Review of Milky Monsters, a kid-focused tabletop RPG for large groups
Age and skill target for Milky Monsters: all ages, specifically 8+, counting required
Milky Monsters is a tabletop RPG that was specifically designed for playing with a large group of ~8 year old kids! I was also able to play easily with my 2.5yo kid if I helped him with counting to 20 and with inventory, so it can work with a wide range of skills and ages.
Because Milky Monsters is a tabletop RPG system, it is up to the game leader to create the story, so you have full control over the content and can adjust to be all ages friendly. The end of the game even talks about making sure your content is right for your group, and there’s a lot of very helpful tips provided for game runners.
Milky Monsters can fit any setting:
Because Milky Monsters is a game system, the setting can be anything you want! And it even suggests getting creative and branching out of the typical idea of a medieval fantasy tabletop RPG to fit what your kids are most interested in.
The first game of Milky Monsters that we played, I asked my kid what kind of story he wanted, and he choose playing hide-and-seek with a monster named Mildy who lived in the ocean. We rolled with it and the system was flexible enough to handle a bit of an atypical setting that my kid loved to mess around with.
Creating your character in Milky Monsters:
Milky Monsters’ character creation was easy and had a very clear walkthrough. You roll for three stats (STRONG, CLEVER, and CHARMING) that determine how you handle fighting and skill checks. Then, based on your highest stat, you are assigned a certain amount of health (HP) and magic (MP) to spend.
Then, you roll a d20 a few times to fill up your gear list off of the provided table, which was one of the highlights in this tabletop RPG. My kid started out with an awesome hodgepodge of gear and got pretty silly (and happy to share his character’s snacks during the game) when I told him that for food he had a cabbage, a can of beans, and a bacon pie.
After your gear, you name and draw your character, and you are all set to go! It only took a few minutes to set up our Milky Monsters character, and everything was a level that my kid could understand.
Epic mechanics in Milky Monsters:
D20 combat and checks:
For both combat and skill checks in Milky Monsters, you roll a d20 and then compare to your stat for the appropriate skill for that situation (see character creation section). If your d20 roll is lower than your stat, you succeed! If your d20 roll is higher, it does not succeed.
This was really easy to help my kid track because it was just rolling higher or lower than the number on his sheet (no modifiers or math needed). He could see the number and compare – it wasn’t hidden behind the DM screen or muddled by additional numbers to track.
If you are in combat and hit, you also always do 1hp of damage. There’s no extra rolling for damage, in Milky Monsters, it is always just 1hp. This is great both for little ones and for large groups to keep combat moving – there’s no stopping to roll damage after already rolling to hit, and there’s no dragging out combat to add up extra rolls and modifiers and multiple dice.
Using and conserving items:
Items from the inventory you rolled during Milky Monsters‘ character creation are categorized into:
- Objects (for healing or making checks easier)
- Weapons (for attacking)
- Armor (absorbs 1HP of damage)
- Spells (uses 1MP to cast)
Objects and armor are single use only, so when it is used, you just mark it until you can replace or repair everything. To track, I did need to help my son (I remind, he was only 2.5yo when we played) with the list by adding symbols of food, a sword, a shield, etc next to the check boxes for single use items and grouping them together in these categories in his inventory.
For slightly older kids, this should be fairly straightforward to track, and it’s a great way to introduce strategy to the game. Kids need to weigh when to pull out their single-use items for the best boost, but it’s manageable too. Especially for large groups or really young kids, you don’t want to have a ton of complicated item mechanics, so having each item have the same number of uses, absorb the same damage, etc makes it much easier to run a game. This is Milky Monsters‘ strength – having just enough complication without being so much that it bogs everything down when you have young ones or a ton of players.
Team rituals and heroic feats:
It was just my son playing Milky Monsters with another “invisible player” that I controlled, so we didn’t get to try this part of the game out, but I love the idea so much!
When the group has a huge idea that seems like it shouldn’t work, there is a mechanic set up for them to all agree as a team to each sacrifice some HP or MP to make that idea happen. This is an awesome method for fostering teamwork and discussing cost/reward consequences as a group, plus… it can get fun to break the game a little.
Conducting a ritual or feat together is going to create one of those stories (if you’ve played tabletop RPGs before, you will know) where you talk about how amazing you all were in that moment for days, months, or years after. These are the moments when you catapult up a cliff to grab a ride on a giant eagle or use your magic to channel a tsunami – you can, together, create something epic.
What did my kid think about Milky Monsters?
My son had a lot of fun! He needed some help with inventory tracking and understanding health, but with that little bit of help, he really enjoyed rolling dice, and playing out the story together. It was also really good practice for counting and simple addition/subtraction (i.e. reduce health by 1), so it was much more engaging than our normal math-time.
Overall impression of Milky Monsters:
Milky Monsters is an easy tabletop RPG system to pick up with enough mechanics to keep kids thinking and interested… but not enough to make it too complicated. Character sheets were easy to use, inventory creation was a lot of fun, and the tips at the end of the game description are a good read for running TTRPGs with kids in general. I had a fun time playing, and hope it is a good fit for you as well!
Looking back on this article a year later too – I can see how Milky Monsters, in particular, gave us a foundation for building our tabletop RPG time down the road. It encourage a lot of creative play and showed us how to adjust game rules. I also was able to connect with one of Milky Monster’s creators, JenteyG (the other creator is his son), and we’ve had a lot of awesome and very constructive chats about kid’s TTRPGs since. I highly recommend checking this game out, and you’ll be supporting an awesome creator duo!
Where to find Milky Monsters:
Jentey’s website can be found here: https://guillaumejentey.wixsite.com/rpg-and-art, and a copy of Milky Monsters can be found on itch.io
Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions, tried Milky Monsters because of this post, or have played Milky Monsters before!
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2 thoughts on “Review of Milky Monsters, a kid-focused tabletop RPG for large groups”
I’ve always had a problem with both rolling to hit and rolling for damage in games oriented toward kids. For a long time, it didn’t even make sense to me for adult games. I like how this game makes it so you just roll to hit. My gut has always gone to auto-hitting. Thanks for testing this game out. I have a healthy list of games to try out now.