The Campaign in a nutshell
The Mandate of Heaven is an Epic adventure for Monkey the Roleplaying Game, which is spread over three large locations filled with Immortals from Chinese Mythology. It can provide an intense one shot game or be spread out over several play sessions. The book also provides a more detailed look at the three locations than the main rulebook, so its is useful as reference for the Narrator.
Backers who backed the original Monkey The Roleplaying Game can back the Mandate at a discount using the Returning Backer pledge level. This gets you the pdf with an option of a POD print version.
Backers who didn't back the original Monkey kickstarter, can pick up the main rule-book and the additional books that funded as stretch goals in that campaign using the, Punky Monkey, Funky Monkey, All the Monkey and Mega Monkey backer Levels.
There is One Addon, Dragons Ascending To Heaven, a Wuxia tale of revenge and redemption. This is a self contained standalone book, with a concise version of the rules that power Monkey included. While character generation rules are included, pre-generated characters are also included so you can just pick up and play. Add £5 for a pdf copy or £10 for a POD print copy with a pdf.
About the Mandate of Heaven
This epic adventure takes place in three locations within Chinese Mythology. The Western Heaven, Chang‘an capital of the Tang Empire and the Ten Courts of Hell. There numerous plots play out and evil demons try to bring about the downfall of Heaven and Earth by usurping the harmony between them which is called the Mandate of Heaven.
It is written for the recently funded Monkey The Roleplaying Game, which is based around the Chinese Epic The Journey to the West. There’s an opportunity to back that game as part of your pledge here and pick up the four books that funded in that campaign. If you backed that campaign there is a special backer level, the Returning Monkey, especially for you so you can pick up the book in pdf/and or print at a large discount as a thank you for backing the original campaign.
Recent Campaign Updates
More about the Mandate #1 Meet the Immortals - more detail about how the player characters work in Monkey and the Mandate of Heaven.
More about the Mandate # 2 The Basic Rules. How Monkey's straightforward card drawing resolution system works.
Details of Stretch Goal (PDF Play Aids) added and funding goal reduced to make it more achievable. (see below).
Add On Dragons Ascending To Heaven, a self contained adventure/wuxia ruleset using the Monkey RPG rules added to the campaign, details see below.
The Mandate of Heaven in detail
The Mandate of Heaven takes place in three locations from Chinese Mythology which feature prominently in the Journey to the West.
First is the Western Heaven, ruled by the Jade Emperor and the Queen Mother of the Western Heaven (who is pictured in the header image), who represent the forces of Yang (masculine/active) and Yin (feminine/passive) respectively. Their palaces are at the top of the Heaven, in a city made of jade and other precious gems and metals which floats on clouds above the holy mountain of Kunlun. Below them are the various Ministries of Heaven that run various affairs, such as the Ministry of Thunder led by the Bat Winged Lei-Gong Lord of Thunder whose job is to bring to justice criminals that the mortal authorities cannot. The Western Heaven is also home to many deities such as Lao Tzu the Grandfather of Taoism, the Planet Venus and General Le commander of the heavenly hosts and his son the demon Hunter Prince Natha. As well as the Ministries and the palaces of the various Immortals are places like Lao Tzu’s Forge and the Peach Gardens of the Queen Mother of the West. The player immortals who start on this location are Mandarins, Guards and Magistrates of Celestial origin who were born to serve one of the Great Immortals directly or one of the Ministries.
The second location linked to its heavenly counterpart is the capital city of the Tang Empire, Chang’an. Here the Tang Emperor rules the teeming masses of Chinese. The city is made up of a grid of city streets and divided into districts; some residential, some commercial (which houses the city’s great market), some dedicated to entertainment (with theatres and brothels) and of course the temple district that houses the wooden temples of Buddhism and Taoism. The Player Immortals from here are made up of Earthly Immortals who report to the local City God and are responsible for Earthly affairs, such as the smooth flow of the local rivers or the fertility of the local rice fields.
The final location is the Ten Courts of Hell, where King Yama oversees the judgement and punishment of sinful mortals. This is a dark, dangerous place, with its own order and rules were the Player Immortals are Demon Guards and Judges responsible for keeping the sinners within its boundaries until their allotted time is up and it is time for them to drink the Waters of Forgetfulness, so they may return to earth in their next mortal incarnation.
Each location has its own collection of places, events and characters, which are involved in various sub plots. The player immortals start in the location of their origin, with all the responsibilities and relationships that that implies but at various places (or during certain events) they can travel to the other locations. For example, the Palace of the Western Queen of Heaven has a magical Cosmic Pillar were not only communications between heaven and earth are possible but also transportation.
While very free form in nature, the wanderings of the Player Immortals and their interactions with the various plot lines build up to a story of a demonic threat to the order of Heaven and Earth. Of course this being Monkey this is all very light hearted with moments of intense action. It’s the most epic Monkey experience produced for the game and its ideal for if you just want to run a memorable one shot or start your Journey to the West with a bang. At the upcoming 7 Hills gaming convention in April I’ll be running it with two tables of four players and a co-Narrator who will run one of the tables while I run the other. Of course, you can also take your time to run it as a multi-session experience, if you are running it at home, with just your home group sitting round your gaming table: A drawn out TV series rather than a Cinematic Film like the convention game will be.
The Basic Goal (£2000)
Physically It’s going to be a standalone A5 or 6″ by 9″ book, that will detail dozens of locations, characters and events, as well as explaining how to run this ‘wandering toy box’ adventure within a framework that gives the players and entertaining and satisfying experience. Art will be by Peter Frain and Dan Barker who will be already running hot from illustrating Monkey the RPG.
One Stretch Goal (£2250)
Since this is an All in One Kickstarter there is only one stretch Goal:
Play Aid Pack: This is a collection of pdfs, which are ready to print off on your home printer or at a local print shop.
The pack is made up of the following:
A3 Maps of the three locations the adventure is set in; Western Heaven, The Ten Courts of Hell and the city of Chang'an.
Character Counters for all 12 Pregens and important non-player immortals for use on the maps, so you can easily keep track of where the characters are at any one time.
Who's Who of Chinese Mythology. A quick run down of the important Immortals in each of the three locations a handy player reference.
Hell Money. Amongst other rewards Player Immortals get paid in Hell Money when the do jobs for the Celestial Bureaucracy. They can use Hell Money to pay for the release of either themselves or other characters caught in Hell. This will be single double sided sheet, with multiple notes on that you can print off.
One Add-On: Dragons Ascending To Heaven (£10 for print/pdf or £5 pdf)
A complete mini-game of revenge and redemption using a modified version Monkey RPG rules. Set the Tang capital of Chang 'an during the reign of Emperor Wu, a group of Wuxia Heroes attempt seek revenge for the massacre of their clan. A standalone book complete with rules and adventure. The adventure can be set up to be different every time and the rules can be used as a basis for similar Wuxia tales. This add on is delivered as POD printed version with complimentary pdf (£10) or as a pdf only (£5) via DriveThruRPG.com
Simply add the cost of the add-on to your pledge and I will identify which format you have bought using the Backer's Survey. Note my delivery date of this is the same time as the Mandate itself, so December 2017.
About Monkey The RPG
This is a story-telling game set in a mythical China, where out of grace Immortals seek redemption by escorting a vulnerable, mortal Monk to distant India. Braving many dangers along the way, to recover scrolls of Buddhist scripture, that are missing from the Chinese canon.The road through the wilderness is dangerous since all of Demon-kind has resolved to stop the pilgrims and the eat the Monk's flesh!
The game's simple rules, which use standard playing cards, allow for any sort of action that you can imagine, from fast paced kung-fu to heated debates. The main rule book contains all that you need to play, except two packs of standard playing cards (one for the players and one for the referee) and your imagination.
As well as the main rulebook the original campaign funded the following supplemental books:
1. A set of Quickstart Rules
2. Ministry of Thunder – A set of five connected adventures.
3. The Monkey Companion – A collection of short adventures and articles to add to your game.
4. The Golden Register of 101 Immortals and Demons. – a book of friends and foes to drop into your game.
You can read more about it on the Monkey Kickstarter page.
Missed out on Monkey The Roleplaying Game?
If you missed out on the Monkey Kickstarter earlier this year this is a chance to get the main rulebook + all the books funded as stretch goals. The following backer levels are for you if you want to pick up the rest of the books that funded as part of the Monkey RPG Kickstarter.
Punky Monkey (£15/approx. $18) The Mandate of Heaven + Monkey RPG in pdf
Funky Monkey (£20/approx. $24) The Mandate of Heaven + Monkey RPG in POD Print
All the Monkey (£50/approx. $60) The Mandate of Heaven + Monkey RPG + The Quick Start Rules +The Ministry of Thunder + The Monkey Companion + The Golden Register of 101 Immortals and Demons in pdf and POD print.
The Mega Monkey(£100/approx. $120) As above, with the main rulebook and Mandate signed, and everything sent directly to you at no extra cost.
Already a backer of Monkey?
Since the Mandate of Heaven was be the next stretch goal in the original campaign, I’m offering it at a large discount to backers of that campaign as a thank you. Simply back the Returning Monkey level at £5 (approx. $6 ) for the pdf and the option of picking it up in POD print at cost + P&S. All backers at this level will receive a pdf and a coupon sent via email from DriveThruRPG.com which they can redeem for an at-cost Print on Demand print version. Please note only back at this level if you previously backed Monkey, The RPG back in Jan/Feb earlier this year.
What does POD printing at Cost mean?
The printed books will be fulfilled through DriveThruRPG.com using their Print on Demand service. When the book is ready you will be sent an at cost coupon linked to your DriveThruRPG.com account email address, and you will then pay the production cost and the postage that you want. I've done this successfully for the last two Kickstarters I've fullfilled. It means that all the money raised is going to meet development costs. Also backers get their books at a slight discount to the final retail price.
Please note beause the main rulebook will be available in both Softcover + Hardcover I'll be sending print backers a coupon for both versions.
Printed books from the original campaign, such as the main rulebook which has a delivery date of June 2017, will be delivered before the Mandate of Heaven which I'm going to have done by December 2017.
Risks and challenges
This is my fourth Kickstarter and has been designed to be quickly deliverable, being in essence an extension of the previous Monkey campaign. I'm already working on the Mandate of Heaven, since I'm running it a convention in April.
The only risk in this project is me. As a micro-press publisher, if I get sick or have any real life issues this slows down delivery. If this happens I will keep you up to date with progress how ever slow and give you regular updates on revised release dates.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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