In this guide we will explain why D&D players should play Monster of the Week (MotW) too and how it can make you a better DM and make your players more involved in the game.
Why DMs should also be Keepers
Let’s start with how it can make you a better DM. The way the MotW game is structured and the way you create your mysteries is completely different to they way you do in D&D. In D&D you probably know exactly what the outcomes are of any given quest. Occasionally the players will surprise you by deciding not to take the story hook but rather go shopping or spend some downtime crafting. Mostly though, there is a story you are following.
This is true to a point in MotW but the structure of the game is made to increase player engagement and makes it more player driven than D&D.
The Keeper sets up
- the monster
- where the monster is located
- who can be found and interacted with in the world and what info they know
- and then they create a clock or timeline which creates a list of bad things will happen if the mystery is not solved
The clock for a hunted house game, for example, is something like this:
- The new owners of the house are locked in by the ghost, trapping them there.
- The new owners are attacked and injured by rats which are minions of the ghost
- The new owners are separated and one is badly hurt and trapped with the ghost.
- The new owner who is trapped with the ghost dies.
- The other owner is killed leaving just the kids.
When you have done that then you sit back and let things play out. At this point your role becomes reactive to what they hunters want to do and how long it takes them to solve the mystery.
Setting up the game in this way means that you put the players in the spotlight and because you have this timer that escalates as time progresses it puts pressure on the players.
Keepers also use environments and NPCs with more strategy in mind. You want to create an environment that has a purpose and MotW even has moves that your setting can make like separating people or trapping people. NPCs now become tools to help or hinder your players. And because all of this is built into the game mechanics it’s a lot easier to do.
Why D&D Players should also be Hunters
As a MotW player you are more engaged with the story and the outcome of it than you are typically in D&D. The world feels more open and your actions have consequences.
You are encouraged to role play and be more immersed in character and you are part of a hunting team and working together brings your unique skill to the team.
You character is also set up in such a way that it is easier to know how to role play because the playbooks are created to give you a kind of character. What I mean by that is that playbooks are geared towards the story of the character – you have Gumshoe who is a detective who has seen some stuff, or you have a wronged who is an angry monster hunting badass who is out for revenge. It’s really easy to top into the kind of role to play because the character types are loved tropes in the sector.
Worth noting: A great DM is absolutely going to do all the things they can to make character centred stories and help characters come to life. So this is not a comment on D&D as a system, this is more of a piece on how MotW can work well hand in hand with D&D which has much more flexibility and a much better framework for a lot of different kinds of storytelling.
We are huge fans of D&D. We are just presenting ways to help you Level Up Your Games.
We hope you enjoyed our Why D&D Players Should Play Monster of the Week guide. Come chat to us on Twitter and tell us what you would add or found helpful.