Monte Cook Games' New Kickstarter Is Your Best Game Ever
  • Monte Cook Games' New Kickstarter Is Your Best Game Ever


    Monte Cook Games has built a very successful publishing company out a a regular series of very successful, smoothly run Kickstarter campaigns. Right on cue, their next one has just been announced... but this time it's not a game. It's a book giving you advice on how to game!





    Robin D Laws might be the godfather of gaming advice books. Mike Shea (aka Sly Flourish) has also made a name for it. Monte Cook Games, creators of Numenera and No Thank You, Evil, and boasting some of the most experienced (ex)-D&D designers in the industry, is producing a coffee-table book full of "advice and suggestions for enhancing your RPG experience at the table and away from it." And they're calling it Your Best Game Ever.

    "This is an insider’s look at everything that isn’t part of the game rules—building chemistry in your gaming group, making a character you will love and remember forever, running engaging and exciting games your players will always look forward to, creating thrilling adventures, finding all the right ideas, hosting memorable game nights… and that’s just for starters."

    The book is aimed at both beginners and experienced gamers. It covers things like character creation, music and ambience, even food recipes for gaming night; plus, of course game balance, game prep, and more. And they're working with professionals from all corners of the RPG industry.

    More if I hear it!





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    Comments 19 Comments
    1. MichaelSomething's Avatar
      MichaelSomething -
      Dang, I think I have to back this. As a person who asks for this type of thing, I should put my money where my mouth is.
    1. Mark Craddock's Avatar
      Mark Craddock -
      I wonder if this KS will be as expensive as Invisible Sun?
    1. Emerikol's Avatar
      Emerikol -
      I really like Monte Cook and this book looks interesting. Not a fan of the Cypher System and some of the game elements it uses. Still I imagine it would be hard not to get a lot out of this kind of book. Chew up the meat and spit out the bones as they say.
    1. volanin's Avatar
      volanin -
      I find it weird that the article (correctly) cites Robin D. Laws and Mike Shea... while the second paragraph of the official announcement says:

      "To that end, Monte Cook Games has an exciting new product to announce: A book unlike anything we—or anyone else—have done before."

      I'm wondering what this book could bring to the table that nobody else has ever done.
    1. TrippyHippy's Avatar
      TrippyHippy -
      Metagame: The Metagame.
    1. DMMike's Avatar
      DMMike -
      @volanin: Has there been a book of gaming recipes before? Cheetos au gratin?
    1. Von Ether's Avatar
      Von Ether -
      MCG might have the ability to do the Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Ficiton version of gaming advice, which would be a highly illustrated book of good advice and essays that strives to invoke the imagination as it imparts lessons and advice. The Wonderbook is one of my favorite books on writing and I recommend it highly.
      https://youtu.be/R5JW8-9_tdc
    1. volanin's Avatar
      volanin -
      @DMMike: Actually...

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...-delicious-twi

      Not exactly the same, but not so different!
      =)
    1. Shasarak's Avatar
      Shasarak -
      Quote Originally Posted by DMMike View Post
      @volanin: Has there been a book of gaming recipes before? Cheetos au gratin?
      Only in the restricted section of the library.
    1. Umbran's Avatar
      Umbran -
      Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
      I really like Monte Cook and this book looks interesting. Not a fan of the Cypher System and some of the game elements it uses. Still I imagine it would be hard not to get a lot out of this kind of book. Chew up the meat and spit out the bones as they say.
      I expect that this work is apt to be almost entirely system-agnostic. The copy says, "an insider’s look at everything that isn’t part of the game rules," after all.
    1. Ghal Maraz's Avatar
      Ghal Maraz -
      Also, @DMMike :

      Mage Cookbook
    1. Emerikol's Avatar
      Emerikol -
      Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
      I expect that this work is apt to be almost entirely system-agnostic. The copy says, "an insider’s look at everything that isn’t part of the game rules," after all.
      Oh I got that. I was thinking though that even some abstract game principles like Fail Forward can have varying acceptance. Again, I'm sure the book will be loaded with good information. If a few things don't sit right with me it won't be the end of the world.
    1. Dahak's Avatar
      Dahak -
      Had zero interest in this... but the Cypher System Rulebook is being updated to Numenera 2's specs as part of this Kickstarter. Seems a little early for a redux, but glad there is still some support for the generic version.
    1. DerKastellan's Avatar
      DerKastellan -
      Robyn D Laws' idea of a good RPG seems to be HQ2 or DramaSystem. It is enough to make me skeptical about what this advice might be... On the other hand each was an attempt to bring something new to role-playing. There's always that.
    1. Arilyn's Avatar
      Arilyn -
      Quote Originally Posted by DerKastellan View Post
      Robyn D Laws' idea of a good RPG seems to be HQ2 or DramaSystem. It is enough to make me skeptical about what this advice might be... On the other hand each was an attempt to bring something new to role-playing. There's always that.
      Robin D Laws has designed numerous games, and has played around with a variety of systems. This is what makes him a good designer. He creates innovative systems like Heroquest, Drama system, and Gumshoe, but has also contributed to DnD and PF. Check your 5e PHB credits....

      Just yesterday, on his podcast with Ken Hite, he was discussing the benefits and role playing involved in good old fashioned dungeon crawls. He couldn't make a living as a game designer, if he didn't appreciate and be capable of utilizing a wide variety of game design. Monte Cook will be much the same.
    1. DerKastellan's Avatar
      DerKastellan -
      I don't think "Additional Consulting" for 5e is the same as being a main designer behind it.

      I respect Robin D Laws, but I like his fluff a lot better than his crunch. I love the podcast. I also do think that HQ2 and DramaSystem reflect rather strongly what he thinks a good game is about, and for all their attempts to innovate I do not really like the result. They seem to be the logical outcome of points that he made in "Hamlet's Hitpoints". I think it would be misleading to discuss his impact on 5e instead.

      There's a lot of game designers that can make a living, and even quite a few big names. I don't think that means their output is universally liked. So, in spite of the big name I still am somewhat skeptical about GMing advice from Laws, especially due to the kind of games he designed. And I don't want to generalize that overly much. I love for example Gumshoe One-2-One. That one impresses me and would even without the name on front.
    1. Arilyn's Avatar
      Arilyn -
      Quote Originally Posted by DerKastellan View Post
      I don't think "Additional Consulting" for 5e is the same as being a main designer behind it.

      I respect Robin D Laws, but I like his fluff a lot better than his crunch. I love the podcast. I also do think that HQ2 and DramaSystem reflect rather strongly what he thinks a good game is about, and for all their attempts to innovate I do not really like the result. They seem to be the logical outcome of points that he made in "Hamlet's Hitpoints". I think it would be misleading to discuss his impact on 5e instead.

      There's a lot of game designers that can make a living, and even quite a few big names. I don't think that means their output is universally liked. So, in spite of the big name I still am somewhat skeptical about GMing advice from Laws, especially due to the kind of games he designed. And I don't want to generalize that overly much. I love for example Gumshoe One-2-One. That one impresses me and would even without the name on front.
      My point is that Laws has a lot of scope. 5e is a traditional "safe" game design. No way would WOTC consult Laws if he was totally immersed in a more "indie" mind set. I've heard Laws give good advice for a wide variety of styles. It's not all Drama System style stuff. Of course, this is a Monte Cook book anyway...And he tends toward the more traditional than Laws. Don't know about Invisible Sun, as that one's too rich for my blood.

      I love Gumshoe one-2-one too! It works really well.
    1. Emerikol's Avatar
      Emerikol -
      The great thing about advice is you never have to take it all. I agree that when Robin Laws is the lead designer of a system I generally don't like it. That still wouldn't prove he had nothing good to add advice wise. This is a collection of ideas. I'm sure a variety of views on different subjects will come out.

      Now given all of that, I believe Monte has embraced "modern" design with his Cypher System approach. So coupled with Robin Laws, I might wait to see it reviewed before I buy it.
    1. Arilyn's Avatar
      Arilyn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Emerikol View Post
      The great thing about advice is you never have to take it all. I agree that when Robin Laws is the lead designer of a system I generally don't like it. That still wouldn't prove he had nothing good to add advice wise. This is a collection of ideas. I'm sure a variety of views on different subjects will come out.

      Now given all of that, I believe Monte has embraced "modern" design with his Cypher System approach. So coupled with Robin Laws, I might wait to see it reviewed before I buy it.
      Yes, if you listen to advice from Robin it encompasses a wide variety of play styles, and a lot of it is good advice no matter what game you are engaged in.

      As far as Monte is concerned, I find that even the Cypher system is fairly traditional, especially the adventures he wrote. I love the background in The Strange, less keen on Numenera, for purely subjective reasons. I've tried, but can't get excited about the Cypher character system, even though I usually enjoy narrative character design. Planning on using The Strange for Fate.

      Having said all this, I have enjoyed Monte Cook' s essays, so I'm sure his new book will be good.
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