LittleWizards1-580

Well we didn’t get the chance to play the last two days because we had other things going on. However, my two oldest kids and I did get a chance to game today and we wanted to try out Little Wizards. We took our time creating characters and it was a bit more involved than the other games we have played this week. This game took the longest to so far to make the characters, but they enjoyed the process so that is a plus. They enjoyed rolling on each of the tables to see what they got for all the description tables, and re-rolling when they did not like the result. 🙂

LittleWizards2-580So let’s talk briefly about the mechanics of Little Wizards. It uses 2d6 for all rolls, with modifiers based on traits and powers.  Traits are Body, Heart, Brain, with one being best (+2), one being better (+1), and one just being good (+0). Those modifiers are added to rolls where you use that trait. Then you also have 3 powers that you choose to place the same modifiers of good, better, and best in. Two are common for all wizards (broom riding and spellcasting), then there are two for if you choose a Sorcerer (alchemy & divination) and two different ones if you choose a LittleWizards3-580Mage (conjuring & shapechanging). Everyone gets wizards gear, which is a broom, wand, hat and familiar. Only the familiar seems to have a mechanical use, which can help you by adding a +1 if it teams up with you a roll. Finally, there are skills, but those only come once you level into them.  Its a pretty simple system that worked well for us. Everything was rolling against a difficulty that I set. We didn’t run into any combat, so we won’t go over that today.

Logan went with a mage named Cyclops, and Lauren went with a sorcerer named Lily. Here are their two character sheets.

Cyclops - Logan's Character

Cyclops – Logan’s Character

Lily - Lauren's Character

Lily – Lauren’s Character

Again, I decided to use the beginner adventure straight out of the book, so after about 30 to 45 minutes of creating characters, we jumped into the game. I had the two introduce themselves to each other and describe what they look like along with their familiars. Logan has a fox named Zoom and Lauren has a swan named Anna.

The pair arrived in Ellys, a city know for its sweets, ready to find some good candy. However, as soon as they jump off their broomsticks in the square, they notice some odd things go on. First of all, there is a baker swimming in all of his cloths, in the fountain. Lauren wants to help him and they talk to him. He cannot stop swimming though and does not understand way. Lauren casts her first spell that will help him stop swimming and return to normal. He does and gets out of the fountain, thanking them. Logan asks why he was doing it and he doesn’t know, but he does tell them that he was eating some new chocolate right before it happened.

Lauren speculates that she thinks it might be the work of a bad fairy named Zelda that she has had to deal with the before. Logan thinks it might have been the chocolate. The baker thanks them and gives them the chocolate bar that he had been eating. They take it but do not eat it. As they discuss what might have caused this, a woman comes racing down a hill in a baby stroller. She is not stopping, so Logan wants to summon a wall of teddy bears to stop her, but he fails, only managing to summon one that does nothing to help.

Lauren uses a spell to engage the breaks on the stroller and succeeds. They then begin to question the woman on why she is in a baby stroller. The woman tells them she just had to do it, she couldn’t resist going for a ride. Logan asks if she has had any chocolate, and she says yes. She pulls out half of the some type of bar given to them by the baker. Lauren then casts a spell on her to help, which succeeds at a cost, it helps the lady, but breaks the stroller. Examining the chocolate bar, they realize that they are both the same and ask the woman about it. She tells them that it is a new bar, being produced by Mr. Cocoa’s new factory. They ask her where it is, but she doesn’t know. She says all the candy comes in a delivery truck to the stores, and as she thinks about it, she says no one knows where the factory is. (Here Logan said in a very serious voice, “I know where it is, its in New York City” I had to step away from the table and laugh about this, it was great)

Lauren wants to find the factory and attempts to use magic. She fails however but does find out that a delivery truck would be able to lead them to the factory. Logan speaks up here and says they should just summon Mr. Cocoa and make him stop. I said that would be an almost impossible task, setting it at the highest difficulty. They roll and with Lauren teaming up with Logan, they succeed! However, when Mr. Cocoa appears, he is tied to a chair and happy to see him. He tells them they have to come to the factory and help him, that the little buggers are going to summon him back! They ask where the factory is and he tells them it is at the edge of the forest, just outside of town. They then ask who has done this to him but just as he is about to tell them, he is summoned away by someone else!

Lauren then sends her swan to investigate the factory and tells it to report back. She wants it to look for bad guys. When it returns, it tells her the factory is unguarded, so they get on their brooms and fly that way. The land a couple of hundred feet away and Lauren casts another spell, checking to see if there are any hidden bad guys outside. They find that there isn’t, so they head to service door. It is unlocked, so inside they go. They find it leads to the factory which is still producing chocolate. Looking around diligently searching, they turn up some strange black powder that spells of pine sap just inside and on the ground around the mixing machine.

They then head into Mr. Cocoa’s office, but no one is there. They see the chair he was in, but he isn’t there any longer and there are some pine needles around his desk. Lauren casts a spell to find him and it points them to the forest outside. Heading out that direction, they see Mr. Cocoa tied to a tree, surrounded by little brownies.

Lauren suggests casting a spell to make them all fall asleep. Logan thinks he should shapechange into an actual cyclops and scare them away. They decide to do both at the same time. Both of them cast their spells successfully and half of the brownies fall asleep as Logan bursts into the clearing as a giant Cyclops, scaring the other half off! Mr. Cocoa is scared too until Logan changes back and cuts him down from the tree. They make it back to the factory, where Mr. Cocoa thanks them and promises to send them both a box of chocolate a month for the next year as a than you. Logan says it better not be the bars he is making now! Mr. Cocoa laughs and says he will scrap the rest of the bad chocolate and make new wonderful chocolate. I also awarded them each Lil’ Points (experience) that they could use if we play again to increase traits and powers, or gain skills.

They successfully completed the adventure after about an hour or so of play! We all had great fun and again I asked them to rate the system on a scale of 1 to 5.

  • Logan: 10 stars
  • Lauren: 500 stars

A great time was had by all. I enjoyed running it for them but I probably could have done with a little bit of a shorter character creation process, but again, they did enjoy it.  I will give it 4.5 out of five stars as I really liked the system. I’m not sure how combat would work since there isn’t any hit points or anything. All in all, I highly recommend this game as well and am really glad we got to run in for Teach Your Kids To Game Week!

I don’t know what we will play next, but I did pick up Camp Myth, RPGKids, FirstFable, and some more Hero Kids addons before the sale ended yesterday at DriveThruRPG. One game I have been wanting to get but isn’t yet available as a PDF that I have found is Adventure Maximus. I wish I had seen the kickstarter back when it was going, but I might have to pick up a boxed copy of Adventure Maximus if it is not going to have a PDF version.

Until next time, happy gaming.

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Playing Faery's Tale with the kids!

Playing Faery’s Tale with the kids!

We are back with Day 2 of Teach Your Kids To Game Week. The first night we played Hero Kids and had a great time. Last night, we played Faery’s Tale and the kids were excited as we gathered around the table. I had been telling them about the game as we were riding home from picking up dinner and my daughter could not wait to play an actual faery. This time I had character sheets printed off and we started with character creation right away. Each of the kids picked one of the four faery types from the book.

Let’s talk a brief moment about the rules and character creation. Faery’s Tale uses 3 attributes, Body, Mind, and Spirit that you use as your dice pool for different checks. Each type of faery has base stats, and you get to choose were to put 3 additional points. Then you have the faeries gifts. Each faery begins with 2 gifts, and they get to choose 5 points more worth of gifts. There are various different ones that do anything from giving them a sidekick, to increasing their Body stat when making tests against strength. Each one costs a little different. Each faery also has Essence, which is kind of like their magical life force. They use it to perform magic that changes the story, but it also acts as their health. When they run out, they fall into a deep sleep to restore it.

For the mechanics, you are rolling D6’s if you have 3 mind, then you would roll 3 D6 and ignore the odd dice, and count the even dice as successes. The amount of successes determine if you overcome the check or not. You can also have duels which work basically the same. Essences are used to change the story by casting powerful magic or such and they can also be awarded to the faeries by the GM when they accomplish things, or act as a good faery, or so on. I like this mechanic as it reminds me of Awesome Points and Bennys in other games.

So, back to the kids characters!

Lauren (7 year old) picked the pixie, which can fly and has pixie dust magic as her starting gifts. She added her additional points to Spirit and Mind, then bought the additional gifts of Magical, Sneaky, and Magical Music. She loves magic and always wants to cast spells. She named her faery Dessa.

Logan (5 year old) picked the sprite, which has no magic but gets the starting gifts of Champion and Animal Friend. Sprites are like the warriors of faeries. He added his additional points to Body and Spirit, then bought the gifts of Brave, Strong, and Sidekick, which allowed he to choose a creature or faery that stuck by him. He chose a Pseudo Dragon decided that he could ride the dragon in order to fly like Lauren. He named his faery Forrest of the Woods.

Levi (3 year old) picked the pooka, which starts with gifts Change Form and Travel Magic. He then choose the gifts, with my help here because he wasn’t quite so interested, of Alert and Whirlwind Strike. He put his points in Mind and Spirit like Lauren and named his faery Frozen. (Hmm, Olaf the night before, then Frozen last night…I’m seeing a pattern here…)

With characters finished, we jumped into the story. I used the example story of Jack and the Beanstalk from the book. They recommended as a good entry point for new players, and my kids seemed to like and not really recognize it so much from the cartoons and such.

The faeries woke up in Brightwood Forest and gathered in the glade. At this point I had them talk to each other as the faeries, which was quite fun. Then I them notice a giant beanstalk growing up above the trees that they were sure was not their the day before. I asked them what they wanted to do and Logan immediately jumped up and said, we need to investigate it! (I love that I did not have to prompt them to do that.) So I had them roll their first check to see if they knew where the beanstalk might come from and Lauren figures out that it might be coming from the human village close by, she tells this to her two companions and they are off!

In the village, they see that the beanstalk is growing out of the garden by Jack’s house! Jack is a young boy and friend to the faeries. His mother is outside with a group of villagers and she is saying that Jack is gone and asking anyone to help. All the villagers are two scared and they leave. The mother is frantic!

At this point, Lauren says she wants to calm the mom with a musical song. I am impressed and say sure, but to calm a human, she is going to need to spend an Essence. She doesn’t really want to do this, but does so and calms the mom down. I ask them what they want to do now and Logan says that they must help her and find Jack. I award them all with an Essence for acting like good faeries. I tell them that most humans do not believe in faeries, so how do they want to approach her. They decide to let her know it was their music she heard and that they know and want to help Jack. She is thankful and offers a favor if they can get him back.

Now I ask how they want to get up the beanstalk. Lauren can fly, Logan rides his dragon, and Levi turns into a wasp to make the trip. They all ascend up the beanstalk and through the clouds without trouble. On top of the clouds they see a giant castle, much bigger than any human house. With a successful mind roll, Logan tells them that knows this must be a giants home. They also see a large gate and fence blocking their path forward. Asking them what they want to do, Logan wants to try to left the gate. I warn him that it looks larger than heavier than any gate he has seen before, but he wants to attempt the task. I tell him he needs 4 successes to do it, and he rolls, falling short of the goal. I have him show us how it goes and he tries to lift the table to show them that he cannot do it.

Lauren wants to turn the gate into a magic gate using her pixie dust, then play it music so it will like them and open. I tell her that sounds good and have her roll. She succeeds and I grant them all Essences for overcoming this obstacle.

Now inside the gate, I ask them how they want to find Jack and Lauren wants to cast a spell to locate him. She gets enough successes and sends a little ball of energy into the castle that comes back and tells her jack is in the kitchen, through an open window. They decide to fly up to it, this time with Levi turning into a bee! They see jack in a cage hanging by the fireplace and can hear the loud snoring of a giant!

(At this point in the story Levi loses interest and wants to go play. I could have added combat or something that he liked from the previous nights game, but I wanted to keep to the story for this first session as the older two really seemed to be enjoying it and I wanted to see if just story rather than lots of combat would still satisfy them. So I excused Levi from the table and we continued.)

The faeries fly up to the cage and Jack is happy to see them. He said the giant is going to eat him for dinner after his nap and to please get him out. He tells them the key to the cage is around the giants neck. Lauren decides she wants to try to cast a spell to create the key. I tell her it is a huge key and that she would need a heroic success to overcome this obstacle, or that she can spend 5 Essences to change the story. She did not want to spend the Essence did not like spending Essences at all, so she rolled. She only came up with three successes, and she decide to spend two Essences to make up the difference. She grew a key out of wood and used it to free Jack! I awarded her an Essence for this.

However, when Jack got free shouted in joy and woke the giant. The giant comes out and he is huge, I ask them what to do and Logan says he wants to fight him! I tell them that Jack is terrified and just wants them to take him out, but Logan and Lauren still want to fight. (At this point I stopped and explained to them how big the giant was compared to them. They didn’t quite understand until I told them that He was about my size, and they were about the size of a bug. I asked them what they did to bugs…and they replied squish them. I then asked what they thought the giant might do to them since they looked like bugs. It dawned on them here and they realized that maybe they should run instead!) They wanted to trick the giant before they ran. Logan shouted at him that he was Jack and jumped on his dragon to fly and lead the giant away from Jack and Lauren. Lauren cast a spell on Logan to make many illusions of him so that the giant wouldn’t know which one to squish. Then they all ran.

Lauren and Jack made it out the gate and they waited by the hole for Logan. Finally Logan came flying on his dragon through the gate with the giant close on his tail, having already squished all his illusions. The gate closed behind Logan and the giant tried to open it but the gate (still enchanted by Lauren’s pixie dust) demanded a song to open. This confused the giant and they escaped down the beanstalk. Jack reunited with his mom and the mom offered them a favor if they ever have need.

Overall we played for a little over an hour, with characters taking about 20 minutes for me to explain what each type of faery did and so on. With the story done I asked the kids how many stars they would give it with one being not so good and 5 being wonderful:

  • Lauren: “The most stars!”
  • Logan: “10 stars!”
  • Levi: was playing on a 3ds

My daughter then ran over to mom and gave her an entire recap of the game, telling her how awesome it was. It was a great night of faery tale fun and I would also have to give the game a good rating. It was a little bit tougher to jump right into, but I think after running it once I could easily run it again. I would definitely recommend it and I just downloaded a free adventure from www.firefly-games.com for the game. I encourage you to go there! We will be playing again. I also give the game 5 stars.

For Day 3, I believe we will be playing Little Wizards! Until then happy gaming!

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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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