Become a vet to incredible creatures inspired by Studio Ghibli in upcoming tabletop RPG Monster Care Squad.
The RPG casts players as Monster Care Specialists - in short, skilled vets - who must heal the monster inhabitants of a fantasy world. The setting of Ald-Amura’s peace is broken by a mysterious poison called The False Gold, which spreads amongst the monsters of the world and causes them to suffer rage.
Gameplay sees the players diagnose the monster’s condition by investigating local towns and interacting with residents to gain information. Once a diagnosis has been made, the group must prepare spells, create potions and come up with a plan to heal the troubled being. This plan is executed in the symbiosis phase, with the party members applying their cures and quelling the monster’s rage. In return, they may receive some of the god-like being’s power to use in future sessions.
The world of Monster Care Squad is described by its creators as heavily influenced by the animated films of Studio Ghibli and its founder, writer-director-illustrator Hayao Miyazaki. A number of Ghibli films explore the relationship between nature and humankind, including the corrupting influence of industrialisation and other human encroachment on animals and natural spirits.
The RPG’s gameplay is said to focus on narrative play, drawing from story-driven games such as Rhapsody of Blood, Ryuutama and Ironsworn. Players predominantly roll two six-sided dice, spending ‘aces’ - representing additional knowledge, equipment and talents - to increase their results. Characters also have natural talents, known as specialites, for instant successes in certain tests.
The game’s ‘Mentor system’ provides the chance for the GM to play alongside the players, helping the party and joining them in adventures. The rules and scenarios are said to prioritise collaboration, support and positive interaction. Characters and sessions can seemingly be created quickly with a good deal of flexibility, with a minimal amount of rules overhead.
Monster Care Squad is live on Kickstarter now, where it’s already far surpassed its initial funding target. The campaign will run until August 2nd, with the game’s release expected in November 2021. A preview version of the game can be accessed via the Kickstarter, featuring non-final rules.