Guess what?! It is teach your kids to game week this week and I have taken the opportunity to buy some of the titles that are discounted at DriveThruRPG (and some that are not) in order to play more with my kids. Anyone that knows me is already aware that I game with my kids. I’ve made up a simple game that uses fate dice and talents to play with my kids many times before that they lovingly call “The Adventure Game.” They have even had friends over to play this with them before and great times have been had by all. Someday, I might have to write the rules down and see if anyone else is interested.

Back to the topic at hand, here is the list of games that I bought yesterday:

  • BEAN!
  • Hero Kids (and several expansions)
  • Faery’s Tale (it was not on sale, but I hear it is worth it)
  • FirstFable
  • Little Wizards

There are a few more that I might have to buy, like Camp Myth (also not on sale) and rpgKids, but I’m not sure if I should right now.

Why did I buy all these games? My goal is to play a game each night with my kids using a different game system and see which ones they like. Hopefully, they will like all of them, but maybe one or two stand out as their favorites. I just want to take advantage of the week and teach them as many games as I can. I’m also slightly interested to see how my own adventure game stands up to these games.

I am a blessed dad. I have five wonderful children. The last two are twin boys that are only a month and a half old, so they will not be joining us for this week of gaming. My other children are Lauren who is 7, Logan who is 5, and Levi who is 3.  Most of the games I bough have a lower age of either 5 or 7, so it will be interesting to see  if I can keep the younger two engaged.

The first game I started with last night was Hero Kids. I had heard many good things about it and was anxious to give it a try.

Actual Play – Hero Kids

Playing Hero Kids with my three older kids!

Playing Hero Kids with my three older kids!

The kids joined me excited around the table. My printer had stopped working with regular paper, so I had to make the character cards that came with the game fit onto 4×6 photo paper. So after fixing dinner and then manipulating the pictures using Paint.net, I finally had character sheets printed out for them and ready to go. Because of all this, the kids knew they were going to get to stay up past bedtime to get to play, needless to say, they were doubly excited.

I used the basic characters that came with the base game and had them all printed out. I let them choose their hero, Lauren chose the healer and named her Flutter, Logan chose the warrior and named him T-Rex, and Levi chose the knight and named him Olaf. I set out two dice towers and handed out several mini d6’s that the game uses for resolution. I told the kids about their characters and how they are kids who have trained to be heroes from birth. I explained that they can uses the abilities that they have on their sheets with dice next to them, and that they roll the number of dice next to them when they use that skill and use the highest number that they get out of all the dice. Lauren and Logan understood this but Levi was just wanting to roll dice.

I then explained that they each have a special action, ability, skills, and an inventory listed on their sheets and took a minute to go over them as well as the three hit boxes that they have listed. After this short amount of explanation, we started with the adventure. Here we used the provided adventure Basement O Rats.

Their characters were all siblings and eating with their family in the local inn when the owner came up out of the basement screaming about giant rats taking over the basement and taking her son! The parents looked at Flutter, T-Rex, and Olaf and asked them if they were ready to start on their first adventure, they gathered their gear and said yes!

Heading into the basement!

Heading into the basement!

I set down the basement and set up the bad guys (using zombie figures instead of rats but they knew they were rats) and but their characters at the top of the stairs. I explained that they could move 4 spaces each turn and take one action, be it attacking or healing or something else. I also explained that the healer could attack 4 spaces away while the warrior and knight needed to get up close the action.  We rolled initiative and we were off!

Flutter moved in first and attacked one of the giant rats with magic! (I let her describe her spell and she used a different one each time. She loved it but I’m not sure that is how it works, but that is what I went with.) She had vines grow up out of the cracks in the basement and squeeze the life out of the first rat, rolling better than the rat! (Attacks are resolved with the attacker rolling the number of dice by the ability they are using, in this case magic. Defenders roll their armor and they each take their highest die. Whoever is highest wins that round, if it is a tie, the win goes to the attacker. Attackers almost always deal just one damage when they win, if the defender wins, no damage is dealt. In this case, each of the rats only had one hit point.)

Olaf and T-Rex both jump into basement and slice up two more rats. Then the rats attack, teaming up on T-Rex and Olaf to deal one damage two each of them! (They looked pretty concerned, but I explained that sister could heal them instead of attacking if she wanted.) Of course, Flutter chose to attack instead, this time opening a portal to bat world and summoning some bats to attack then fly back through the portal. With another rat down, there were only 3 left. T-Rex misses when he attacks with the rat jumping out away from his sword, but Olaf bashes one over the head with his shield, crushing the beast.

The rats attack but their teeth and claws bounce harmlessly off of the boys’ armor. Flutter tosses a ball of plants at one of the rats that cause him to scratch himself to death, while T-Rex dispatches the other one with the blunt side of his blade. (The kids are describing how they do all of this by the way, sometimes I prompt them with questions, but they are good at it.) Having dispatched all the rats, Flutter quickly heals her brothers and they hear shouts coming from a hole in the basement and they decide to descend into the rat lair.

Dropping into the hole they see it goes into two directions. I ask them which direction they think they should go and I hint that one of them has an ability that might help. Lauren runs around the table and whispers into Logan’s ear. He looks at his character sheet and shouts that the wants to track the rats! Using his ability, he knows which direction they went and they head off!

Tracking the rat!

Tracking the rat!

The find several more rats ahead and dispatch them quickly! Here is the battle in short:

  • Olaf shield bashes one of the rats
  • Flutter throws a “cannon bomb” that explodes into three spooks that cuts one into pieces
  • T-Rex slices a rat with his sword
  • A rat takes a bite of T-Rex
  • Olaf takes out another rat with a shield bash (he loves that move)
  • Flutter summons three swords that bop another rat on the head

After taking these rats out, Flutter heals T-Rex’s bite and they head on through the tunnels. They find a wall that they have to climb up, but none of them have any rope. Lauren asks if she can use her magic to get them up the wall. I say that is fine and ask her how she wants to do it and that she must roll for it. She says she wants to summon a magic ladder that attaches to the wall with super glue that will let them climb up. She rolls and gets a success so a magic ladders made of stone grows out the ground and they climb up it. At the top, they find 3 gems, one for each of them that they save for later, and passageway leading to another room.

In this final room (I cut the adventure short here because it was way past bedtime) the see the rat king and hear the boy. Here is the battle in short:

  • Flutter summons a small dino named “Zack” and it bites off a rats leg, dispatching it
  • Olaf takes out a rat with this sword
  • Flutter summons a flower that cause a rat to scratch himself to death again
  • T-Rex attacks the Rat King but misses
  • Olaf slices up another rat with his sword
  • Flutter summons a biting dandelion that poisons the Rat King, but he is not yet dead (he has 2 hit points)
  • T-Rex and Olaf team up to the slice the rat king with two powerful blows

They were successful! They rescued the boy and returned him to the inn. They were rewarded with free ice cream for a week! Their faces lit up about that. 🙂

I asked each one of them what they thought about the game. All three had fun and liked their characters. I then asked them on if 1 star is not good and 5 stars is really fantastic, how many stars would they give the game Hero Kids:

  • Lauren: “5 stars!”
  • Logan: “5 stars, no 6 stars!”
  • Levi: “Lots of stars!”

And with that, I sent them to go brush their teeth and get ready for bed as I cleaned up.  We had a great time and I did like the system. I would also give the game Hero Kids 5 stars. It was a great night of playing and we will definitely play this game again.

Tonight we play Faery’s Tale! Cya then!

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Part 2 (see part 1 here)

After game creation, I had Ara and Brennen create their characters. Character creation took about 15-30 minutes, and I was explaining to a player that had never played a fate game before. Here are the characters they created.

Brennen – playing Annie Waterhouse(she smalltown American Girl)
High Concept – Finest Appretice to the swordsmaster Takashi Kato
Trouble – Crippling Protectionist
Aspect – still can’t forget Tyberious for making me clean up his mess
Approaches:
+3 – Careful
+2 – Quick, Sneaky
+1 – Clever, Forceful
+0 – Flashy
Stunts – Master Katana, +2 careful attack in melee,
+2 sneakly advantage to at a location,
+2 to physically overcome obstacles

 

Ara – playing Tyberious
High Concept – Biohacked Assassin of Bitol Corp
Trouble – Bitol Corp wants their biohacking back
Aspect – When Annie’s in Trouble I’m there.
Approaches:
+3 – Quick
+2 – Forceful, Sneaky
+1 – Careful, Clever
+0 – Flashy
Stunts –
Because of my 9mm, I get a +2 when I forcefully try to attack a single opponent,
1 per session pull a weapon out of nowhere reload under duress,
Because I am bio-hacked i can find an ally once per session.

We started in the City of London in a little pub on Earls Court. We decided the the two lived above the pub and while they didn’t own the pub itself, they were seen as special interests by the pub owners. This is where they are approached by an associate of Mister M. The associate proposes a heist job for a the last can of tuna known to exist. It just happens to be in the hands of a Professor Muto, whom they had just completed a different job for. The man offers a low figure, but Alice is able to overcome his resistance with a good roll and get him to negotiate up to 4.5 million credits, with half delivered up front and the other half on completion of the job.

This is where the guys took a path that I was able to handle far easier than I would have in other games. Alice wanted to try and get a job at the university briefly, to get an inside viewpoint of what they are going after. Tyberious wanted to plug in and find an ally that knows something about Professor Muto or his lab. I had Brennen roll to overcome and obstacle to see if Alice could get a job, and the roll was successful. So now that Alice had a position there, I had him roll to create an advantage. Brennen was successful again and I created a situation aspect for the heist called “Admin Assistant for the Week” and gave Brennen the free tags he had earned with a good roll. I handled Ara’s the same way and he added another situation aspect called “Ally Who Knows Muto” with one free tag.

Now that there preparation was complete, I needed to have a way to set up a visualization for the lab they were going to be infiltrating. My first thought was to search for a blueprint of a room, but I discarded that idea for a quicker and simpler method. I used my circles that were going to represent my “zones” and just set them up in a row to represent the different areas they were going to need to get through of the lab. Then I set up aspects that they would need to overcome in each of those zones. Here is what it looked like:

MalteseTuna1

Now they had learned that Muto had four “research assistance” that were always with him in the lab and looked more like guards than students. In order to make it into the lab, Alice used her advantage to lure one of the guards up and get through the door that way, instead of trying to force their way in. Once they get past the “DNA locked door” they have to face the guard that just opened the door. With some good rolling, Alice sliced off his arm with enough shifts to tag him with an aspect “Lost Arm”. Yes, she sliced off his arm. 🙂 Tyberious was then able to tag that aspect and boost his roll to finish off the guard with a blow to the head from his 9mm.

Here is how I quickly stated up the four guards:

Steel Assassin – Judo, Forceful +2 Stress 3 boxes

 

Steel Assassin – Shooting, Quick + 2, 2 stress boxes

Two were the Judo guards and two where Shooting. It was super fast to stat them up on the fly.

They moved on to the next set of guards and Annie throws the severed arm right onto the table between them, surprising them and adding an advantage tot he situation of “Scared Stupid”.

malteseTuna3

Tyberious then also gives them “A Way Out” and encourages them to leave instead of being killed. With a fate point, Ara gets one of them to leave, but the other pulls a gun and begins firing. Annie jumps into the next zone and disposes of the guard “Wu” with one swipe of her katana, severing his legs. The other guard is rattle by Tyberious’s shooting, but not injured but Tyberious takes enough of his attention to allow Annie to relocate the top of the guards head with her katana, leaving only the professor.

MalteseTuna6

I stated up the professor right then as well, here is how he came out.

Proffessor Muto, +3 clever, +2 quick, +2 careful, 3 boxes, mild, Moderate
Stunt: When carefully attacking an oppontent +2.

The professor fires at Tyberious and misses, then Tyberious hits the Muto good and the Professor has to take a Moderate Consequence of Shot in the Arm, just to stay up. At this point, they clarify what they want and Professor Muto grudgingly gives them the Tuna. However, he does promise that they will be sorry for killing his guards once their employer is notified. The two leave and Tyberious has his ally remove the video footage from the scene to keep their name clear.

And this is were we ended. We played for 3 and a half hours and it was great game. Add to that the fact that I had absolutely nothing prepared and felt comfortable with that knowledge when I started the game. I have to say that no other system has allowed me to do that. Brennen and Ara had enough fun that they want to play again next week and see what fallout happens due to this heist. I cannot wait to see either. 🙂

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This is Part 1 of my Actual play write-up…

I had the opportunity last night to run a Fate Accelerated game for two friends over Google Hangouts and wanted to share my experience. First, I have only ran the Fate Accelerated once before and played it a few times, so I am still pretty new to the game. Even so, the game ran smoothly and was pretty easy to handle as the GM.

Game Creation

Even though this was likely to be a one shot, I wanted to give my friends the full Fate Accelerated experience since they were playing for the first time. To do this, I borrowed the game creation worksheet from Fate Core and I had them give me the idea of what they wanted to play. Now, before playing Fate Accelerated, I would have been way too nervous to do this and play in that game setting on the same night. In the past, we may have made a world, but then I would have wanted a night or three between the creation and the first session to give me an idea of what to do. However, with Fate Accelerate (or FAE from here on out) I was confident that I could handle whatever they threw at me. This is a huge plus just on its own.

In around 20 to 30 minutes, Ara and Brennen had given me the following items for the game world:

  • Cyperpunk version of assasins creed cross with blade runner and the maltese falcon.
  • Ganster, kaper, heist

With these two points, we had our setting and scale.

Next, we discussed the issues their characters would be facing, and came up with the following:

  • Gangs vying for control of the city, playing gentlemen hitmen, like ronin, hired by the various factions, eventually asked to killed some of the friends
  • Immediate job to go get something from someone we just did a job for
  • One of the last frozen tuna, high grade, like a ruby, from someone they did a job for.
  • Mr. M wants sushi and hasn’t had it in 50 years.

We fleshed out the setting and issues a little to get that they were in a city with a power vacuum. The city we used was London, at some future date and time. Ara and Brennen were two associates that worked together for mutual benefit. They had just finished a job for a Professor Muto, killing off someone for the benefit of his career.

Now they are about to be approached by someone who wants them to steal a prized possession from Professor Muto, the last known can of Tuna in all of London and quite possibly the world.

Tune in more tomorrow for Part 2 – Character Creation.

 

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My Rise of the Runelords, Pathfinder game is tomorrow night, and we are on Session 5.  Last week the party had to move to a new inn since the one they were staying in burned down. So they took up lodging at The Rusty Dragon, which just happened to be next door to their old inn.

I found a really nice map online to use that was made specifically for this inn, but it is a large file and it would not load for at least one of my players. That prompted me to go ahead and make a new map using CC3. I based the foundation of the inn on the map that was provided with Rise of the Runelords, so the inn size should be pretty accurate.  I only did one floor however, even though I am sure there are at least two floors.

The owner is also a bard that plays for her patrons each night. So what I decided to do was make a round stage in the center of the room, that had a stone bar that goes all the way around it. My idea here is that the owner would serve drinks at the bar, then when she decides to play, she can just hop up on the stage behind her and play for the crowd. The rest of the main hall is full of tables.  Then you have the kitchen to the back and the lodging rooms to the left side of the inn. The rooms range from a cheap common sleeping area to a couple of nice private rooms in the back.

Let me know what you think!

Rise of the Runelords - Pathfinder Game

 

I received some good feedback on the inn, so I made a few additional changes.  Let me know what you think of this new version:

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Since I bought CC3 I have spent a lot of time playing around with its features, watching tutorials, and trying to figure out what all I need for the different games I am playing.  One thing that kept coming up, I even mentioned it in my previous post, was my need for several maps of cities.  Mainly because my Pathfinder campaign was fighting off a goblin raids throughout many different places in the city. So I decided to go ahead and dive right into the Profantasy software and bought City Designer 3 as well.

I am glad I did, it has a lot of good stuff in it and it has definitely made mapping cities a lot easier.  I made this map very quickly and easily with the software. It is for a play by email game I am playing with one of my buddies.  I enjoyed making it and feel like it is a pretty good map, especially considering it is my first city map using CD3.  The software was definitely worth the investment.  Let me know what you think.

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