Shatterkin: A Game of Kids with Evolving Monster Pets

Shatterkin is a game about a group of small-town kids who have bonded with strange evolving monsters. We play to discover how this bond between child and monster will help both of them grow, as they deal with dangers, mysteries, adventures, and the troubles of growing up.

My main inspirations for this hack are monster pet games/media such as Digimon, Monster Rancher, Pokemon, or Shin Megami Tensei, as well as shows about kids and small-town adventure, such as Stranger Things, Goonies, or Super 8.

I’ve been working on this hack for the past year, on and off, and it’s overdue for some sharing with the public.

So what do I have done thus far?

Rules Document: It’s definitely an in-development file — expect to see a lot of gaps in the content, incomplete sections, and placeholders. But it’s definitely enough to try out the game.

Playbooks and other Sheets: The playbooks and evolution cards for the first four monster types.

You can download them free here

I’d love to hear your feedback — good or bad. Thanks!


Hey Scott! I’m working on a small-town hack, too (everything else very different though) so I’m really excited to check this out and see how you handled some of that stuff.

Keep us updated!

I’d love to compare notes, then, sometime.

I’ve definitely found a few systems that need to be altered to accommodate the small-town experience. One in particular is the faction game. I’m working on defining various groups and individuals around the town, but I don’t really know that worrying about faction tiers and standings fits with the themes, like it did in a city like Doskvol. The same goes for claims — I just don’t see how to fit them.

What issues or ideas have you come across in making a small-town Forged in the Dark hack?

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Totally. I think you have to be completely willing to scrap stuff. The more I work on this the more I realize how even tiny changes in genre or tone have huge rules ramifications.

For example, my game is about teens rather than children, and from what I’ve read of your game so far (amazing work, btw, those freaking playbooks are gorgeous) it seems like even that small age difference dramatically shifts things.

Like, we both have rules for getting in trouble with grown-ups, but where as it totally made sense for you to scrap rep and factions, in the peer-preasured status-obsessed world of teenagers, it actually made sense for me to lean even MORE into it. In Slugblaster, being cool is everything. It’s how you level up, it’s the economy, everything. Ha!

So I have a strong faciton game going. There are rival crews, authorities, sponsors, and scenes (as in the “punk scene” or “mainstream scene”, I need a new word for that since “scene” is already an important rpg term. Maybe circles or something).

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