Wednesday, November 2, 2016

MK Review: Story, Please! An Adventure Building Deck

MK Review: Story, Please! An Adventure Building Deck


Hullo!

This is technically a preview! Just to assure you are up to date with all of the information we are about to cover, I suggest you read my review of the original game, No Thank You Evil! here. Go ahead. I'll wait... Back? Ready? OK! Let's do this!

In the Core Tabletop Game of No Thank You, Evil! you are already given so much material to introduce your youth to the imagination rich realm of the RPG in the Land of Storia. You have a basic, story driven system that is easy to learn and fun to play. What more could you possibly want? More story options? For those of us who can't always create a masterpiece from scratch, there are now tools available! 

After the very successful Kickstarter campaign in June of 2015 there has been nothing but amazing reports from both children and adults in regards to No Thank You, Evil!. MORE. That was the one resounding reply from the masses! Beginning on October 26th and ending on November 11th, Monte Cook and the Gang have not only answered the call, but upped the ante with their newest Kickstarter Campaign No Thank You, Evil! The Adventures Continue (find it here!). No worries, this one is already fully funded!

Today we are going over the Story, Please! Adventure Building Deck that is offered in the new Kickstarter. I have to admit, I have only had the cards in my hands for 24 hours and I am already bursting with excitement! Let's cover the basics first. This deck is meant for the person playing the role of the Guide. The cards drawn can be shown to the players as they come into play. The Adventure Building Deck is made up of 100 cards broken into seven types. 

Story Cards

There are 20 "Story Cards", that offer a total 40 of different options (each card has two scenarios) to have a reason for adventuring. In the example we have here, "Sweet Tooth", you have two different options that are cake related! Each Story card has different artwork on the reverse side to show the players. You can either look through and pick out one you like, or just draw one at random and run with it.

Place Cards

There are also 20 "Place Cards" giving a total of 40 locations to choose from giving your story some direction (literally). Each of these, like the Story Cards, have two choices. Again let's take a look at our example; "On a faraway planet" your astronauts have two out of this world places to add for your gaming pleasure. On the back of the cards are fun images and advertisements for the place you are going so you have something to show your players.

Person Cards

Now we look a the last set of 20, the "Person Cards". Each one has one person per card. On one side, as you can see in our example: the Guide will find their stats just in case you need them. On the other side, a "Sheriff Lucy Lawful" (or whoever you choose) image to show the players when they meet her.

Stuff Cards

There are 10 "Stuff Cards" that give you some incentives, goals or maybe just a some random loot as a reward for success. With the example we have here, "5 Coins" you get some loot. This can be used to buy some new clothes, or a sword, maybe some anti-gravity gum! This is the kind of thing you would offer as a reward for completing the task your players have been given. You could just know you want to give them coins and have the card ready, or you can make a random draw as all of the backs on these cards are the same.

Twist Cards

10 cards are "Twist Cards". These could be random things that your players encounter along the way with a blind pull from the deck, or you could remove a few of your choice to have ready when they hit the hurdle. The card gives you the problem and the target goal needed to get around the obstacle. In the card pictured, "The Door is Locked" your players encounter a locked door and must find a way to get through or around it with a goal of two in order to defeat the issue and advance in their travels.

Map Cards

Need a quick map for an area? The 10 "Map Cards" have you covered. You have ten cards that you can use with the tile-laying mechanic for a randomly created space (just line up the cards as you explore new areas), or use the reverse side where you will find an entire layout just waiting for your players to explore! These give your location a bit more depth. It is not much more than visual aide, but let's face it, the ability to visualize the exact scenario is a lot easier with something to look at!

Handout Cards

There are only 10 more cards in the Adventure Building Deck and I am sure you are wondering what they could possibly be. Everything has been covered right? Remember what I just said about being immersed into the realm of imagination through visual stimulation? The last set of cards, are called "Handout Cards". These serve as an actual invitation to the party or the ticket they will need to enter an event, those kinds of things. Ten of them! As you can see in the picture our example is an invitation to "Princess Strike's Bowling Ball"! The details are left blank so that you can fill those in yourself, although I would suggest giving them verbally, not writing them on the card. I only say this because I am a "clean game" person. There are bits of paper and such that can be more disposable, or at least less damaging to your cards.

The Wrap Up

Made in the exact same dimensions as the original "Monster Cards" in the core game, these cards can either be a few details to get you started writing your own amazing adventure, or they can randomly generate the entire experience as you draw out cards and let them guide your story! The Story, Please! Adventure Building Deck on its own is enough to make me buy into the latest campaign. The added components give even more replay value and versatility to an already stellar product. You could leave out the Core Game entirely and use this deck as a story telling game all on its own if you really wanted to. As a stand alone game I would have teetered between two and three stars, but as an added element I am happily placing a Four Star rating on it!

But... That's not all there is in the bundle! I only reviewed one small portion of the content available through the crowd funding project. There is also the Uh-Oh, Monsters! Adventure Pack that gives you more pre-written adventures and unique monsters to add to the ever growing list of awesome source material within your grasp. You could also get some more No Thank You, Evil! dice, "wipe-away character sheets" and many other fun and useful extras.

If you are already kicking yourself for missing the first campaign, worry not! There are a few backer levels that include the core game, even one for the Deluxe Box! ...and the Core system is scheduled to arrive in time for this Christmas! It makes the perfect gift for any family. Just as they have achieved mastery of the game and start wondering about ways to add to it, BAM! No Thank You, Evil! The Adventures Continue arrives as the bonus gift. Or you could save the extras for Birthdays! You only have about a week to get in on this before the campaign ends! I highly suggest you do. You will thank me after your family has played it.

Until next time... Game On!
-MK