Help with game for nieces about cats!

  • 2 Replies
Help with game for nieces about cats!
« on: June 13, 2017, 02:31:07 PM »
I am looking for some help in designing a hack to introduce my two nieces into RPGs. One is 11 and the other is 8. I thought that the Apocalypse engine would be a good system to introduce them into RPGs, as it is built around asking 'What do you do?' the whole time, it has moves that are laid out for them to see, and it allows them the ability to take any story in any way they want to go. What i need to do is find a version that is good for them.

As most girls of their age, they are into fluffy things and animals, so my first thought was the Warren. However, my oldest niece, when asked what kind of person she would want to be if she lived in the Star Wars universe, stated she would want to be a bounty hunter with a big gun! That got me thinking that perhaps the Warren, with its lack of combat, might not be ideal. I did think that a star wars version might be good, as they both are into Star Wars, but I then remembered that the oldest one is really into a series of books by Erin Hunter, the first of which is called Warriors into the Wild. It is about cats that live out in the wild in tribes (they can all talk to each other and to the other animals). The tribes cooperate and also fight each other for territory, as well as face other threats from the natural world around them. There is a mystical element as well I think. I am no expert on the setting, but I am sure that if we played in that world then by asking questions in game set-up etc it would soon come to life.

I am no expert in the Apocalypse engine, having played it only once at the recent UK games expo (a Shadow-run version), but I am a vaguely experienced GM, so figure I could run it for them fairly smoothly.  So what I am looking for is some advice/help in designing something that allows them to role-play cats, or some exisiting hack that would allow it or be easily converted - perhaps the Warren could be?

Most Apocalypse hacks use playbooks, but i noticed that the Warren had a different system where players got the same basic template but then picked their own special moves. I was thinking that this might be easier than coming up with a whole load of play-books, as I am not that knowledgeable about the world and its generic type characters. My thought was to have templates that were along the lines of warrior cat, Sneaky cat, knowledge cat etc. Like I said, I have only played the game once so am a bit worried I am biting off more than I can chew.

Anyway, any help/advice would be much appreciated!

EDIT: think I may have posted this in the wrong forum. If I have, sorry about that.

« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 03:05:51 PM by Iorwerth »

Re: Help with game for nieces about cats!
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 06:41:11 PM »
It depends very much on the children in question, I think - how mentally prepared are they to handle codified rules and detailed texts? Playing most Apocalypse World-type games involves a lot of reading (even just to use a move!).

Epyllion is a very nice published AW-based game about baby dragons. It's cute but also occasionally tragic or "heavy".

For my own "Apocalypse World-esque" play, I've put together two "Apocalypse World with kids" games. Either can easily be repurposed for other settings, since the rules don't deal with the fictional material very directly. (Neither has playbooks, for instance.)

Take a look, they might suit you:

The Silver Dragon's Tear

I never completed the "horoscopes", but the game is easily playable without them.

The Bureau

My guess is that this game would be a perfect match for two girls of that age, and it provides a lot more structure for you than the one above.

Re: Help with game for nieces about cats!
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2017, 02:47:41 AM »
Thank you for the reply. I will have a look at Epyllion and have read through your two kid friendly games - both were excellent!  They have given me lots of ideas about how to convert them into a cat version, or maybe into a basic Star Wars game.

As to the reading part, they could both handle it, but I get your point. In your two games I like the system of describing characters with key words out of which come their game advantages. Simple and something I am sure both my nieces would enjoy doing.

So, thank you again for replying. Now to get on and see what I can come up with!