seven sins, seven virtues, seven districts in the city! it’s time to choose a side! a 5th edition monster book with 100 new creatures
– MONSTERS OF THE CITY
goal: $28,364 / ends: wednesday, february 12 8:00p pst. / created by cawood publishing
before writing about MONSTERS OF THE CITY, my thoughts on DUNGEONS & DRAGONS:
like a lot of roleplayers, D&D was among my first systems. computer games like POOL OF RADIANCE and EYE OF THE BEHOLDER cemented the game in both my childhood and digital game history. but the problem is, D&D was always a product of CHAINMAIL, and as its core components crystallized with time and experience, so too did its player base become a distillation of a specific set of rules. gary gygax may have been a dungeon master, but i don’t even consider 5th edition a roleplaying game. it’s moved, edition to edition, closer to a tabletop simulacrum of WORLD OF WARCRAFT, blending grinding and fetch quests with the tedium of rolling dice and then calculating a series of numbers on paper for some reason.
language evolves, and the term rpg is a complex one. it means very different things between mediums, with the limitations (and advantages) of crpgs requiring dramatically new definitions, broken down further by origin (jrpgs being one specific category). to me, roleplaying is a basic social function: we pretend to be something we are not yet, in hope to add something new to our repertoire. like reading or the theatre, we should walk away with a bit more empathy than when we started. i do not think D&D provides this any more. i know this is a difficult statement for many, so a caveat: you can roleplay over the game structure, but you can also play the entire game successfully without even bothering.
i once read an argument suggesting that the “role” in rpg referred to the “role” you played within the combat structure (tank, glass cannon, etc). of course, capitalism is a huge part of the problem: this game is just literally a hasbro toy now.
those complaints aside, i can still appreciate good supplements: charming art, lore, setting, characters, inventive bestiaries. MONSTERS OF THE CITY provides all that, adding 100 new monsters built around its 7 city districts, crafted with vices and virtues at its core. this forms a collection of “devils, demons, celestials, fey, undead, constructs, oozes, giants, and many humanoids”, the locales they occupy, and npcs as well.
cawood has an established history of publishing, 5 successful previous kickstarters, and this is the third in this series.
funding expectation: i have no doubts this will fund and fulfill.