Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Running a game for kids

Tonight I ran a game for our daughter, two of her friends and our son. My wife also played, so give the kids some kind of help when floundering. It was interesting to say the least.

The game, Morwhayle, is a game from the same guys who created the newest Mutant game, that will be published by Modiphius in the UK. It's based on the novels and comics by Peter Bergting. It's designed with new players in mind, and I think it's an interesting game in of itself.

First off I think the idea of using dice pools, adding dice for Abilities, Gear and Hindrances (rated from d4 to d12) and so on is a very good way to visualize the world for the players. With newbies, that is a great way to get them to pick up on the rules faster. It felt like Aspects in Fate, but with less jargon and with more dice to choose from. Also, I liked how the game took hints from Apocalypse World (the most talked about game I have not yet played) and let character creation be done wholly by just picking stuff of the sheet. Slick and modern game design.

Most importantly, how did it go? Well, they seemed to like it and when I talked with our daughter after the game, she mentioned how she was going to test another archetype next game. Hooked!

What most amazed me was that the youngest player was the one who quickest grasped the idea of playing a role, and talking in character!

But, being a GM for kids, isn't it hard? Well, it's different that running a game for adults, I tell you that! For starters, kids have a much harder time sitting still around a table for multiple hours. I strongly recommend you include a break or two, with snacks. They also took the game much more into the real world than adults do. I mean, how often do your players crawl under the game table when their characters are hiding from zombies? But, I think there are benefits for you as a GM as well. You have to keep it moving and if you don't give every player something to do, they will just leave the table! I thought I ran a pretty simple story, but be prepared to face extreme cases of the truth of the Three Clue Rule. There should be lots of hints, and lot of options for how to proceed.

All in all, I think the session was not only fun for us adults, to be able to hang out and play a game with our kids. But also a learning experience about what it takes to make a game session run well. Adults may be more used to take control of their situation, but they can be just as paralyzed in the face of decision and you should always be ready for that.

Best thing in the end is I think we will do this again, and I look forward to it.
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