Monster Rangers (2023)

This is Monster Rangers, a two-zine set of delicious aesthetic goodness. It’s designed for Fate (and, as such, is practically system neutral—you wouldn’t have much trouble using this as a campaign frame with another system if you are, for some reason, Fate-averse).

As you can tell from the covers and the art, there is a very particular retro vibe here. The game takes place in an alternate version of the US during the Progressive Era (specifically 1913), and there is a lot of pre-WWI can-do vibe here, overlayed with some touches that also feel like they are inspired by the ‘20s and ‘30s. The normal world is prosperous, but there are places where the world of monsters overlaps conventional reality—Obscuria. There, monsters can accidentally pass over into our reality and, confused, cause all sorts of havoc. Enter the Monster Rangers, an organization dedicated to protecting and helping monsters, primarily through the use of magical merit badges (I fucking love this so much). This reminds me a lot of Vaesen, but without the tragic undercurrents. This set-up is further complicated by Monsterologists, steampunk capitalists who want to capture, experiment on and general exploit errant monsters in the name of profit. They’re the villains, and they earn the title.

That’s the broad strokes, but I bet your gears are already going with ideas. There is a ton of source material—factions galore (there’s a beet magnate who wants to destroy the rangers?!), cultists, ranger traditions, details on ranger headquarters and bases. All of it is wrapped in a golly-gee package that keeps the vibe light. It is emphatically not a horror game—the monsters are our friends! Rather, crappy people are the bad guys, and I can always get down with bopping folks like that in the nose.

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