Author Topic: Roleplaying help?  (Read 3199 times)

Sigyn

  • Level 15
  • *
  • Posts: 717
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Nonononono
    • View Profile
Roleplaying help?
« on: September 03, 2007, 06:17:10 PM »
My sister wants to do a roleplaying game for my nieces and nephew, but her experience is limited.  Do any of you have recommendations for someone doing their first roleplaying game that is oriented toward kids? I don't know what kind of resources are out there.
If I had any clue, would I be here?

Spriggan

  • Administrator
  • Level 78
  • *****
  • Posts: 10582
  • Fell Points: 31
  • Yes, I am this awesome
    • View Profile
    • Legacies Lost
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2007, 07:03:45 PM »
TMNT
Screw it, I'm buying crayons and paper. I can imagineer my own adventures! Wheeee!

Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding.


42

  • Staff
  • Level 56
  • *
  • Posts: 4350
  • Fell Points: 8
  • Unofficial World Saver
    • View Profile
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 01:24:57 AM »
It depends on the kids ages somewhat. The child should be able to read at around a 3rd grade level and be able to add and  substract well, and use basic multiplication and division. Elementary understanding of history, mythology, anthropology, theater, and physics doesn't hurt either. (There is a reason why role-players are nerds.)

Dungeons & Dragons is the most supported game out there. You can buy a starter set fairly cheaply. I think the original basic box set of D&D is great for kids, but it's no longer in print.

However, I'd recommend a more rules light game such as Kobalds Ate My Baby or Ninja Burger.

I'd avoid rules heavy systems such as Hackmaster and GURPS.

Sticking to games that have all the rules in one book might be a good way to go.
The Folly of youth is to think that intelligence is a subsitute for experience. The folly of age is to think that experience is a subsitute for intelligence.

The Holy Saint, Grand High Poobah, Master of Monkeys, Ehlers

  • Administrator
  • Level 96
  • *****
  • Posts: 19211
  • Fell Points: 17
  • monkeys? yes.
    • View Profile
    • herb's world
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 01:25:31 PM »
problems with the above:

TMNT was by Palladium, and it was particularly hard struck by Simbieda's ill-mannered approach to organization and copy/paste form of publication. Not an easy one to learn by oneself, especially if one is young.

Kobolds and Ninja Burger rely *exteremely* heavily on the referee creating the stories and adventures by him/herself. If you are running the game for your kid, and you think you can pull it off, great. These are particularly silly games, and therefore well suited to kids who are into monsters and ninjas and the like. They are simple and easy to learn, and Ninja Burger even requires you do hand motions when your character uses ninja magic -- a fun and involvign twist for high energy kids. However, if you are going to have a hard time organizing an adventure (and it's not as simple as coming up with a plot, there's balance and participation and multiple solutions to work out) -- these might not be as good.

The D&D Basic Game is a "board game" style approach, but uses D&D rules. If you can get it, it'd be a good way to teach, because they can visualize it more easily. It is, however, subject to D&D rules, as I said. Which, depending on your view, can be good or bad. I wasn't more than 8 or so when I learned D&D, and I believe AD&D back then was a little bit more of a morass than 3.5 is today.

There's a game whose name escapes me that would be perfect however, and if I can get ahold of Jeffe, he will remind me. In it you actually play children, the sons of the ruler, and you go around the kingdom taking care of the problems. I keep meaning to try it with my girls, but we all know how things like that go.

Sigyn

  • Level 15
  • *
  • Posts: 717
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Nonononono
    • View Profile
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2007, 05:25:58 PM »
Are there any good online helps?  I'm not sure how much money my sister wants to spend on this.
If I had any clue, would I be here?

Spriggan

  • Administrator
  • Level 78
  • *****
  • Posts: 10582
  • Fell Points: 31
  • Yes, I am this awesome
    • View Profile
    • Legacies Lost
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2007, 06:04:28 PM »
I still thing TMNT is a great option, it's one of the simplest forms of Palladiums rules, allows you to create mutants (or to play as the turtles) and can probably be found for only around $20 on ebay or amazon.

The D&D basic set isn't bad either, I know dan's kids love it--though they don't actually follow any rules when playing--but Fell also has several hundred dollars worth of D&D minis to supplement it as well as extra maps.  If the kids won't mind playing on the same board every time, with the same figures, then it's could be a good choice for about $40.
Screw it, I'm buying crayons and paper. I can imagineer my own adventures! Wheeee!

Chuck Norris is the reason Waldo is hiding.


Mad Dr Jeffe

  • Level 74
  • *
  • Posts: 9162
  • Fell Points: 7
  • Devils Advocate General
    • View Profile
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2007, 12:13:41 AM »
Several games come to mind....

1. The Princes Kingdom
http://www.crngames.com/the_princes_kingdom/index
http://www.indiepressrevolution.com
Its designed for kids using the system Lumpley Games pioneered for Dogs in the Vineyard. Its mostly narrative and works well with kids do to low dice rolling and focus on moral choices and doing the right thing. All profits go to a children's charity too

2. Heroquest: The RPG
Also narrative and one d20 does it all.
High concept, but easy mechanics, plus a character creation system that lends itself to kids brains. 100 word descriptive keywords plus a make up stuff on the fly thing going. There is an excellent post about this game on RPG.net and how a GMing father ran it with his 4 year old to great effect.

3.Faery's Tale Delux
http://www.indiepressrevolution.com
http://www.firefly-games.com/
Also designed for kids but with the gaming powerhouse Robin Laws behind it... I havent played it but there are tons of real play examples on the Forge.

4.Zorceror of Zo, InSpecters, and basically anything rules light and narrative. Kids latch onto this stuff quick... plus there aren't a lot of rules "tricks" for them to forget.


with the exception of Heroquest these are all small press games and you can get a PDF copy of all of them. This means you can get away with a 10 dollar game... but the print copies aren't too costly either.

The Princes Kingdom is really awesome and I like it a lot. Its the one E was talking about earlier. Go check out all the actual play stuff on either RPG net or the Forge. Gaming with kids is fascinating because they don't react the same way we do to things. But order can be easy to lose. Its why I don't typically recommend stuff with tons of dice or mini's.... Stuff with one or two core mechanics is easy to explain and run and its fast. Trust me, if the kids get hooked veggie tales may go out the window and you may be gaming all the time.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 12:19:56 AM by Mad Dr Jeffe »
Its an automated robot. Based on Science!

Fellfrosch

  • Administrator
  • Level 68
  • *****
  • Posts: 7033
  • Fell Points: 42
  • Walkin' with a dead man over my shoulder.
    • View Profile
    • Fearful Symmetry
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2007, 12:20:40 AM »
As mentioned, my kids love the D&D basic game, which is essentially a board game with role-playing elements. For 30 or so bucks you get some figures, pre-made character sheets, and rules that are very easy for a novice parent to teach and run for small children. We don't even play with my other models--just the ones in the game suffice. The get all the standard "pretend to be somebody else" stuff that you get in roleplaying, but without a lot of crazy rules or a steep learning curve. After we'd played that a few times I tried to get them into TMNT, but all they did was make characters and lose interest--at their age (4 and 5) they couldn't quite grasp what was going on without having models to represent it for them.

Roleplaying with kids is tricky. The nice thing about roleplaying with kids is that it's a perfect reflection of how kids already play--they pretend to be other people, they make up stories, and they use their imaginations. The downside is that roleplaying is a very sophisticated (and difficult) half-way point between playing "lets pretend" and playing a board game--there are rules, but only for certain things. For example, it was very hard for my kids to get their minds around the idea that the GM is the only person who gets to add new stuff to the story. I'd start the adventure and tell them they got attacked by a monster, and they'd come up with clever ways to get around it, and then they'd start telling me what happens next: "My sword is actually magic." "I have a talking pet." "I open the next door, and the room is full of dragons." In a normal board game those kinds of things are clearly delineated, and in normal kid "lets pretend" those kinds of things are wide open, but in a roleplaying game they're more invisibly structured. Players can choose to do anything they want, but only within certain boundaries; they don't have boundless control over the universe the way a GM does, which is confusing to kids. There is no RPG out there, to my knowledge, that specifically addresses this issue in a kid-specific way, but I've often been tempted to make one.
"Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die." --Mel Brooks

My author website: http://www.fearfulsymmetry.net

The Jade Knight

  • Moderator
  • Level 39
  • *****
  • Posts: 2507
  • Fell Points: 1
  • Lord of the Absent-Minded
    • View Profile
    • Don't go here
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2007, 07:37:45 AM »
HeroQuest (the Board Game) is a board game that can easily be given RP elements (again, if you can find a copy).  Warhammer Quest was like an even more RP-ish board game.

HeroQuest, which I think I  got when I was 9, is actually what got me into RPing to begin with.  (I believe it went HQ > Battle Masters > Warhammer > Warhammer RPG)
"Never argue with a fool; they'll bring you down to their level, and then beat you with experience."

Sigyn

  • Level 15
  • *
  • Posts: 717
  • Fell Points: 0
  • Nonononono
    • View Profile
Re: Roleplaying help?
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2007, 05:08:00 PM »
Thank you all very much for your help on this.  My sister decided to go with the D&D basic game.  We'll see how it goes.
If I had any clue, would I be here?