Monster of the Week: The Spooktacular Class Guide

The Spooktacular Class was an addition to the initial play tested classes, and adds a very interesting and dashing character to potential hunter groups. Running a show that is questionable in so many ways, part circus part carne, all performer (but with supernatural abilities, perhaps?) the Spooktacular is a showman who brings as much potential baggage for the DM to use as help for the fellow hunters playing in the group.

Not to be mistaken with the Spooky Class, although it would make sense the two would be friends or even co-workers, the Spooktacular is something different. You are a showman, part of a traveling show, and when you come into town people know it. The balance between promoting your show, participating, and investigating a mystery could lead to some very fun balancing acts in-game for the Spooktacular Playbook.

I’ve traveled all over, pretty much everywhere you can make a dollar. I’ve made people happy, and I guess annoyed a few. But everywhere you go has monsters – this show included.

Spooktacular, Digital Download or p.86 in the revised MOTW manual

You have a mystical item, a lot of “random” crud related to your show, and a vehicle in addition to a lot of camp tools and some special moves that show unlike your normal stage magician, there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to what your character brings to the table.

MOTW Spooktacular Class
The Spooktacular class brings something special to the table and for those of us who appreciate good showmanship, this is a great class to take a deep dive into.

What Is the Spooktacular Class In Monster of the Week RPG?

The short of this is that you are a supernatural showman. You have spent a long time with a traveling show whether circus, carnival, magic act, and your abilities are tied into the style of the show. Are you still with that show – or have you just moved on? If you left, why, and are you looking to get back into it?

Depending on the type of show or skill the Spooktacular chooses to take you could easily see them being part of the backstory of a Monstrous Playbook, a Crooked Playbook, or even a Spooky or Spell-Slinger.

The backstory potential between players at the table is amazing.

In addition to this, there are several interesting things that set the Spooktacular Class apart. The first is that you have a vehicle. This often overlooked detail is useful and you can have a pickup, a van, a truck or the right answer of a Motorcycle & sidecar.

Cool, right?

You also have some camp tools, basic gear, but most importantly, you have one mystical item. Choose from a group of five that you feel fits your personality best.

Spooktacular Mystical Item List

  • Ghost Shades. Sunglasses that can see into the spirit world (it seems darker than usual, obviously).
  • Really Big Plush Dog (Animated). Somehow this came to life. It’s kind of like a regular dog?
  • Returning 100. Spend this hundred dollar bill, and it will come back in a day or so. (If ONLY this was real!!!)
  • Scamulet. Heats up whenever someone’s running a scam on you.
  • Wizard Tent. Worn and crappy on the outside, big and luxurious on the inside.

You also always have a lot of crap, excuse me, Paraphernalia, with you. Tickets to the show, snack vouchers, dice, cards, props, costumes, etc. You’re a walking talking advertisement or one-man/woman/creature show if you want to be.

What Type of Spooktacular Will You Be?

First and foremost you are at least a little Charming, if not a lot, and probably a little Weird…or a lot. You are familiar with the supernatural and you know the importance of being a people person. Whether that’s to encourage them into the show naturally or to bamboozle them when their guard is down…well that is up to you!

You will want to look at the Show options at the same time you look at Ratings since these two are both going to have a major impact on what your character can do and what type of a background fits them.

The Spooktacular Ratings for MOTW Are

  • +2 Charm & Weird, 0 Cool, -1 Tough & Sharp
  • +2 Charm, +1 Cool & Weird, 0 Sharp, -1 Tough
  • +2 Charm, +1 Sharp & Weird, 0 Tough, -1 Cool
  • +2 Weird, +1 Charm & Tough, 0 Cool, -1 Sharp
  • +2 Weird, +1 Charm & Cool, 0 Sharp, -1 Tough

Since this class is all about performance (there’s a strong Bard feeling around the Spooktacular playbook – which I’m all about!) it makes sense that you’re going to be dancing around Charm and Weird, and likely acting as the Face, or one of the faces, of the party.

This is a cool class that allows you to create some pretty crazy and fun back stories while also creating a balance between being with a traveling show and working with the other hunters. There are so many different ways a Keeper can make this interesting in-story and even bring up the various potential conflicts, issues, and other conflicts that can come in at the most inconvenient times during a session or really spice up a campaign.

If you have a weekly game where a player can only make every other week – this is a GREAT class because it has a built-in reason for why they would be in town for some sessions and out of town for other ones.

This is also a class that can connect with other classes in very interesting ways. Does the Crooked in the party like you and do your ally groups know each other…or has he been responsible for shaking you down and you two have been at odds? Or something in the middle with a mutual respect?

There’s a lot of potential there. Does a Monstrous in your group know you…did they once escape your show? Help you capture other creatures? There are many, many ways that these back stories can interact based on specific classes/playbooks and that’s a wonderful thing.

But first, you need to decide what type of Show you are going to be associated with.

THE SHOW (pick one show that you traveled with, or still travel with)

  • An Infernal Power – A Big Bad operated the Show for evil purposes. You signed the contract to join and as a result you get a 3-box infernal track. These can be spent like Luck Points, but the Big Bad can restore these points whenever they wish…though it always comes at the price of doing something unforgivably terrible. What sins has the Infernal Power forced you to do already?
  • Magic & Illusions – You can cast confounding spells. When you weave an illusion, roll +Weird. On a 10+ everyone is fooled, they are either led in a direction of your choice or you and those you choose escape undetected. On a 7-9, it doesn’t quite work: misdirect or escape as a 10+ result, but the Keeper chooses one: someone isn’t fooled, or you gain unwelcome attention. On a miss, it goes badly as magic always does.
  • Making Money – You’ve got a lot of practice bamboozling folks. When you mess with someone, roll +Charm. On a 10+, they don’t know what’s going on and overlook something of your choice. On a 7-9 they still overlook something but they’re more angry than baffled. On a miss, you better run.
  • Problem Solvers – The Show rolls into town, people visit and reveal their difficulties. The crew arrange to make things better, leaving each town a little happier than when you arrived. Well, when things go smoothly anyhow. When you chat to someone, or observe them for a few minutes, the Keeper will tell you what their biggest problem is right now.
  • Supernatural Creatures – You’re not entirely human yourself. Pick a single supernatural move from any hunter playbook (the Monstrous is a good place to start). How does your inhuman nature show?

Mull over what show you want to come form as this obviously makes a difference, ranging from “Magic is real?” to Supernatural problem solvers, to a traveling version of Needful Things the nature of your Show will go a long way to determining what moves and abilities are going to be best for your build of the Spooktacular class.

As a Spooktacular you know that the show must go on…so the only question is, which of these shows speaks to you?

What Do Spooktacular Moves Bring To The Table?

So with the Spooktacular you have an interesting dilemma: You must balance THE SHOW with YOUR MOVES. You picked your Show’s specialty above to help explain what you do and who you are, so that should feed into who and what you are, and give you a better idea of which of these moves are going to be the best match for your build.

Keep in mind you pick two moves to start, not three, since your show counts as a starting move.

Spooktacular Moves in Monster of the Week

  • Put On A Show – You can entertain people so the feel joy an d forget their troubles. Say what you do and roll +Charm. if it’s pure performance or +Weird if you add a pinch of magic. On a 10+ the audience is transported and happy. Troubles and trauma are eased in their minds for a good while. On a 7-9 pick one: the effect just lasts a little while, or the regular time but there’s a ruckus when you’re done.
  • A Negligible Price – You can make a magical deal to fulfill a desire for someone else. The price is that they reveal to you a secret, the world then arranges itself to fulfill their desire, fitting the scale of the secret.
  • Easygoin’ – You have the gift of being friendly and easy to chat to. When you try to make a good impression on someone you just met, roll +Charm. On a 10+ they treat you as a trustworthy and friendly acquaintance. On a 7-9 they open up more than usual but still regard you as a stranger. On a 6 or less, they think you’re playing them, and they’ll not trust you or your companions.
  • Pay It Backward – Give yourself or someone else an advantage on any roll: roll 3 dice and select the best 2 for your result. Whenever you do this, the Keeper gains 1 hold. That hold may be spent to give any hunter (but usually you) a disadvantage: roll 3 dice and select the worst 2 instead.
  • The Old Crew – You have an ally team of Show folks you worked with. They are great at setting up a scene, creating a distraction, or even intimidating folks.
  • The Game Is Fixed – When you use magic in a crowded and chaotic place (like a fairground), take +1 forward. You may also choose the following effects whenever you use magic.
    • Someone fails a skilled task
    • You disappear unnoticed and untraceable in a crowded and chaotic scene
    • Instantly set up or pack away a carnival stall or camp site
    • Track someone
    • Get a bunch of cash

These moves play into the showmanship and create a wonderful series of abilities whose flavor are perfect for the Spooktacular character’s general vibe.

Monster of the Week TTRPG Books

Who Should Play The Spooktacular Class in Monster of the Week?

Are you a showman at heart? Do you believe the only correct answer to what class to play in D&D is bard? Do you think the group’s reaction to you being a Carnie in a past campaign was too good/funny to never revisit? If any of those apply then The Spooktacular might be right up your ally as a great choice for a player class.

This is also a great character choice for players who love contributing to the Keeper’s world and providing additional background or world building that helps with filling out the world that the group is playing their Monster of the Week (MOTW) game since you bring in a show, may have a crew, and otherwise bring elements into play that makes it easier for the Keeper to fully build out the world.

They are great for characters who enjoy playing a face, and otherwise are just versatile enough to give players a lot of options for how to build out.

At the end of the day if this is a class that sounds interesting, you should feel free to give it a try!

MOTW The Spooktacular Class: Final Thoughts

The Spooktacular is a great addition to the Monster of the Week playbooks and brings a lot to the table. I love the idea of that traveling show that might have a little bit more going on than first meets the eye, and this is a theme that has led to some truly incredible fictional works like Carnivale. Being able to take that idea of a magical or supernatural show and plop yourself in as a part of it adds some amazing spice potentially to any given group.

This is a great class and one that I would be excited to play – especially with a Keeper eager to work with me on building out the show, it’s place in the slice of the world these adventures are going on in, and how that storyline will pop up in the most inopportune times in-game.

This is a class that can fit right in and provides a great face, potential support (or a place to meet – like a private carnie tent) and works well with just about any team composition.

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