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Subject: RPG to play with my kids? rss

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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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(I'm also posting this on RPG Geek, but primarily being a board gamer, I'd really like some recommendations from those who also consider board games their primary interest.)

I'm looking for some suggestions for an RPG to try with my girls. They're 7 and 9, pretty savvy with lighter designer games (Pandemic, King of Tokyo, Settlers of Catan, etc.), and very dramatic and creative (so I think they might love a good RPG experience). But I haven't played any RPGs since playing D&D for a while over 20 years ago, so I'm not sure what might work well. I'm not looking for anything too complicated, and also would like to know about some different themes besides D&D.

One thing I heard about recently that sounds good is Hollow Earth Expedition. We're big Indiana Jones fans, so thematically that sounds right up our alley, but I have no idea how complicated it really is or how good it is or whatever. I suppose I should ask if there are any RPGs specifically for kids or families? But aside from that, I assume that some RPGs might work well enough for kids/families, even if not intended that way.

I'd almost certainly be the GM to begin with, but my 9 yo especially loves to create stories and characters and such, and might relish the chance to GM at some point, so an RPG that a 9 yo could also GM would be another consideration. And the 7 yo is particularly savvy with learning and playing games, so I wouldn't need something that skews that young, necessarily. Probably something meant for ages 10+ would work.

Anyway, I'm interested to learn more about what's out there in the RPG world, which might possibly work for our family.
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Brandon Kempf
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Not a big RPG guy myself, just starting delving into it, but we did pick up Mouse Guard and my daughter has liked it so far, she's 8. We also picked up Faery's Tale but haven't done much with it other than read a bit of the book since Mouse Guard has scratched that RPG itch around here.
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Robert Beachler
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Just as a thought I have read a lot about Story Realms and it looks like a great game for kids to enjoy. I suggest you read through some of the development blogs and see what you think.
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Byron Campbell
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Story realms is the game you want.
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Doc Hogan
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Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game looks like it's going to be great; I can't wait to see/hear more about it as it gets closer to its publication date.

Mouse Guard (and especially the boxed set version) is probably the best choice for family friendly and age appropriate(*) RPG which is currently available (although slightly bothersome to find outside if Amazon or eBay). As well, Reaper Miniatures has an *awesome* collection of metal miniatures (the "Mouslings" line) which complements the RPG quite well.

(*) and I mean age appropriate in content...it's not a 'dumbed down' or RPG-for-dummies systemgaming

Finally, something in-between the two availability-wise, and perhaps a gentler introduction to story-oriented gaming and potentially a fun gateway to RPGs: Mice and Mystics.

For your situation specifically, I would 1) get in a pre-order right now for Mice & Mystics with the intent of this being the first foray into larger story-oriented and RPG gaming, 2) start the hunt for both the Mouse Guard hardcover book as well as the box set (and order the boxed collection of Mouslings from Reaper, if it appeals), and 3) keep a *very* close watch on Story Realms to work as either a transition from story-telling boardgaming or as a filler/alternate storytelling system.

I really can't recommend enough the Mouse Guard RPG as an end-goal for you. As well as the wonderful Mouslings figs available from Reaper, you can also find the Mouse Guard comic books that the RPG is based upon. These can provide excellent scenario and character ideas, and even better can allow for enjoyment of the environment even when there's no time to sit down for a gaming session.

TL;DR: I don't think you can go wrong with getting any or all of these three games/systems. I'd personally suggest getting all three in the interest of both being able to ramp up complexity as appropriate and as a matter of more choice on game night (more choices is always good :-D )

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Tim
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kittenhoarder wrote:
Story realms is the game you want.


The upcoming art for Story Realms looks great, but it's not out yet. Unless these folks have beta-tested it, there's no way of knowing if the game is worth a darn yet. Don't fall for the BGG hype!

Don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to Story Realms. I want to check it out. But it shouldn't be a "recommendation" at this stage.

Mouse Guard has beautiful art and a perfectly enchanting world. Kids should really take to it.

This is a little left of center, but you might even try Toon. The rules are available as PDF on Steve Jackson Games "e-23" site. Who better to take on the role of whacky cartoon characters than the children who adore them? I've never actually played Toon, but I've enjoyed reading the rulebook. The game is incredibly simple, but you have to love any rulebook that reads "the laws of physics only apply when you notice them."

I wouldn't worry much about the game system that you introduce them to. I'd focus entirely on theme. I got my first Redbox D&D when I was 9 and read it cover to cover. I hadn't been exposed to other types of games back then, so your girls already have a head start. You just need to pick something that really gets their imagination pumping. I'd take them to a FLGS that has a good stock of different RPGS and just let them look through the books until they get really excited about something.
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Ian Toltz
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http://newbiedm.com/rpgkids/

RPG Kids is specifically designed for people to play with their kids.
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Ryan Hendricks
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tofarley wrote:

I wouldn't worry much about the game system that you introduce them to. I'd focus entirely on theme. I got my first Redbox D&D when I was 9 and read it cover to cover. I hadn't been exposed to other types of games back then, so your girls already have a head start. You just need to pick something that really gets their imagination pumping. I'd take them to a FLGS that has a good stock of different RPGS and just let them look through the books until they get really excited about something.


+1. Kids don't care about game mechanics, they care about theme. I've introduced my pre-teen siblings to a couple of games and I've been interested seeing what they continue to play on their own (since I live across the country from them).

Mouse Guard was a big hit with them, especially because my sister is really into reading stories about intelligent animals.

The one they keep returning to however is GURPS. Though I thought for sure it would be too complex for them, they love the structure the character creation system gives. I guess it helps them define their characters to take "Disadvantage -10 Angry" then just say, "My character gets angry sometimes". Also, it lets the two of them combine their favorite worlds and characters from books and movies together. So he can play a robot and she an anthropomorphic mouse princess
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Josh
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http://www.fantasyflightgames.com/edge_minisite.asp?eidm=63

I found this one interesting. It depends on how your girls go. If they are more into the 'being a little bit scared is fun' I think it's more appropriate than if they like the 'Sunshine unicorns and bubblegum princess' route.

One thing the system does well is encourage cooperation. The rules really reward players for working together, helping pool their strengths. So if worst comes to worst, you could just lighten things up a bit and keep the mechanics ^^
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♫ Eric Herman ♫
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Wow, thanks for all of the suggestions, everyone! For now I'm going to read more about Mouse Guard, and also Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple (which was recommended more than once on RPG Geek), and see if one of those might be good. There are also simplified versions of Hollow Earth Expedition that were produced for "Free RPG Day" here, which might be a good intro for that. I do think that thematically speaking, Hollow Earth Expedition is probably the best fit for what we're all into (Indiana Jones adventure kind of stuff), but some of the other ones sound great, too, so I'll definitely check them out.
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Randy Newnham
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tofarley wrote:
kittenhoarder wrote:
Story realms is the game you want.


The upcoming art for Story Realms looks great, but it's not out yet. Unless these folks have beta-tested it, there's no way of knowing if the game is worth a darn yet. Don't fall for the BGG hype!

Don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to Story Realms. I want to check it out. But it shouldn't be a "recommendation" at this stage.


Hi there! I just wanted to chime in. It's good advice to recommend against believing the hype. We have had quite a bit of beta testing, the latest of which happened in demos at GenCon. Most of the feedback has been in tweets and such, but Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games did mention Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game in his GenCon recap:

http://dicehateme.com/2012/08/gencon-2012-a-pictorial-recap/

We're hoping to get some more extensive reviews out there. For those going to PAX Prime, I encourage you to try the game for yourself. We'll be there!
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Tim
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coffeeswiller wrote:
tofarley wrote:
kittenhoarder wrote:
Story realms is the game you want.


The upcoming art for Story Realms looks great, but it's not out yet. Unless these folks have beta-tested it, there's no way of knowing if the game is worth a darn yet. Don't fall for the BGG hype!

Don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to Story Realms. I want to check it out. But it shouldn't be a "recommendation" at this stage.


Hi there! I just wanted to chime in. It's good advice to recommend against believing the hype. We have had quite a bit of beta testing, the latest of which happened in demos at GenCon. Most of the feedback has been in tweets and such, but Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games did mention Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game in his GenCon recap:

http://dicehateme.com/2012/08/gencon-2012-a-pictorial-recap/

We're hoping to get some more extensive reviews out there. For those going to PAX Prime, I encourage you to try the game for yourself. We'll be there!


No offense intended to story realms. I myself am waiting for the kick starter. It's just that every time I read a recommendation thread, it seems that there are always people advocating games that don't exist yet I think we've all been burned by that enough.
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Randy Newnham
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tofarley wrote:
coffeeswiller wrote:
tofarley wrote:
kittenhoarder wrote:
Story realms is the game you want.


The upcoming art for Story Realms looks great, but it's not out yet. Unless these folks have beta-tested it, there's no way of knowing if the game is worth a darn yet. Don't fall for the BGG hype!

Don't get me wrong. I'm looking forward to Story Realms. I want to check it out. But it shouldn't be a "recommendation" at this stage.


Hi there! I just wanted to chime in. It's good advice to recommend against believing the hype. We have had quite a bit of beta testing, the latest of which happened in demos at GenCon. Most of the feedback has been in tweets and such, but Chris Kirkman of Dice Hate Me Games did mention Storm Hollow: A Storyboard Game in his GenCon recap:

http://dicehateme.com/2012/08/gencon-2012-a-pictorial-recap/

We're hoping to get some more extensive reviews out there. For those going to PAX Prime, I encourage you to try the game for yourself. We'll be there!


No offense intended to story realms. I myself am waiting for the kick starter. It's just that every time I read a recommendation thread, it seems that there are always people advocating games that don't exist yet I think we've all been burned by that enough.


Again, none taken. I can respect the caution. Have a great night!

 
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