Your Best Game Ever!

Created by Monte Cook Games

Get an insider’s look at everything that isn’t part of the game rules—building chemistry in your gaming group, making a character you will love and remember forever, running engaging and exciting games your players will always look forward to, creating thrilling adventures, finding all the right ideas, hosting memorable game nights…and loads more! If you play or run roleplaying games, Your Best Game Ever is for you. Inside this gorgeous hardcover book, suitable for your coffee table or your gaming table, you will find great advice and specific suggestions you can incorporate into every game to enhance your RPG experience at the table and away from it. But that’s not everything we’re offering. We’ve also funded a new version of the Cypher System Rulebook, which lets you use the award-winning game engine from Numenera to run any campaign you like. And we’re making several genre books as well: The Stars Are Fire, Stay Alive!, Godforsaken, and We Are All Mad Here. Each of these books incorporates the best advice and techniques from Your Best Game Ever.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Your Best Game Ever Should Arrive a Bit Early!
26 days ago – Tue, Apr 23, 2019 at 12:54:21 AM

We’re in the exciting final few weeks before Your Best Game Ever goes off to press. Initial layout is complete and the book is now being tweaked before heading into the proofing process. Press time is scheduled, and we’ll be sending files off to the printer in less than a month. It’s always a really cool point in the process when you see all the parts—the Word documents, illustrations, layout designs, and so on—come together and let you see what the finished product is going to look like.

To share that with you, here’s a quick peek at a couple of page spreads. Layout isn’t final, and these pages aren’t proofed, so there may be some minor changes to the end product, but isn’t it great to see it all coming together?

We’re sending the unformatted manuscript to early-access backers this week (they’ve already received the manuscript for the revised Cypher System Rulebook), so if that includes you, look for an email in the days to come. We’re also going to post a few excerpts from Your Best Game Ever to the Monte Cook Games website in the next couple of weeks, so keep an eye out for that.

Your Best Game Ever was originally promised for September, but if everything remains on our current schedule we’ll have it to you in July. Believe it or not, July isn’t very far down the road, so last week we opened up preorders to the public on the MCG Shop. If you know someone who missed the Kickstarter but who loves RPGs, be sure to let them know that they can reserve their copy now. Preorder customers get the book ahead of street date (although after Kickstarter backers, of course), and there’s a nice little bundle deal if they also preorder the GM Notebook and Player Notebook, which will release in July with Your Best Game Ever.

One last thing: Geek & Sundry had a look at Your Best Game Ever last week, with MCG’s Darcy Ross. If you didn’t catch it, here it is!

YBGE and CSR Progress—and More
about 2 months ago – Sat, Mar 23, 2019 at 02:02:34 AM

Here’s a little news about Your Best Game Ever, the Cypher System Rulebook, and some of our other titles in the works.

I reported about a month ago that principal writing on Your Best Game Ever was complete. Since then, we’ve received all of the consulting experts’ essays, and their feedback on the manuscript. That feedback is being rolled into the text now, and then it’s off to editing. Layout won’t be far behind—we should be able to show you some sample page spreads in a forthcoming update.

Cypher System Rulebook work is also coming along nicely. The design work is complete, and now it’s in Monte’s hands for development. If early access is one of your rewards, it won’t be long until we’re calling on you to dive into the new CSR. (and not long after that that you’ll be getting a sneak peek at Your Best Game Ever, too!).

And speaking of the Cypher System, we’re now hard at work on the first two genre books you helped fund. Bruce is well into The Stars Are Fire, and Sean has just started into Stay Alive! It’s still early days on these books, but it’s cool to be digging into these genres, and to see the next couple of books from this campaign start to come to life.

Science-Fantasy in your 5E Game

On a tangentially related note, we have an exciting new project in the works. Arcana of the Ancients brings the science-fantasy joy of Numenera to your 5E game. From the earliest days of RPGs, starting with Empire of the Petal Throne and Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, adventurers into the realm of RPGs saw the amazing promise that mysterious and weird science-fantasy elements could add to their campaigns.

Well, nobody knows science-fantasy like Monte Cook Games, so we’re harnessing that knowledge to bring the genre to 5E. Arcana of the Ancients will be filled with creatures, devices, character abilities, technologies, tips, advice, and adventure—and all the weirdness and mystery of the best science-fantasy.

Arcana of the Ancients is in Kickstarter now, where it’s already funded and hitting some exciting stretch goals. Check it out!

Principle Writing Is Wrapped Up on YBGE and CSR Revisions Have Begun!
3 months ago – Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 01:05:52 AM

Today we hit a cool milestone for Your Best Game Ever: Monte let the team know that, last night, he typed the final words into the manuscript. In the title for this update, I said the “principle” writing is complete—that’s because we still have a number of contributions coming in from the consulting experts and the MCG staff. Some of these essays are already in-hand, and others are on the way, but we expect to have all of them by the end of the month.

The complete first-draft manuscript has been passed on to all of the consulting experts, and in addition to the usual editing process, we’ll be taking their feedback into account. So although this is a huge (and very cool!) milestone, there’s still a bit of work to be done before the content is complete. That said, everything is exactly on track and moving forward according to schedule.

In the meantime, we’re also moving forward on some of the other items you funded through this campaign. In particular, the revision of the Cypher System Rulebook is progressing very nicely. The design team has come up with some pretty cool new approaches to type abilities, cyphers (subtle and manifest), and other game elements. We think you’ll be impressed by how some of these new approaches improve the game, without changing the underlying rules system. We’re also implementing a pretty major overhaul of the book’s organization to make it much easier for GMs and players to customize virtually every aspect of the system for their games.

And finally, we’ve also been giving a lot of thought to the GM Notebook and Player Notebook. These items aren’t as writing-intensive as Your Best Game Ever and the Cypher System Rulebook, of course, but if they’re done right, we think they have the potential to dramatically improve your game experience, regardless of the game system you prefer. So we’re looking at a lot of different ideas and layouts to, well, do it right!

We hope to post a couple of excerpts from the manuscript in the weeks to come, as articles on the MCG website, so keep an eye out!

Your Best Game Ever Is Underway
6 months ago – Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 01:28:36 AM

Monte is hard at work on Your Best Game Ever. His initial focus is on advice for being a great player. This is a critical aspect of Your Best Game Ever—there are many great sources out there for advice on GMing, but the GM isn’t the only one who contributes to a great game. Your Best Game Ever is a book for everyone around the game table, and will be filled with great tips for all players. Here’s a tiny excerpt from Monte’s work this week:

New writers are told “show, don’t tell,” all the time. Basically, it means don’t tell the reader that the mountains in the distance are beautiful, describe them and let the readers see it for themselves. This isn’t a bad approach to playing your character. It’s much more important to show the other people at the table that your character is crafty and stealthy than to tell them. There’s nothing wrong with telling them, too, but actions speak a lot louder than words. So right out of the gate, do something crafty and stealthy that everyone will remember. Sneak ahead and scout out the dangers and return with good information and a clever insight.

Our internal and external contributors are also starting work on their contributions. Over this past weekend Monte and Shanna were at Gamehole Con in Madison, Wisconsin, where they were able to chat with contributors Matt Mercer, Monica Valentinelli, Tom Lommel, John, Kovalic, and Tanya DePass. We’re going to see a lot of diverse and interesting perspectives about quality gaming in this book!

Last Call to Join Us in the Actuality!

The Invisible Sun reprint Kickstarter comes to an end tomorrow. The original print run sold out before its street date, and we don’t anticipate any additional reprints of this game—so this may be your last chance to reserve this piece of gaming history.

Invisible Sun is Monte’s radical, visionary game of surreal fantasy and magic that is truly magical. Invisible Sun is an incredible production, a game unlike anything that has come before. This is the RPG Game Informer said, “sets a new bar for originality,” the LA Review of Books called “brilliant and revolutionary,” and Encounter Roleplay said, “isn’t just a tabletop roleplaying game—it is an event.” Step into the Actuality with us, walk the Path of Suns, and unlock the true secrets of reality. But hurry—the Kickstarter ends tomorrow!

We Invite You to Return to the Actuality (plus an update on Your Best Game Ever)
7 months ago – Fri, Oct 26, 2018 at 09:15:28 PM

On Tuesday we launched a Kickstarter campaign to reprint Invisible Sun, Monte’s radical, visionary game of surreal fantasy and magic that is truly magical. Invisible Sun is an incredible production, a game unlike anything that has come before—and it sold out even before its street date. We are now looking to reprint Invisible Sun, and we invite you to join us, reserve your copy, and get a bunch of extras and a great deal on a ground-breaking game.

The Invisible Sun reprint Kickstarter is underway now. Even if you backed the original Kickstarter and have your Black Cube, you’ll find some interesting deals on supplements and add-ons. And if you didn’t, we invite you to take a look at the RPG Game Informer said, “sets a new bar for originality.” Step into the Actuality with us, walk the Path of Suns, and unlock the true secrets of reality.

Your Best Game Ever Update

In other news, Monte is laying the groundwork for Your Best Game Ever even now, developing a working outline and planning the contents. He's going to dive in deep in November. Meanwhile, the whole design team has been working out a plan for incorporating Your Best Game Ever material into the new Cypher System Rulebook. We've even already had some further concept discussions for the various setting books.

On Halloween, Monte's running a horror Cypher game for some of the MCG team, and plans on testing out some of the Cypher Shorts ideas discussed in the Kickstarter campaign. 

Much more to come as we move into the end of this year, including new artwork, more details on books, some early comics, and intriguing conversations with our team of consulting experts!