Along the same lines as Evil Hat’s It’s Not My Fault deck, Monte Cook Games’ new Story, Please! deck is a game inspiration deck or randomizer for the ENnie award winning No Thank You, Evil!. If you haven’t encountered No Thank You, Evil!, it’s a kid oriented RPG with multiple levels of play difficulty for accommodating families and growing children. It’s a d6 system with pools of points that you can use to adjust the difficulty of a problem you’re encountering by “trying harder,” and it plays fast and loose and light for short games (and short attention spans). The game is themed with candy, adventure, intelligent backpacks, and places in a child’s room.
Story, Please! is a deck of adventure pieces to either inspire the Guide (GM) or be used wholesale as is. The deck includes people, places, stuff, one sentence story ideas, map cards, and hand out cards, all with the same engaging style of art we know from No Thank You, Evil!, specifically created to engage the young-uns. Many of the cards have cool stuff on the front and back.
Personally, I love this kind of story aid. I have been using the It’s Not My Fault deck for a while, and actually use it more for running five minute RPGs on the fly at conventions than for its intended purpose. I can clearly see doing something similar with this deck for turning out stories on the fly, whether they are for No Thank You, Evil! as a system or not. The language is evocative if more appropriate for a younger age, along with twists like candy walls or a remote control dinosaur. While you can absolutely bypass these cards and still have a blast playing No Thank You Evil!, if your kids are on board and you’re running out of inspiration, this deck is the perfect solution. I haven’t had a chance to pull it out and test it on the ultimate subject yet (my son), but I am confident he’ll enjoy it, especially if we have a friend or two over. It seems like it would also be helpful to new GMs, possibly older siblings as the game encourages, who may not have down the art of inspiration and improv. Tools like this encourage GMs new and old to more confidently plan less and improvise more, which I believe gives players more freedom and more possibilities. I hope this deck will help a new generation of GMs learn how to run a story on the fly.
Story, Please! and Uh-Oh, Monsters! are on kickstarter through November 11. Monte Cook Games provided us with a review copy for this article.
Have you played this game with your munchkins? Do you think these cards look cool?