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GMLumpy

RPGing with kids (cross posted)

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hello,

I have been playing a version of the Star Wars RPG since the Rivsed edition from that other company.  

I have a 7 year old who is ready to play in an RPG and he loves Star Wars.  I would like to run a campaign with him and my wife (and I'll have a GM character). My question is has anyone done a sucessful campagin with only 2 players or one with a young newbie? I am looking for a simple story that is kid friendly (PG rating) and not too complex so he won't get frustrated or overwhemed with everything.

 

I figured there are many better GMs out there who must have done this before and would be able to give me some advise, what worked & what didn't, etc.  

 

thanks in advance

 

PS I am posting this in the Edge of the Empire board as well. 

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I'm playing with my nearly 8 year old.  She's only seen the original trilogy and the cartoons of Clone Wars and Rebels.  It's her second RPG.  First one was using Fate Accelerated of "How to Train Your Dragon" and that worked great.  Things have gone okay with EotE, mostly because OggDude's chargen works wonders and makes an easy-to-reference character sheet.

 

I'm a sandbox kind of GM.  My kid decided that she was a kid as old as Luke Skywalker when we first see him, and who wants to find her mom.  We talked about what happened to her mom... we decided she was taken by slavers.  And with that, Kai, the Human gadgeteer novice bounty hunter was born.  "But just a bounty hunter that captures criminals.  Catch them alive!"  A local swoop gang is known to dabble in slaves, and she had a clue pointing to them.  Over a few short sessions, through luck and quick thinking, she's pretty much captured most of them after they started hunting her down too.  Next up is the scary gang leader.  She's actually nervous about that one.

 

I would keep things pretty simple.  Figure out what kind of story your kid is interested in and build a short campaign around it.  Starting with a bang or urgent situation is always fun, depends on your kid.  I started with her arriving in the city, finding a place to stay, etc.  I wish I had started with more of a bang, but it worked out okay.  Once the swoop gang showed up and there has been a running battle through the nighttime city she's been really enjoying it.  

 

We usually play for 30-60 minutes every week or so.  She loves the yellow dice and cheers whenever she gets a triumph, and loves figuring out how it helps in the story.  I help build and advance her character by asking her questions "what is Kai better at, X or Y?"

 

Once she saw my Stay on Target book with mounts... who needs a ship in Star Wars?  She wants a mount like what Obi Wan used when Order 66 went down. But, that's a few dozen thousand credits.  "Hmm, Dad.  I need to catch more bad guys."

 

Anyways, that's the "short" version.  Would love to hear what you guys come up with and how it goes!

Edited by Mariner

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I don't have much to contribute about younger PC that could expand on Mariner's post. Pretty comprehensive and spot on from my limited experience.

 

However, two PC's is a treat imo as a GM. There are a couple hurdles that I will guess need to be resolved very quickly:

 

1) Weaknesses as players (not their characters) will become oh so prevalent. As a result as a GM you may need to keep your campaigns/runs relatively loose initially. Starting with a bang is good but there could be value in the approach Mariner took to establish the way your PC's want to act.

 

2) Strengths of players  (again, not their characters) will become, again, oh so prevalent. Enjoy this as a GM, play into it. It is so easy to craft situations that the players will react to in a usual way and you can really manipulate the story and outcomes in this manner while letting the PC's feel great that they acted 100% in character.

 

3) Stagnation as a GM. your group has a small set of skills, especially off the start. This means the problems and situations you can place the PC's in are very limited initially (unless you want to give them a sense of helplessness, not advisable). However, one beautiful aspect of this is you can slowly introduce them to situations where they need skills outside of their class and avoid the creation of a 'I shoot and kill everything and that's it' character type.

 

The above obviously goes for any pnp group but in my experience it is exasperated for small groups of players. You need to be on your toes as a GM to keep both players involved, active and feel like they are contributing more than in a large game since they will have less player-to-player interaction. My one piece of advice though would be to scrub the GM PC idea (unless I am misinterpreting this) and go with just a NPC. A strong NPC allows you to rotate in different types as required by situations and showcase skills that may lead your PC's to new and creative solutions and leveling options.

 

Just my 2 cents. In any case sounds likes a great event for your family and I hope it all goes well.

 

-B

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I have guided a few kids through their first RPG.  Some in a group of established players as large as 7 and one with just a young boy & myself.  I found that when in a group, kids work well as a centric character.  What I mean of this is make the kid an important individual.  The Prince/Princess trope works great.  The other players are told that the kid's PC is somebody important and his/her safety is paramount to their safety ;)  

 

What Didn't work for me was giving the kid too many decisions to make.  This is definitely the problem in a solo with a kid.  In this instance a GM PC is crucial to help move the fun along.  I say fun and not story for 2 reasons:

1 - Some kids might not care about a story per say but just want to do stuff.  This was my own son in his first years of RPG.  Now he makes big story decisions for others.

2 - The age and/or maturity level of your kid may not be able to move a story along by themselves alone.  The GM PC is the guide.  And the Guide is a great mentor/role model character.  I have used the "Adopting Adult" as well as the "Guardian" type character to maximum effect in this role.

 

The big thing to do is talk to the kid about what they want to do.  Ask about movies/books/tv shows he/she likes and see what you can rob for that.  Ask your wife what she thinks will work as well.  And after the first session talk to both about what they liked & didn't.

 

GM'ing kids can be frustrating but remember to keep your cool.  Sometimes kids won't know what to do and will act impulsively.  Be ready to offer alternative courses of action without forcing the player/s into doing something.  

 

I hope this helps you, cheers and have fun.

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