The Family Game

Let me start this post off with a wee bit of history about my family game.  My children’s introduction to role playing games lines up pretty much with my discovering Savage Worlds. I really discovered Savage Worlds in August 2016, when I learned that Rifts was being ported to that system. Being a rabid fan of the Rifts setting but not the Palladium system, I was determined to try this system out. Once it clicked just how easy Savage Worlds was to play, and to teach, I was hooked.

So, this past May, I got my kids involved. Prior to this, I was unsure if my daughter, who’s 13, would like the complexity of Pathfinder and I was pretty certain it would be too complicated for my son, who had just turned 8. I figured I would try out Savage Worlds for the two of them.

What surprised me was how quickly they picked up on the rules; on all the rules, not just a stripped down version. My kids, on the first adventure, dealt with gang up rules, multi-action penalties, benny use, applying penalties, figuring advances, and more! My son does need reminding about attack rolls and I let him know when he might be able to use special attack options like all out attacks and using bennies to reroll to hit attempts. But they do get it.

I’ve been rewarded more than I would have thought with this new activity that we can sit down and play. While it is not very active physically, it’s still great that for two or three hours at a time, we are all around a table and interacting, talking and laughing together without electronics getting in the way.  This is even better than board games for me, as we tend to keep focused on the rules of the game and completing the game. Board games do not always encourage conversation as much as I would like. Role Playing Games, however, encourage talking. The players try to unravel the mysteries created by the game master, plan on courses of action, basically learning and using cooperation and planning to get through the adventures. Because at its base, role playing is cooperative storytelling, talking is the lion’s share of what is done, even in hack-n-slash games.

Now, what I’m wondering is how well was anyone else’s attempts at introducing RPG’s to their kids. What system did you use? Was there any need to simplify the rules, or were you able to have the full game in action, say, by the second or third game session? How eager were they to continue playing?

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