Tuesday, December 4, 2012

D66 Random Weapons

Yet more stuff for the kid game.

D66 Random Weapons
11. Iron Fists
12. Lightsaber
13. Net
14. Uzi
15. Shrink Ray
16. Scimitar
21. Slingshot
22. Bolas
23. Laser Pistol
24. Bazooka
25. Club
26. Ninja Stars
31. Fire Hose
32. Knife
33. Crossbow
34. Boomerang
35. Nunchucks
36. Staff
41. Tiger Claws
42. Whip
43. Six-shooter
44. Katana
45. Grenades (3)
46. Bow and Arrow
51. Morning Star
52. Really Bright Flashlight
53. Sword
54. Darts
55. Soap in a Sock
56. Axe
61. Baseball Bat
62. Spear
63. 2x4
64. Blowgun
65. Sunsword
66. Sword of Omen

D66 Random Items

More stuff for the kid game.

D66 Random Items
11. Broom
12. Scientific Calculator TI-82
13. Candy Bar
14. Bag of Flour
15. Tuning Fork
16. Mouse Trap
21. Backpack
22. Bottle of Glue
23. Juice Box
24. Bag of Marbles
25. Football Helmet
26. Golf Cart
31. 4 Rolls of Toilet Paper
32. Pack of Gum
33. Scissors
34. Whoopie Cushion
35. Compass
36. Bobsled
41. Wienermobile
42. Pet (choose what kind)
43. X-Ray Specs
44. Perfume in a Spray Bottle
45. Anvil
46. Riding Lawnmower
51. Can of Fart Spray
52. Balloon
53. Magic Wand (1D uses)
54. Deck of Playing Cards
55. Large Magnet
56. Can of Whipped Cream
61. Velociraptor (with saddle)
62. Suit of Armor
63. Shin Guards
64. Parachute
65. Rope
66. Night-Vision Goggles

D66 Random PC/NPC Types

A list for my kid game.

D66 PC/NPC Types
11. Space Alien
12. Prince/Princess
13. Wizard
14. Ninja
15. Caveman
16. Robot
21. Bug Person
22. Dragon
23. Hobbit
24. Butterfly Person
25. Vampire
26. Bear
31. Fire Person
32. Angel
33. Jello Person
34. Cowboy
35. Venus Fly Trap
36. Merperson
41. Billy Goat
42. Rabbit
43. Warrior
44. Fairy
45. Rock Person
46. Witch
51. Scientist
52. Flying Monkey
53. Ogre
54. Jedi
55. Jellyfish
56. Wolfman
61. Filthy Pirate
62. Cactus Person
63. Acrobat
64. Hobo
65. Troll
66. Snuffleupagus

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Adventure Time with the Girls

Got to play some adventures with the girls today. Rockin' good fun. It's honestly way more fun than playing with adults. Here are some of the highlights:

  • The basic premise: It's been raining cats and dogs for many days. An old half-crippled wizard comes to the girls and explains that the weather fairy, who keeps the weather in order in the Land of Ooo, has been trapped by the Ice King in a giant block of ice in the middle of the spooky forest. They must rescue her!
  • They encountered a mud monster, sprayed him with fart spray, and sent him floating away on a giant bubblegum bubble. He landed on the Ice King's porch with a splat. The Ice King determined he was a pile of poo (what would you think a big pile of mud soaked in fart spray was?) and had his minions hose down the porch, destroying the monster.
  • On the next encounter, I rolled two story dice and got a bee and an envelope. I decided it was a giant killer bee that was also the mailman. The girls decided to pack some garbage into envelopes and mail it to the Ice King. They really enjoyed terrorizing the crap out of that guy! Even though the characters were hundreds of miles away, I played out the Ice King receiving his packages so they could get a nice payoff for their dirty tricks. There was immense laughter at the table.
  • One of the players made good use of the magnifying glass item she chose at the beginning of play, closely inspecting the water in a magic fountain to ensure it wasn't harmful. Also, just for good measure, she had her cat test out the water first.
  • After rescuing the weather fairy, I told them they had completed their quest. They said they wanted to go take on the Ice King anyways, to ensure that he didn't commit any more mischief. They really had it out for the guy!
  • After defeating (knocking out) the Ice King in an epic battle, I asked what they wanted to do with him. Tying a large rock to him and dropping him into a volcano was discussed, but in the end they decided to jail him in the dungeons of the Candy Kingdom - with a hungry grizzly bear as his cellmate for good measure.
We all had a ton of fun, and it's really rewarding to see little kids adding up simple figures, and coming up with creative solutions to challenges. I highly recommend doing this if you have any kids around.

It just so happens that this week is also Teach Your Kids to Game Week, and while I really appreciate the spirit of it, there are a few things about it that I think could be better.
  1. More free games. I've purchased a number of non-free PDFs of "RPGs for kids", and they tend to suffer from a sort of identity crisis. On the one hand, if you're going to charge money for something, there should be some meat to it, with lots of material and options presented. On the other hand, if it's a game for young kids, it needs to be very simple and open-ended. So what you end up with is something that is either too complex to really be a kids' game, or something that is so simple that you feel dumb paying money for it. I certainly haven't seen every offering out there, and I'm sure there are exceptions, but this has been my overall experience with these types of games.
  2. More support articles with stories and tips about playing with kids. It seems like this is not much more than "here are some game PDFs". I think this is easy enough for people that are currently into RPGs, but what about the guy that hasn't played for years and wants to try it out with his kids. There should be some help available for that guy.
So now since I feel mildly uncomfortable about criticizing a thing meant to be good for kids, I hereby offer my payment of the Joesky Tax - a complete list of the resources I used to run my game today, complete with explanations and examples.
  • A few printed copies of my TOON hack character sheet. Game rules included on the sheet. I believe this game to be suitable for any type of adventure gaming one might do with young kids. For any rules not listed on the sheet, make something up that is fun and reasonably fits the situation at hand. That is the key. We honestly barely even used these rules, and could probably get by without any rules at all. You will have way more fun making stuff up as you go than you would going over some list of predetermined options with a child. Don't limit them! Just go with the flow!
  • A pair of six-sided dice for each player. Preferably different colors to make d66 rolls easier.
  • Pencils. Dixon Ticonderoga is preferred.
  • A map of the Land of Ooo. Just looking at this map gives lots of ideas for adventures. Or you could just do a google images search and easily find another suitable map.
  • A magic 8-ball for answering those crazy questions kids inevitably come up with. (Thanks to Jeff Rients for this idea. I've gotten a ton of mileage out of this thing in all my games.)
  • Some story dice. These are just to get your brain moving to help you make stuff up. Playing with kids is all about making stuff up. Our crusty adult imaginations need all the help they can get!
  • Some random charts from the original TOON game, or any other random charts with fun things on them. I don't have anything available to share at the moment, but I'll see if I can get a few scans of some of the charts up on my tumblr in the near future as examples.
As you can see, you don't really need to buy much of anything. The story dice and the 8-ball are totally optional, and if you spend a bit of time beforehand, you can make up your own random charts or find some online. In a pinch, you could even get a little kid's ABC book and flip to a random page to give your brain a starting point. Use toys on the tabletop to play out scenarios if you like. Make up your own clever uses of stuff you have lying around to add a bit to your game. The sky is the limit really, and it's very liberating!

Finally, I think a lot of people fall victim to the idea that kids can't start playing these games until they are 8 or 10 or 12 or something. Nonsense, I say! Sure, they might not be memorizing the AD&D Weapon vs. AC To-Hit Adjustments tables, but that is a far cry from not being ready to enjoy the essential elements of tabletop adventure. Again, just forget about rules systems. Go ahead and even ditch the dice and pencils and paper. Even just a verbal exchange can be a great start.

I now leave you with these awesome character sheets.

Character played by Penelope, age 3
Character played by Bella, age 4
Character played by Sophia, age 6