Saturday, July 31, 2010

Thomas's first real RPG

Thomas opened his presents from Matt and I today. Two of them were a set of 6-sided dice and a book to play his very first real RPG. When he's opening presents, he's often unexcited about them. He's too busy thinking about the presents to actually appreciate or enjoy what any one of them actually is. (One reason we had a no-present party this year.)

By the afternoon, though, after his (awesome) party at Space Aliens, he was ready to sit down with Eric and me to play Faery's Tale. I had read over the sample stories and decided to use "Jack and the Beanstalk" since Thomas is familiar with the Kellogg version and so would have a better sense of what to expect and thus what he could do to overcome the challenges. Prepping the adventure was basically effortless, as you just make up challenge ratings on the fly for the things the players suggest (and Thomas is too young to be critical).

He had no trouble with character creation, although he was a little mystified with the results ("why do I have 5 spirit? what if I want 10 spirit?"). He loved the opening gambit of the adventure, when I asked each player what their character did yesterday and used their answers to set up their meeting. In the middle of their first conversation, when they had gotten to know each other a bit, I had Thomas's pixie overhear Jack's mother crying from the front of the house.

Thomas eagerly flew up the beanstalk to rescue Jack before even waiting to hear the end of what Jack's mother had to say, almost leaving his new friend behind. Luckily, Eric had chosen to play a Pooka, so he could change into a bee to follow along.

The funniest part of the adventure was certainly when they had freed Jack from his cage. By the script, the giant wakes up at this point and gives chase. When I said they heard the giant in the hallway, Thomas's eyes were like saucers. He was totally in the narrative. He looked at Eric. "My character says, 'Ok, guys, time to get out of here!'" Eric said.

"Ok," Thomas agreed. "Bye, Jack!"

Eric and I burst out laughing. "I think maybe we should take him with us!" Eric replied.

They did manage to get Jack out, and Thomas immediately said, "Let's play again!"

It took me about 10 minutes to prepare another fairy tale adventure. We're supposed to play after dinner.

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