Rent and Ruined is an upcoming campaign that I’ll be running over Skype from around the beginning of next year. It draws strongly from Avery McDaldno’s Monsterhearts as well as surreal ‘urban fantasy’ like Pan’s Labyrinth, American Gods, War of the Oaks, and Changeling: the Lost. It also draws from my academic interests in the anthropology of spirit-possession and witchcraft and in psychogeography, surregionalism, and animism.
It sheds the high-school setting of Monsterhearts, but is still about monstrosity as a metaphor for queerness (or the other way around?) and about dysfunctional and petty behaviour and toxic ways of relating to the world and your peers
It is a game about being marginalised and set apart by who you are and how you’ve been hurt.
It is a game about scars and damage, about the ruined and forgotten people who have been failed by those they should have been able to trust and who have fallen through the cracks of society’s neglect.
It is a game about profound hurt and trauma and its aftermath, about the wild magic that grows in tears and gashes in hearts and minds and souls.
It is a game about the desperate loneliness of wanting to connect but having been burned and hurt before and fearing that vulnerability.
It is a game about hungers that can't be named and discomfort that scratches under the soul's skin with every glance in the mirror.
It is a game about places and their souls, and how they change when all the people are gone and stranger things come to live there.
It is a game about decay, about the reclamation of the familiar - urban spaces, industry, humanity, normative identity - by and the reversion of the familiar to the strange and alien.
It is a game about spirit-possession and transformation and the eerie and uncanny and how these phenomena tend to align with oppression and radical self-empowerment.