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    Angel Barracks

    Not this sort:

    This sort:

    Do any of you play them?

    I used to, but I always found it hard to get into new groups as our style did not seem to fit in with what most people did.
    I used to work in a games shop (Dungeons & Starships) in the Midlands and went to a fair few groups to check them out.
    But never found anyone else that was quite as ‘serious’ ? as us. (pretentious maybe?)

    We would do voices, facial gestures, full on backgrounds and go all method.
    Dice were rarely used and most of the gaming was conversation with NPCs and each other.

    Rules needed to lite and vague so as not to slow the pace.
    We did not use any table top accessories like maps or figures or any of the stuff you see most tabletop roleplayers do.

    I was thinking about trying it with my daughter (though a suitable theme, maybe Pokémon) but know that our old style would far too heavy and demanding for her.

    Do you do it and are you super serious method?

    or more laid back and casual.
    (maybe treating it more as a board game?)

    Gone Fishing

    Not sure how old your daughter is, but have you ever taken a look at Beyond the Wall by Flatland Games? It’s based on books for young adults, especially those by Ursula LeGuin and. Lloyd Alexander, so things have a slightly more innocent vibe than most rpgs tend to present (especially today). But even as a 50-something there is still a lot to love in the way the game is presented. The system is based on D&D. Worth checking out…

    Mike Headden

    If you’re looking for an introduction to role playing suitable for a child/ young adult/ young-at-heart adult you could do worse than Mice & Mystics from Plaid Hat Games. Basically a self-contained RPG in a box.

    Given the player characters are all transmogrified mice and it’s fairly combat heavy it may be unsuited to your preferred play style.

    As a GM my games tended to be a mix of action and interaction with the serious stuff punctuated by moments of light relief/ lunacy.* Since the players rarely did what I expected games were pretty free-form (ie made up on the hoof!). Columbia Games “Harn” with it’s fully mapped and detailed world was a godsend when players determinedly walked off the edge of the pre-planned adventure map!

    Some nights were a series of combats, assassinations and arson, some were all sneaking, lockpicking and breaking and entering,  others were palace intrigue, seduction and larceny. All were fun to run and, I’m told, fun to play.

    Most of my tabletop characters were cultured psychopaths. My MMORPG characters still are!

    *delete as appropriate.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    Phil Dutré

    Of course. 200% of my gaming time was consumed by rpg’s during the late 80s and early 90s, when roleplaying games were the dominant gaming format, untill MtG came around.

    I have tried to get a few games going again recently, but rpg’s have lost their experimental and avant-garde edge. These days, they are slick commercial products. It was much more fun when they had this aura of a satan-worshipping suicidal cult.

    But the format of rpg’s – both the gaming engine mechanisms as well as the narrative setup – have found their way in many other gaming genres. So although the strict rpg format has lost its popularity, the overall influence still is there.

    Tiny Tin Men Blog: http://snv-ttm.blogspot.com/
    Wargaming Mechanics Blog: http://wargaming-mechanics.blogspot.com/


    You can do RPG on a wargame-like table with some miniatures and terrain. That’s familiar territory.

    As DM you may adapt and twist any rules you like, and move the NPCs etc on the gaming table as you wish.


    Russell Phillips

    I play RPGs, as does my wife. We’ve played them with our kids (6 & 10) a few times.

    I wouldn’t call our play style serious, but it’s more about the story than the dice, so your style sounds similar.

    To me, games that go heavy on maps, figures, and dice are wargames more than RPGs. That doesn’t stop you role-playing if you want to, mind. We play HeroQuest with our kids. There’s nothing about role playing in the rules, but the kids do it anyway. Once when playing with my daughter, her hero killed the last orc in the room, then went to the book case to read a story 🙂

    If you want to try an RPG with your daughter, I recommend RISUS. It’s generic, so can fit any setting. We’ve played it with our two, using the very silly SHGGFTAWSGDSSFDF setting. This is an adventure that my wife ran for me and our kids: https://rpg.phillipsuk.org/doku.php/risus/supershinybrightbrightpolish

    Military history author
    Website : Twitter : Facebook


    Do any of you play them?

    Yes.  The kids make me GM WFRP for them, from time to time.  They are kids so not that serious: on the other hand, I think that they get into character better sometimes than young teenagers (in the groups I was in).  They are so used to playing “let’s pretend” anyway.

    If they remain interested, I might have a go with Maelstrom at some point.

    Rules needed to lite and vague so as not to slow the pace. We did not use any table top accessories like maps or figures or any of the stuff you see most tabletop roleplayers do.

    Have you had a go at The Window?  That might suit. Or (the indie) Fable.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Whirlwind.



    You also may want to consider Amazing Tales – http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/222950/Amazing-Tales

    It was designed for role playing with kids and is very light on the rules / heavy on imagination.

    Mice and Mystics is also good, but as noted more map and figure driven.

    Guy Farrish

    Of course if you are not bothering with many/any formal rules you can use your imagination?

    Look at the entry I did for Howard Whitehouse’s competition some time ago – time travelling to 16th century settlers in America. Or how about Dark Age Saxons exploring Romano British ruins at night, looking for treasure and encountering Arthurian Celts defending their land/treasure/mystic past? With or without magic – or perhaps imagined magic? You know, scary in the dark but just noises and things you aren’t used to as a barbarian Germanic invader?

    Lots of opportunities for imaginative ‘let’s pretend play’ – follow Free Kriegsspiel rules – you as the dungeon master/umpire set a level of difficulty for a task (not too high – and allow modifiers as necessary!) for your heroine/daughter and let her roll a D 10 – lots of ‘what do you do next?’ situations – with a positive(ish) outcome whatever she does. The more hurdles she passes – finds an ancient ring/bracelet/amulet/sword of power – the more get out of gaol free cards she gets as the situations get more difficult.

    I spent hours playing Polly Pocket and Professor Rabbit games with my daughter -wish I’d thought of this then! – but they were pretty much the same in the end – she worked out answers to life questions and had loads of fun doing it. God! She was bossy! Now she wants to be a teacher. I pity those kids!


    Back in the day I played RPGs the D&D players came to it from wargaming. They were Napoleon at heart and no matter the level or experience of their character, our opponents were toast. They knew every modifier, rule and could coordinate a combined arms attack the likes of which Romel would die of envy from. No ROLE playing just ROLL playing.

    On the flip side I played in a post apocalypse game, the Morrow Project, which had the most deadly combat system out there. But the GM and players role played it, rarely came into combat, gamed it as a story being told by all the participants and enjoyed it to the heights. Don’t pick a fight and you probably won’t die, just like real life. Of course every now and again we do have to save the world. After all we are heroes…..

    So if you want to run it as a cooperative form of storytelling where sticking to the exact interpretation of the rules is far from paramount go for it, use any system, fudge the results to suit the needs of the moment (don’t let the players know just throw in enough hits or damage or missed opportunities to keep them from catching on) and go for it. Any game system or setting will do. Personally I find Traveller a great system with good portability between genres but that is what I grew up (RPG wise) with.

    Lets face it D&D has so much stuff available you could pick up a module as an idea starter and go from there. Also many people have a rough idea what D&D is from all the mention in media. There are lots of rules neutral scenarios, campaigns, etc. you could use for background or start from a favorite movie or book.


    In my opinion making the players the characters from a book or movie is touchy at best. Place them in the same world time/space but say just next door, or just before or after the events of the source material. Middle Earth Role Playing moved them one age before or after the events of the books. Depending on their age and maturity I like lots of the Miyazaki films and the books from the Airborn series by  Kenneth Oppel. But I am a dieselpunk fan at heart. For a little earlier I found a new author doing steampunk in her own way a series called Tales of the Captain Duke a lot of fun. The author is Rebecca Deim and there are four books to the series. Most of these titles have very strong female characters which is great for more modern tastes.

    Alexander Wasberg

    I used to do little but play RPG’s most weekends up until I graduated high school. Tons of D&D, every edition. A fair bit of other RPG’s too..

    We were a little bit more towards the dice-rolling than your group seems to have been, but there was generally more talking than fighting during our games in any case. Our GM used to do voices for the important NPCs and such most of the time, the rest of us were likely to “voice” our characters when the fancy struck us, but not all of the time.

    The last couple of years I’ve only managed a short campaign of 5th ed D&D when it was fresh of the shelves, like you say it’s tricky to find a group that has time and the mindset/mood that you enjoy. The stars are seldom right..

    I’d love to do more of it, in almost any form, though I prefer slightly more serious games to whimsical ones.




    We do single session RPG, very rules light and umpire heavy. Essentially 2D6 to resolve everything with pluses and minuses, and some sort of equipment weight and encumbrance system with character skills thrown in. But basically it is all about the mission.

    I also run a lot of conventional Wargames as RPG, with all the players on one side as a team (usually the attackers). Makes it very easy to run hidden movement etc. and works really well for historical scenarios.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    Russell Phillips

    In my opinion making the players the characters from a book or movie is touchy at best. Place them in the same world time/space but say just next door, or just before or after the events of the source material.

    Agreed. I’m running a campaign set in the Dune world at the moment. It’s about ten or so years before the first book, and the players are Fremen. It’s working well.

    Military history author
    Website : Twitter : Facebook


    I haven’t played an RPG in a few years. Played a lot of D&D, Star Wars d6 and Middle Earth Role Playing back in the day, particularly in high school when many a weekend would involve quests in Middle Earth that would start on a Friday afternoon and carry on until Sunday afternoon. I wouldn’t say that our pendulum swung too far in either direction: we inevitably saw a lot of combat and dice rolling, but also did a lot of in-character discussion with NPCs, etc.

    Funny enough, we had friends over last night including one who I used to play D&D with, and she is keen to start playing again, as well as another friend who played in high school (didn’t know him at the time) who is also keen to play, so maybe we will be hacking our way through goblin-infested dungeons again soon.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    Andrew Rolph

    I was first introduced to RPGs in an issue of Battle magazine in 1977. There was a review of Bunnies and Burrows. it sounded very silly and I put it out of my mind. I was a board wargamer with a hankering after figures wargaming (but no talent or money).

    One Wednesday afternoon three years later I wandered into the University Wargames Club, little realising that Wednesday afternoons were Fantasy focused. Someone was running a game of Runequest II for a new group of players. After three hours of observation and occasional comment and suggestion from the sidelines I was hooked. So this was what roleplaying was. I remembered the review from three years before and understood how a miniatures gamer reviewer had entirely missed the point of RPGs and consequently written a review in which he had simply revealed that lack of understanding.

    Every Wednesday afternoon thereafter I was there searching for treasure, fighting trolls and trying to avoid dying. I failed and, fortunately, not being acquainted with death in real life, my first dead character might have been my first experience of mourning. Possibly also I had my first experience of actual terror when a gargoyle burst out of an altar and we all ran away. Ever since I’ve been trying (and failing) to recreate that level of intensity in an RPG.

    In my third year my degree required me to be abroad so I left all my RQ materials with my brother for safekeeping. I had mentioned the hobby in passing. He declared it to be silly. I returned at the end of the year and he practically met me at the station asking when I was going to GM a game for him. He’d bought several new supplements and figures and played some soloquests, had his characters rolled up and ready to go.

    My wife to be too, declared the whole thing to be silly in my final year at university. My sister came to visit us after university and I put together a quick scenario because we had time and were bored and my wife had decided she needed to understand the hobby more in order to belittle it. Another two converts… Through the nineties I ran a long running campaign with my brother, sister, her husband and my wife.

    In due course we had two children and converted both of them too (aged about 8 and 10 at the time). Now my son (30 or so) runs adventures in order to allow me to game. We determine the suitability of my daughter’s boyfriends on their reaction to RuneQuest. Pretty much the only time she visits now (what with work and living far away) is because Alex will declare he has an adventure ready.

    I’ve played a few other RPGs but none ‘stuck’ so much as RQ and I became heavily invested in the ‘reality’ of the background, which was actually to the detriment of the game, which in turn is why I’ve taken a break from GMing it and let my son do the work (because everyone, including me, has more fun). So at various times I’ve done various styles of hyper real context but formalised (i.e little acting) statements of intent; acting and lots of out of character banter; modern jokes and references in a world in which they have no currency; extremely detailed mechanics and make it up because the story’s better and all sorts of things in between. Unfortunately at no point do I feel I’ve captured the excitement of those first few Wednesday afternoons nearly forty years ago. Still searching though.

    So yes I do still play RPGs. Just not sure I am very good at maintaining a single approach to it.



    Sane Max

    I roleplayed addictively as a teen, and several of my mates failed degrees as a result.

    Nowadays I play D&D once a month for a few hours. It’s not as much fun as the immersive way we did it as kids, but is less likely to clash with ‘actually being alive’


    Darkest Star Games

    For RPgaming with your daughter might i suggest “Cat” by John Wick Presents (no, not the assassin)?  You basically play a cat that protects it’s humans from things we cannot see.  Though it does have a focus on monster fighting, I think you can easily cut that sort of stuff out or to a minimum and focus more on the cats, like in the “Warriors” book series by Erin Hunter.  If you’d like to go more the D&D route there is also Tiny Dungeon, which is almost extremely rules lite.  Will make you work harder though.  I’ve used both systems with my daughter and her friends.


    Over the years my gaming style has fluctuated a great deal, almost exclusively determined by whom I am playing with.  For instance, I am currently playing the Kingmaker campaign for Pathfinder with some old and new friends.  Most of them are the ROLLplayer type, where they have their characters leveling all worked out from level 1 to 20 before we even get into the game.  They are square counters, bonus stackers, and one in particular hates the way I play my War Priest because SHE has played a cleric before (her first game) and SHE knows how to get the max bonuses and buffs and heals and OH MY GOSH WHY DON’T YOU JUST PLAY MY CHARACTER FOR ME ALREADY?!?!?!  This group tends to want to focus on combat to get XP more than story, and it has taken 4 years of playing 6-10 times a year to get through 2 of the modules because each combat, no matter how small, ends up being a 3 hour affair.  But I love these people dearly, so I keep at it.

    I am more of a story driven guy.  I want to participate in the progress of the story, not the minutia of how much HP worth of damage I dealt to enemies on Gladisday of the month of Frumpth.  The first time i played an RPG was actually in a D&D class in summer school.  We had to pick 3 serious and 2 fun courses per summer semester, so that first part of summer I took typing, human anatomy and physiology, architecture (my first true introduction to my future profession), rocketry and D&D.  We had to buy the redbox version, and our GM was this crazy mid 20’s dude with a poofy fro and beard, like Bob Ross but mixed with Robin Williams.  He was silly and irreverent and energetic and very expressive and wasn’t afraid to just go off the rails.  He ran a game that was everything a good game should be: imaginative, fun, scary, hilarious, action packed, suspenseful, and sheer mayhem.  But the best things it did was make us really think about our actions and make us feel like we really accomplished something, we made a difference in that world.  For kids making the transition from elementary school (6th grade) to junior high (7th grade) that was huge.  I have always tried to keep the lessons of GMing at the fore of my games.

    I do like games where you can get so wrapped up in them that it is immersive and almost like method acting.  But there have also been times where I have hated a game where everything you said or did was considered to be “in character”, so the fun personal banter falls away and it feels more like dreary work than a fun game.  All depends upon the GM.

    Most games that I run have a story arc in mind, the grand design of what is going on in that universe, and it is basically the world the players inhabit.  But how they interact with that story, how they alter its course or contribute to where it is going is entirely up to them.  I hate playing a game where i am railroaded, and I refuse to push my players into playing a scripted game.  Consequently the vast majority of what I run is very much on the fly, but I do have heaps of notes on the setting before hand so i’m not making everything up from scratch all of the time.  Having programs that can instantly generate planets or whatever helps too.  I want the players to have a good time, which in turn helps me have a good time.  I want there to be a story told, on mostly made up by the players, whether they know it or not.  I definitely do not want to ever run the “ok, I came up with this dungeon, I bet you can’t survive” sort of game I had played in my early teens where the GMs goal was TPK.

    It is sad that we, as adults, no longer have the time to hang out with our friends for gaming marathons like when we were young.  I miss those days, staying up all night and pushing the story along and just having a great time.  Nowadays running a campaign can be very tough, as the time between sessions is long and we all forget bits and pieces of what happened the game before, and someone missing a game because their kiddo has a soccer game or they have to work late or their SO wants them to re-grout the bathroom that day.  That does detract from the immersivity and the overall flow of the game, but that is life nowadays.  I’ll take what I can get!

    I have friends that RP online, and I have played a short game via Skype and on ROllA20, as well as Play By post on forums.  Anyone else try these?

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."


    I have played RPGs a lot – it was my entry into the wider gaming hobby, but I never found a group that my style fitted in with.  I preferred story driven, intrigue plots with the occasional fights, but most of the group preferred to treat it as more of a skirmish wargame. Neither they or I were ‘right’.

    I struggled on, but eventually came to the conclusion that I’d rather not play then come away from the weekly session as frustrated as I was.

    Now, not having played any RPGs for several years, I’m thinking that I was wrong …

    None of which helps you Mike!  I would suggest that you ask her to ‘help’ with your chronicles rules – get her to roll some dice for you, and then slowly start asking her what she would do if she were Eydis (for example)

    That way you can slowly gauge her interest, while she’s being daddy’s helper.  My daughter used to love being my “no.1 helper” … now she’s 17, I ‘m lucky if she looks away from her phone to acknowledge my existence …


    Darkest Star Games

    Now that was some excellent advice!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    Russell Phillips

    It is sad that we, as adults, no longer have the time to hang out with our friends for gaming marathons like when we were young. I miss those days, staying up all night and pushing the story along and just having a great time.

    My wife and I played in a long running 7th Sea campaign that ended on my 40th birthday. We played until about two in the morning in order to finish it that session. I then had an hour-long drive home, and got up for work at six. It was totally worth it, but it’s not something I’d want to do regularly 🙂

    I have friends that RP online, and I have played a short game via Skype and on ROllA20, as well as Play By post on forums. Anyone else try these?

    I’ve played in several games over text chat (IRC or XMPP), and I’ve GM’d a few that way (I’m GMing one now).

    It has advantages and disadvantages, like anything else. We have separate rooms for IC and OOC chat, so they are completely separate. The GM can talk quietly to one player without any others being aware of it. If the party splits, we can set up a new room for one half. We have logs, so can see what happened previously. Our current game has players in different areas of the UK, and in Denmark, so it’s the only way we can feasibly play together.

    On the other hand, it tends to be slower than face to face play. There can be technical issues of course, and some people find it just doesn’t work for them.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 3 months ago by Russell Phillips. Reason: Typo

    Military history author
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    Angel Barracks

    So chatting with Charlotte I think what I need is D&D lite.
    I have my old Elric! RPG still, but with her age and familiarity with video games she would be a lot more comfortable with a game that allows levelling up to increase stats and HP etc.
    However I have no desire to buy a million handbooks or spend that much on something that may be a fad…

    So, I need…
    A simple rules engine that allows levelling up and has classes.
    I was tempted with WFRP as that was pretty simple…

    Angel Barracks

    That looks pretty good.  Perhaps I will keep some of the charts and use this system for the combat and magic.

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