Monsterhearts - Thoughts on "Source of the Infection" for the Queen?

Okay, so the Queen has “source of the infection” for an origin and I feel that origin applies a lot - namely, that there’s a supernatural infection and that it can be spread.

And I try to think “okay, how does that happen? what are the ramifications?” and I look to the Queen’s moves and I’m kinda struggling. Like… Does being infected mean being in her Gang? How does that happen? Sure, you can apply the “one of them” Condition with the sex moves, but conditions are kind of explicitly a reputation type thing and go away when you change perception so don’t seem to, out of the box, really reflect non-social physical (or metaphysical) changes to a person.

And, of course, we can go the other route and just say “the fiction” and ask the Queen how she infects people and what the implications of that are… But it kinda feels either the infection is either kinda weaksauce and doesn’t do much (if we say it doesn’t really influence anything mechanically) or too potent if we have it have strong effects that’d normally be the domain of Moves (like if the infected can be psychically controlled without Pulling Strings).

Thought of maybe doing up some kind of custom move, or changing the flavour on a move from another Skin. Not 100% sure where to start there, probably because I’m just so generally impressed by Monsterhearts I’m afraid I’m not good enough to hack it, you know?

tl;dr: My player wants the “infection” mentioned in the origin to feel like a real impactful thing, and we’re kinda struggling a bit on how to make that happen. Anyone have any thoughts? Or have played the Queen with “source of the infection” as the origin and have any experiences to share?


I don’t know, I think many of the Queen moves can have that flavor. Bought Loyalty gives you the power to automatically know what it takes to get somebody to do what you want. That’s a psychic connection through the infection. And You Enemies Closer shows that it is difficult to betray you, and doing saw makes them more susceptible to your influence in the future, as the infection digs deeper into them you gain a string. Many Bodies lets you use your gang, the truly infected, to infect others. You can make it work without any hacking.


Heh, all Monsterhearts powers should feel ‘kinda weaksauce’. Powers are metaphors for how scary and weird it is to have your body changing as a teenager, not to be a White Wolf-flavored goth superhero.

The origins are for narrative and flavor. Of course the Queen’s infection is not that big a deal (no matter what the Witch thinks). It’s her poor widowed cougar mother who enjoys the boys swim meets who is a vector.


I agree with @JimLikesGames. It seems like their might be some metaphor here that is being missed. It sounds like the player is thinking in terms of the Queen’s ‘infection’ being something like an alien brain-hijacking parasite, whereas I see it like “is the captain of the football team, cheerleaders, frat, or sorority” or “threw an awesome party that people are still talking about” or even “has the good hookup for pot.”

These are the sort of ‘infections’ in high school that give social position, friends, and followers, which is what The Queen represents.

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