty much spot on.
  • Woah, no, wait. I’m Rinley Celdinar, the youngest member of the aristocratic Celdinar family! My brother is a Vampire King, and my sister is a Blood Countess, and I… I’m barely a vampire at all. I’ve only got the basics of vampirism, vitality, and being cool.
  • Okay, look. I’m Rinley Irinka, the youngest child of the Sun. My brother is the Eclipse (and has a cool car), and my older sister will be the Sun someday. I’ve barely managed to be an incarnation of the sun, emit an air of holiness, and understand etiquette.
  • ... I’m someone else with big shoes to fill…

Step 2: Why Do You Want To Be An Idol?

It all started when you were out fishing one day, definitely not avoiding some lessons in family-related duties. You were listening to your radio, and one of those big kaiju came into the harbour and was causing trouble, and you watched the fishermen swarming to fight it off and listening to the music, and you found yourself thinking how sad it was that kaiju kept attacking Town and getting killed, and wouldn’t it be nice if you could just talk to them?

And then you thought that music is the universal language. And that famous people can do basically whatever they want. And suddenly you knew that you needed to do it. You needed to have a concert at the side of the lake, or on a boat, or something, and you needed to use that concert to connect to the hearts of giant monsters everywhere and send them off without any mayhem or destruction or death!

And in that moment, Heart Attack! was born.

It was the perfect idea! As a musical idol, you’ll finally be making a real difference, in a cool way, and you can use the gift of music to help integrate various kaiju into Town’s ecology instead of them just flailing around a lot and then dying. And you’ll finally be able to move out from under the shadow of your siblings, and carve out your own place in the world.

Step 3: What Stands In Your Way?

Okay, so, there are a few tiny obstacles to your meteoric rise to success. Obviously, the first one is that you do not have any particular musical training, the second is that you do not have a band, and the third is that you do not have a venue. Also you are a teenager.

But there is, and you hate to admit this, a bigger problem. You have some… minor focus issues.

See, the world is a vast, and exciting, and interesting place. You collect hobbies, and you dabble in them, and then you move on to the next one. Everyone around you is convinced that this band thing is just that again. People think you’re joking! And in your heart, you’re a little terrified that they might be right. Some days, you just get so confused and overwhelmed by the world that you just want to turn into a giant cat-seal-chimera and rampage across the countryside.

It never helps.

So here you are. Determined to show that this dream is real. Determined not to let down the people you’re pulling together to make this band. Determined to… to matter. Just once, you want to see your dream through to the end.

Step 4: Who Do You Care For?

Everyone!

Okay, though, you really aren’t that close to a whole lot of people. You tend to use your knacks to understand people, rather than getting to know them. At the beginning of the game, you have the following Connections:
  • The Old Friend (2): You’ve known them for most of your life.
  • Your Family (2): They are very important to you, even if they frustrate you sometimes.

You might also have a Connection 1 to any of the other PCs, if they have a Connection 1 to you. After all, they joined your band! Talk with them and decide who you know.

Step 5: How Do You Spend Your Time?

There are a lot of things that you might do on a day to day basis. Take a look at the list below, and pick 3-4 of these choices! If you’re ever at a loss for activity, you can just pick up and start up a scene that way. Are you...

  • Lying on your back and watching the clouds go by, and deciding what they look like?
  • Delivering an impromptu concert telling exaggerated stories about yourself?
  • Crouching down and telling kids exaggerated stories about your siblings?
  • Halfheartedly trying to compose music?
  • Hanging upside down in a tree, definitely meditating and not sleeping?
  • Following some entirely new NPC along and helping them with their daily chores?
  • Trying to convince someone to join you in an informal duel or competition?
  • Running around trying to stop a problem that you started just before the scene began?
  • Cutting out news articles about you or your friends to add to a scrapbook?
  • Practicing your guitar?
  • ... something else?

Step 6: What’s Next?

You’ve got a lot to do. The first thing that you’re doing is building a song library! When cool things happen, you’re ready to to light up, pull out your notebook, and jot down inspiration for one of Heart Attack’s new pieces! You can work with the others on actually composing it later.

You’ve also got all of your family responsibilities to do. Probably those are your responsibilities as a Yatskaya - herding cats, guarding dreams, and so on - but if you’re from another family, it’s about them. They’re big responsibilities, but you kind of hate them.

But the real thing? The big thing? You are trying to keep this thing on course. You want to get Heart Attack to be successful, and that means being the symbol and icon of the band, and not… you know… getting distracted a lot. There are so many shiny things that could distract you, and you’re going to have to really focus if you want this thing to succeed.
 

FrivYeti

Yeti On The Lam!
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#9
And next, Rinley's character sheet!

I'm going to see about building a buffer for this over the weekend so that I can update three times a week instead of two. No promises! Chuubo's characters are complicated.

Arcs: Child of the Ash 2, Become Somebody 1
Emotion XP: Facepalm

Skills:
  • Troublemaker 3 - You are very good at getting into trouble.
  • Storyteller 2 - You are also great at spinning tall tales.
  • Superior Cat-Speaker 1 - You have a dash of the Yatskaya gifts.
  • Claimed By The Sea 1 - All of them.
  • Superior Dreamer 1 - No, seriously, all of them.
If you are a Celdinar, replace Superior Cat-Speaker, Claimed by the Sea, and Superior Dreamer with Superior Vampire, Superior Vitality, and Cool. If you are an Irinka, take Superior Holiness, Incarnation of the Sun, and Etiquette. For another family, pick three family traits to take.

Perks:
  • Bond: “I Make Friends Easily (2)”. This usually works out well, but sometimes you make friends with awkward people or forces...
  • Affliction: “My Siblings Are More Impressive Than Me (1)”. No matter what cool things you do, you can never catch up. This Affliction is tied to your “Become Somebody” Arc.
  • Connection: The Old Friend (2). You’re old friends!
  • Connection: The Yatskaya Shrine (2). You do still belong here.
Again, if you are not a Yatskaya, substitute your actual family.

Miraculous Powers: The Rising Star
Spoiler: Show
You are a rising star, a hero endlessly chasing your next high. Nothing is ever quite enough for you, because you are always looking ahead. Your Mood is Excitement! (This is also your Truth - you’re always Excited!) It infects and inspires you. Your element is Heroic Dreams, which drive you ever upwards in your Role of Band Idol! This also interacts with your Vice - you are Adrift. Despite your bravado, you don’t actually know where you belong.

Finally, as long as you are on Become Somebody, you are Frantic (pg. 418). You just can’t avoid getting into trouble, and doing so empowers you further.

Let’s Doing! (Imperial): All you have to do is be somewhere, curious and interested, and the world can get a little… out of control. But in a good way. Specifically, over the course of several minutes, you can manifest the Region Property, “Things get more and more exciting!” Events just kind of keep amping up.

By spending 1 MP, you can instead focus this feeling of excitement on a single person. Over the next several minutes, that person feels a surge of excitement, which may affect them strongly, in the right situation, or only weakly if it is opposed to their nature.

This effect fades at the end of the scene, unless you spend your time between scenes maintaining the effect in the same location. You can invoke Let’s Doing instantly, but doing so costs you 4 MP.

Out Of Control!! (Imperial): Once per book, you may spend 2 MP to create a massive explosion of excitement! This functions as a wish, “I wish this situation would be totally exciting!” This causes whatever situation you are in to become immensely exciting and fun.

You can use this power a second or future time in a book, but it strains. Doing so costs you 4 MP and inflicts a Deadly Wound on you, which you cannot heal this Book even with Immortality.

Lost and Confused (Imperial): You are not always excited. Sometimes, you start to feel a little… lost. You run a hand through your hair, mussing it up, and take off your Heart Attack! pin, and just look a little sad. Doing this transforms your Mood from Excitement to Wistfulness. This affects both “Let’s Doing” and “Out of Control.”

Normally, you can only be Lost and Confused while you are in mortal form; it’s just kind of hard to be a wistful kaiju. But by taking an action and overcoming an appropriate Obstacle, you can pull it off.

Kaiju Form (Imperial): Sometimes, your excitement and heroism boils over, and you just can’t help turning into a kaiju! Over the course of several minutes, you transform into a giant cat-seal-human chimera, standing several stories tall, with golden fur and eyes. This transformation is permanent and impressive! The only way to reliably turn back into you is through your “Mortal Form” power, below. Your form gives you appropriate levels of Edge for being a several-stories tall chimera.

You can also turn into a kaiju instantly, but this normally costs 4 MP. In the middle of a campaign-appropriate ritual, this can happen free of cost.

If you are a Celdinar, you instead become a bat-wolf-human chimera. As an Irinka, you become a phoenix-lion-human hybrid. For other families, pick two appropriate animals plus human.

Mortal Form: Between chapters, you can turn back into a normal human. You find somewhere quiet, and go back to just being Rinley. Note that this power is not Imperial; appropriate miracles can and sometimes do trap you in chimeric form.

You can speed up your return, but not easily. Switching back over the course of a few hours costs you 1 MP. Doing it over several minutes costs 2 MP. Doing it instantly requires 4 MP, or the end of a ritual you took advantage of to transform in the first place.

Shed Scales: While your kaiju form is technically massive, sometimes you still need to play a concert or have tea or something! Because of this, you have the power to change how large you are, your skin flowing and shifting to fit into places it shouldn’t, from the size of a bug to the size of a whole Region. Once or twice per scene, you can change yourself to ignore up to Obstacle 2 worth of difficulties due to being too big or too small for the current situation, and to allow you to overcome other Obstacles based on size. Using this power more than twice per scene costs 1 MP. Spending 2 MP lets you do it as often as you like, and spending 4 MP lets you start the scene already changing size.

Defensive Shield (Cthonic, Imperial): The nice thing about being a chimera is that you can get all sorts of extra animal traits. When your kaiju form is wounded, you can spend 2 MP and choose to develop a defensive feature in place of a wound. This takes a Wound slot as usual, but replaces the usual wound effects with a wish that protects you against the sort of attack that caused this wound. It looks like a new animal feature - scales, wings, flaming quills, whatever. This power lasts until the end of the scene, or until you heal the associated Wound, whichever comes first.

Elemental Connection (Cthonic): You have a gift for communing with creatures and people with strong heroic dreams. At any time, you can choose a being with such dreams, and connect to them, gaining a +1 Tool bonus on social or Connection actions with them, and 2 Edge against competing actions by outside parties. The being you commune with also gets these benefits against you. Usually, this lets you get on the same wavelength with rival and fellow band members, or with the less hostile kaiju out there.

Finding The Lost: You can tell when others are searching, just like you. All you have to do is look at someone to see if they’re uncomfortable in their life, searching for meaning, or whether those feelings have affected your current situation. If you happen to have Sickness, or a similar Lurid Issue, you can add it to your Strike for this power.

Hearing The Songs Of The Heart: You have a gift for spotting fellow musicians, too! By spending 1 MP, you can look at someone and see how they might fit into an idol band - whether as fellow musicians, secret fans, or hard-working organizers! You can also see why they’re idols if they already are. This power acts as a temporary Affliction 1 that gives you insight into everyone around you; you don’t need to activate it seperately per person.

The Truths Of the Idol (Auctoritas): There are certain things about you that are always true. They are:
  • I am an idol singer!
  • I can always find a way to get excited!

These truths are miraculously protected by an Auctoritas 1. This prevents minor miracles from stopping you from being able to enact your truths, even temporarily.

A Child of Many Interests (Cthonic): You have a gift for fitting in and working well with people. Wherever you are, you can spend 2 MP to create a wish, which essentially says, “I belong here.” This gives you a +1 Tool bonus to doing whatever should be done in your current environment, a free Connection 1 to that environment, and a handful of miracles to help you fit in better. While you’re here, immersed in the story of this place, you can lose track and feel like you are meant to be here, and always have been.

Quest Miracles
Spoiler: Show
Most of your quest miracles revolve around your connection to the heroic dreams of humanity. These are normally Lurid any-time quests, in which you switch between Dreams of Heroism and Practical Behaviour, advancing the cause of dreams.

You can use these quest miracles to learn important things about people’s heroic dreams or to find suitably heroic people. Instead, you can prepare songs or performances that will protect people’s dreams against the Outside, or heal spiritual wounds of despair or surrender. These take the form of Major Miracles.

You also have miracles that are more directly about your music! These usually take the form of Struggles, in which you remain cheerful and upbeat even when you feel down. Through your efforts, you can develop a +1 Tool bonus to undertake pop idol tasks in particular ways, such as when you actually get a campaign bus! You can also develop a metaphysical armour that declares your Truths to people, making it so that they aren’t just cosmically true, but people know it. Finally, you can just sort of have the quest break down so that it’s your Confusion that becomes obvious to people. You develop a miracle that lets them see through the shell and recognize your pain.


EDIT: Need to remember that the new software doesn't actually display sblock tags.
 

Jeremy Kopczynski

Registered User
Validated User
#10
Chuubo's characters are complicated. The base system is so simple and yet here we are.

Also, Rinley's affliction is great! It makes me imagine that as things go on, their siblings will get more and more awesome, kind of like with Haley and Crystal in Order of the Stick. Thinking of new ways to outshine Rinley would be fun to HG.
 
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