Lair of the Leopard Empresses and Monsters! Monsters!

Lofgeornost

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So, I noticed on Drivethru's main page a new sword-and-sorcery game by Sarah Newton: Lair of the Leopard Empresses. I was interested to see that it uses the venerable Monsters! Monsters! by Ken St. Andre as its core rules. Apparently a new version of it was released several years ago. I have very vague memories of having played the original version. Given the price ($25 for the .PDF) I'm unlikely to purchase Lair, but I wondered if anyone had done so--or had any experience of the more recent versions of Monsters! Monsters!
 
So, I noticed on Drivethru's main page a new sword-and-sorcery game by Sarah Newton: Lair of the Leopard Empresses. I was interested to see that it uses the venerable Monsters! Monsters! by Ken St. Andre as its core rules. Apparently a new version of it was released several years ago. I have very vague memories of having played the original version. Given the price ($25 for the .PDF) I'm unlikely to purchase Lair, but I wondered if anyone had done so--or had any experience of the more recent versions of Monsters! Monsters!
I want this. I've read very little about it. But there's a vibe around what I have read that tells me I want this and should get this.

RPGPUB.com, I summon the knowledge of why this game is shite and why buying it is a bad idea, please!
 
It's basically a remake of Tunnels & Trolls. If you like T&T, you'll like this.

Here's a fairly in-depth review: Mindjammer Press is Back with Lair of the Leopard Empresses

The setting seems decently gonzo.

And, the DTRPG purchase page has a 30+ page preview available which gives a good sense of the writing style.

The game, as I understand it, does zero (or average) to hero then to super-hero. As the primary leveling mechanism has attributes increasing over time.

It doesn't care about balance, at all, from the jump.

It's got baked in niche protection via callings (classes by another name), but a special ability based multi-classing option should you want your fighter to dip their toe into the rogue's waters, for example.

It's a roll buckets of dice kinds of game. If you're into that, this should be great.

All in all, it's not my cup of tea, system wise. But the setting seems interesting and evocative - could be worth mining for ideas.
 
If I were god-king of the universe, immediately after consuming the fire of a million red hot suns to slake my thirst for power, I would issue an edict that the existence of two parallel, canonical versions of the T&T game system should be leveraged to create a pair of games that remain consistent (characters can go back and forth between them) but that differ substantially in mechanical retooling: perhaps core T&T can stay pinned to the rules ca. edition 5, whereas MM! could be home to some innovations that introduce a more concrete and detailed approach to combat and perhaps some other innovations.
 
Big T&T fan. LotLE is great, and I bought it. I hadn't planned to, since I like T&T just fine as-is. But this setting is dynamite IMO. Pulpy, trope-laden, and yet unique. Adds enough to the T&T/M!M! chassis to feel unique, but does so without bogging it down. Even my homies who are NOT fans of T&T have been snapping this up.

Basically, it's the same simple engine I know and love, with greater character differentiation, which is achieved by special abilities and different schools of Magic. And the setting is aces. YMMV of course.
 
Big T&T fan. LotLE is great, and I bought it. I hadn't planned to, since I like T&T just fine as-is. But this setting is dynamite IMO. Pulpy, trope-laden, and yet unique. Adds enough to the T&T/M!M! chassis to feel unique, but does so without bogging it down. Even my homies who are NOT fans of T&T have been snapping this up.

Basically, it's the same simple engine I know and love, with greater character differentiation, which is achieved by special abilities and different schools of Magic. And the setting is aces. YMMV of course.
What’s the deal with the spell names? Are we still in the land of “Take That You Fiend”?
 
I was reading the preview and it says your stats start in the usual range of under 18 but can end up over 100!
 
My hard copy arrived this morning. Four hundred pages of fantastic Sword and Sorcery material with some lovely ideas (Vampire Elves! for example). Looks like great fun perhaps in a less than normal game style that might not appeal to everyone but which I think could be excellent fun.
 
What’s the deal with the spell names? Are we still in the land of “Take That You Fiend”?
Spell names are a mix of old and new. I don't recall whether TTYF is in there specifically, but some of the old/silly spell names are still here, alongside some new, non-silly ones. LotLE's setting is a mix of same. You know what it kind of reminds me of? The movie Outlander, with Jim Caviezel. You know, where some of the characters had original names, and others were named Boromir or Freya. It's a bit like that.
 
I want this. I've read very little about it. But there's a vibe around what I have read that tells me I want this and should get this.

RPGPUB.com, I summon the knowledge of why this game is shite and why buying it is a bad idea, please!
Reading the comments, I think it's fair to say that the Pub answered:
Now you have no choice, you have to buy it.
 
Reading the comments, I think it's fair to say that the Pub answered:

Now you have no choice, you have to buy it.
The only other question I have is how many dice are "buckets of dice"? Gringnr Gringnr and Arcane_Avatar Arcane_Avatar have convinced me I need this game in my life and that is my plan. But how many d6s should I budget for? Is it over 9000?
 
Big T&T fan. LotLE is great, and I bought it. I hadn't planned to, since I like T&T just fine as-is. But this setting is dynamite IMO. Pulpy, trope-laden, and yet unique. Adds enough to the T&T/M!M! chassis to feel unique, but does so without bogging it down. Even my homies who are NOT fans of T&T have been snapping this up.

Basically, it's the same simple engine I know and love, with greater character differentiation, which is achieved by special abilities and different schools of Magic. And the setting is aces. YMMV of course.
I heard it had a bunch of classes--what are they?
 
I heard it had a bunch of classes--what are they?
Fighter, Wizard, Sage, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Crafter. Those are the general "Callings,", available to all. Then there are the "Kindred Callings," available only to certain Kindreds, that you can choose, instead of the general ones. There are 30+ of these, and, as you might guess, they're specialized. Lots of variety there.
 
Fighter, Wizard, Sage, Hunter, Rogue, Priest, Crafter. Those are the general "Callings,", available to all. Then there are the "Kindred Callings," available only to certain Kindreds, that you can choose, instead of the general ones. There are 30+ of these, and, as you might guess, they're specialized. Lots of variety there.
Not a huge fan of classes, but I'm not against them. May need to pick this up at some point in the future.
 
The only other question I have is how many dice are "buckets of dice"? Gringnr Gringnr and Arcane_Avatar Arcane_Avatar have convinced me I need this game in my life and that is my plan. But how many d6s should I budget for? Is it over 9000?
I used to play a ton of T&T and here's what I did:

(1) Buy a couple of those little bricks of d6 dice. 27 dice to a container for around $10, two colors. You may play for years before you need more than 27 of each color, but be sure to have two so that #2 below works.

(2) When you roll "buckets of dice" toss them all together and cancel out similar numbers of each color. (The rules suggest you add up the totals and compare, but in reality all you want is the difference between the two colors.) So, for example, if you are rolling black and red dice you can remove one black 4 and one red 4, maybe a black 5 and a red 3 and 2, and so on until one color is gone. Then you can add up the remaining dice of the other color to obtain the result.

What you will discover when you play T&T for a while is that whoever wins the first few rounds is likely to win the battle. Since the number of dice you throw is based on your combat rating, and losing a round decreases your combat rating, the winner of the first few rounds almost always continues to win because their dice pool stays the same while the loser's gets smaller and smaller.
 
DISCLAIMER: Waiting for my hardcopy to arrive before doing the deep dive, but I've spoken to T&T buffs who've spent serious time already with the book and they say it's pretty much all that makes T&T great without the headaches. And I'm seeing a lot of positive superlatives from reviewers who normally avoid such language...

And then there are those who are uncharacteristically gushing about Sarah Newton as a creator ( and bonus, as a person)

Ideally, this could be a f---ing sea change in the morass (which fans like me will endure because we are fans!) that has been T&T etc. since day 2 in the 1970's. Ideally. Even if not, it may certainly be the best thing to use Ken St. Andre's mechanics since Mercenaries Spies and Private Eyes.

Time to go temper my excitement.

Or not.
 
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DISCLAIMER: Waiting for my hardcopy to arrive before doing the deep dive, but I've spoken to T&T buffs who've spent serious time already with the book and they say it's pretty much all that makes T&T great without the headaches. And I'm seeing a lot of positive superlatives from reviewers who normally avoid such language...

And then there are those who are uncharacteristically gushing about Sarah Newton as a creator ( and bonus, as a person)

Ideally, this could be a f---ing sea change in the morass (which fans like me will endure because we are fans!) that has been T&T etc. since day 2 in the 1970's. Ideally. Even if not, it may certainly be the best thing to use Ken St. Andre's mechanics since Mercenaries Spies and Private Eyes.

Time to go temper my excitement.

Or not.
I've been pleasantly surprised by the positive reaction from people whp aren't typically T&T fans. I hops it takes root before the NEW SHINY wears off, so the system can get some new converts!
 
Me too. I'll be running the concept past my guys at this week's game nights.
Sweet. Share characters? Love to see how people approach games, especially newer ones when everyone has fresh eyes (and when--even if approaching things from a narrative angle--the optimization algorithms haven't had a chance to fully develop in the backs of their brains.)
 
Ideally, this could be a f---ing sea change in the morass (which fans like me will endure because we are fans!) that has been T&T etc. since day 2 in the 1970's. Ideally. Even if not, it may certainly be the best thing to use Ken St. Andre's mechanics since Mercenaries Spies and Private Eyes.
I find that Shub-Niggurath Always Rings Twice is also ace, in the same vein— albeit much shorter.
 
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