One thing I often forget when I get down to the ‘serious business’ of putting a game/adventure together is that these things are meant to be fun. This is especially true in the case of Monkey. I was inspired by the philosophy/mythology of the book. Wu ch’eng-en’s parody of Taoist Culture, and his satire of Human nature. Not to mention his evangelical message that Buddhism is the way to salvation. None of which makes for fun role playing, were the main aim is escapism.
No the genius of Monkey is that it wraps all its meaningfully points in a very fun humor fantasy tale of flawed gods and outlandish fantasy. Monkey is my number one fantasy book anyday. Its far more cheerful and fun while still being deeply poignant than say the Lard of the Rungs. Monkey is going to be a narrative game, because of this duel nature. For action Narrative games shed all pretensions of war game like realism, which fits Monkey to a tee. Even in the book the combats are described as outrageous action packed wuxia kung-fu fests. Narratism deals with the action simply and meaningfully, be it combat or a heated debate, which believe it or not happens more often in the book were arguments are dramatic and overblown. This leads to quick and joyful fun, rather than ponderous referencing of rules.
Its important that Monkey has MAXIMUM GAMING FUN built into the rules. This is because as I was reminded today that when I mention that I am doing a game based upon Monkey, people automatically assume its based upon the Japanese TV series that ingrained itself in the consciousness of the British public via BBC2 in the 80s. Which it is, in a roundabout way since I would have never read the book if I hadn’t have seen the TV series. And if I hadn’t have read the book I would have never have started thinking about this game……..
BTW I have done some writing on the rules tonight. Its proved surprisingly fun and enlightening.