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:

We Are All Mad Here Unlocked!
5 months ago – Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 01:15:45 AM

Wow! We reached that goal even faster than we dared dream. Thank you for your support! You guys are all mad. I mean, you’re great! And now We are All Mad Here will be a reality. This 160-page book of madness and mythic magic will be filled with advice, creatures, adventures, and a whole new, ready-to-play setting by Shanna Germain.

Did I say 160 pages? Hmm. Let me think about that a moment...

Meanwhile, what’s the next goal? So many people have mentioned how beautiful the covers of the four unlocked sourcebooks are that we thought it would be awesome to have them as high-quality 8x10 prints, perfect for framing. So if we reach the magic number of $410,000, we’ll make those prints. They’ll be available as add-ons, of course, but we’ll also put them in the I Want It All! backer level and above.

If you take the Signed Books add-on not only will all your books be signed by the design team, but you’ll get the four prints signed by cover artist extraordinaire Roberto Pitturru. This will also be true for people backing at the "I Want It All and I Want My Say!" level.

Ooooh, maybe I’m just being mad here, but what the heck? I’m going to go ahead and set a second goal up right now. Remember when I said We Are All Mad Here will be a 160-page book? If we get to $435,000, we’ll make it a 192-page book with more art, more adventures, more cool stuff and a double-sided poster map to boot.

So that’s two goals ahead. We’re in the last days of the campaign now, so if you can help us spread the word, please do it now. Tell all your gaming friends!

—Monte and the whole mad MCG crew


WANT ADD-ONS?

To get an add-on, all you have to do is look on the right-hand side of the main page (toward the top) and click on “Manage your pledge.” Increase your pledge amount by the amount of the add-ons you want. It’s that easy. After the campaign, we’ll use a service called BackerKit to collect not only your shipping address but also the details of which add-ons you’ve selected.

WANT IT ALL?

At this point, however, I’d be remiss in not pointing out what a great deal the I Want It All! level is. Back at that level and you’ll get a 416-page book, two 224-page books (one with a deluxe leather cover), a 192-page book, two 160-page books, and 5 character portfolios. And you get them all in print and PDF. Plus the Cypher Shorts character reference in print and PDF. And we’re not done—not by a longshot. If you’ve seen MCG Kickstarters in the past, you’ll note that we add a lot of great stuff in the last week of the campaign. Will there be additional books and products to add? It seems really likely, so watch the next few days closely if you’re still on the fence.

Godforsaken Upgrade Unlocked!
5 months ago – Thu, Aug 23, 2018 at 12:53:44 AM


Thanks to each and every one of you, Godforsaken, the fantasy-themed guidebook that I’m going to be writing will now be a 192-page book with more art, more adventures, more advice, and a double-sided poster map. That’s great news!

New Goal!

We’re closing in on the end of the campaign—Friday!—and things are moving along nicely, but we are going to need to really reach for the next stretch goal: a whole new book called We Are All Mad Here.

This will be a new 160-page Cypher System sourcebook written by Shanna Germain. We Are All Mad Here will focus on fairy tales, myths, legends, and folklore in gaming, including a whole new mythic magic system that explores the idea of “madness” in any setting. It will cover all your needs for creatures, fairy tale characters, magical items, mythical settings, inspirations, and more. It will also include some Cypher Shorts adventures.

In addition, it will detail the fully-realized, ready-to-use setting, We Are All Mad Here. In this lush, evocative setting, fairy tales enter a dark new woods, one where good and evil aren’t at all what we’ve been told, madness is power, and magic always exacts a terrible price.

We are All Mad Here will be added to the I Want It All! level and above and it will be available as an add-on if we can reach $380,000 before the end of the campaign.

Notebooks!

And don’t forget, we’re also looking to reach 3500 backers so we can unlock the Player and GM Notebooks tied directly into Your Best Game Ever. We are only 150+ backers away right now! These will be added to the I Want It All! level and above, just like the other books. But even if you’re not at all interested in the Cypher System, you’ll be able to add these on to your pledge for the Your Best Game Ever book.

~Monte (and the whole MCG crew)

WANT ADD-ONS?

If you’re new to Kickstarter, to get an add-on, all you have to do is look on the right-hand side of the main page (toward the top) and click on “Manage your pledge.” Increase your pledge amount by the amount of the add-ons you want. It’s that easy. After the campaign, we’ll use a service called BackerKit to collect not only your shipping address but also the details of which add-ons you’ve selected.

WANT IT ALL?

At this point, however, I’d be remiss in not pointing out what a great deal the I Want It All! level is. Back at that level and you’ll get a 416-page book, two 224-page books (one with a deluxe leather cover), a 192-page book, two 160-page books, and 5 character portfolios. And you get them all in print and PDF. Plus the Cypher Shorts character reference in print and PDF. And we’re not done—not by a longshot. If you’ve seen MCG Kickstarters in the past, you’ll note that we add a lot of great stuff in the last week of the campaign. Will there be additional books and products to add? It seems really likely, so watch the next few days closely if you’re still on the fence.

GM and Player Notebooks!
5 months ago – Wed, Aug 22, 2018 at 11:23:20 PM



You did it! We are now going to make two fantastic notebooks to accompany Your Best Game Ever. They'll be included in the I Want it All! level and above for free, or you can add them as add-ons (see the add-on chart and notes below for tips on how to add them on). 

These will be fantastic tools to use alongside Your Best Game Ever, making it even easier to put the tools and techniques to use at your gaming table. These notebooks are system- and setting-agnostic so–just like with Your Best Game Ever–they can be used for every game you play or run. 

The Player Notebook will have room to keep track of your player’s background information, notes about NPCs, important places, and other campaign info. It will even be set up to handle multiple characters in multiple campaigns if you’d like.

The GM Notebook will provide space to record all the pertinent details about the setting, and notes on the PCs, NPCs, and creatures, as well as adventures that you plan, maps you draw, and so on. Both new GMs and old hands will appreciate how the notebook “guides” you through the worldbuilding and adventure-building process.

Both notebooks will be spiral bound and have 100 pages and will look beautiful on the table.

Just 48 hours now! And if you've been part of our Kickstarters before, you know just how far they can go in those last few days–especially if you keep spreading the word! Let's see how many more stretch goals we can hit! 

~Monte (and the whole MCG crew)

 
HOW DO I SELECT AN ADD-ON? 

It’s easy. Select the Manage Your Pledge button on the right-hand side of the Kickstarter page and increase your pledge for the amount listed for the add-on. For example, if you want the GM Notebook, add $15 to your pledge. It’s that easy. After the campaign closes, we’ll be using a service called BackerKit to collect your information, and at that time you can specify the add-on that you’ve already paid for.

A Deeper Look at Your Best Game Ever, Part 3
5 months ago – Tue, Aug 21, 2018 at 11:37:50 PM

In the previous installments, I’ve looked at a couple of areas that we’ll be discussing in Your Best Game Ever to give you a better idea of the planned approach to all the topics we hope to cover. (Check out problem players and playing games online).

Today I’m going to discuss one more: character arcs.

If you’re familiar with the new MCG game, Invisible Sun, then you’re already familiar with the character arc concept. If you’re not, here’s the general idea: Character arcs are how your game can invest itself more in great stories and character depth and development. Just like in a book or a television show, characters progress through their own personal story and change over time. Rather than following a quest given by an NPC, PCs with character arcs decide what they do for themselves, and why. Character arcs are like stated goals for a character, and by progressing toward that goal, a character advances. The keyword there is progressing. You don’t have to succeed at achieving the goal to earn advancement—it’s not an all-or-nothing prospect. Each arc is keyed to a single character, but just like in a book or show, characters can take part in the larger story arc that the whole group participates in, while also progressing in their own, personal arc.

Your Best Game Ever will present a selection of sample character arcs, but of course you can create your own too. They are intentionally broad to encompass many different characters and many different stories. For example, “Revenge” is a very simple and straightforward character arc. (“Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die!”) The player who chooses this arc for their character decides who they want revenge on, and why. The write-up of the arc describes the steps involved in progressing through the arc.

Opening: Vow. You swear revenge.
Step(s): Finding a clue. You find a clue to tracking down the culprit.
Climax: Confrontation. You confront the culprit.
Resolution: You deal with the aftermath of the confrontation and move on. You think about whether you are satisfied by gaining your revenge.

In this arc, the “finding a clue” step is likely to occur multiple times. But all the steps offer something significant. Each time a character completes any step, they earn something in the game that allows them to advance—experience points, points to develop their character, or whatever mechanism the game uses. The biggest step is the climax, and it’s likely worth the most advancement.

The reward for each step of the arc might not be the only way to earn advancement in the game. It might just be a supplemental reward. Regardless, the idea is that players are rewarded for having deeper characters and development that is more like the stories we read and watch. Best of all, they encourage players to be more proactive. Rather than the GM figuring out what “adventure hook” will entice the PCs into going into an interesting scenario, the players decide for themselves that in order to complete the next step of their arc, they have to undertake a particular action. Character arcs drive play.

Other arcs in Your Best Game Ever will include Earn Redemption, Repay a Debt, Defend What is Important, Earn Respect, and many more.

They might not be for everyone, but if you choose to add character arcs to your game, you’ll find they enable a deeper level of play while still embracing the familiar mechanics of the game. This is just one example of actionable, usable game ideas that will be in the book. Things that will allow you to tweak your favorite system to truly have your best game ever.

Oh, and one last thing—keep in mind that the revised Cypher System Rulebook, available in the same Kickstarter campaign as Your Best Game Ever, will take concepts like character arcs that are presented generally and apply them specifically to the Cypher System. So the steps of each arc in the rulebook will note how many XP each step is worth. Everything that Your Best Game Ever suggests will be implemented for you in the new Cypher System Rulebook, making them incredible companion volumes. Loads of new material like this will make every existing Cypher System player want to utilize the new book when it comes out.

And if you're excited about Your Best Game Ever, help us spread the word and get to 3,500 backers. We're moving toward a stretch goal that will let us create GM and Player Notebooks as companion pieces to Your Best Game Ever!  

~Monte

Stay Alive! Upgrade Unlocked!
5 months ago – Mon, Aug 20, 2018 at 11:39:13 PM


Well, that was fast! In less than 24 hours you helped push us over the goal, so now Stay Alive!, the horror-themed sourcebook we unlocked a while back, will now have a poster map, more art, and will be 192 pages long! It will contain all sorts of helpful ideas, suggestions, and rules for horror gaming as well as an entire original horror setting by Sean K Reynolds!

But what about fantasy fans? Fair’s fair, right? If we upgrade The Stars Are Fire and Stay Alive! (and thanks to your help, we have) we should upgrade Godforsaken as well. If we can reach $330,000, we will do just that. With this upgrade, Godforsaken will be 192 pages, with additional art, adventures, and a double-sided poster map. I’m the lead designer on this one, so I’m excited at the prospect of having even more room to flesh out the setting I’ve been planning. 

To reach the goal, though, we have to keep the campaign going strong. Today’s been a great day, but there’s only three and a half days left. Let’s make the most out of them to reach not only this goal, but the next one.

Next one? Yeah. We have at least one more idea up our collective sleeve. Here’s a tease of what I might be talking about:

Want to know more? Keep spreading the word!

~Monte (and the whole MCG crew)

WANT ADD-ONS?

If you’re new to Kickstarter, to get an add-on, all you have to do is look on the right-hand side of the main page (toward the top) and click on “Manage your pledge.” Increase your pledge amount by the amount of the add-ons you want. It’s that easy. After the campaign, we’ll use a service called BackerKit to collect not only your shipping address but also the details of which add-ons you’ve selected.

WANT IT ALL?

At this point, however, I’d be remiss in not pointing out what a great deal the I Want It All! level is. Back at that level and you’ll get a 416-page book, two 224-page books (one with a deluxe leather cover), a 192-page book, two 160-page books, and 5 character portfolios. And you get them all in print and PDF. Plus the Cypher Shorts character reference in print and PDF. And we’re not done—not by a longshot. If you’ve seen MCG Kickstarters in the past, you’ll note that we add a lot of great stuff in the last week of the campaign. Will there be additional books and products to add? It seems really likely, so watch the next few days closely if you’re still on the fence.