Chaos in the Border Kingdoms

Ready to Go

We’re ready to go. Now we just have to find the time to play. I have 19 month old twins, so that’s easier said than done. Tomorrow is the 4 year old’s birthday. He turns five. We’re dropping by for an hour or so only. That’s enough to show the game to them and see if they like the stuff I’ve done to make FRPG accessible to young children. I don’t plan to actually start playing.

Play will likely begin next weekend or the one following. We’ll see. Here’s how it will begin, though the portrayal will of course be slightly different when spoken live and in front of kids.

Adventure 1: Reaching Kendall Keep

It is on the 18th day of Goodmonth that our story begins. The sun, Lord Pelor, is high as you mount the steep track up toward the keep’s mouth. Nim grumbles something about drink and a soft bed. Dural watches carefully, eying the glint of spears atop towers peering over the exposed ramp. The boy and his sister, Diego and Elva, mutter quietly to each other. Ulb is quiet, apprehensive.

A summer day traveling through the muggy Tangles has made you all tired, ready for a bench to rest your feet and a cool draught to slake your thirst. Ever the rutted road seemed to twist and turn about burled roots and undergrowth until finally it opened onto a broad field planted with rye and oat. A rocky stump of a hill juts upward in the middle of the field, topped by a small keep. About the base of the hill lay a small cluster of wooden shacks, home to the few farmers and craftsmen living in the hamlet.

Atop the ramp a row of doughty spearmen bar your way. Their captain stands behind them, helm in hand and sword at his waist. He motions you to stop and waits for you all to gather in a clump before the guards. Arrow tips peek from crosses cut into the tower walls, threatening you with deadly aim. “What is your name and business here? Why do you come? You ask for hearth and health within our walls, strangers. Tell us of yourselves and why we should trust you.”

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Last Stages of Planning
Prep Work Nearly Finished

The players have chosen from the possible list of pre-generated PCs. All the other pre-generated characters have been tagged as NPCs.

My brother (45 year old, male) will play the wizard Nim Uboulg. He wants to be able to advise his boys as they play and so chose to be the intelligent character. In addition, a wizard is extremely hard to play at low levels and not for new players.

My older nephew (8 years old) will play the barbarian Ulb Ish. His younger brother (4 years old) will play the fighter Dural Hied.

I’ll play two NPCs to round out the party, the brother/sister pair of Elva Rappal and Diego Rappal.

I’ve also come up with a system that I like and should work for young children. Basically, the rules under the cover are exactly Pathfinder RPG rules. We have full blown character sheets and spell books and an inventory of equipment, etc. But I’ve got a simplified character sheet with just hit points and coinage on it. In addition, the simplified character sheet is divided into four grids: a large character picture, a box for carried equipment, a box for not carried belongings, and a box for action cards. I bought a bunch of equipment cards and have given all three characters a complete set of cards for all their equipment, skipping some of the really mundane stuff like clothing. A bunch of action card were made up for all their special actions so that they don’t forget what they can do. The instructions to them are to just use each card in a creative way. So, for example, they could use the bag of marbles card to lose pursuing monsters or the hammer and pitons to climb down a narrow stone shoot. We’re also using miniatures and color maps. I’ve never used minis in a game, so this should be fun.

If time permits and the simplified system works, I’ll take a bunch of pictures to let others see how we brought in such young children to play an FRPG.

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