Choose your journey With A Monster's Tail, a new Monster Catching RPG from Five Points Games

A Monster’s Tail is a Powered by the Apocalypse game that takes inspiration from the classics of the Monster Catcher genre of video games and media - Pokémon, Digimon, Jade Cocoon, Dragon Warrior Monster, and more currently live on Kickstarter!

Choose your journey With A Monster's Tail, a new Monster Catching RPG from Five Points Games
A Monster's Tail by Five Points Games
This is a community submitted press release.
You wake up early, pack your backpack and shuffle off to the Professor’s lab, anxious but excited. Today you’re going to get your first Genmon and meet your Companions, fellow teens you’ll be traveling across the Region with, having adventures, getting into trouble with, and sharing defeats and triumphs both. Today is the first day of your Journey, the first day you take a step out of your childhood and discover who you want to be.

A Monster’s Tail is a Powered by the Apocalypse game that takes inspiration from the classics of the Monster Catcher genre of video games and media - Pokémon, Digimon, Jade Cocoon, Dragon Warrior Monster, and more currently live on Kickstarter!

Back the Project here

So what's A Monster's Tail all about?

Kiraff, the Kiteneck Genmon

A Monster’s Tail sets you and your fellow Players on the journey of a lifetime, traveling around a vast Region to uncover secrets and truths not just about the world around you but also yourself. More than just traveling around the world, battling Genmon, and uncovering hidden treasures, A Monster’s Tail is a game about Coming of Age. The Player Characters leave the comfort of their homes to travel the Region, hiking through the wilderness and making new friends and enemies with only their wits and Companions at their back. Together you will ask yourselves what it is you want at the end of this journey, who you wish to be, and what you want to accomplish. While there is no fixed goal in A Monster’s Tail, you are expected to return home a different person than when they left. 

A Monster's Tail is about the Exploration of Nature and the place of both humans and Genmon within it. What does it mean for humans and Genmon to live side-by-side? How is the fate of the natural world intertwined with that of the built environment? Regardless of where you are - a bustling metropolis far from the reaches of the forest and sea? A frigid tundra isolated from the warmth of civilization? - nature thrives! Exploring how we coexist, how humans and Genmon impact each other's world, is central to A Monster's Tail.

A Monster's Tail is about Competing and Conflicting Dreams. Do you think you're the only ones with hopes and dreams? The Genmon world is full of other Trainers, both young and old, and each has their own ambitions, goals, and even schemes. Some are working for the benefit of the Genmon world as a whole while others seek only to benefit themselves. No matter how righteous or repugnant these dreams may be, A Monster's Tail places all Trainers on a collision course, setting them up to test their dreams against the hopes and desires of others. Will your convictions hold strong enough to carry you to triumph? Or will you fall by the wayside, crushed by the weight of the world? Perhaps you will learn to see things differently, and change your path to suit your new perspective. Keep your Genmon and your Companions by your side, and there's no limit to what you might achieve!

Alright, but How do You Play?

Common of Powered by the Apocalypse games (inspired by Apocalypse World, created by Vincent and Meguey Baker), players in A Monster's Tail interact with the game via Moves, which are prompted by specific narrative triggers and use dice rolls to resolve the situations that arise. Be it climbing a daunting mountain, challenging another Trainer to a Duel, or simply trying to Convince someone to give you what you want, the GM will offer a Move for their players to make, the player rolls two d6 dice, and the narrative changes to reflect outcome of the roll.

What about the Monsters?

Stratosfir, the Rain Spirit Genmon

Monsters in A Monster's Tail, or Genmon as we call them, are front and center in the game. Players take on the role of Trainers, creating teams of various Genmon and traveling their Region, fighting and forming friendships with other Trainers and Genmon! The core book comes with all the rules you need to not only use the provided Genmon, but to create your own. The system is lightweight, allowing GMs to generate Genmon during play rather than needing to stat them out far in advance.

Genmon have Types, broad categories that they fall into with strengths and weaknesses unique to them. The core rules are designed to allow GMs to create their own Types from whatever they wish, or even port existing media into A Monster's Tail. For GMs who want to do less of the heavy lifting, the core rules also present over 60 Genmon with our proprietary Types.

The Types of Hayle, the provided Region in A Monster's Tail

Complications and Consequences

A Monster's Tail diverges from other Powered by the Apocalypse games by recontextualizing the role of the GM. Instead of making Moves (whether Hard or Soft) the GM of A Monster's Tail provides Complications or Consequences within the fiction of the game. Complications are any narrative prompt that the Players of A Monster's Tail can act on while Consequences are the immediate results of rolls or choices the Players make. Complications and Consequences are not merely a binary state. Consequences can be framed in less immediate terms which turns them into Complications and Complications can be made more immediate, thus turning them into Consequences. Many Moves also provide these Complications which allow the Players a high level of input on how the story is shaped.

Perhaps the most important of these Move Complications can be found in the Natures of Genmon, mini-Playbooks (or "classes") that help build your Genmon partners' personalities. A Genmon might be Spicy or Easygoing, both of these Natures providing Moves that the Genmon themselves can make in the fiction as well as various Complications to add variety to the sorts of hijinks the Players might encounter.

You've Been Patient, Now Some Genmon!

Pidgidiot, the Dirty Bird Genmon
Sask'Sqwa, the Living Legend
An example Dex Entry in A Monster's Tail

In Closing

We at Five Points Games went into creating A Monster's Tail with three key missions. The first was to create a Powered by the Apocalypse game that is approachable to people new to these sorts of games and also to appeal to long-term players of the broad and expansive catalog of other Powered by the Apocalypse games. The second was to take what we felt were the best and most innovative evolutions of the Powered by the Apocalypse design space and fit them onto a single chassis that works for GMs both new and old alike. Finally our third mission was to add to the conversation created by other Monster Catcher TTRPGs, not merely just make another in the chorus of voices already in the hobby. We've done this by prioritizing the narrative drama found in our favorite media properties such as the Pokémon and Digimon manga and anime, as well as games like Azure Dreams, and supporting narrative play with simple and elegant rules rather than emulating the complexities of video games as other Monster Catcher TTRPGs have done.

Our efforts are exemplified by our system of Complications and Consequences, discussed above. This element of A Monster's Tail is the bedrock on which the entire system is designed. With one simple mechanic, Players and the GM create engaging drama that takes the game off the railroad tracks. As one of the key Principles, the guide rails for GMs, enumerates:

Create Interesting Dilemmas, not Interesting Plots
The best way to build a session is not to build one at all. That isn’t to say that planning and prep aren’t important, they most certainly are, but if there’s a single golden rule in Tabletop Gaming it’s that plans fail when players get involved. Instead of making elaborate plans and plots, use the Principles and Agendas to build a world and this Principle in particular to make problems arise. We’ve talked about how the world should be interesting, and that interesting things should happen, and this is an extension of that. Create events that the Trainers have to respond to, and react to, and go off their reactions. Don’t have a preconceived notion of what’s at the end of the trail. The game is all about the journey, and that goes for the GM as well. Let yourself be guided by the Trainers, see where their actions lead you and go from there. 

Are you a player wanting to tell amazing stories about catching monsters and finding yourself? A GM looking for a rules-light system that won't take hours of prep before your sessions? A fellow designer looking for new rules ideas to make your game the next hit? No matter what your journey is, you can go there with A Monster's Tail.

For other games by Five Points Games, check out their store.