Hunter’s Moon Replay: Death From Above

Hunter’s Moon is the 3rd in the “Dice Fiction” series of cinematic games.  The previous games in the series are Peekaboo, which seems to be a juvenile (that is, the PCs are children) horror game (I don’t have it, but that’s what I’ve read and heard about it), and Shinobigami.  There seem to be as many similarities as differences: though each player chooses 1 of 6 “Weapons” (instead of clans) and there is a huge chart of 66 ‘skills’ (which includes body parts), taking damage to certain body parts disables adjacent skills.  Instead of each player taking turns doing scenes, there are 3 phases, Sundown, Midnight, and Sunrise, that have a certain sequence of things that happen.  It seems to take away some of the freedom of the scene mechanic, but adds some tension because each phase includes a fight with the monster.  Ah, yes.  The Monster.  As you’ll see, they’re nasty.

I am getting a strong Monster Hunter (as in, the greatest PSP game evar) vibe.  And I’m still not sure what I think of the game, but this could very well be a good thing.

The replay begins as the party is in the middle of the final battle against the beast, Aldol.  Aldol breathes fire, stabs them and generally mangles the lot of them in order.  One PC manages to escape and the PCs lose.

At the end of the game, the GM tells the player how great it was to finally win a game, and how much fun he had.  The GM steps outside for a smoke and the players decide that they’re going to make him run the scenario again, rolling new characters (except for the one that lived.)  The GM agrees, and notes that playing the same scenario will likely end up creating a totally different experience for them.

The surviving character goes through the respec process, where the character can change its skills and abilities around.  The other players create new characters ‘offscreen.’

Keep in mind that these characters are all ‘Hunters.’  Hunters are those that hunt Monobeasts.  Monobeasts are ancient creatures that hunt mankind.  They are basically invisible and invincible against normal humans.  Hunters have eaten the flesh of a monobeast, however, and can see them and have gained some sort of extraordinary ability.  Monobeasts are vulnerable only during the night of a full moon.  Therefore, each scenario takes place over the span of a single night.

PC1: Izayoi Yoriko: a 13 year-old girl with a magical spear handed down to her through her family.

PC2: Hijiri Jouji (note: a play on St. George): an African American who has just returned after losing a limb to a fight with a dragon.  Now uses guns instead of spears. (Fluff-wise anyways–according to the rules he’s just a gun user.)

PC3: Kuroma Toujaku: 35 year old male.  Magic user and part of some mage guild.  He has swords that float around him.  His weapon is ‘knife.’

PC4: Sirius: 5 year-old dog.  His weapon is… dog.  Speaks using body language and telepathy with the magic user, which creates some interesting role playing.  There was some contention in the replay as to whether or not a dog is an eligible PC choice, but the player responds by pointing at the Dog weapon choice, and says that he is his own weapon.  The GM agrees in the spirit of fun.  Good to see that even the pros come across players like this, heh.

Introduction Phase

Each player goes through a scene that explains their connection to the scenario’s monster.

Yoriko: She rolls on the Intro Phase chart and gets: “you are charged by a monobeast’s victim, mages or Hunters guild to defeat a Monobeast.”  Yoriko’s friends–all children–were massacred by Aldol in the last game, so she decides that her father–a Hunter–is in the hospital after being wounded while saving Yoriko.  He explains their family’s history to her.  She decides to get revenge for her friends.  George asks to enter the scene and explains that he is an old friend of the family.  George takes on Yoriko as his new Hunter apprentice.  She rolls on the feeling chart and she begins the game with “Anger.”

George: He rolls and gets “You are being chased by a Monobeast.  There’s nothing you can do but run until a full moon…”  He has a run-in with Aldol and takes a wound right off the bat.  He rolls for his feeling and gets “Fear.”

Toujaku: “There has been some a problematic monobeast lately.  Several Hunters are converging–are you going to let another Hunter take the kill?”  The player decides that Toujaku is a lowly adept in his mages guild.  Another aspiring adept arrives to deliver the information about the monobeast, and the two begin a fierce rivalry.  He rolls and begins the game “Angry.”

Sirius: “You have come across the scene of great bloodshed by a Monobeast.  There’s no way you can let it live…”  Sirius is part of the ‘Silver Bullet’ Hunters’ organization.  He has been hot on the trail of Aldol for a long time, ever since his (human) partner was killed.  He rolls for “Anger.”

Gathering:  Yoriko and George arrive at the scene of the previous game’s massacre.  It’s a temple at the top of a high hill, with lots of police barracades, etc.  Toujaku shows up, flying in out of nowhere.  They talk and decide (as PCs tend to do) that teaming up would be a good idea.  Then, a ruffle in the bushes and they prepare to kill whatever is going to pop out–only it’s Sirius.  George still wants to attack, because he can’t communicate, but the other PCs convince him that Sirius would be a good addition to the team.

To be continued…

The next phase is the Sunset phase: There is the ‘Pursuit’ round, where the PCs each get a single chance to learn the monobeast’s weakness, stop whatever action it’ll be attempting (like eating people) or several other options that occur in order. Then there is the ‘Battle’ that will occur between the players and the beast.  After this is over, the Midnight phase occurs and is exactly the same as the Sunset phase.  After the Midnight phase is the final battle, which occurs at the Sunrise phase.

I’m really tired right now, but I do intend on finishing up this write up.  It’s an interesting game and could be an interesting Monster Hunter sort of experience…  hmm…

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~ by mattgsanchez on January 20, 2011.

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