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Monster Keep: Coming next

Okay so I figured I would *collect* the ideas from the Monster Keep thread (

I am doing this because there was some discussion and changes as the game materialized. So in this blog, I will explain (to the best of my abilities) what "Monster Keep" is.

"You are the Lord of a Stronghold who must recruit Monsters to protect his Keep from the evil Heroes that come with the intent to steal valuable gold and treasure. But Monsters are a "hard to please" bunch... and will only protect the Lord who satisfies their needs..."

Each Monster has three (3) traits:

  • Hunger: How much FOOD a Monster likes to consume.
  • Greed: How much TREASURE a Monster likes to horde.
  • Bloodlust: How much BATTLE a Monster enjoys.

Each Monster will have various levels of these three (3) traits. If a Lord can fulfil the level of one, two or all three traits, he will earn a BONUS token (+1/+2/+3 respectively). They tokens may be used when bidding for the favour of *another* monster.

The game is divided into two (2) distinct decks:

  • The Monster Deck: which contains sixty (60) different monsters.
  • The Heroes Deck: which contains fouty (40) different heroes.

There is one (1) common (shared) Monster Deck used for all players. Each Lord has his/her own Heroes Deck. So in a four (4) player game, each Lord would have one Heroes Deck and therefore there would be four (4) Heroes Deck in order to play the game.

Each Lord also has one (1) pawn which he uses during the bidding phase of the game.


The Monster Deck

The Monster Deck is comprised of sixty (60) different monsters. Each monster is unique in what pleases him... As such each Monster must be bribed into submission. Monsters are divided into five (5) distinct clans.

This is the ORC (Green) clan: "Brawler", "Swordsman", "Bezerker", "Axe Thrower", "Stone Hurler", "Shaman", "Witch Doctor", "Manticore", "Bridge Troll", "Hill Giant", "Orc Chieftain" and "Green Dragon".

This is the FIRE (Red) clan: "Fire Sprite", "Djinn", "Hell hound", "Efreeti", "Fire Elemental", "Basilisk", "Wyvern", "Demon", "Succubus", "Fire giant", "Prince of Darkness (Devil)" and "Red Dragon" (12 members of RED clan).

This is the STORM (Blue) clan: "Will-O-Wisp", "Naiad", "Dragon Turtle", "Kraken", "Siren", "Sea Serpent", "Thunderbird", "Merman", "Mermaid", "Storm giant", "Leviathan", "Blue Dragon".

This is the FROST (White) clan: "Bruiser" (Ogre - Fist), "Smasher" (Ogre - Club), "Crusher" (Ogre - Stone), "Butcher" (Ogre - Cleaver), "Wolf Raider", "Polar Bear", "Gargoyle", "Dark Elf (Male)", "Dark Elf (Female)", "Frost giant", "Cyclops", "White Dragon".

This is the UNDEAD (Black) clan: "Zombie", "Skeleton", "Mummy", "Werewolf", "Vampire", "Harpie", "Necromancer", "Mystic Seer", "Crypt Fiend", "Flesh Giant", "Lich King" and "Black Dragon".

Victory Condition

The Lord with the highest "Influence" is the winner of the game.

"Influence" is obtained by successfully recruiting Monsters. Each monster has his own "Influence" value and it varies from one monster to another.

Bonus "influence" points can be earn by satisfying a monster's level for a trait. The Bonus tokens (+1/+2/+3) can also be used to bid on other monsters too!

(***To be determined - during playtesting***)
When a player reaches the end of his Heroes Deck, the game ends. Each Lord must tally up the amount of Influence his monsters have given his and add to this the total amount of Bonus "influence" tokens.

The Heroes Deck

The Heroes Deck is comprised of forty (40) different heroes. Heroes are used to entice and attract monsters to a Lord's Keep. Each Hero is distinct in what he brings to the monsters. There will be four (4) vile Human Houses that rally against the each Lord. Each Lord will use those heroes to attract the biggest and most fearsome monsters to his stronghold.

The Heroes Deck will remain *confidential* due to the fact that it will be closely tied to Stretch Rewards.

Game play - A turn

Before bidding begins on Monster, the Monsters must be selected and place into the middle of play.

Therefore a Lord must draw "# of Player + 2" Monster cards from the Monster Deck and place them in the middle of play.

The first Lord begin his turn:

  • 1-He must refresh his deck up to 5 cards by drawing cards from his Heroes Deck and placing them in his hand.
  • 2-He must choose a monster to bid on by placing his pawn on the monster's card.
  • 3-Next he must play a minimum one (1) Hero card from his hand face down (hidden).
  • 4-End his turn.

Next all Lords must repeat the above steps.

When it becomes the first Lords turn again. He may:

  • 1-Increase his bid by playing up to a maximum of five (5) Hero cards.
  • 2-Play one or more bonus tokens to up the ante.
  • 3-Fold and choose another monster to bid on.

Next all Lords, on their turn, may do one or several of the above options. Once one Lord plays an additional card or a bonus token, players may each revise their own bidding and repeat one or more of the previous options.

When bidding is done, if there are competing bids for the same monster, those bids must be resolved in the following manner:

  • 1-Each Hero card is revealed, one at a time, for each competing Lord.
  • 2-A player may fold and place the remaining cards back into his Heroes Deck.
  • 3-Repeat until all Hero cards are revealed and the value of each bid is known.

The "value" of a bid is the addition of the trait points (On each Hero card) + bonus tokens played.

The Lord with the highest bid wins the Monster in question.

Each Lord must discard the Hero cards used for bidding into their own discard pile. Those cards are removed from play permanently.

Play continues in this fashion until the end of a player's Heroes Deck is reached.


What if the composition of your keep attracts both monsters and heroes?
Monsters could be attracted by Food & Treasure
Heroes could be attracted by Treasure & Glory

Monsters would be rated by needs (Food & Treasure) as well as rated by what they can do in battle (Power) & how much attractive they are to potential heroes (Glory).

Heroes would be rated by needs (Treasure & Glory) as well as rated by what they can do in battle (Power) and how much Treasure they will either add to your hoard if they're defeated / steal from your hoard if they defeat all of your monsters.

This allows you to scale the Monsters and the Heroes.

Monster and Heroes

Well the idea is that the *Heroes* are used as BAIT. Each one IS FOOD, has equipment and gold (TREASURE), and can help satisfy a monster's need for blood (BLOODLUST)!

For example: A horseman is an SUPERIOR source of FOOD (the man + the horse). This could go a long way in attracting a "Cyclops" which is a very hungry beast. The horseman carries only a little bit of gold (WEAK TREASURE) and is also a very weak fighter (WEAK BLOODLUST). This is because it is hard to battle while steering a horse!

My idea to *divide* the Heroes from the Monster stems from how I want to MARKET and SELL the game. Mainly, one (1) player needs to buy the Monster Deck. It comes with tokens, 6 pawns, 60 Monsters and a booklet manual.

Next EACH player (Lord) needs to buy one (1) Heroes Deck in order to play. The game is from 2 player to 6 players. The expansions to the game would be newer Heroes Decks... So instead of using Humans as bait, you could use Elves or Dwarves... Each Heroes Deck comes with 40 Heroes and a folded manual (paper).


Well it is finally official: I got the rights to the web address = ''

I cannot believe the address was AVAILABLE. This is great, for $50 I have the rights to the domain for 2 years. But MORE importantly, I can actually use the "Monster Keep" name!


Note: This would be my 3rd game that is published... I'm currently working on my 2nd game - but sometimes have time to think about "Monster Keep"...

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blog | by Dr. Radut