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BRP/D100 for kids?


Jae

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My kids have been playing Hero Kids and recently my 8 year old has expressed an interest in playing more rpgs. I was looking at WEGS D6 Ghostbusters and Star Wars because I assumed that a BRP/D100 game would be too gritty or complex. I am now re-considering a low crunch BRP/D100 game or one that can be modded or tuned down. As for a setting, I am completely at a loss. I was thinking of a forest world filled with Fae creatures or maybe just a generic rpg high fantasy world.

Any suggestions or advice on this are welcome.

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I did Faerys Tale with my daughter when she was five or so. I ran WEG SW when she got a little older, and she was correcting me when I made a rule mistake, and asking for more complicated systems. We rolled some BRP characters for a Middle Earth campaign, but never got to it because we met some parents + kids at the local game store. They were starting a D&D group, so we joined. I ran a mystery stand-alone scenario and included my non-gaming spouse. I used CoC for the rules. Since then, my daughter has rolled up some Classic Traveller and RQ2 characters. She's almost 14 now. So go ahead and run whatever suits your fancy. As I said, for a BRP setting I was going to do Middle Earth, because she knows it. For RQ I'll use the River of Cradles in a Wind in the Willows atmosphere of newtlings, ducks and river people. For the mystery I went to a generic Mary Poppins-ish era. Got to do Cthilhu soon, though. ;-)

Edited by Baron
typo
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@Jae -- does your 8yo already understand what "percent" is?  Most don't, but some do.  I probably wouldn't try this unless they have some familiarity with what this is...

FWIW -- my oldest (now 24, and an avid gamer) played "character games" (her term (because mom & dad (and sometimes guests) played games with THEIR "characters")) with her dolls and toys from about 3 years of age.  Most would have called it "playing pretend," but the toys went on story-oriented adventures.  At age 6, I created her first "official" RPG character, a not-entirely-by-the-rules "flying horse".  She played that character successfully for some time, before wanting to build her OWN characters, by-the-book...

But as I said:  if the basic concept of "percentage" is already understood, I'd go for it!  Though you should expect to do some extra hand-holding...  :D

 

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I have two sons, 10yrs old and 8yrs old, whom I have recently introduced to roleplaying games.

I run simplistic dungeon crawl style games with them, using plots from Fighting Fantasy game books, Basic D&D (1980s style), and various simple scenarios I find on the net.

For game mechanics I run BRP using the OpenQuest Basic rules and convert the scenarios on the fly.  

My 8yr old doesn't really grasp the notion of percentile yet, but my 10yr old certainly does; so a simple version of BRP is fine.

If he couldn't grasp percentiles then I would have gone with another RPG instead (probably Advanced Fighting Fantasy), but considering there were no issues then OpenQuest Basic seemed to be a great choice.

If they keep going they will be probably running their own games in a couple of years. However at present my boys are loving it, and it sure beats them playing console games all weekend :)

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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I think I'd do something like this (inspired by The Dark Eye 1st edition) :

-One pool of Hit Points
-One pool of Magic Points
-5 or 6 Abilities rolled with 1d6+7
-Rolls of 1d20 under Ability, with critical if roll = Ability.
-For Magic, I'd use few spells taken from RuneQuest's Battle/Common/Spirit magic or the Big Gold Book's Sorcery, for instance :

*Heal : Spend X MP to heal X HP
*Fire Ball : Spend X MP to deal 1d(2xX) damage
*Armor : Spend X MP to reduce all damage by X/2 for the combat
*Magic Weapon : Add X/2 to damage for the combat

With the the limit to MP spent being limited by one ability.

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 I forget who( At my age I forget what I had for breakfast)  but somebody here ran a Narnia campaign for their family a while back. And you might be able to run  Hogwarts using Magic world .

 I like gritty games but BRP flexible enough that you don't have to run gritty games.

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If you can find the original Worlds of Wonder version of Magic World, I think you'd be all set. It's pretty much the old 16 page Basic Roleplaying fleshed out with magic. 

 

I did up a non-BRP RPG for a friends kid awhile back, it was very simple. I could port it over to BRP. The stuff I did to simply game play:

1) I used skill categories as default skills. That way the kid only had a half dozen skills to track, rather than a full sheet. Anything special could be made into it's own skill.

2) I made all the tasks rolled by the players. So rather than the GM rolling to see if he hit, the players rolled to see if they blocked. It made things more exciting for the kids, since they felt they had a hand in the outcome. For example, I gave them an "Athletics" skill which could be used to run, jumb, climb, swim, or any other similar activity. If the player wanted to be better at, say, Climbing, they could raise it and make it it's own skill.  

3) I raised base chances, partly due to (2) above. Kids really don't want to fail a lot and wait to grow in skill. They are doing that for real. They want to be able to do cool stuff from the start, so I made their characters a bit better than typical for an RPG. 

4) I gave them a pool of points that could be used to bump/alter die rolls. 

 

 

As for the setting, I'd suggest keeping it simple. Put them in a village or near a small fort on the border to a forest or other wilderness. That way they don't have too much setting to learn while they are picking up the game system. It's also nice for you since you don't have to do as much work to set up. Plus, by being out in a secuded area, it allows you to flesh out the game world later.

 

The big thing as far as setting goes is really the NPCs. Make sure to come up with a handful of interesting characters for the kids to interact with. You want them to pick up on the fact that they are all different people and that some are nicer than others. 

 

One thing that I would suggest is giving them a bunch of simple tasks early on to help them learn the game mechanics. Boring stuff like climibg a tree or jumping a ditch are fun when you are first learning to play. 

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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Honestly I think any D100 system is likely to be a bit crunchy for an 8 year old. I'd seriously consider Tunnels & Trolls though. It's one of those classic games everyone should know, and the sense of humour and madcap, gung ho approach should go down perfectly.

It's also about exactly mid way between Hero Kids and D100 systems in terms of complexity.

Take That You Fiend!

Simon Hibbs

Edited by simonh
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Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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45 minutes ago, simonh said:

Honestly I think any D100 system is likely to be a bit crunchy for an 8 year old. I'd seriously consider Tunnels & Trolls though. It's one of those classic games everyone should know, and the sense of humour and madcap, gung ho approach should go down perfectly.

It's also about exactly mid way between Hero Kids and D100 systems in terms of complexity.

Take That You Fiend!

Simon Hibbs

Second Tunnels and Trolls.

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4 hours ago, simonh said:

Honestly I think any D100 system is likely to be a bit crunchy for an 8 year old. I'd seriously consider Tunnels & Trolls though. It's one of those classic games everyone should know, and the sense of humour and madcap, gung ho approach should go down perfectly.

It's also about exactly mid way between Hero Kids and D100 systems in terms of complexity.

Take That You Fiend!

Simon Hibbs

 Well if Im going to use the tunnels and Troll System , I want to play Monsters!Monsters! Equal time for the bad guys.

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My girl found T&T very frustrating, and is done with it now. Even using various "it's perfectly OK to..." rules, she just got tired of repeatedly dying in every solo. Even if I ran a second character who accompanied her. And she'd played rpgs for years and was already a teen, we're not talking about a little kid. So be warned.

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I've played a few different campaigns with kids. Cut to basic rules and don't sweat the details too much.

One was set in my usual homebrew fantasy setting and the other was for some younger kids and was based on Beatrix Potter. Not a lot of combat in Beatrix Potter but plenty of reasons to sneak around and talk to NPC critters and whatnot.

I handled most all the rules stuff, didn't even give them character sheets to obsess over, "Just tell me what you want to do." and all was golden.

Edited by Simlasa
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As long as you really know the system children will enjoy what you bring to the table. After playing Dungeon Slayers with a group of 9-year old girls though I think that adabtability is also key. As grown ups we might like a narrow, focused approach; children seem to try out multiple things in one session.

One of my regular groups consist of players 11 to 45. It is all but impossible to find a common style of play and a system that all enjoy.

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Honestly check out OpenQuest Basic, its a pretty cheap little digest sized book to have at the gaming table.

The reason why it works well is the skill list is already quite condensed, which is good for kids. If you make your own character sheets then you can easily shorten the skill list even further if you think that would work better with your children. There are no gritty hit locations (although a Major Wound table option exists). It's only got one Magic system, Basic/Battle Magic which is just the common magic spells from RQ/Legend, but you can outfit a spellcaster with these and it works well. I wouldn't allow non-spell casters access to it, and treat their magic as potions instead. OpenQuest also has Hero Points, and if you hand these out liberally then the kids will sure make use of them. Also the book even has a small creatures section that is pretty useful, it covers many fantasy opponents

The other main reason I am recommending it is that the pdf version of OpenQuest Basic is usually free, so curiosity will cost you nothing.

Edited by Mankcam
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" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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9 hours ago, Joerg said:

For a D100 lite, why not use the core rules of Pendragon? Sure, it switches to a D20, but that's not much of an issue.

Or better yet Prince Valiant

Very simple rules, very easy to learn, hecuva lotta fun!

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Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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On 3/17/2016 at 2:24 AM, Mugen said:

I think I'd do something like this (inspired by The Dark Eye 1st edition) :

-One pool of Hit Points
-One pool of Magic Points
-5 or 6 Abilities rolled with 1d6+7
-Rolls of 1d20 under Ability, with critical if roll = Ability.
-For Magic, I'd use few spells taken from RuneQuest's Battle/Common/Spirit magic or the Big Gold Book's Sorcery, for instance :

*Heal : Spend X MP to heal X HP
*Fire Ball : Spend X MP to deal 1d(2xX) damage
*Armor : Spend X MP to reduce all damage by X/2 for the combat
*Magic Weapon : Add X/2 to damage for the combat

With the the limit to MP spent being limited by one ability.

I like this idea. Because BRP is a percentile, skill-based system it doesn't lend itself to a very lite adaptation, but something like this could work well.

I'd take the standard BRP characteristics (STR, CON, SIZ, DEX, INT, CHA, POW, etc.) and roll something like 2d6+3, maybe even roll 3d6 and take the best, to give younger players a high but not too high range of characteristics.

Calculate HP and MP as usual. I'd probably use a straight modifier (+1 or higher) for damage bonus instead of another die.

Then roll under on d20 for success. Use STR for combat, DEX for sneaking, INT for perception, and so on.

For combat, the damage and armour values in any BRP book could apply.

Later on, it could be scaled up to percentile values. You could even start building on % skills.

Otherwise, MagicWorld is a really accessible BRP system. I'd also second Fighting Fantasy, or Advanced Fighting Fantasy as an alternative.

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21 hours ago, Baron said:

My girl found T&T very frustrating, and is done with it now. 

I've not played many T&T solos so I don't know. Jay a bit of Arena of Khazan. I was thinking of using it as a regular RPG.

I did play through most of the first two Fabled Lands solo ganebooks. Those are great. They created a character each, and I 'ran' the books. 

Simon Hibbs

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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The idea was to give her something to do on her own. I have more than a dozen T&T solo's. As I say, I even went so far as to create a character of my own, so we had twice the PC power. We died like dogs, repeatedly. So then I dragged out the D&D solo, Thunderdelve Mountain. Again, I created a character to accompany her. We did OK for a while, maybe did half or more of it. But we got to a place where we couldn't advance because we'd missed something it assumed we'd done. In disgust we gave up. So I gave her the do-it-yourself, beginning-DM training module In Search of the Unknown. She read it, but didn't feel like working on it. So she went back to video games and books when I didn't have time to play games with her.

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On March 17, 2016 at 3:01 PM, Atgxtg said:

I did up a non-BRP RPG for a friends kid awhile back, it was very simple. I could port it over to BRP. The stuff I did to simplify game play[...]

Top-notch advice here. I am going to put this bit into a .txt file for a few years down the road once my kids grow up. My daughter is showing strong creativity and verbal skills, I think it will take but a nudge to get her to buy in.

As for the setting... Does anyone remember the Quest for Glory series, by Sierra for mid-90s VGA computer gaming? QFG1 https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quest_for_Glory:_So_You_Want_to_Be_a_Hero was a formative gaming experience for me, and the basic premise (new hero in town, find the Baron's missing daughter, defeat a bandit gang, foil an evil witch) could easily be ported over to the tabletop.

Nostalgia. So much fun!!

Edited by Akerbakk
Quest for Glory!!!
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4 hours ago, simonh said:

I've not played many T&T solos so I don't know. Jay a bit of Arena of Khazan. I was thinking of using it as a regular RPG.

I did play through most of the first two Fabled Lands solo ganebooks. Those are great. They created a character each, and I 'ran' the books. 

Simon Hibbs

T&T is very unforgiving. Most fights are very lopsided. The side with the higher dice tend to slaughter the other side and there isn't much that they can do about it. It's what makes the solos so vicious. If the PC runs into an opponent with a better die total, he's toast and that's that. Not much chance of getting a lucky hit. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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The Fabled Lands books are good because they run in 'endless play' mode. They're not linear, so you can go back to the same locations many times. They use a system of code words and tick boxes at locations to trigger unique events and track changes.

if you do a Google search for it, there's an authorised Java version of the books that is excellent and free. It's a full game that tracks progress, includes the art and is part way between a game book and a computer game, similar to some of the mobile phone app versions of the Fighting Fantasy books. You can 'cheat' by saving the game before fights and the-loading if you lose, but since we do that in computer games all the time she might not mind that as much.

Simon Hibbs

Check out the Runequest Glorantha Wiki for RQ links and resources. Any updates or contributions welcome!

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