Publishing Advice - [Monthly Micro Publishing] Monster of the Month

Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Jul 16th 2010

Following on from our very interesting discussion of the pros, cons, and methods of monthly micro publishing, I've been inspired to embark upon such a venture myself (and by "myself" I really mean "Contested Ground").

Starting in January 2011, we'll be putting out monthly, free support for Cold City in the form of Monster of the Month. This will be in the form of a three page PDF (cover sheet, faux-report from the RPA on a monster, and a sheet of game information and plot hooks) available for free download from our site. Each RPA report will be appended with an appropriate photograph or illustration.

I'm preparing for this by aiming to have at least ten monsters ready to go before January, giving us a massive buffer in case anything untoward happens.

Another part of this is translating the free PDFs into hardcopy. Rather than do a printed book, Paul had the brilliant idea of printing the reports out at A5 postcards, with the illustration on one side and the report on the other. Game information could be provided on additional sheet of paper. Six photos/postcards will be bundled together in a nice, RPA stamped manila envelope, making a handsome little package. The first set will come out after the sixth free PDF, the second at the end of the year.

I'd be interested in getting peoples view on this plan and any falws they think might crop up. One other thing as well: if you have any thoughts on particular types of 'monster' you'd like to see or think would be particularly valuable, I'd be delighted to hear about that as well.


Posted by: Andrew Kenrick On: Jul 16th 2010

I'd like to see monsters that aren't monsters - seemingly ordinary folk that harbour a dark secret, or terribly evil villains who are just men (and women).

Other than that it's a great idea - the postcard idea worked well for movie summaries for Dead of Night.

Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Jul 16th 2010

Andrew Kenrick:I'd like to see monsters that aren't monsters - seemingly ordinary folk that harbour a dark secret, or terribly evil villains who are just men (and women).

Other than that it's a great idea - the postcard idea worked well for movie summaries for Dead of Night.

Yes, that's absolutely going to be part of it. I've a couple sketch ideas for interesting human monsters. These are, in the main, based on real-world figures. There's always the option to just use real people, but I somehow feel that giving them game stats diminishes the horrible things they did.


Posted by: Neil Gow On: Jul 17th 2010

I'm not sure if anything like this has been included in the core rules or not, but I'd love to see a Vampire. One of my favourite stories of the period was 'Vampires of the Eastern Front' in 2000AD (I think that was its name) about a troop of Romanian vampires who kept having to swap sides! Having a vampire who could blend in amongst humans, dominate people and generally raise the tension would be neat.


Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Jul 18th 2010

Vampires have always been an odd one for me, and something that I have resisted including in CC so far. That's down to personal preference more than anything. I'm aware of people bringing vampiric myths, monsters, and so forth into their games. There certainly seems to be a groundswell of support for at least a recognition of the possibility of 'vampiric' monsters.

Ideally I'd like to come up with a monster that uses traditional vampire tropes, but does something different with them. Perhaps something contextually appropriate for the post-war/Cold War environment.

I think the 2000AD story was 'Fiends of the Eastern Front'. Aha, here we go!


Posted by: Sebastian Hickey On: Aug 15th 2010 edited

I'm a fan of this idea.

Particularly, since I loved the way Cold City introduced the scenario at the end of the book, I'm interested in seeing how monsters can create stories. So, I'd like to see connections (either to factions or people), hooks and prods. Particularly, I'd like to see how a monster is causing a problem, how that might interact with the players and what the monster is capable of doing when the players decide to step in.

For example, let's say your monsteris an obese, nearly translucent man, with a huge, blistered cock dragging off the floor. Maybe his presence causes a malign kind of pregnancy, and fucks up all the babies. So, in a nearby hospital, all of the nurses are lost in a bloody travesty at the maternity ward. How could that affect my players? Treatment no longer available? Informants gone missing? What would happen if the players started to investigate, found him, tried to stop him? What have the players to gain from leaving him alone?

I really dig it when those sorts of questions get asked (and answered) for me.

Posted by: Malcolm Craig On: Aug 23rd 2010 edited

Yep, 'plot hooks' or whatever people want to call them, will form a big part of the MoM download. So, you get an RPA report on the monster, then you get game stats, then you get three potential plot hooks. Hopefully, the RPA report section will also contain some grabby asides and stuff that inspires further thought aside from the given hooks.

I'll post up some stuff about the first few monsters int he near future, hopefully provoking some further discussion.


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