Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My kids are ROLE-players? Who knew!

Hello again, this time I'm talking about running rpg's for kids, specifically mine but I'm sure it would apply to others. I have 3 kids, Chris (17), Jade (14), and Ike (12), and they love playing/making up games. A few years ago I ran them through some of Keep on the Borderlands (basic D&D module) using the rules cyclopedia. They explored a kobold cave and the temple of evil, having fun and coming up with some goofy things to try. The one thing that sticks out in my mind was when they entered the kobold cheiftain's room saying they were the cable repairmen. Yeah, that kind of stuff.

The trick is to be entertaining and to be able to roll with whatever craziness they come up with. You don't have to allow everything, just pick your battles, so to speak. The main priest at the keep would ask them about their exploits in the kobold caves with an exclamatory "Do tell." that got my kids laughing, but became creepy when he turned out to be a villain later.

Next came Savage Worlds, and a generic fantasy city I created. I allowed Ike to be a race of his own design, I believe he wasn't all that excited about playing. The race he created was a bird that turned into a person, which we decided was a rarity in this world. They all were playing children and I discovered they enjoyed talking to the npc's alot more than fighting, though they did some off that as well.

I have found that Savage Worlds is a great system for for kids as it is intuitive and not unnecesarily complicated. Plus, bennies are awesome, as evidenced by my youngest's cries of "Benny!" when he rolled poorly. The fact that the target number is a 4 or the target's parry is great along with dice that explode (roll the maximum on a die and you get to reroll it).

For awhile, we played a few different one sheets in different savage settings and the chilluns didn't want to go back to D&D. Which was fine, since it was so easy to run one sheets and Savage Worlds in general. Oh we weren't playing every weekend, that would have been great, but every so often we would sit down and roll some dice and I'd get to try out some outrageous accents.

So, a couple months ago I decided to try Dragon Storm out on my kids and they loved it. I mean, the rules are on one sheet of paper for goodness sake! They loved it even more than Savage Worlds, which surprised me at first. I think the flexibility of the rules allowed them to come up with some really wild stuff and allowed me to roll with some of their wilder moments.

The key (at least for my kids) is to entertain, decide what to let slide and when to put your foot down and say "Dude, come on that's just crazy!" Have the npc's interact, you don't have to do accents, as long as they have different things to say. It's helpful to have a list of names handy so you can make notes like "Germain Firebrand-town guard, likes sweetbread" and so on. The goal is everybody having fun.

Comments are welcome, thanks for reading and take care!!

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