It’s no secret that I fell in love with Monsters and Other Childish Things when I reviewed it some months back. It’s a game that offers you the opportunity to relive childhood, except this time you’ve got a slavering Horror From Beyond as your best friend. When the opportunity came to review an adventure/setting for the game, I was more than pleased to do so.
Spring Crescent Middle School is an ordinary school bent on capturing monsters and bending them to the evil will of the faculty and staff. Which is to say, it’s not really ordinary at all, but it works really well as a setting for a MaOCT game. Ross Payton (the author and also the operator of the excellent RPPR Podcast) does a good job of outlining the history of the school, the atmosphere of the place and of setting the scene for the adventure that is provided with the setting. He chose to go the Mystical route with this setting, having the school be run by a cabal of people who want nothing more than to trap monsters and use them to further their nefarious plots. Almost every notable NPC has some mystic ju-ju that they are capable of using, which makes them formidable opponents for your middle schooler and your Something From The Deep Beyond.
The book also gives a bunch of suggestions for how to use the setting, including how campaigns of different tones would work in the school (zany vs serious, etc) and even provides an adventure to get things going. The adventure is designed to be, in my opinion, a good primer for using the school, especially as it is flavored to read kind of like a school schedule, with the action of the adventure happening during a single school day. It gives you the opportunity to get the feel for how an adventure like that should run while also getting you into the setting.
I really enjoyed this book. I personally prefer a more sci-fi bent to my MaOCT games, but the mystical aspects that were used in Curriculum of Conspiracy work just fine. The book is organized well, includes some good art that is in keeping with the feel of a Monsters game and, overall, the book gives you pretty much everything that you would need to run a game in this setting in a nice, neat package of about 60 pages or so.
I reviewed the PDF version, but a print copy is on its way to me. If seeing it in person changes anything about this review, I’ll make sure to let you all know. You can find the PDF at DriveThruRPG and it’s only $5, so definitely worth the price of admission.
Final Verdict: 5 out of 5 stars. The book gives you just what you need, and for a price that’s just right.
[tags]rpg, rpgs, role playing games, monsters and other childish things[/tags]