by Alex Beck
26th October - Arc Centre, Islington
£30 per player
Dripping with the fun, spooky, and slightly cheesy spirit of Halloween, Monsterville Mansion tells the tale of the eponymous house on the night of All Hallow’s Eve itself. The game is set in the remote New England town of Monsterville (named after the founder Henri Monstre of course). The town is a mostly quaint and friendly place with polite locals and picturesque landscape. The only unusual location of note is the old, run down and rather creepy mansion which sits on the outskirts of town. It is host to many dark tales and legends so the locals have given it a wide berth for many years.
Yet on Halloween three groups of college kids have dared each other to spend the night in the mansion – with the group that lasts the longest having bragging rights on campus for the rest of the year. Little do they know they won’t just be trying to be braver than the other students but also fighting for their very souls…
For the Mansion is home to seven groups of pure evil – drawn by the spiritual power of the house they have infested it for years to further their own arcane goals. They usually spend most of their time battling each other, trying to take over as much of the mansion as they can and secure it’s dark power for themselves. Yet now, disturbed by the foolish students, they see an opportunity to try out some of their more twisted powers on living subjects and perhaps do a little recruitment at the same time…
The core twist of the game is based on the board game “legacy” concept but rather than game elements changing from game to game, in Monsterville Mansion they will be constantly shifting from moment to moment. Many actions and decisions that players make will result in stickers being placed on the map or components, with game effects and rules changing accordingly. Players will need to both carefully plan ahead on when to play the changes they want to see whilst also be constantly reacting to what others do.
For example a Witch player's spellbook might start with a handful of spells in it but as more are acquired, stickers with new spells on it are placed in the spellbook, replacing the old spells. Or the book might be stolen by the Cult of Lilith and used in a dark ritual, so a sticker is placed to remove the spells and put a dreadful curse on it.
Or perhaps the nerdy student gets taken by the Vampires and turned into one of their own – their human skills and stats will be stickered over by blood sucking appropriate ones.
The map too will change as the various dark powers wax and wane. For example the ground floor might start with a ballroom at the centre but when the Wraiths take it over they use their powers to turn it into a haunted graveyard, with the relevant stickers placed to mark the change.
Aside from the shifting mechanical landscape players in the game will use the usual megagame mix of political negotiation, clever gameplay and a little luck to hit their objectives. With the monster teams looking to defeat their rivals and become the undisputed rulers of the mansion, and the humans looking to not only survive but perhaps find a way to prosper from the dark powers in the house.
There are three human teams which each contain five players, with one each of the following roles:
Jock - The athlete. Probably on a scholarship, very popular, a career in professional sports might even be on the cards. Brave and tough but maybe not so bright.
Nerd - The scholar. No doubt studying something complex, with a intellectually, and possibly financially, rewarding career in their future.
Drop Out - The joker. Hasn’t studied at all, enjoys a smoke and a drink over pretty much anything else, something of a loner, a career in fast food is the most likely outcome though they are far from stupid or weak.
Party Kid - The socialite. Parties, friends and fashion are the priority, yet somehow still does well in all their exams, something in media or marketing awaits them in the future.
Last Girl - The survivor. Nice, normal, average, they’re just part of the crowd, yet when things all go occult and bloody they’ll be the one to make it out.
Then there are the seven monster teams each of which start with four players. The teams are:
Vampire Clan - Eternal blood sucking fiends with a sideline in delightful gothic fashion.
Werewolf Family - The family that brutally tears people with tooth and claw, stays together.
Wraiths - Spirits of the long departed, obsessed with torturing the living.
Mad Scientists - Ex-faculty of the college, driven out by the mainstream and set to revolutionise modern life with stitched together body parts and lightning.
Swamp Monsters - Evolution may have forgotten them but they’ll never forget their burning hatred of the land-dwellers.
Cult of Lilith - Servants of a dark goddess with death and murder as their main forms of worship.
Witch Coven - Friendly local witches - fans of Harry Potter, occult bookshops and blood sacrifice.
What Kind of Megagame is it?
Monsterville Mansion is a light-hearted horror game with plenty of roleplaying and map-based mechanics with a dash of politics. It aims to be fun, not taken too seriously, and celebrate Halloween and horror movies rather than be a realistic simulation or complex strategy game.
Sign Up to Monsterville Mansion
The game is on the 26th October at the Arc Centre in Islington, London and we are taking sign-ups now. Just complete the form below letting us know you are interested in playing and if you have any preference in team or role. We absolutely welcome team sign ups too - so if you want to play with a group of friends that let us know all their names and email addresses at the same time.
As with all our games a player role is priced at £30 for the whole day (those selected for Control will play for free) - you can sign up now and we'll ask for payment about two months before the event. This delay is included to ensure players are still able to play the game and avoid unnecessary cancellations. However it is still possible to cancel after payment and you can read our refund policy here.
As with all our games we will be sending out the cast list a month before the game and handbooks two weeks before the game.