These are cool things:call of cthulhu character drama charlie combat coolrat cops DnUCon dungeon crawl eclipse phase elder dane finale games after a long hiatus games where matt is very tired grinning man horror investigation james little fears madison faire madness matt men in black monster iss monsters and other childish things mrs friedas nate news one-shot pixie playtest prefab prominence pulp road trip rogue trader sam scott's odyssey ship of fools sordid dystopia space spirit of the century thebes the thunder and the whirlwind umbra wild talents
Picture in your mind a far off time ago: Before the AP Site, the Podcast, and even back before this group existed. Way, way back in December of 2010, Sean and I were playing Minecraft together, and he told me that he was interested in playing Monsters and Other Childish things. At the time, I was running the Road Trip campaign for my friends nearby, and I had written a few side scenarios that I wanted to test out. I told Sean about these, and he sounded interested. He contacted his friend Nate and got him somewhat interested.
At the same time, I met Alex through another Minecraft server and asked him if he’d like to play along in some short games with Sean and his (at the time) unknown friend. Over the coming week, I would talk to each person about the characters they’d want to make, and by the end, we had Max Chang (the asian mathelete extraordinare), Daniel Kerington (the hero with as much courage as he has not-brains), and Charlie Bale (the lovable douchebag). In the discussion portion of the first game, we also talked up BattlePet Network, a stupid little TV show about training monsters and saving the world through card games.
As for the full setting, we’re playing Ross Payton’s Road Trip, which is basically a Summer Road Trip to save the world from an evil cult. This setting is wildly different from the standard Monsters and Other Childish Things setting in a lot of ways:
- It’s set during the summer, so no one has to go to school
- It’s a series of adventures all around the country
- Less imperative is placed on the “being a kid” aspect, and more on over-the-top goofy action and fun
- It is very story-driven
One of the reasons that I loved Road Trip when I was starting out with Monsters is that it’s a fully-written campaign. If you don’t know what your player-base is, Monsters is kind of a bear to write for. Road Trip simplifies things a lot by basically being a D&D campaign set in the Monsters Universe. It’s a series of small adventures all around the country which add up to stopping a big bad evil guy. And it’s a whole lot of fun.
Why is this session called “Session 0″? Because this entire adventure is non-canon. As I said, I wanted to playtest some scenarios for my other group, so this was going to be a set of disconnected one-off games. Shortly after we played this game, though, everyone agreed we should play the whole campaign. This session is remembered and occasionally referenced elsewhere in the campaign, and it’s the first game that we (The Drunk and the Ugly) ever played together.
School’s out for kids at Casimir Polaski Junior High in the city of San Frandiago, CA! As the kids are leaving school and getting ready for summer, they receive some bizarre messages scrawled on the walls of their school. While discussing various summer plans at the local Dairy Queen (apparently unfazed by the bizarre graffiti) the kids contacted by Jack Blackguard, a mysterious young boy who has some urgent news to relay to them. After a meeting at the museum and a few quick fights, the kids find out they are now on a journey to save the world from an evil cult.
The kids have found out that their monsters will be sacrificed as tribute to some kind of ultimate monster. Their only lead on the case was pulled through a black hole into another plane of existence. Fortunately, the kids stumbled across five bizarre and unique postcards from their recent contact Jack Blackguard alluding to various machinations of the cult.
One of the postcards mentions Sunny Vale, CA, a place apparently hounded by a team of monster fighting superheroes who call themselves the Sentai Rangers. As it happens, Sunny Vale isn’t more than a 3-hour drive from San Frandiago, so after a few “air-tight” alibis and managing to coerce someone with a car to take them there, the kids are off!
The kids managed to reunite Zoltron and the Sentai Rangers, but the meeting was not as sweet as they had hoped: Zoltron was furious at the Rangers’ significant lack of effort to rescue him, and the Rangers became enraged at Zoltron’s lack of gratitude. Zoltron and the Rangers split up and decided they all knew what was good for themselves.
This did not, however, solve the problem that the kids came to Sunny Vale for in the first place. They managed to rescue Zoltron from his kidnappers, but they have not stopped the Rangers from destroying the city. With the Rangers being unwilling to talk, the kids decide to deal with them the only way they know how.
(Hint: It involves punching)
Following recovery time for Daniel in the Sunny Vale hospital (after he and everyone else got beaten up by the Sentai Rangers), the kids move on with the Road Trip to their next destination: Sucrose Park in Las Vegas, NV. On their way up, the kids find a hitchhiking kid holding only an aluminum briefcase and a sign saying “RENO OR BUST.”
After Donny picks the kid up, they find out that he’s going to a video game tournament with a $50,000 prize. He found out that there’s supposed to be a new BattlePets game revealed there. When asked what happens if he doesn’t when the competition, the kid taps his briefcase and says that he’s got it covered.
You’re gonna love this episode. It’s so bad.