There are plenty of volunteers doing their part to keep normal everyday people safe from the unnatural and supernatural threats in the world, but sometimes you just need a professional. Professionals are all about tactics, battle with the unnatural, and supporting their team when in conflict with an unnatural threat.
The class does a very good job of offering moves that allow a player to go either way: heavy support with solid combat or heavy combat with solid support.
Having a professional on the team isn’t a bad thing, though it can cause some very potential in-game relationships when you have a Monstrous, a Spooky, a Pararomantic, or even an Initiate in the party.
Still, this is a class that makes sense and makes it very possible to crossover your home games in the MOTW universe with those that play in any Delta Green or similar campaign. After all, sometimes the professionals need to come in and help to take care of things.
It’s kind of strange when your regular 9-to-5 job is to hunt down monsters. Still, that’s the job I took on when I joined this outfit. It pays well, and the benefits are good. Like they say “You don’t have to be crazy to work here, but it sure helps.”Monster of the Week, “The Professional,” p. 70
So what does The Professional playbook bring to the table in the Monster of the Week TTRPG system? Let’s dive in and find out!
What Is the Professional Class In Monster of the Week RPG?
The Professional comes from an Agency that deals with this kind of thing. They work with those in and outside of the agency to handle an area and the exact nature or reach of that secret agency can vary greatly depending on the Keeper, the game, and what you want your own backstory to be. Are they government? Unofficial government? Private security tied to a secret organization?
Professionals get one serious weapon and two normal weapons as well as a choice between modern armor. They are professionals and have the tools needed to keep the team alive by making sure the unnatural doesn’t survive an encounter.
What Type of Professional Will You Be?
The ratings for Professional focus on being Cool, meaning all professionals know how to help out and how to act under pressure. After that professionals have the full gamut of potential skills from those who are sharp – focusing on investigating mysteries or reading the room when things are going bad, to the tough guys itching for a fight with something above their weight class to more balanced builds that do a lot of things moderately well.
Let’s take a look at those starting ratings in this class’s playbook.
The Professional Ratings for MOTW Are
- +2 Cool & Sharp, 0 Charm, -1 Tough & Weird
- +2 Cool & Tough, 0 Charm, -1 Sharp & Weird
- +2 Cool, +1 Sharp & Tough, 0 Weird, -1 Charm
- +2 Cool, +1 Sharp & Charm, 0 Weird, -1 Tough
- +2 Cool, +1 Sharp & Weird, 0 Tough, -1 Charm
There’s a good variety here to choose from, and you’ll know that whatever build or level ups from experience you take your character will be in good shape to act cool under pressure…something you would 100% expect from a true professional.
I like the variety of stat lines here in the Professional starting ratings because it provides the player with options to build how they want based on the various moves and advanced moves they plan on taking later on in the game.
Looking at the Professional Playbook’s Agency Options
A major part of your character is going to be the Agency that you work for. They are, after all, the ones who cut your paycheck, who you answer to, and who are responsible for your assignments.
Is your Agency:
- A secret branch of the special forces in the military?
- A special clandestine police team?
- A private individual’s personal crusade against a certain type of evil?
- A corporation?
- A scientific team who sees the need for professionals to deal with this problem?
- Something else entirely?
Is the Agency’s goals clear? Do they:
- Destory monsters without quetion?
- Study the supernatural and attempt to capture specimans?
- Protect innocent people from the unnatural or supernatural?
- Gain power through the conquering and mastering of unnatural?
- Some other goal (benign or not) entirely?
There are many options here to choose from and I think that this is one of those details you definitely want to discuss with your Keeper as they can get ideas from what you’re thinking or even make suggestions that might fit in really well with a future campaign idea. This is a great chance to brainstorm and world build together.
There are advantages of an Agency, and for your Agency in Monster of the Week as a Professional you need to pick two Resources and two Red Tape modifiers. In short, these determine the pros and cons when dealing with your Agency.
Resources (pick two)
- Cover identities
- Good intel
- Offices all over
- Official pull
- Recognized authority
- Rigorous training
- Support teams
- Weird Tech gadgets
Red Tape (pick two)
- Budget cuts
- Cryptic missions
- Dubious motives
- Hostile superiors
- Inter-departmental rivalry
- Live capture policy
- Secretive hierarchy
- Take no prisoners policy
A combination of two from each helps to paint a full picture of the Agency you’re working for, what they might be able to provide in support, and why they might struggle to support you in some missions.
What Do Professional Moves Bring To The Table?
All Professionals start with one move, “Deal with the Agency” which gives both the pros and the cons with being employed by a specific Agency. After that, you get FOUR Professional moves. That’s right, despite automatically getting on move, you also get one more than every other playbook when picking.
This also means that after a couple of level ups you could end up with every Professional move except for one – which can make for a very powerful character! If you ignore Unfazeable and use another level up for +1 Cool you can, for all intents and purposes, have all of them.
Why? Well isn’t it obvious? You’re a trained Professional!
Here’s a look at all the class-specific moves for the Professional playbook in Monster of the Week.
- Deal with the Agency – This is the one move that every single Professional starts with and must take. When you deal with the Agency, requesting help or gear, or making excuses for a failure, roll +Sharp. On a 10+, you’re good – your request for gear or personnel is okayed, or your slip-up goes unnoticed. On a 7-9, things aren’t so great. You might get chewed out by your superiors and there’ll be fallout, but you get what you need for the job. On a miss, you screwed up: you might be suspended or under investigation, or just in the doghouse. You certianly aren’t going to get any help until you sort it all out.
- Bottle It Up – If you want, you can take up to a +3 bonus when you act under pressure. For each +1 you use, the Keeper holds 1. That hold can be spent later – one for one – to give you -1 on any move except act under pressure.
- Unfazeable – Take +1 Cool (max +3). Probably the weakest of the moves just because this
- Battlefield Awareness – You always know what’s happening around you, and what to watch out for. Take +1 armor (max 2-armor) on top of whatever you get from your gear. If you’re going to be in the middle of combat, it never hurts to be a tank!
- Leave No One Behind – In combat, when you help someone escape, roll +Sharp. On a 10+ you get them out clean. On a 7-9, you can either get them out or suffer no harm, you choose. On a miss, you fail to get them out and you’ve attracted hostile attention.
- Tactical Genius – When you read a bad situation, you may roll +Cool instead of +Sharp.
- Medic – You have a full first aid kit, and the training to heal people. When you do first aid, roll +Cool. On a 10+ the patient is stabilized and healed of 2 harm. On a 7-9 choose one: heal 2 harm or stabilize the injury. On a miss, you cause an extra 1 harm. This move takes the place of regular first aid.
- Mobility – You have a truck, van, or car built for monster hunting. Choose two good things and one bad thing about it.
- Good Things: Roomy, surveillance gear, fast, stealthy, intimidating, classic, medical kit, sleeping space, toolkit, concealed weapons, anonymous, armored (+1), tough, monster cage.
- Bad Things: Loud, obvious, temperamental, beaten-up, gas-guzzler, uncomfortable, slow, old.
As you can see, there are plenty of good moves to choose from and while Professionals might not have as many moves as some of the other playbooks, on average their playbook feels stronger because there aren’t many weak options and you can pick up so many of them. This makes it easy to level up a pretty powerful character relatively quickly, generally within a few mysteries. Even faster if your dice rolling is horrific.
Who Should Play The Professional Class in Monster of the Week?
If you like being effective in combat, especially with modern weapons (why use a sword when you can use a sniper rifle?) and diving into the middle of things after helping with the investigation, The Professional is a good class. You can also “Cleric” them by focusing on moves that give the ability to give healing, first aid, and support during a combat.
This is clearly a class for players who like to spot hidden threats and make themselves useful when the fight finally happens. If you like military characters, Feds, detectives, etc, then you are likely to really like what the Professional playbook brings to the table in Monster of the Week.
This is also a great class for players who like being able to do a couple things well or lend some support in addition to their main focus. I personally like playing characters that can do a lot of things as opposed to being built just for one.
If you love the Delta Green TTRPG then The Professional is also the class/playbook that is likely tailored just for you.
MOTW The Professional Class: Final Thoughts
To quote Tom Cruise from the criminally underrated movie Collateral: “I do this for a living!” As the Professional you are trained to handle the unnatural, have likely been through multiple engagements before, and know how to go at this job/mission in a way that maximizes your team’s chance of success.
This is a class you take when you know you want to be in the middle of the action, but you also want the ability to give support when you face an enemy you aren’t properly decked out to attack (like maybe one only damaged by magic – you can be shield and medic for the group’s spellcasters) then the Professional’s playbook is going to be an outstanding option for you.
One thing is for sure: if you have a Professional in your group, you’re a lot more likely to see success in those challenging mysteries!
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.