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Falconer

1980s Kids Campaign (E.T. / Stranger Things)

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Any advice or resources for a campaign based on E.T. and Stranger Things — kids biking around and taking care of business in the suburban or rural 80s?

Edited by Falconer
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There are some games aimed at kids-as-protagonists, but none AFAIK that use BRP or a similar game engine...  I presume it's wanting that BRP goodness that leads you to ask here, vs on Reddit or EnWorld or BigPurple or etc...

 

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That would be an interesting take on the BRP game system.  Tales From the Loop is the RPG written to replicate those 80's kids, but it is VERY rules light and part of the premise is that the kids can not die.  Sure, that leaves room for maiming and trauma, but BRP is good at inflicting death for bad decisions/rolls. 

The kids are not going to be all that skilled either, compared to even young adults.  Stats? Well, most should be below average human level, right?  Until they actually finish growing? 

I'd like to see an adaption though, just to see how someone modifies BRP to replicate this genre. 

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This is one of the very, very few occasions where I wouldn't bother with Hit Locations, except as a general indicator where someone was hurt. Nor would I bother with combat rules.

Some skills would be low, others would be high. Kids would be good at stealth, being small and dextrous and having played Hide and Seek (Hide and go Seek for Americans). 

I'd actually have a completely different set of skills, not like the BRP ones, to reflect what kids know and can do.

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5 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Are the players kids, on just playing younger characters?

Why not both?  I had that situation when I ran a Tales From the Loop adventure during Free RPG Day this year.  Three kids (ages 10 to 12) and three adults, one around 40 the other two late 20's.  In the game, you play as kids, 10-15 years old (the pregen characters I created were mostly 13 with one 12 and one 14 yr old).  

I could certainly see a decent list of things that could be turned into weapons by the kids.  Baseball bats, slingshots, lawn darts (banned in the USA in December of 1988), a variety of fireworks and the old can of hairspray and a lighter for example.  I could totally see a scene where a country kid has to use his favorite fishing pole and lure to hook and drag some small object out of the bed of a truck parked behind a security fence.  Nobody would object to a kid with a 85% Casting skill, right? 

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19 minutes ago, ORtrail said:

Why not both? 

 No reason. I asked because it makes a difference in how I would set up the characters and run the game. If the players are kids then I'd give them more perks/hero points and be more forgiving than if it were a group experienced players playing kids. I run my friend differently than I GM his 6 year old daughter. She's smarter than he is though, and can take it.

Edited by Atgxtg

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On 6/29/2018 at 6:30 PM, Atgxtg said:

 No reason. I asked because it makes a difference in how I would set up the characters and run the game. If the players are kids then I'd give them more perks/hero points and be more forgiving than if it were a group experienced players playing kids. I run my friend differently than I GM his 6 year old daughter. She's smarter than he is though, and can take it.

Harsh, but fair I'm sure.  :) 

Soltakiss, I'd be curious how you would handle combat.  Bullies are certainly a thing in these games, along with guard dogs and being chased by various things like dinosaurs or Permian Age insects. 

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48 minutes ago, ORtrail said:

Harsh, but fair I'm sure.  :) 

Harsh yes, probably a bit unfair, but I got a laugh out of my friend back when it happened. She probably is smarter than he is though. She figured out a couple of things and pulled off a clever idea or two that surprised me. For example, I made up a simplified RPG for her where she got to play Asoka Tano from the Clone Wars. It was a quest type of adventure where  she had to open various containers to find something, and it was possible to find R2-D2 and have him tag along and help with things. In one game R2 opened up a contain that was trapped with a ECM grenade and got fried. She loved R2 and was horrified that he got zapped, so from that point on she would use the Force to open up containers with telekinesis so that R2 would never get hit by an ECM trap again, ever. That was her idea, at age 6

 

 

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On 7/2/2018 at 12:52 AM, ORtrail said:

Soltakiss, I'd be curious how you would handle combat.  Bullies are certainly a thing in these games, along with guard dogs and being chased by various things like dinosaurs or Permian Age insects. 

Bullies - You either stand up to them and have a fist fight, run away from them or get beaten up by them. BRP-style combat doesn't really work for any of these. 

The reason I say this is that BRP Combat has Attack-Parry/Dodge, repeated until someone is killed or disabled.That just isn't the case with kids fighting. I'd just use the Resistance Table to see who comes out on top.

Guard Dogs, Dinosaurs and Permian Insects - Kids run away, wait for an adult to help out or get eaten. I really wouldn't see a group of Stranger Things kids going toe to toe with even a guard dog. Fighting a dinosaur just doesn't fit in with the theme. Even if they could get, say, a gun, they would have virtually no skill in using one and it would be sheer luck that it worked.

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On 7/6/2018 at 12:26 PM, soltakss said:

Bullies - You either stand up to them and have a fist fight, run away from them or get beaten up by them. BRP-style combat doesn't really work for any of these. 

The reason I say this is that BRP Combat has Attack-Parry/Dodge, repeated until someone is killed or disabled.That just isn't the case with kids fighting. I'd just use the Resistance Table to see who comes out on top.

Guard Dogs, Dinosaurs and Permian Insects - Kids run away, wait for an adult to help out or get eaten. I really wouldn't see a group of Stranger Things kids going toe to toe with even a guard dog. Fighting a dinosaur just doesn't fit in with the theme. Even if they could get, say, a gun, they would have virtually no skill in using one and it would be sheer luck that it worked.

I think use of the Resistance Table is  worth looking into.  One quick roll to resolve the situation in most cases. 

To maintain the spirit of the genre, the kids need to be able to survive even dinosaur attacks.  Actually one of the included adventures in the Tales From the Loop rulebook features some dinosaurs -and they fit into the weird science vibe or time travel accident quite well.  Turning to adults for help is actively discouraged.  The parents never accept the facts staring them in the face, or dismiss what the kids claim they saw as hysteria or some prank.  Running away is always a legit option, whether on foot or by bike. 

Those with experience running a Doctor Who campaign already have the right ideas for how things should play out with a group of Stranger Things kids.  The kids need to outwit, outrun, use stealth, or even turn foes against each other as needed -not resort to typical BRP combat. 

Edited by ORtrail

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For combat and '80s kids look no further than "The Monster Squad."

A little more context:

And ...

 

Edited by seneschal
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It has been a decade or more since I watched Monster Squad.  Back in the day, I would have thought of this in terms of a group of kids acting as Bureau 13 agents/Stalking the Night Fantastic.  I don't recall this movie being mentioned when influences for Tales From the Loop are listed (Goonies, E.T. and Strange Things are your top three there) and probably because Monster Squad veers heavily into the fantasy side of things.  Not that werewolves are not hinted at in TFtL, but odds are they would turn out to be genetic experiments gone wrong. 

 

 

 

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On 7/11/2018 at 4:02 PM, seneschal said:

For combat and '80s kids look no further than "The Monster Squad."

Oh, Monster Squad must be my favourite "Kids against Monsters" film.

Highlights for me:

  • The Dad explaining to his son that there's no such things as monsters in closets, while holding the door open to reveal the Mummy standing there shocked
  • Dracula using his cane to make a coffin rise from the waters, only for the Creature from the Black Lagoon to appear beneath it, holding it up
  • Dracula going through the police force like a hot knife through butter
  • The girl performing a ritual to banish the Monsters, as she is a virgin, but it doesn't work. They can't understand how it didn;t work and double check, to be told something like "Oh, that one time with so-and-so, but that didn't count"

 

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I've thought about running the Call of Cthulhu scenario "The Haunting" as teenagers daring themselves to stay in a haunted house, with the week leading up to the big weekend as the time that can be used to investigate.

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On 8/4/2018 at 9:34 PM, Mjollnir said:

I've thought about running the Call of Cthulhu scenario "The Haunting" as teenagers daring themselves to stay in a haunted house, with the week leading up to the big weekend as the time that can be used to investigate.

 

Yeah, I like your idea, as long as the kids have a dog with them.  :)

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The premise is great but I don't get why you would use BRP.
The tropes in E.T. are foremost psychological and grounded in reciprocity.
As far as I adore BRP and d100 but in this case I would rather use a narrativismic game (e.g. Fate).

Otherwise, I am very curious if this aspect in BRP can be appropriate displayed.
Certainly with a heavy focus on passions?

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Having read through the printed copy of Cathulhu: Velvet Paws on Cthulhu's Trail I bought recently, it seems like you should be able to run a game with kids in the 10-15 year range easier than a group of cats. 

Maybe.

The cats are going to be really good with stealth and climbing, for example.  The kids won't reach that level of competence in physical tasks (although running/biking/skateboarding should be decent), but they have access to tools and some knowledge on how to use them.  By way of comparison, the suggested stats for cats are:

STR     1D3

CON   2D6

SIZ      1

INT     2D6+6

DEX    2D6+14

EDU    3D6+3

APP     3D6

POW   2D6+6

Sentience (Sanity): POW x 5

Know: EDU x 5

Idea: INT x 5

Luck: POW x 5

Movement rate: 12

I'd probably tweak the APP for cats to 2D6+6, as you seldom see an ugly cat unless they have had a rough life and been in a number of fights. 

 

So, for kids, what about:

STR     1D3+ (Age/2)

CON   2D6+2

SIZ      1D6+ (Age/2)

INT     2D6+6

DEX    2D6+4

EDU    2D6+ (Age/3)

APP     3D6

POW   2D6+4

Sentience (Sanity): POW x 5

Know: EDU x 5

Idea: INT x 5

Luck: POW x 5

Movement rate: 9

 

Edited by ORtrail

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