I went to the cinema to see “It Follows” the other day. It’s a good horror movie. Lots of interesting things explored about the male gaze, and why it is so threatening to women (when you don’t know which person amongst the crowd is a predator, survival instinct warns that they all are). Some of the acting and writing’s a little dodgy, and it’s not particularly scary either, but it’s interesting enough to be worth your time, if horror movies are your kind of thing.
I was struck afterwards how easy it would be to adapt the set-up of the movie to fit within a Monsterhearts campaign. So I’ve given it a bash below. Be warned that spoilers for the movie abound.
When a character has sex with someone that has the “It Follows” condition, they gain the “It Follows” condition. Unlike other conditions, this can never be removed, except by having sex with someone else.
For as long as a character has the “It Follows” condition, their sex move is rewritten as:
You no longer have the “It Follows” condition, but you can continue to see It even if It isn’t following you. Your normal sex move does not activate. In addition, inform your sexual partner that their sex move does not activate either. Instead, they gain the “It Follows” condition.
If a character has the “It Follows” condition, they are pursued by a supernatural creature. To anyone who has never had the condition, It is invisible – but to you, and anyone else It has followed before, It can appear in the form of any human It chooses. Often It will appear in a form that is grotesque or shocking: naked, urinating, displaying open wounds. At other times It will appear as someone loved by the person It is following. Either way, Its appearance will usually force the person Its following to roll to hold steady.
Characters cannot gain Strings on It, though It can gain Strings on characters. It cannot be manipulated like other NPCs, or shut down. It cannot be turned on, except by the violent murder of the person It is following. However, you can run away from It – in fact, since It never moves faster than a walking pace, you take +1 to do so.
Because It is extremely resilient, It does not track harm. Anytime It would suffer two or more harm, it subsequently acts at a Disadvantage. Anytime It would suffer one harm, It ignores the injury entirely. If It ever suffers an utterly fatal injury – a gunshot to the head at point-blank range, say – It will die. But It might come back again later.
Though It is slow, It is not stupid. It will not blunder into obvious traps, and will instead try and corner Its target in dead-ends wherever possible. Though relentless, It is patient, and will pause Its pursuit for a time if It believes It will cause Its prey more psychological anguish. It is only interested in killing Its target, and will happily ignore anyone else – unless they attempt to impede Its murder, in which case It will lash out at them with full force as well.
If It ever catches Its prey, It will inflict two harm, unmodified by any moves that reduce harm inflicted. If It is given the chance, It will do so a second time. If It kills a PC, they may not choose to lose Strings or enter Darkest Self (or activate their Death Move) to avoid ultimate death. They are just dead, irrevocably.
If a character with the “It Follows” condition is ever killed, then whoever they had sex with to give them that condition now gains the “It Follows” condition.