Hmm! I’ve always dreamed of creating a components-rich rpg. This looks interesting but I have no sense at all of how it plays. Seems like it’s in the same zip code as No Thank You, Evil! but maybes even more lavish and shallower design.

Money money money.

64 thoughts on “Hmm! I’ve always dreamed of creating a components-rich rpg. This looks interesting but I have no sense at all of how…

  1. On that note, I’ve been thinking about a Avatar: The Last Airbender style game for parents to run for their children that makes a virtue of all the DM god / DM fiat that is caustic in relationships between adults, but which might be perfect for parents and children.

  2. Avatar: The Last Airbender style game for parents to run for their children that makes a virtue of all the DM god / DM fiat that is caustic in relationships between adults, but which might be perfect for parents and children.]]>

  3. System load: Burning Wheel relies on leveraging a lot of conflicting economic tensions, and those don’t work without the player even knowing that they “should” care about the various inducements. Come on Mark, this strikes me as disingenuous. BW isn’t even right for most adult players on those grounds.

    NTYE does this very clever thing where stats (Cypher System btw) are spendable tokens, and character sheets are built with three levels of complexity (adding additional abilities that scale with math and reading comprehension). I was able to run a full blown rpg session with my preliterate daughter six years before I’d learned my way around Red Box.

    Optics: presentation matters. Bright, colorful, attention-getting art gets_my kid pumped to speculate. No it’s not any different than Frazetta … other than the fact that representation matters. Young kids feel, imo, drawn to peers in the art. Slightly older kids are imagining themselves as adults so traditional fantasy art makes more sense.

    Play structure: I don’t know anything about this KS but in NTYE it’s mechanized that sessions last 60-90 minutes, pass through three formal acts, and end in a celebration. Could you port that into an OSR clone? Of course. But do we really, actually want to start that “conversation” all over again? This is 2017.

    Violence: also on the system matters front, let’s look long and hard at whatever trad training wheels game you might offer up. Heavy load on rules for violence. And not just that (and the inevitable effect of playing toward what the system provides for), but there’s frequently very little support for nonviolent play. Unless you go balls deep on OSR-y rulings-not-rules and just have the GM adjudicate all the nonviolent action. Which is legit, but not the only solution. And I have…Opinions about training players early with weird social dynamics.

    So, those are some of my reasons why youth-specific design can and should exist. I think a lot of those reasons go away with age, maybe 10-12ish depending on the kid.

    (This is where self righteous parents tell me all about their 7yo who learned on Labyrinth Lord and how dare I post such scurrilous criticism of their parenting…sigh.)

  4. lot of conflicting economic tensions, and those don’t work without the player even knowing that they “should” care about the various inducements. Come on Mark, this strikes me as disingenuous. BW isn’t even right for most adult players on those grounds. NTYE does this very clever thing where stats (Cypher System btw) are spendable tokens, and character sheets are built with three levels of complexity (adding additional abilities that scale with math and reading comprehension). I was able to run a full blown rpg session with my preliterate daughter six years before I’d learned my way around Red Box. Optics: presentation matters. Bright, colorful, attention-getting art gets_my kid pumped to speculate. No it’s not any different than Frazetta … other than the fact that representation matters. Young kids feel, imo, drawn to peers in the art. Slightly older kids are imagining themselves as adults so traditional fantasy art makes more sense. Play structure: I don’t know anything about this KS but in NTYE it’s mechanized that sessions last 60-90 minutes, pass through three formal acts, and end in a celebration. Could you port that into an OSR clone? Of course. But do we really, actually want to start that “conversation” all over again? This is 2017. Violence: also on the system matters front, let’s look long and hard at whatever trad training wheels game you might offer up. Heavy load on rules for violence. And not just that (and the inevitable effect of playing toward what the system provides for), but there’s frequently very little support for nonviolent play. Unless you go balls deep on OSR-y rulings-not-rules and just have the GM adjudicate all the nonviolent action. Which is legit, but not the only solution. And I have…Opinions about training players early with weird social dynamics. So, those are some of my reasons why youth-specific design can and should exist. I think a lot of those reasons go away with age, maybe 10-12ish depending on the kid. (This is where self righteous parents tell me all about their 7yo who learned on Labyrinth Lord and how dare I post such scurrilous criticism of their parenting…sigh.)]]>

  5. dictionary.cambridge.org – strongly held Definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary Paul Beakley “This is a weird place to be having this conversation.” I agree, I didn’t expect anybody to try to turn my cynical remark into a conversation.]]>

  6. Paul Beakley The important part of that sentence was “Rules comprehension aside”, but sure, BW was probably a bad random example to offer. My point is, assuming the child understand how the game works, what makes one game better than another?

  7. Paul Beakley Thanks for explaining what NYTE does that you think makes it good for kids. What I’m hearing is that it’s instantiating a lot of techniques you might use in helping a kid play a game not specifically aimed at them.

    (The Pool is jumping out at me for some reason as easy and non-violent. But I dunno if it’s one of those “so simple it’s actually not a good fit for newbies” games.)

  8. (I’m mixed on the too-simple argument when it comes to little kids. I feel like we laid some useful procedural groundwork with Iris with NTYE: taking turns, her responsibilities and my responsibilities, sharing scenes, accepting consequences. So far I’m very satisfied with how that’s worked out.)

  9. Robert Bohl It’s an idiomatic expression, I’m a bit surprised you’ve never encountered it before. It comes up more often in political discussions where advocates often express an undue level of confidence in the efficacy of their policy proposals. But I think this is kind of derailing Mark’s thread.

  10. I believe that’s true. BW is not appropriate for a 4 year old. Anything requiring reading and writing isn’t appropriate before they can read. A system with lots of decision points at resolution (ummm thinking Cortex Plus here specifically) is probably not awesome.

    But hey what do I know, I’m just raising an actual child who plays these games. My anecdotes aren’t data.

  11. Oh yeah, at that point they can read and follow pretty elaborate rituals. Then it’s a matter of what grabs them. And happily, there’s a big range of topics and styles — including these “for kids” games (NTYE, Storm Hollow) that tackle subject matter that you just won’t find prepackaged in existing adult-audience games (Pathfinder, d&d, Savage Worlds maybe).

    One of my favorite role-playing research projects is listening to just…very elaborate make-believe games, mostly 10ish year old girls with the occasional little brother suckered pressed into service. They are 100% able to handle pretty much any subject-appropriate storytelling you could dream up.