Campaign: Poe

Character: Paula "Poe" Stackhouse
Game: Monsterhearts 2
Episodes: Character Creation
Theme Song: Devil Devil by Milck
Keywords: Lonely, eager, apathetic

I've always wanted to play an Infernal. Like always. But every time I've had the opportunity, someone else has been the infernal or it's been a one-shot. I got to play Poe briefly with Avery at the helm and it was such an interesting one shot that I wanted to play her again.

So I did. I played her in a storium game and it was highly emotional and almost fulfilling. But it ended early and the story never finished. So inevitably, when Monsterhearts 2 came out, I finally grabbed the infernal playbook without asking what other people wanted and made it mine.

Poe is a sixteen year old girl whose grandmother had a real thing for a guy in high school. So she made a deal with the devil to give her first born daughter to the devil in exchange for the love of the jock and a good fortune. She had three sons. But her eldest son had a daughter. The whole family knew that the first born daughter would be given to the devil when she was 16. So they didn't really talk to her much, they tried not to bond with her, they tried to just make sure she stayed alive without loving her.

When she turned sixteen in May, Poe met Dan, who owned Dante's in town. He helped her out, made her felt seen, and helped her out when she needed it. He helped her dye her hair, got her some clothes she wanted, gave her some cash when she asked. Once in awhile, he'd ask her to check in on someone, or swipe something from someone's house at a party. And she did it. Because it seemed harmless. No one would really miss a watch, or a necklace. It was dangerous. It felt good. She felt smart. Dan always seemed to know what she wanted, or where she had been. He just knew stuff. It was great. And a little creepy.

Her parents own and operate a video store that keeps trucking because the local community loves them and they have a good name to them. Poe worked all summer at the video store, since her brother was busy at summer camp. That's where she met Léon, a new student with great eyes and a tendency towards weird sexy art films. He also seemed to see her. Like actually see her. Maybe it was the new hair or the new piercing or the fact that she had stopped being invisible. It felt good too.

Poe is designed around power dynamics with adults, neglect and the need for attention after being neglected, and the struggle with doing things because it's fun and feels good even if they're bad. The infernal naturally plays with the addiction trope, and while embracing that, I'm adding it more that she likes suddenly being noticed and being seen with the danger of the things she's doing. There's an invincibility to the new Poe and she feels powerful for once.

The Mortal chose Poe as his lover, and I'm thinking of how that's gonna look. I think she's probably a loving person, and the ghoul said I reminded her of love because of the humanity that Poe had. I dig that. I wanted to experiment with romance, so I'm gonna have Poe be romantic with Léon and affectionate, while also needing to run off, or go to parties and disappear. I also want her to, despite not having a soul, seem deeply affected whenever emotions come into play. She's eager to be liked, but apathetic to the rest of her life, as in school and family life, because she knows she has no future.

She knows she doesn't have a soul. It's a struggle she's largely ignoring. Because it doesn't seem to make a difference. So partly I want to explore soullessness and the impact that has on a developing person. My biggest challenge will be being romantic and the active person in a romance and relationship. I'm usually the passive receiving one. It will be unique to be the one being more active and pursuing romance and love.

We'll see how it goes. It's bound to be a big, messy, wonderful, hurtful, intense game. I'm excited to use Poe to show the humanity in monstrosity, to push the boundaries of a relationship, and to hurt others while also wanting their approval.

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