The Bay City Adventures
Monsters and Other Childish Things
Monsters and Other Childish Things is a funny, frightening, action-packed roleplaying game about kids and the people who matter to them most — their friends, family and loved ones.
And their horrifying pet monsters.
Players take the roles of ordinary kids whose best friends are slavering monstrosities from beyond time and space — and that’s already enough to get them in all kinds of trouble with parents, school principals, friends, the Monster Investigation Bureau, mad science teachers, wannabe wizards, you name it. Can you make it through a school day without having to explain why your monster ate the substitute teacher? We’ll soon find out.
It is published by Arc Dream Publishing and uses a simplified version of the One Roll Engine.
So what is this game about? Well, I’ll turn things over to the book itself. (pg 8-10)
What’s This All About?
Monsters and Other Childish Things is a roleplaying game about kids and the people who matter to them most—their friends, family and loved ones.
And their horrifying pet monsters.
Monsters is about kids because childhood is full of the most extraordinary conflicts, changes, awakenings and realizations. It’s a time when people live stories, when the wall hasn’t come down so hard between fantasy and reality; a time when finding a weird green egg in your basement seems like a real possibility. And the thing that hatches? It’s just so cute. And ugly. It’s too cugly to abandon.
Childhood is a time when relationships matter in a powerful and primal way. The body remembers being utterly helpless, a babe in arms, totally dependent on love for survival. The racing monkey brain might seek independence, but it also craves contact.
Because relationships are so vital, conflict really matters. The stakes are high, every day. And that’s without a giant prehuman psychic insect clinging to the ceiling and whispering suggestions about what to get your mom for her birthday while you’re trying to shop.
So . . . What’s This About Monsters?
Have you ever secretly wanted to be best friends with a magical unicorn? His name would be Dewdrop, and he would talk to you with his thoughts, and he would carry you on his back away from all the bullies and parents and kids who don’t get you, and you’d have such wonderful adventures!
This game is pretty much like that. Except if you drew Dewdrop on your Trapper Keeper, they would send you to the principal’s office, then to the school counselor, and then probably to a place with a name like Morning Meadows Home for Disturbed and Psychotic Youth.
Dewdrop has too many dimensions and can gouge bleeding wounds in reality with his infinitely fractal horn. His dainty hooves burn the floor, and his breath makes Mrs. Wombatson’s prize petunias wilt and shrivel. But he really is your best friend.
Dewdrop’s not too keen on Flytrap Joe. Another kid at school is friends with this other monster that looks like a huge Venus flytrap that just pops out of the ground whenever he’s needed. Dewdrop hates Flytrap Joe. When Flytrap Joe’s around, Dewdrop paws the ground and mumbles obscenities to make a prehuman mariner of the elder depths wince and look uncomfortable. Dewdrop wants to eat Flytrap Joe’s stupid face off and spit out the seeds.
And you know what? Despite the fact that you sort of like the kid who’s friends with Flytrap, you’re starting to agree with Dewdrop. Flytrap Joe is a jerkwad, and somebody might ought to tell him so.
Sometimes when Dewdrop really gets mad, it kind of rubs off on you.
You’ve made some friends with other kids and their monsters. It’s something you have in common, so even if that kid with the lazy eye never chips in for the pizza, at least you have things to talk about that nobody normal would understand.
And then there are the other monster cliques to deal with. Some are so lame they named their groups. Lame. But just in case it becomes un-lame, your clique is going to be the Masters of Ultima-Cool.
Power, Love and Trouble
Since this is a game about childhood, monsters represent lots of things. On the surface, they’re big, scaly, scary bundles of superpowers. Monsters can do just about anything.
Kids can do the usual things, like play video games or send text messages or punch or pick their nose. But a monster with vast fuming nostrils can smell the thing you hate most about yourself, or blow caustic snotballs big enough to stick a Volvo to the wall. And if you dealt it, then he smelt it, and knows just who you are.
Monsters are all about power.
Monsters also represent unconditional friendship. Monsters don’t judge. They’re monsters. No matter how mad, bad or smelly you get, your monster will still love you. Your parents say that a lot, but sometimes… well, when they look at you that certain way when you screw up bad, you have some doubts. With your monster, there’s no doubt at all.
Monsters also have a tendency to get you into trouble. It’s sort of inevitable. They don’t exactly have great moral compasses. Monsters just ain’t people. They don’t get it sometimes. If your best friend Typhon is a fallen Titan able to forge stars into javelins and chew titanium like bubblegum, and the gym teacher says, “Take a lap, Nancy-Sue! Time for the real men to shoot some hoops!”, it’s pretty darned hard not to let Typhon drag the gym teacher screaming through seventeen lower dimensional manifolds until his sanity curdles like lunchroom beef Stroganoff . Because Typhon really wants to do that.
People without monsters think its weird or something, and sometimes they get really angry or scared and they tell you to take your monster outside and to make it spit out the end table. Sometimes people show up in big vans with antennae and stuff on top, and guys get out with guns and helmets and they yell a lot, and then your monster has to eat some of them before they go away again.
Mostly though, you go to school (and it sucks). And your parents try and tell you what to do all the time (and it sucks). And then some other kid at school shoves you, and so your monster bites him a little, and then his monster bites your monster, and then the school is on fire (again) and the police get called (again) and you get detention (again).
That’s life with a monster. Sometimes it sucks, but it’s never boring.