Working on a new kids’ game

Posted on February 11, 2014 by


I’ve been working on a new kids’ game the past few months, and it’s finally starting to take shape. I’m pretty excited about it. As opposed to rpgKids, which was basically a pretty simple ruleset with no story attached, this game will have a story built into it, and not be as combat focused as rpgKids is.   The game is going to skew older than rpgKids, and I’m trying to iron out its complexity, and that’s where playtesting will come in. For a while I struggled with what rules to use with the game, because I didn’t want to get into the rule-design game. Thinking of mechanics and how moving parts work together isn’t my strength, but I tried a few systems available for licensing and they didn’t feel right for what I was trying to do, so I just went ahead and created my own simple thing.  I’ve shamelessly taken bits and pieces of things that I like from other games and created something with them.

The game uses a simple 3d6+modifiers resolution mechanic, it’s easy, the bell curve helps me out tremendously in designing for it, and everyone has six sided dice laying around. One of the things I created for it was  a “Luck” mechanic to the roll, which is part of the setting’s story. So rolling a certain number on the Luck Die unlocks and triggers special abilities and other things, which I like that I was able to directly tie a mechanic to the setting.  Another aspect of the game which I’m excited about is that the setting instantly places kids in the role of heroes for a very specific reason, it isn’t just “because”. The story puts kids in the special position of being very important to the world, and I think that this should resonate at the table. It was important to me as a designer to do that, and I think I’ve pulled it off.

Lastly, is character creation. I can create a character for this game in probably under 3-4 minutes. It’s a classless system, unlike rpgKids, and it should spur some creativity in the char gen process beyond crunching numbers, which I’ve tried to stay away from.

I may be a fool for trying to follow up rpgKids. That game came out at a time where there was a bit of a void in that arena. Today, there are many games out there filling that niche, and rpgKids is seen in some circles as too crude, amateurish, and over simplistic. All adjectives which I will cop to, as I designed the game in my office for my daughter. No more, no less. But I’m throwing my hat in the ring again. I’m not showing much about the game yet because there’s nothing to show. I have no art done, no logo, nothing. Playtesting should start next month, and I’ll be reaching out to my friends out there who helped me with rpgKids, and those who express interest. In time I hope to have more to share. I’m excited.


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