My introduction to the monster of the week trope happened when I was just a little kid. I was obsessed with the Goosebumps books and television show. Each episode/book had a new cool monster that captured my imagination. After I had read or watched each one, I would rush to my dad and tell him all about it (and he would always listen and humor me). Then, as I got older, my dad introduced me to the X-Files and my fandom for the monster of the week format took off. Shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural kept me coming back for more.
If you are like me and enjoy the kind of one-and-done story format, then Monster of the Week is going to be the type of role playing game that you can really get into. In Monster of the Week, you and a group of your friends are Monster Hunters tasked with taking down the…well, the monster of the week. This game provides you with a plethora of character types for you to use when creating your character. Are you the take charge and lead type? Why don’t you try playing as The Chosen One or The Professional? You want to have a little mystery behind your character? No problem, The Monstrous or The Spell-slinger may fit you well.
Monster of the Week is incredibly fun for anyone into role playing games, but what makes it really great is that the system is so easy to learn that even people who haven’t ever played an RPG can pick it up quickly. Actions are based on rolling a six sided die and adding bonuses. For example, let’s say you are a player in the woods and you choose to search for clues. You roll two six-sided dice (or 2 D6) and add a bonus, if you roll extremely well (10 or higher) then congratulations, you have done what you were trying to do. If you roll okay (7-9) you get to do what you were trying to do, however the Game Master gets to mess with you a little bit. If you completely miss on your roll (6 or fewer) something not so great can happen to your character.
This system is also fantastic for first time Game Masters. The core book comes with two ready-to-play mysteries and provides example monsters (ghouls, vampires, trolls) to help you out when you are ready to create your own adventures. It also provides extra tools to help you further flesh out your mysteries and monsters as well.
Monster of the Week is a narrative driven story game so the Game Master and the Monster Hunters are creating the story together. So, if that sounds like fun to you, open your spell book and grab that baseball bat. It’s time to take these monster’s down!