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Discworld: Ankh-Morpork» Forums » Variants

Subject: Ankh-Morpork for five year olds rss

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Steve Hatherley
United Kingdom
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Last week we went on holiday with friends who also have a five year old daughter. I took Ankh-Morpork and it was a great hit with the grown-ups.

Anyway, part-way through the week Megan (our five year old daughter) asked if she could play the game with the "houses and the heads": she meant Ankh-Morpork. So on the fly I created a simple version of the Ankh-Morpork that she and her friend could play.

Here's how that worked: I threw out all the wordy bits that were a bit confusing for 5 year olds (ie the roles, the area effects, any scroll-icon card text) and kept to the icons and placing pieces on the board. The winner was the first player to build three houses.

Each turn a player would get $1, and draw (and play) one card. They could place/move a minion, remove a trouble marker, assassinate a minion, get money, draw an event, place a building (using the usual rules) or draw another card. [The draw another card worked for all cards that had the play-another-card icon, interrupt icon, or just the scroll icon. So we were drawing another card quite often.]

I explained what the events did - although the girls enjoyed rolling the die.

It turned out to be a bit of a hit - the girls enjoyed it and it helped their math skills in counting the money for their buildings.

Next time we play I might introduce the idea of hand management, and play with three cards in hand. But I'll introduce new complexity slowly.
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Manuel Ingeland
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Sorry, doesn't make any sense to me. They can't grasp anything about humour/background yet...and the Illustrations aren't always that 5 years-old friendly...We'll wait a couple of years.
 
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Bruce Murphy
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magneheeli wrote:
Sorry, doesn't make any sense to me. They can't grasp anything about humour/background yet...and the Illustrations aren't always that 5 years-old friendly...We'll wait a couple of years.


Nonetheless, kids are always interested in participating in activities they see adults doing, and if you can build something interesting for them on top of a game you play (As is described here), it seems an entirely worthwhile pursuit.

Did you have any specific illustrations in mind? I note that both Adora Belle and Modo are smoking.

B>
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Manuel Ingeland
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I didn't mean that in terms of obvious things they shouldn't see (sex, drugs, violence), but rather referring to the sometimes nicely morbid tone of the artwork. I love it...but my daughter may get a little bit older before she has to deal with the stare of a weird killer
 
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TS S. Fulk
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magneheeli wrote:
I didn't mean that in terms of obvious things they shouldn't see (sex, drugs, violence), but rather referring to the sometimes nicely morbid tone of the artwork. I love it...but my daughter may get a little bit older before she has to deal with the stare of a weird killer


I have the poster with all the art hanging up where my little 5 year old can look at it while eating.

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S. R.
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As always, it's a matter of perspective, and of choice, I think. Take, for example, the novel "Coraline" by Neil Gaiman.
Now, this is, to us grown-ups, a very creepy, at times downright frightening, and partially even morbid or cruel, novel. However, to kids it is a very suspenseful adventure story - because they KNOW that in the end the hero will win.
...just look at the usual fairy tale. The witch is a cannibal killer. The wolf is a cannibal rapist. etc.

Now, I do not want to sway your point of view, but rather present a different understanding as to what or how kids do understand. It is my opinion that a bloody knife in the hand of an artwork character will only later in life be associated with pain, suffering and the kill of another human...

Nevertheless, it is always depending on several aspects what we decide our children can and/or should endure, or can/should cope with, without leaving them damaged. In the US, the depiction of violence is not as much a factor as it is in Germany. On the other hand, in Germany, the depiction of nudity is not much of a factor, but it is in the US...

@tophat:
What I applaud, is the effort to take the interest of your kid, and gently nudge it in an educational direction, as (also my firm belief) playing games in general has. And in letting your daughter take part in your big hobby, sort of...
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Steve Hatherley
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Dumon wrote:

@tophat:
What I applaud, is the effort to take the interest of your kid, and gently nudge it in an educational direction, as (also my firm belief) playing games in general has. And in letting your daughter take part in your big hobby, sort of...


Thanks - I'm a firm believer in the educational power of games. (I pretty certain that my affinity for A-Level statistics came from spending all my spare time rolling 2D6 in games of Traveller.) But it's a fine line and I don't want to push too hard and put her off games!

The comment on the artwork is interesting - it really didn't occur to me that it might be inappropriate. (It didn't occur to any of the other parents either.) There were a couple of "monsters" on the cards where I just said "he looks a bit scary", but that was about it. (Ankh-Morpork is certainly no worse than Dixit, which we've also played with her, and that's got a burning heart in a jar and several scary monsters!)

And yes, of course Megan and her friend didn't get any of the humour - but they thoroughly enjoyed playing a grown-up game with a grown-up.
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