June 9, 2012

... now with Dungeoneering Kids.

I finally played an RPG with my girls! Since both of them (particularly, the oldest) are fans of Mouseguard, Redwall, etc., we played HarvestersHarvesters is Castles & Crusades re-skinned with an anthropomorphic take.

Here are some highlights:
  • We used 3d6 in order for ability generation. I did this mainly to keep it simple and fast, more so than any need to be hardcore or old school.
  • Chaos (my 8-year-old) rolled a 3 for dexterity. That' right; three 1s. Ouch. I was tempted to let her re-roll, but didn't. Tough love or being an ass? I haven't decided yet. My concern was that if I let her re-roll that, how would I explain that she couldn't re-roll, say, a to hit roll?
  • Mayhem (my 4-year-old) was on fire with 16s, 15s, etc.  I was worried how this would play out with her PC being statistically better, but it actually wasn't a problem overall. There initially was some unspoken jealousy from Chaos, but she took solace in Mayhem's low Charisma score, ha.
  • Even the highly abbreviated character creation I used wasn't all that fun for girls, who found it too long. I tried to keep it moving just giving them a quick run down of what the races, classes, etc. were like and simply let them decide what equipment they wanted.  "What kind of weapon do you want?"  "Do you want a backpack?"
  • Mayhem had a rather burly badger rogue named Stripe and Chaos had a rather clumsy, but wise, otter druid named Splash.
  • To keep things moving, I just gave Chaos an overview of the spells her druid had. 

Splash the River Otter Druid and Strip the Badger Rogue
  • Since I didn't have many animal miniatures, Chaos had the great idea to use Little Pet Shop toys. Mayhem opted for the dire badger mini, though.
  • I used the default Wheat Hollow setting and just pulled an adventure out of my arse:  rat pirates were stealing fishermen's fish and boats!
  • The duo encountered some wolf spiders on their trip south to investigate the piracy. They rolled well and didn't take a hit. Some random treasure scored them some rather juicy loot (ha, valuable  tapestries and books, which they found in the spider lair. "The spiders must have gotten them from merchants they had attacked!").
  • After a stop in the White Caps Inn for honey and hot cocoa, they tracked the three pirates to their cliff-face lair and took care of them.
  • Chaos's otter went to -2 HP in the combat, but she actually laughed when her PC dropped. Perhaps this is because I had emphasized that their characters may die and they could simply make new ones. Anyhow, -2 isn't a kill in C&C, so Splash survived. 
  • Soon into the game, I took down my GM screens because Mayhem was too curious about what I was doing and kept peaking. Ha, and as she pointed out, she can't read yet anyhow. 
  • I decided it was best to roll all the dice out in the open anyhow.  Kids are sharper than adults often realize and I didn't want any concerns of favoritism.
  • Chaos once said "Are you just making this up?" (meaning the adventure) and I tired to explain that that sort of was my job in the game.
I have 23 arrows left!
  • Chaos decided to draw a map and the events of the session on the white board table as the game went on. I hadn't thought of that and it was really cool.  It also was the only way that minis were used in anyway (i.e., I didn't use them for combat at all).
  • Getting involved in the story, Chaos started to explain what was happening around them. She decided that it must have been raining on their way to the inn, and that is why she wanted hot cocoa. That was great, so I certainly went with it. But then she decided that there were giants outside the inn.  I gently reigned that in and explained that I controlled the monsters, etc. That was kind of an odd feeling for me, because I certainly wanted the girls invested in the game.  On the other hand, I think it would have resulted in a complete lack of structure if I didn't establish that the GM/DM/CK explains the setting and they control what their characters do in it.
  • All in all, it was a blast.  Definitely will be better next time since they have PCs ready to go.  I also think short and sweet adventures are the way to go.

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