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The Monster's Playbook

The Monster's Playbook

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The Monster's Playbook is an actual play Monster of the Week RPG podcast where the real world crashes into the paranormal over and over and over again. And where no monster can hurt you as much you hurt yourself. Set in Minneapolis, MN, our current campaign (The Cover Story) follows the exploits of journalist and ex-cultist Kira Ashwood, supernatural social outcast Mark Clayton, Special Agent Casey Davis, and professional sorceress Theo Nessos as they battle monsters threatening the city.
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Sometimes you get exactly what you want, but it's all too much. When Theo claims the Eye of Endregoras, will she be able to handle all that power? And even though they've got the target of the heist, there's still the matter of the Reaper--the living spirit of death that keeps the Dead Sea dead. The mission is simple: Make it out alive. ------- If …
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It's Heist Time, Baby! We've set our sights on one of the most powerful artifacts in creation YET AGAIN, and it'll take all the cunning and connections they've got for Mark, Theo, Anna and Kira to secure the second Eye of Endregoras. Bad news? It's located in the Dead Sea Kingdom. MORE bad news? The way back in is through the office of the city's p…
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How it started vs how it's going ttrpg characters. Book Club is back with an intimate conversation with Cap (Shrimp and Crits), Teo (Monster Hour) and Lauren (The Monster's Playbook) about their approach to character creation. This episode is perfect for players who need some inspiration on creating characters, getting into your character's mindset…
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It turns out, even if the future is scary, the past can be even worse. For the last year, Mark, Kira, Anna, and Theo have been discovering more about themselves than they ever wanted to. But if there's one thing we've learned on this journey, it's that no challenge goes away until you confront it. Even the scary ones. You know what? Especially the …
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Have you ever been so angry that it felt like you were a different person? Kira Ashwood has. And it's finally time for her to reconcile with the part of herself she's spent so much of her life trying to keep at arm's length. But she can't do it alone. That's the thing about being a person: You need other people. And sometimes, you even need people …
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What do you do when you're scared? When the forces allied against you seem truly unstoppable? When even your very best hope seems—at best—confusing to work with? Well, if you're the crew of the Cover Story, you take some time to just hang out! They've created what may be one of the most dangerous artifacts in creation, but this week, they'll be spe…
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This one is a must for any aspiring GMs and Keepers. It's The Great Monster Make-Off! Jonny was lucky enough to be invited onto Sero's stream with Ian and Cap (Shrimp and Crits), for a game show hosted by Sero and Monster Daddy himself, the creator of Monster of the Week, Michael Sands! It'll take more creativity than usual for Jonny, Ian and Cap t…
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A lot has gone down, and there's clearly more to come. So how are we all feeling? Join us as we digest Act 2 of Season 3, and check in with the players as we head into what will become … our Endgame. -------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to help us spread the word and don't forget to share with your friends. We love f…
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The Kingdoms of There have a vital purpose. A threat to them is a threat to everything. Unfortunately, there are so. Many. Threats. And only Kira, Anna, Mark and Theo—and their friends—know enough to face them. But around here? Knowing is WAY more than half the battle. Content Warning: Brief mention of suicidal thoughts ------- If you liked this ep…
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So here's the plan: Fight fire with fire. It's simple, but it won't be easy. The forge is under the control of an unscrupulous wing of the Magio, the stones that will serve as materials are… unstable at best, and even once they find this forge, what kind of weapon will be strong enough to save the whole world? ------- If you liked this episode, ple…
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What do you do when you're walking around with a weapon that can destroy everything? Keep it pointed at the bad guys. The hunt is on for a legendary forge that can craft vital resources out of the team's most dangerous liabilities. They have more than one mystic stone imbued with the flames from the end of the world. I guess using that stone to bui…
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Okay, it's time once again to ask our favorite question: What the hell do we do now!? The immediate threat from The Magio has been handled, but now an even bigger threat looms. And some of the biggest players in the game want Mark, Theo, Kira and Anna to get on the front lines in a battle they're only just beginning to understand. Lock and load, pe…
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All families have secrets. But when your family is the head of a magical organized crime outfit, your secrets are going to be a little bit bigger than most. We'll have to go pretty deep to get to the bottom of this one. Deep like all the way into the underworld. So pack light, and dress warm. We're going to finish this one way or the other. -------…
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The Magio has one rule above all others: You do not contact the dead. And Theo Nessos is about to break it. She's going to get to the bottom of the one mystery that's defined her adult life: How and why did Selena Nessos die? ------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to help us spread the word and don't forget to share wit…
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Project Littlebear. One of the notorious Nathaniel Rose's pet projects. But what is it? Donovan and Kira go behind enemy lines to see what's behind the project. But where Nathaniel Rose is involved, you just KNOW it's not gonna be a teddy bear factory. ------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to help us spread the word an…
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If you thought the Nessos siblings were spooky, wait until you meet the rest of The Family. Something is happening behind closed doors in the Magio, and when it comes to our local magical Casa Nostra, that's literally never good. -------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to help us spread the word and don't forget to shar…
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What did you think we meant by "ghosts of the past"?! Someone very important comes back into our story that we thought we might never see again. But… she's been changed, man. She's seen some things. And some stuff. And stunningly, the person best equipped to help her might just be a stoner ghost who just wants to hang out, bro. ------- If you liked…
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The Undying Soldier seems to have made her move, so it's all hands on deck to try to put a stop to the very annoying cult she serves, and the sinister machine she's helping to fuel. To make the stakes even higher, if they can't steal that machine back, they'll have no way to stop the oncoming apocalypse. So y'know. No pressure. ------- If you liked…
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The thing about prophecies is you can never be sure if you're better off ignoring them or obeying them. The team decides to split the difference and investigate some mysteries. Can we get in touch with Ember? Can we track down the Heat Sink to stave off the apocalypse? And can we learn anything else from the catchy little ditty we heard by that rob…
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Now that they've caught their breath, it's time to make a plan. Some big things are happening in the world of the Cover Story, which means the hunters are going to have to do some big things themselves to keep their friends and their world safe. The team is hitting the books, and the bad guys are about to learn that knowing is way more than half th…
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What do you do after you've trudged through hell and battled the devil himself? If you're Mark Clayton, you go shopping! It's a desperate quest for some normalcy on our show this week. Which always works out GREAT! ------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to help us spread the word and don't forget to share with your frie…
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So much has happened, but what does it all mean? Well, we can't tell you everything, but we can tell you how we feel about it. Join the cast as we reminisce on everything that's happened in the first Act of the final Season of The Cover Story. Let's indulge in all that intensity as we revisit the Family Business, Dead Sea, Reaper, Face to Face and …
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It's time to finally face down Tower—or whatever she's become—as well as her new ally. And if that ally lives There, it is not going to be good. This week on the Cover Story? The Truth Hurts. ------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to help us spread the word and don't forget to share with your friends. We love friends! S…
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It's true what they say: "Nothing Lives in the Sea Kingdom." But that doesn't mean there isn't something bad lurking inside. Turns out you don't have to be alive to cause problems, and the people our heroes are after are causing some SERIOUS problems. ------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to help us spread the word and…
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What happens when you take a dyed-in-the-wool crew of Monster of the Week lifers and make them play a different system? Well, it's delightful, that's what. Welcome to Blades of Brickwall. A Blades in the Dark miniseries set in the homebrew city of Brickwall. Ace, Echo and Wicker are a crew of small-time criminals who get a job that could put them i…
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Ace, Echo and Wicker head to the very top of the bottom as their hunt for the Glasstown thieves leads them to a Matriarch of the Bridgeway. But their true goal leads them deeper into the underbelly of the town than they'd planned. And the score they're after is not what it seems. As long as they stick to the deal and don't open the case, they shoul…
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Welcome back to BOOK CLUB! This time John had the chance to talk with David (Trials of the Apocalypse), Quinn (Monster Hour) and Natalie (The Storyteller Squad) about how they create game worlds that capture the hearts and minds of players and audiences alike. This is an amazing peek behind the curtain of some of our favorite shows that you won't w…
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The Witchwood is an ancient tree, a boundless source of arcane power. But for years, it's been lost to the world. Turns out, it's not so lost anymore! Good news: the team's new ally can use powerful magic again. Bad news? So can whoever has found it. Yeah, we don't know what they're up to but we know we want to stop them. ------- If you liked this …
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It's another case of bad news, worse news. Bad news? Otherworldly fog is invading the city. Worse news? Kira's apprentice Gad has gone missing investigating it. By now the team knows that the best way to get ahead of something weird is to bring in something weirder. And that's exactly what they do by reaching out to someone from Mark's mother's for…
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It’s time for an assault on the Stroud Manor. That’s where their friend Aaron is, it’s where their enemy Nathaniel Rose is. It’s time to finally put an end to this. But what, exactly, has Nathaniel been doing this whole time? And will it be too late to stop him?Content Warning: This episode contains violence, body horror, and dissociative episodes.…
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The team gets a lead on their arch-nemesis… from their other arch-nemesis. But Nathaniel Rose isn’t the only monster stalking the city tonight. It’s time for those famous last words: “Let’s Split Up, Gang!” But this’ll probably go all right. … Right? Content Warning: This episode contains violence and some brief moments of body horror. ------- If y…
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We turned some shrimps into goats. That’s right, we invited the crew of Shrimp and Crits to play a little game called Goat Crashers with Miah and Lauren. It’s simple, the players are goats and they want to party!! Problem is, the humans are hosting the party and they don’t want goat guests. So the goats have no other option but to PARTY HARD and ac…
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With a missing friend and a killer on the loose, things are getting a little tense around supernatural Minneapolis. And they’re about to get worse. Because whoever’s out there hurting people, isn’t only hurting them. They’re harvesting. But for what purpose? And will the team be able to stop them in time? Content Warning: Dissociative Episodes ----…
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An unexpected phone call puts the team on their very least favorite kind of case: A Missing Person. And, in true Cover Story fashion, it gets worse. There’s a serial killer on the loose. A set of gruesome murders around the city may be something less-than-natural. And with that kind of danger out there, you do NOT want to have one of your friends m…
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Confrontation! The team finds themselves up against an enemy where just killing it might not be an option. So they'll have to fight smarter, not harder, if they're going to make it out. As always, after the fight comes something even worse: Consequences.Content Warning: Dissociative episodes, emotional abuse ------- If you liked this episode, pleas…
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It's just about as normal a week as we get around here. Bowling dates, long shifts at work, and quality time with loved ones. But someone with familiar glowing tattoos seems to be following our heroes around the city. Is this who we think it is? Or is it—somehow—even worse? Content Warning: Reference to Self-Harm ------- If you liked this episode, …
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A child’s imagination brings a toy to life, helping them forget the world as it is and protecting the child from what lurks in the shadows. Like many kids, they grow up and unfortunately lose or outgrow their toys. Some lost toys are not always unloved toys. Sometimes they are misplaced. This may be the case for Polly the lost Polly Pocket, Command…
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Welcome back to Book Club! This one is a must for anyone looking to level up their roleplaying. Lauren had the absolute pleasure to speak with fellow podcasters and self-proclaimed "theater kids" Allard (The Dice Crisis), Cap (Shrimp and Crits), Ghost (Dungeons and Pop), and Heather (Nameless Monsters). Come listen as we discuss the highs and lows …
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The team is out of the Dead Sea, but they're not out of the woods yet! The first steps back on solid ground are shaky. Obviously, they've wound up in the last place on Earth they want to be. Plus, something is wrong with Mark's "brother" Lowry. And who's that sneaking around? It's The Invisible Family. And they do not like being interrupted. ------…
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It's a return to THERE. But this time, they have a couple of advantages. First, they already have a guide. But more than that, with Mark's history returned, he can fully navigate the mysterious Kingdom of the Sky. That advantage will only take them so far, because Kira Ashwood is in the Sea Kingdom. And you know what they say about the Sea… -------…
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Kira Ashwood is missing. Her hunt for The Tower sent her somewhere Anna, Theo and Mark cannot follow. The good news is, they have an ally who will know how to track her down. The bad news is, they might not like what they find. ------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to help us spread the word and don't forget to share w…
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The true culprit has been sussed out, but what is she up to? Kira, Anna, Mark and Theo track down the villainous Tower, and do what they can to get to the bottom of her sinister plans. What they find will take them deeper than they may want to go…Content warning: Substance abuse------- If you liked this episode, please leave a rating and review to …
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Content Warning: Self-harm "I'm Quatraile!" Mark, Theo, Kira, and Anna meet a mysterious captive with more secrets than she knows what to do with. But getting her free isn't going to be easy. And not just because of the horde of monsters descending on the team. There's something odd going on with the girl. Something… not quite alive. In Memory of B…
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Welcome back to BOOK CLUB! The fictional worlds we build in TTRPGs can get pretty dangerous, but the people at the table should always feel safe. Jonny talks with Natalie, Keeper of the Storyteller Squad and Zoe, GM of The Writer’s Room to talk about what makes roleplaying a uniquely vulnerable experience for players and GMs alike, how to make your…
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SEASON THREE PREMIERE!! Life has gone back to what passes for normal for Mark, Theo, Kira and Anna. But a new mystery comes knocking—literally. Mark is summoned to take on an investigation for a familiar client: Rex Crook. But what does it mean to go into business with the city's pre-eminent supernatural crime lord? And what could he possibly need …
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That was nuts, right!? In this edition of BOOK CLUB we'll answer Jonny's favorite question: "What was everybody's least favorite part?" We'll look back on not just the last, biggest mystery of the year, but at the entire second season. We'll look at how far our characters have come, and talk about how some of them will be moving forward, even as ot…
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It's over. It's finally over. But then… nothing is really over. The threat is ended, but the damage is done. As Mark, Kira, Anna and Theo reflect on the havoc The Drum has wrought on the world and on their lives, Casey looks forward to the future. As they know better than anyone: No matter what happens, the most important thing is what you do next.…
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THE BATTLE OF THE BARN. The Drum descends upon the Dress Barn. Will Casey, Mark, Theo, Kira and Anna be able to stand against the combined might of the Director and his minions? Maybe, if Captain Torres, Donovan, Dockers, The Sparks Brothers, Mark's Mom and all of Dawnbreak have anything to say about it! Content Warning: This episode contains menti…
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Book Club editor edition! Wondering how The Monster's Playbook sounds so good? Or who's the music magician behind some of your favorite podcasts? Miah geeked out with fellow podcast editors Ian from Shrimp and Crits and Matt from Debate This! learning about how they fell into the seat of podcast editor, what are their computer setups and what grind…
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Pieces are being moved into place on both sides of the board. The end, as they say, is nigh. Mark and Kira are learning more about themselves than ever before, but what will they do with what they learn? Captain Torres is reuniting with allies from her past, for better and for worse. Anna and Theo are getting downright experimental with their magic…
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