I’m a long time role-player and painfully new game-master. My group consists of my 10 year old son, a couple of his buddies 10 and 12, my 7 year old daughter, my wife and one of the Dads. While I love Star Wars, my knowledge of anything beyond the movies (Legends or Expanded Universe) is quite limited but escalating rapidly as I comb through media for inspiration and guidance.
The Order 66 Podcast is a great way to “geek out” on the way to work.
I put a lot of effort into sitting down and conceptualizing each kid’s character and interlacing them as allies and adversaries. This provided them some drama before the opening crawl was streamed on our television. As a greenhorn GM, I tried to find ways to interlock the adventure modules into a cohesive story. We are currently working our way through Escape from Mos Shuuta, minus the stock characters. From here, we will transition to Onslaught at Arda I. Flip-flop, bounce around for a taste of all three flavors.
I started with a learning lesson or tutorial for the dice. Green, Yellow, and Blue – help you. Purple, Red, and Black – hurt you. We then made up scenarios to highlight skills and abilities. Jumping – Athletics, Lying – Deception, Pistol Shootin’ – Ranged (Light), etc. Then, I flipped it on each of them and had them GM for me as a pseudo-test. They picked it up rather quickly.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit I’m still struggling to memorize the Weapon Characteristics, i.e. Blast 2 or Pierce 3 or Vicious 1. But, therein lies the beauty of the narrative focused game.
I utilize a lot of visuals as well; all kids love pictures, right? I print maps, place them in sheet protectors, and use dry-erase markers to aid in storytelling. I also place images on the television screen for antagonists, environments, equipment, etc. Likewise, I utilize a little music for inspiring moments, though it drives my wife crazy.
My biggest takeaways thus far:
•Expect them to rise to the occasion. Set the bar high and let them surprise you.
•Play to the audience. You’d think they were bloodthirsty maniacs, because their go to answer is often “Blast’em!” If that’s what they enjoy, roll on!
•Expand their skill set. I am trying to rein in some of my homicidal terrors with more challenging mysteries, social interactions, and other skills to flesh out each of their characters.