The more I mull over the playtest in my mind, realising it was very protective in many regards and that there’s elements that need further development, the more I question getting it done by October. Add to this that I’ve yet to commission artwork, finish off the Narrator/background chapters and last not least have just become a father for the first time (I type this as the little tyke sleeps). I’m also in the process of reading Antony Yu’s four volume translation (‘Journey to the West vol 1-4, Antony Yu, published by University of Chicago), which adds a ton of detail compared with the Arthur Waley abridged version (Monkey, translated by Arthur Waley, published by Penguin). Not mention watching all 52 episodes of the Monkey TV series that was shown on BBC2 during the 80s !
So instead I plan to clean up the rules I’ve written so far, add the adventure I ran the other day with a minimal background section (important Immortals from the book and quick background to the Tang Empire and various Immortal locations), and put it all together as a PDF version – which I’m going to hand out on as a Free CD at Furnace as the ‘Coaster’ edition (because if you don’t like it you can always use it as a coaster for your Beer/Tea). I’ll also probably put it up on the D101games website (another thing I need to put together). This means I will get a playable version out for my original deadline without releasing a rushed sub par version.
I also think that this will get it to a wider audience who will then be able to comment and play test the game. Monkey in the far east has the same impact as Robin Hood, and from people’s enthusiasm that I’ve talked about the game over here its seeped into their imagination in the same way. I started this off as a self satisfactory exercise, and the playtest in many ways satisfied that urge. It will be interesting to see what other people think and how it develops from there.
I plan to have the ‘coaster’ edition done by October. Anyone who is interested on seeing the work in progress and help shaping it please contact me at mrnewt AT gmail DOT com.