Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions > Tabletop Gaming > September 2018 (#22) > How We Made

How We Made

Avery Alder’s coming-of-age RPG might star the supernatural, but its frank exploration of adolescence, sexuality and identity is as real as it comes. Puberty has never seemed quite so terrifying…


From the tentacled horrors of Call of Cthulhu to the bloodsucking predators of Vampire: The Masquerade, roleplaying games have a long history of letting players confront – or become – monsters. Whether you’re in search of explosive kaiju action or creepy tales of eldritch horror, the hobby has you spoiled for choice.

But one game above all others looks deep into the concept of monstrosity, using fantastical creatures to explore powerful realworld themes. Monsterhearts, by Canadian designer Avery Alder, casts players as teenage vampires, witches and werewolves navigating a world of sex, drugs, social cliques, nightmarish supernatural entities and sadistic levels of homework.

We caught up with Alder to learn about her story-focused approach to game design, and how she created her brilliant distillation of adolescent fear and confusion.


Avery Alder had a typical introduction to roleplaying.

“My entry point was Dungeons & Dragons,” she says. “I was playing with a group of fellow teen rookies, we played the 3.5 edition, and we really struggled with the game. Our rules interpretations and aesthetic sensibilities clashed, and nobody stayed dungeon master for very long. I came out of that scene knowing that roleplaying games were full of exciting potential, but that I hadn’t experienced it yet.”

Purchase options below
Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Tabletop Gaming - September 2018 (#22)
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Issue - September 2018 (#22)
Or 999 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 8.33 per issue
Or 9999 points

View Issues

About Tabletop Gaming

X-Wing 2.0: The Force awakens in the second edition of the Star Wars miniatures phenomenon. Its creators reveal what to X-pect from the game’s biggest and best overhaul yet. Tabletop Gaming Live: Check out the brand new releases from Gen Con, must-play games and live seminars coming to London’s hottest new gaming convention in Alexandra Palace on September 29th and 30th, from the new card game from the creator of Magic: The Gathering to the UK launch of Pandemic designer Matt Leacock’s Forbidden Sky. Print-and-Play Games: From hidden gems to fan-made mods, the world of DIY board and card games is an endless treasure trove for players. We discover how to make your own games at home for next to nothing. And why not start with… FREE BOARD GAME: Find a free and exclusive new edition of Fightopia from acclaimed designers James Ernest and Mike Selinker for you to print and play at home! Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr: It’s a board game like no other, tackling serious subjects and telling a story you’ll never forget. We learn more about the tale of Billy Kerr from its creators. How We Made: Avery Alder takes us inside the creation of her supernatural teen drama RPG Monsterhearts. REVIEWED: Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team Detective: A Modern Crime Board Game Sailing Toward Osiris Welcome To… Heroes of Land, Air & Sea Spy Club Star Wars: The RPG – 30th Anniversary Edition Ticket to Ride: New York Dungeons & Dragons: Wayfinder’s Guide to Eberron Council of 4 Specter Ops: Broken Covenant + more!