Monkey is getting a second expanded edition with all new art.
The Second Incarnation, as 2nd ed is called, will have lots more characters, locations and GMs advice so it will be easier to pick up and play. I’ll also be smashing the idea that the game is only suitable for one shots 😉
Work has already started. The system is going to be streamlined and tweaked. No more large hands of cards to add up. More clarity about whose turn it is. Rules for who holds the spotlight at the beginning of a scene so quiet players don’t get drowned out by the loud mouths.
Peter Frain of 77Studios has been commissioned to do the art. This is a small piece that he did for one of the new pre-gen characters, the Taoist Priest Thunder Mountain. He’s currently working on a group shot of the Four Pilgrims (aka Tripitaka, Monkey, Sandy and Pigsy) as well as individual pieces of them. One of the ideas behind the 2nd Incarnation is to make it more evocative in the illustrations department, and believe me Peter (who did the art for our recent River of Heaven game) is the artist to make this happen 🙂
I’m currently gearing up to run a home campaign of the Game, so expect some actual play reports.
Once my obligations towards the current Crypts and Things Kickstarter have been fulfilled and Monkey 2nd Incarnation has a 1st draft I’ll be looking to run a quick and focused Kickstarter for the game. Which as well as funding art and additional content as stretch goals (rules for mortals in the core rules for example), will feature the previously announced Ministry of Thunder mini-campaign as a stretch goal.
My aim is to have the game out by June of next year, in time for UK Games Expo 2016 so we can have a Monkey themed stall with large stacks of the book for sale 😀
I also plan to follow up Monkey with other standalone Oriental themed RPGs…in fact this is going to be a big theme for D101 over the coming year. More details as this expands 🙂
For more news about the game’s development follow this blog.
In the meantime if you are curious about the first incarnation of the game, it is on sale via DriveThruRPG.com.
I’m very excited to hear about this — I had wondered what had happened to this project!
The two times I ran it for my group we ran it as a three to five episode mini-campaign, not as a one shot. It worked well at that length, although we might have played longer if it wasn’t time for another game (that group played mostly three-shots).
I hope that the new version allows dragons as player characters, although I suppose you could build one using the local deity rules.
A possible extra for the Kickstarter might be Monkey card decks in two colors (for Yin and Yang) — it’d be a chance to reuse the artwork, and there wouldn’t be any need to look up the values of picture cards. (Mind you Rook decks work for this purpose too, but those are not universally available and they only have one 20 value card, not two.)
I’m going to be addressing longer mulitseason games of Monkey in the 2nd Incarnation. The current rules has it down at about ten sessions, where really it should be a case of tailoring it what you and your groups expectations are and then the game mechanics supporting that decision.
Dragon player characters? Worth pondering, since Horse is a Dragon Prince, but how to bring in fact that dragons are exceptionally powerful (you could say in the book the writer gets round that by limiting the Dragon Prince to his horse form and effectively sidelineing him ).
Card decks are being considered – if nothing else because I want one! Also when I sell direct people often ask for them. Have you seen the lovely playing card decks with Chinese Immortals that they produce in China? Have a quick search on Ebay 🙂
I don’t get the impression that Dragons are generally more powerful than demons or ascended animal spirits in the source material. Look how Monkey intimidates the Dragon King of the East Sea, even before he becomes the Great Sage Equaling Heaven. Or how when Monkey and Pig go to fetch back the treasure that the Infinitely Sage Dragon King stole from the top of the pagoda in the Golden Light Monastery in Jasai, its the Dragon King’s demon son-in-law that’s really dangerous– the dragons all die easily when they get into a fight.
I would certainly buy a bunch of decks if you make them, probably 4 or 5 if they are not too expensive (say $12 or less). If they a more expensive, I’d still likely buy 2 or 3.