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It's a Date Jonathan Dawes

Monster of the Month

Creator: Jon Dawes
Exhibition: It’s a Date
Published: February 2022
Format: Rules pdf
Content Advisories: None

Title of the game
Monster of the Month – A Game for One or More Players

Description of the Work

Rules, in PDF format, for an adventure board game for one or more players. Any paper calendar can be used as the game board and the players must also supply their own counters, meeples, and six-sided dice to play.

Each player is an adventurer traveling through the calendar to slay monsters and take their treasure. A different boss monster and its minions appear in each month, but they must be found by rolling on daily random events. In addition, a short-term modifier always applies based on the day of the week on which the adventurer begins their turn. Different years will have different combinations of days of the week and month days for each month, so not every calendar will be the same. Whoever ends the year alive and with the most treasure wins.

Project Statement

The name comes from a trope, “Monster of the Week” that I first heard to describe the TV series, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, but which I have found out was coined by the creators of “Outer Limits” in 1963. I thought that, in my game, each time you turned the calendar page to a new month, you should be facing a different set of monsters. There’s a simple fighting mechanic where you roll a six sided die to damage a monster and then, if you don’t manage to kill it, it gets to do the same to you. If it rolls a six, it has a special strike that does something even worse to you. If you do manage to kill it, you take its treasure, which will be added up at the end of the game to determine the winner.

I also wanted the different numeric days and week days to have significance, so I made each week day have a specific modifier for your whole turn and each day have a random event that happens when you land there. I made it roughly symmetrical for a thirty-one day month (day one is a mirror image of day thirty-one, etc., with only day sixteen being completely unique on the board).

One of the cool things about using a calendar for a game board is that the combination of weekdays and numeric days of the month change each year, so it’s like having a bunch of different boards. With a little adjustment, you can even make it work on calendars that aren’t exactly the same as the ubiquitous Gregorian kind.

Interesting synchronicity: The day after our first work day for the event, I received a kitten calendar in the mail from my mom. She had filled in all sorts of dates that had do with our extended family — birth, death, and marriage dates, and stuff like the day the store that my great grandfather built burned down. This event was definitely also inspired heavily by my mom’s relationship with calendars.

Without Whom…

Special thanks go out to Pauline White for making my text file into a pretty PDF with her own original artwork.

Project Files

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