Musicians Are Monsters: The Board Game Launch Party
Tues. June 18
The Skinny Dip
345 King St.
Expanding your horizons is one of the most important things you can do in your life. It allows you to obtain new perspectives and gain empathy, or in local act Beach Tiger frontman Taylor McClesky’s case, create a board game.
“I realized not too long ago what sends electricity through my veins; I always thought it was just music,” says McClesky. “But recently, I realized that I’m most passionate about creative projects as a whole.”
Musicians Are Monsters is McClesky’s latest adventure, though he belongs to a few ensembles outside of the game, including his project Beach Tiger. It is essential to stress that McClesky is now more than a musician — he’s a creator. And this game has changed the way he approaches things.
A few years ago, around Christmas, McClesky found himself sitting amongst his family enjoying a board game night. After proverbial lightning struck, McClesky spent the rest of that night typing up 12 pages worth of what would become the foundation of Musicians Are Monsters.
For the next three years, lots of research was conducted only to occasionally send him back to the drawing board. The fruit of McClesky’s labor is revealed in the music-themed game that doesn’t demand any music knowledge at all.
Ahead of a forthcoming crowdfunding campaign, McClesky is now revealing Musicians Are Monsters to the public. The frontman says he’s incredibly humbled by the positive feedback he’s received thus far. After becoming “burnt out” on music and falling in love with it once again, this is McClesky’s perspective from a fresh, new angle.
Here’s how it works.
The game is designed to entertain three to four players. However, included in the rulebook is a “two-player mode” that involves releasing the enemy characters, known as “burnouts,” once the players progress past a certain point on the board.
Monsters is simple enough to dive right into with your buddies and doesn’t require a lot to keep track of. The premise involves bands touring the U.S. and stopping at major cities along the way to play shows. Whether or not a player performs well at each city will ultimately decide if their band survives the tour without becoming burnouts.
Players move with the roll of one six-sided die. Who rolls first depends on which player can name the most obscure indie band.
Each player is represented by a small, colored humanoid figure of pink, purple, blue, or yellow. Along with the figures, players also keep four color-corresponding cards that represent the members in their band. These cards can be flipped into monsters if a show is played unsuccessfully. Players hold three playing cards from a standard deck and two “Tour Cards” that act as items to help out along the way.
To perform a show successfully at one of the nine cities players are required to stop at, two of the three playing cards must match the cities’ symbols. For example, if a player stops in Austin, they must have two black cards as Austin displays a “BB.” If the player holds any two black cards from a standard deck of 52, then they give them up and have played the show without a member becoming a monster. Though, if the player held only red cards, then they will have played a shit show and lost a member to its monster form. If all members become monsters, the player will turn into a burnout.
Burnouts are something unique to this game (inspired by McClesky himself, as he claims). Technically a player loses if they become a burnout, but sometimes losing is more fun. Burnouts can move freely across the board without stopping at cities and can even take shortcuts that regular players can’t take in normal play. The best part about being a burnout is racing to other players and infecting them before they can finish the tour. If a burnout lands on another player’s piece, that player will also turn into a burnout regardless of how many monsters are in their band. The rulebook describes this situation best, “misery loves company.”
In order to win the game, a player must survive the tour without all their members becoming monsters and avoid the entrapment of a burnout. If a player makes it across all nine cities, they are declared the winner.
McCleskey is hosting a launch party for Musicians Are Monsters on Tuesday complete with a few copies of the game for folks to enjoy while bopping along to live music performed by Youngster. This will also kick off the game’s Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.