Who is the real monster? "Against The Monster" questions the binary of good and evil

This monster hunt is not as black-and-white as the artwork in the game. Story game Against the Monster asks you to consider the good of the monster and the monstrosity of the hunters before answering: Do you really attack the monster?

Who is the real monster? "Against The Monster" questions the binary of good and evil
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You have set out together to hunt the monster and end its existence once and for all.

After that, however, it gets complicated.

At least it does in Against the Monster, a story game about a monster hunt, the good of the monster, and the monstrosity of the hunters.

The game will be published in both English and German (as Gegen das Monster) by Berlin-based indie publisher Plotbunny Games. It will be produced as a 32-page zine with evocative artwork on every single page and as a screenreader-ready PDF with image descriptions, tags, and clickable references. The Kickstarter campaign to fund all this still runs until March 1st, 2024.

Collage of the cover of Against the Monster in both languages and two spreads of the zine. The covers show silhouettes of claws, tentacles, teeth, and trees around the title of the game.
Preview mock-ups of the cover in both languages and a preview of two interior spreads

Against the Monster builds on the Descended from the Queen mechanics created by Alex Roberts. It was written by Jasmin Neitzel and Andrea Rick, two queer and trans or nonbinary game designers. The artwork is by Andrea Rick.

The GM-less no-prep game starts with a brief collaborative set-up phase where players sketch a rough idea of the environment and perhaps choose a monster type (dragon? vampire? flesh-eating plant? artificial intelligence? something else entirely?). Safety tools are also introduced during this set-up.

Three spreads with large artwork showing a camp in the forest with a monster, a Kraken, and a vampire.
Three example spreads with some of the artwork

Against the Monster then uses randomly drawn playing cards to ask questions like What scent tells you the monster is near? What damage did you already cause during the monster hunt? or What is beautiful about the monster? As players answer these questions, their characters, the monster, and the setting are created and fleshed out in more detail.

Depending on the questions that are drawn, the hunters will need to question their motives, consider the influence of rumors and relationships, realize the impact of the hunt, and consider the similarity between the monster and themselves.

When the card for the final question is drawn, the monster is facing the hunters and each of them has to decide: Do you really attack the monster?

Cover in English and an example spread of the random tables with a fur-like texture around it
Cover in English and example spread with one of the random tables

The Kickstarter campaign for Against the Monster / Gegen das Monster has funded already, but any extra money raised will first go towards giving all project contributors a bonus fee and then towards future projects by Plotbunny Games.

You can also get the publisher's previous zine-sized games as add-ons during the campaign: Viva la QueerBar, last year's ZineMonth project about a queer bar and the team who runs it, Bunny, We Bought a Dungeon, a map-drawing OSR story game about bunnies who are exploring and renovating a dungeon to move in there together, and Dolly, We Bought a Dream House, a dream-house-drawing story game about Dollys furnishing their new home and meeting their neighbors in a pinktastic world.

If you'd like to see how the game plays before you back it, you can find a bunch of Actual Play videos on the Kickstarter page, too. In English, a ghost is hunted in the American desert, and a cryptid is hunted in the Black Forest. In German, an artificial intelligence is hunted in a virtual world of oceans and islands, and an Amor-masked monster is hunted during the Carnival in Venice.

The campaign runs until March 1st, 2024, so hunt it down before it's too late!