Monkey playtesting at GoPlayManchester

Aha the wonders of playtesting! Ran Monkey for a group of five at GoPlayManchester which was an absolute tonic for all the writing and introspection that I’ve been doing about SQ/Monkey recently. In short it was good to take it out for a spin.

We played ‘The Ministry of Thunder’, an idea ruthlessly nicked from the lovely

  whose original idea was much more eloquent than the action packed comedy that ensued at the gaming table using Monkey. Here’s the quick pitch I used;

Your errant immortals finds themselves in trouble with the Heavenly Authorities. Fully expecting to be cast out of Heaven for your crimes, instead you find yourselves drafted into the celestial Ministry of Thunder. Run by the God of Thunder, Lei Gong, it takes on the role of punishing those crimes that mortal law can’t or won’t reach

The game went swimmingly once we started playing, but there were some areas where the rules didn’t work as well;

The Good
The Bickering rules worked a treat, two of my players from my first successful playtest (the lovely Rob and Mr C) who inspired me writing them gave me a text book example of good implementation, which will make it in the rewrite.

Having a ‘Three strikes and your out’ rule for major character, two strikes for supporting characters and one strike for mooks worked much better for tracking combat and drawn out conflicts and will replace the existing Dramatic Action rules.

The Bad
Character gen dragged again like it did at Furnace. Need more examples for magic powers, cheat sheets, visual aids (?) to make the experience easier and less brain melting.

The Ugly
Grafted in some ‘attacking multiple opponents’ & ‘assisting other character’ rules in game, which worked overall but need some polishing out of game. Still a win though since the current rules didn’t have these areas and the players at the table really wanted them.

Overall it went very well. Even though it was tarnished for me by the fact the rules aren’t as smooth as I hoped, self criticing often brings me down, the game was greatly enjoyable with some fantastic Roleplaying from the players. The Ministry of Thunder is now going to become my stock demo game and I’m keen to play it with other players 😉

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4 thoughts on “Monkey playtesting at GoPlayManchester”

  1. Damn, I knew I should have arranged some sort of commission. 😉

    This is probably not very helpful at this point, to put it mildly, but it’s sounding to me like the game could work pretty well under PDQ, perhaps especially that from Zorcerer of Zo. *If* you ever want to explore that as a version I expect Chad would be very interested.

  2. I’m going to stick with the current card based rules, they are working and get across a feel I want for the game quiet well.

    However once I’m done with Monkey, I will be in the market for a Narrative style system and PDQ is being considered (along with Graham Spearing’s Wordplay, Mike Homles and co’s Otherworlds and as an outside shot Fate3 when it finally emerges).

  3. Not had a chance to read over your last e-mail (but I will)….

    ..but if chracter gen is dragging – is it possible to take a leaf from Spirt of the century. Allow people to have a concept – get some key stuff down – but then just allow them to add other stuff when it becomes useful……

  4. That’s what I figured.

    By the way, sorry for not getting back to you with comments. My head has been squiffy the last few months.

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