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Ideas for tabletop with mixed ages

   
Ideas for tabletop with mixed ages

Ok, I have 11 year old daughter who's got an interest in roleplaying games of the computer variety but has asked me to run a RPG on a tabletop. (i'm so proud, its like she said she got into MIT ;->) and my thirty-something girlfriend's response was "YES PLEASE" ....

Ok, so that leaves me with having to create a game (normally idea comes first then I get people, this will be new) basically from scratch.

I need to find/create a world that will draw both of their interest.
Both enjoy Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and while I know the universe quite well, I don't know the RPG, which would leave me trying to GM (and teach) a system I dont know the first thing about OR shoehorn some other system into the Buffyverse.

I am.... "ok" when it comes to D&D 3.5 and I at least know the FR campaign setting reasonably well, however neither of them are even the slightest bit familiar with FR, and my GF has played D&D but doesn't remember what version (likely 2-3.5 but Its not clear) There is the question too on drawing in my 11 year old into a fantasy universe that she's never seen.

I haven't touched Shadowrun in nearly 20 years but the setting is a little more familiar (or at least accessible) to my tech-savvy daughter. But again, its a system I've forgotten most of, and no one else but me actually knows the setting.

I know Star Wars intimately, both the universe and the WEG version (and passing familiar with the Saga version) and my daughter is very familiar with the universe and my GF has at least seen the movies. (I like this option the best, but my GF is giving a little pushback so this may not be the best solution) I also have the most experience running SW. I think it also lends itself more to a 2 person campaign.

Other systems at my disposal but not really in consideration:
Vampire (too mature for the 11 year old)
Star Trek (no interest from anyone)
Battlestar Galactica (no interest)
Babylon 5 (No interest)
Firefly (Too mature)

Currently thoughts.
I COULD Keep this simple and just basic 3.5 D&D and your run of the mill low level adventures until something strikes my fancy.
I COULD use 3.5 D&D and go the "magic starts working & tech all fails" from the year 2011. That saves me world building (at first) and might be more accessible to my (very bright) 11 year old.
Take a Avatar the Last Airbender, and use D&D 3.5 --make all characters Sorcerer/Monk types and split off only spells by element.

knowing my child, she'll do better if I can use either a pre-existing universe she's seen before and identifies with, such as (Avatar:TLA, Warriors, Star Wars, Buffy) than a homebrew or setting she's never seen (Forgotten Realms, Shadowrun, Firefly, etc)


Any ideas are welcome.

I know there have been a lot of articles on the WotC website regarding playing 4e with younger players, that has a lot of good general advice that could be applied to any game. I think they don't require an account.... i think.

I'll go fish the links for you when I have the time, but is that a resource you'd find helpful?

Isn't the Buffy RPG based on more-or-less the same mechanics as the Serenity game, which you say you have?

If your daughter is coming from computer-mediated games, which keep the mechanics well "under the hood," then simple mechanics are probably best for the tabletop. If it's a game with only two players, that's even more important, since there won't be that mass of other players to help offer rules support.

They want Buffy; give 'em Buffy. Use the Cortex rules to make a couple of potential Slayers, actualized after the series finale, but stuck in a part of the world quite remote from Sunnydale. Then let them have at it against ghoulies, ghosties, etc. Dump the Firefly background, but use the mechanics and, if there's a lot of interest, you can probably slide over to the actual Buffy rules for future sessions with little or no problem.

Ozy's got a quite elegant solution.

I managed to teach my 12 year old brother and cousin... and my 8yr old daughter... a completely new system in a universe they'd never seen before. But, then, my daughter's always loved exploring- so learning a new universe was a party for her. And the older kids picked it up so well that they're now managing their character sheets and the math involved all by themselves. And my game has a fair bit of math. Granted, my brother has the same gift for creativity that I do... and my cousin is a freakin' prodigy when it comes to math and formulai. My daughter's also brilliant... but she's still eight, after all.

So if your daughter's bright, she won't have any trouble picking up whatever you hand her.


EDIT: Also, tell your girlfriend to grow up and play along even if she's not a big fan. This is about getting your daughter into gaming, after all.

You could run a D&D game set in FR. Even if they don't know every FR god, city, folk, race and monster, it would start them somewhere. It's actually a boon for you, as the overused monsters and plots are new to them; for example, a troll regenerating his wounds would actually cause surprise, and they could discover their weakness to fire and acid...

You could use one of the many Free Adventure on the WotC site, or basically run a basic mission of escorting something from city A to city B (a caravan, a princess, a magic scroll...), and they are ambushed by goblins or gnolls. Or they are simply traveling by themselves from city A to city B, and a fey or unicorn ask for their help...

Savage Worlds is a nice system that can be applied to any concept, its very quick to learn and i think this might be just what you're looking for. Use that for buffy : )

Yeah, I was thinking of recommending Savage Worlds, but it sounded like the OP didn't want to have to pick up a new system. Still, "bennies" are a great mechanic, particularly for kids, and Savage Worlds is appropriately light on mechanics and heavy on "Fast! Furious! Fun!" I heartily second the recommendation if new systems are an option.

Well if you have Battlestar Galactica and Serenity and you want to do Buffy . . . might I suggest the Demon Hunters RPG, a coproduction between Margret Weis Productions and Dead Gentleman Productions? It's inherently slightly goofy with the potential for real drama if they want to expand that way, is easy to run and play while using the CORTEX system you already have access to. If you buy a hardcopy it also comes with a 30 minute
available online through DGP's site if you buy the pdf instead
mini-DVD to introduce the setting for your daughter - it's a cheesy
might be some swears and curses in it but no more than primetime TV
mostly family friendly bit that masquerades as a recruitment video for The Brotherhood (aka, the good guys). It's Buffy without being Buffy yet can hook into the same sorta vibe. Or you can just reskin it to run Buffy proper - has rules for vamps, weres and animates (golems and the like).

You could also do either Buffy or Stars Wars using MiniSix - it's free and functionally a stripped down version of the old WEG d6 engine that ran Star Wars. Has lots of tools to customize to a setting while keeping it explicitly simple. Has about a half-dozen example campaign types including a Victorian Occult Invesitgation game (convertable to Buffy with a few tweaks), a few fantasy . . . it even has an example setting based on 70's cop shows. Very easy to emulate genre stuff with.

Green Ronin has put out a Dragon Age table top rpg. It takes all the best parts of the video game and makes it tabletop friendly. It's uber easy to learn (3d6 is all you roll, ever). It does keep things in the dragon age realm, so its a fantasy game, with some moral choices. However if your daughters familiar with that particular game, it might be an easy transition.

My suggestiong would be to use one of the systems that you are familiar with (WEG's star wars, for instance) to run something themed like the Buffy the Vampire Slayer show. Although, using the Shadowrun system to do a Buffy the Vampire Slayer styled game could be super-cool.

Also, since it is going to be just the two players, you should probably get as much feedback from them as possible, so that you can tailor your game just for them. If at all possible, try to get some character description from them before you tell them anything at all about what sort of game you might be running. If you get lucky, they'll tell you what sort of game you should be preparing for.




 

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