When Shanna Germain announced on twitter that the next Monte Cook Games game was going to be a game for kids I got all excited and maybe even squealed like a 5 year old on christmas. Why was I so excited? I’ve been on the hunt for a kid friendly game from a full fledged rpg gaming company for years and this one happened to be from the same people who make my favorite game system right now, The Cypher System.
No Thank You, Evil is a role playing game where kids and adults alike can play in a world that progresses with the players abilities. Whether its the rules they play with or the world they adventure in, the system scales with the players as they grow as gamers.
What I mean by that is if the players want a scarier story they can go “Under the bed” to a spooky world filled with haunted houses or they can go “Into the closet” and have an fun adventure exploring the caves of Dragon Snot falls! The other way it scales with the players is that each player can build a character in one of three ways, each way adds more complexity to your play options.
Just like in any of the other Monte Cook Games such as The Strange or Numenera you build a character by forming a sentence of “I am a ______ ______ who ______” As a beginner player in *No Thank You, Evil *you might want to just do “I am a ______”, such as “I am a Pirate” A more advanced player who has played a few times might add the second part, for example I can be more than just a pirate such as “I am a Cool Pirate” how cool is that? Lastly, if your comfortable with the options that brings you, and you want to have it all then you could add “I am a Cool Pirate who Experiments with Science” At any time you can upgrade your character and add these more advanced play options. Each one of these verbs and noun you add changes your character in amazing different ways, its not just words, they all translate to different stats and really make the character come to life. The sentence also helps the players, especially kids, imagine their character.
The kickstarter for this game is over, but while it was going on we decided to go pretty much all in with this game and get in on the level that got us into the playtest. When we got the playtest packet I printed off character sheets and without pre-reading any of the material I sat down with the kids and we started to generate their characters. The process was simple, I can only imagine the full game when it comes out will be even more so – Playtest docs don”t include a lot of art or examples. My kids were able to get what they wanted in terms of character type and they could easily envision how their characters would look and act.
A couple of days later we played through the sample adventure – with my wife as well (who generated a character in about 10m as we setup the table and grabbed some dice) The kids were fully engaged in the game and complained when I had to call a stop part way through as it was past their bed times. Sadly the break took us out past Gen Con and we wrapped up the adventure as soon as we got back. Aftewards my wife and daughter(7) wanted to run a game! I’d say that was a huge success and we cant wait to get this game back to the table.
As I mentioned, we stopped our session part way through as we were heading out to Gen Con, and while we we’re there we had to stop by the Monte Cook Games booth where my son(Half-elf wizard) and daughter(Kiki) and another little girl joined in on a demo of *No Thank You, Evil. *Zoa was an amazing GM and apparently came up with a new adventure as the other girl had been demoing the game multiple times already and was looking for new stories to play in. Zoa shared her experience demoing and her overall Gen Con experience in her own blog post which I encourage you all to read.
We are eagerly waiting to play again, and get our big box of stuff sometime early next year. We’ve been asked by friends to run sessions for them with their kids. I’m pretty sure the fine folks at Monte Cook Games have yet another hit on their hands.