Need suggestions: RPG-like games to play w/ 9-year-old boy
David G.
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Moorpark
California
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I'm sure you long-time BGGers will have a better definition than "RPG-Like", but here's what I'm looking for:

I've been playing Carc H&G w/ my 9-year-old boy, and we're enjoying it. I find myself wishing there was more of a RPG aspect to it. I'd like to be taken on a spooky/adventurous/heroic (chose one or more) journey where luck is still a factor, but a bit of skill tossed in too. It doesn't have to have a fantasy theme, a sci-fi or super hero game could be just as fun. A 45 minute game is a perfect length, I think, but even 2 hours isn't bad on weekends (see, I can get mom to let him stay up 45 minutes longer on a school night

Here's what I _don't_ want: all the "theatrics" of D&D. I don't want to be the one creating the drama, I want it to come from the game. (On a side note, if you haven't watched this, you should, it's funny: http://www.cybermoonstudios.com/8bitDandD.html )

So, any suggestions what I can play with the 9-year-old (and maybe even the 7-year-old boy)?

Keep in mind that it doesn't _have_ to be the typical "fantasy dragons and elves" type game.

If the game you have in mind is already on the list, why not add a comment, with your own thoughts of why it's good?

PS - Thanks to all those that have left comments.
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This is also great, and you can keep changing the board around.
 
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Betrayal at House on the Hill:

Ok, Technically this not listed as and RPG. However, It would be an excellent way to introduce a 9 year old to the world of RPG's. It has a very similar feel and a popular theme. On top of that it is rather easy to play (if you use some of the player aids on this site and can take the time to get organized).
 
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This is a great game with kids...lots of action...and the characters can be carried over to each game! I thik the main system is pretty easy to find as well as a couple of the expansions. Some of the specialty packs are way out of wack when it comes to price on ebay.
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It's set in a pseudo "Star Trek: The Next Generation" universe, with more than a little tongue in cheek humor (the authors obviously had fun writing the rules and coming up with the different alien races). This would be my strongest suggestion, especially with kids around 10ish.

Note: this game ideally requires a referee (although in campaign mode, this can easily rotate between players).
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I would suggest Return of the Heroes, just released in english version. Has a similar quest feel, great art, and wandering overland from point to point. Good game!
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/8170
 
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Joshua Evarts
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Great game to play with son. My 8 year old loves it.
 
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This is a pretty cool game. Although an older one it can easily be found on eBay and such.
 
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D&D Minis. Its a collectible format, but the plastic minis are on the whole are very nice and all are pre-painted. Plus, your son can use the minis for actual D&D in a year or two when he gets into that. Or you could go with the Star Wars Minis if you'd rather do sci-fi.
 
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On the lighter (and cheaper) side of the RPG-like games is this one. A fun little dungeon-crawl.
 
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Has no-one mentioned Mage Knight: Dungeons yet? Let me plug it: it's scaleable in every dimension, easy to learn, and you don't have to keep track of hit points, level, et.c on separate cards -- all the info is on the (pre-painted) mini. Can't beat these bits for dungeon-crawling. I mean *look* at that picture.
 
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Andrew Heim
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This is your game, it is D&D without all the work involved.
 
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Jody Ludwick
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Pirates of the Spanish Main

The base game of English, Spanish and Pirate ships is rather simple to learn and it's my understanding that the next expansion, 'Crimson Coast' is due out sometime in Feburary and will include a French fleet of ships with addition props and a fort.

This game can be found in the CCG section of stores like Target and WalMart.
 
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Tim Deagan
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Barbarian Price is free, solitaire (but we play it as a team.)

Very RPGish
 
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It's an older game, not always easy to find. But lots of fun (particularly when you get the ape-men allies.) Fits your criterion of "adventurous journey" perfectly.
 
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Board Game: Dragon Strike
It's a little old by today's standards, but it's definitely an RPG/boardgame hybrid. Some strategy, tactics and interesting decisions, but very simple gameplay. Off particular note is the videotape that comes with the game, explaining how to play, complete with a (very cheesy) live action fantasy short movie.

You can generally find a copy on eBay from time to time, or at some old toy store closeouts. I was able to pick up a copy from eBay a while ago for just over $10 with S&H. It's a real treasure, and my nephew is always clamoring to play whenever we're together.
 
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