Monday, October 17, 2011

The Family Game

Recently, we've started a family roleplaying game on Sunday afternoons.

I am GMing the game, and the players are my wife (Veronica), my brother (Cliff), my brother-in-law (Scott), and my daughter (CaLeigh), who's nearly eight. While my wife and I have quite a bit of experience, everyone else at the table has little to no experience with pen and paper RPGs.

To keep it simple and free-flowing, I've decided to run ICONS. Veronica put aside her prejudice against random character creation, and we went all in with it. To say the least, character creation was quite a bit of fun. Despite the ability to throw together a character in minutes, we decided to do it as a group; and I walked them through each step. We ended up with:
  • Lady Flux (CaLeigh): A shape changer who can grow and shrink, usually into animals - think Beast Boy.
  • Knight Shade (Cliff): A crime fighter with elemental power over darkness.
  • Force (Scott): A mutant with the power of telekinesis.
  • SwitchBack (Veronica): An ex-cat burglar with a transmutation gun.
After a quick discussion, Cliff and Veronica decided Knight Shade convinced SwitchBack to become a hero (in Knight Shade #42!), so there was at least one connection in the group. We decided the team would get together after a chance meeting, so we're running the first adventure, Sins of the Past by Theron Bretz, before doing Team Creation.

I did make one small mechanical change to the rules. Veronica is not a fan of the d6-d6 dice mechanic, and I thought the ladder concept, in general, might cause some confusion with CaLeigh. So I'm just having everyone roll up and add, and on the back end, I'm simply adding 7 to the difficulty. Shedding the plus/minus concept doesn't change any probabilities, and it seemed to make the game run just a bit faster. It may not be technically faster, but I for one have been rolling 2d6 for a very long time (going back to Monopoly when I was younger than CaLeigh). It just feels really natural.

We started late for our first play session, and Cliff and Scott had plans after our scheduled stop time; so we only got through the first two chapters of the story. There were still some highlights. Lady Flux turned into a huge ape and belly-flopped an armored bad gal. SwitchBack used her transmutaion gun to turn the same bad gal's armor to pudding (it'll turn back in 10 pages). Knight Shade overconfidently raised a wall of darkness, only to have it shut down by a villain with probability control. Force used his telekinesis to throw a metal desk through the darkness, only to find the armored villain holding it when Knight Shade's wall came down.

Fun was had by all.