What if your imaginary friend was real? What if they were a twelve-headed frog from another dimension who hangs out with you because they think you’re destined to be the God-Emperor of the Multiverse, even though you’re flunking 7th-grade Math? And what if you didn’t just have to worry about the school bully but also his new ‘stepmother’ who you saw shedding her human skin behind the 7-11?
This is the world of Monsters and Other Childish Things, the newest addition to the society archive. Everyone plays a kid who’s formed an inexplicable bond with an inexplicable entity that’s mostly invisible to adults, and now must deal with their monster’s hungers and hobbies as well as their test scores and family life. When you mix in other kids with monsters, and cultists, MIBs and mad scientists all having nefarious designs on you and your monster, there’s plenty of problems to deal with.
The system is pretty simple. Kids have stats (guts, hands, feet, brains, face) and skills within those (Feet has P.E. for running and punching, Brains has Out-thinking for battles of wits, Guts has courage for staying your ground, etc). When you make a roll, you pick up a number of d10s equal to the relevant stat + skill and roll them, looking for matches of numbers – two 6s, five 2s, etc. The number on the dice is the quality of the roll, and the amount of dice is the speed. Different circumstances will call for quality or speed, and in combat it means your attack and your initiative can be tied up in one roll.
Monsters are a bit different (and very fun!) To generate a monster, you draw a picture of them and circle interesting bits – their big rubbery body, their ragged wings, their tentacle-y face and their maddening non-euclidean geometry, for example. Then you distribute 10 points between the different locations, and each point gives that part more health and more abilities to pick from. The system’s very flexible, and if you’d prefer to there’s a full system for randomly generating monsters. Monsters have their own personality, a way of hiding from mundane observation (shrinking really small, turning into a teddy bear, etc) and a favourite thing the kid can bribe them with. Monsters also love fighting each other, and for good reason; the winner of a battle between monsters gets to bite off bits of the loser and incorporate it into their own weird body.
As the books were bought in a deal with Arc Dream publishing, we have the entire game line in the archive. Here’s what else you can find:
- Bigger Bads: A sourcebook on making your monsters huge. No, bigger than that. No, even bigger. Also includes a bunch of tips and tricks for running the game, and whole bundle of antagonists to use in your game.
- Road Trip: A full campaign to use, where the weirdest summer vacation ever takes your players across the country following mysterious postcards and a cult trying to bring about the apocalypse.
- Curriculum of Conspiracy: a fully detailed school to send your players to, with evil plots among the faculty and monsters and popular kids for the players to deal with.
- The Dreadful Secrets of Candlewick Manor: In this 1930s alternate setting, characters are orphans with mysterious pasts and creepy monster-like powers sent to the manor of reclusive Dr. Candlewick. Players untangle the mysteries and plots of Candlewick Vale, make connections with its monstrous residents and try to uncover their past. This book’s highly recommended if you’re looking for an alternative to the core setting, and really works in evoking an A Series of Unfortunate Events atmosphere.
If you’re interested, fill in the form on the Library List page and I’ll get the books to you!