Posts Tagged ‘kidbots’

Some Done

Nice. Kidbots has actually turned into something. Looks like it’ll be a relatively simple orthogonal stakes d6 vs d6 game, as that’s a fun way to get kids talking, with Fate-style aspects thrown in for flavor. Maybe rerolls. Character generation, setting and situation are all jammed together. And the characters very much hit the ground running. Green meteors ftw.

Also wrote ~500 words for the lovely Andrew Kenrick’s Dead of Night II. Decent writing, too.

And Hell for Leather got its vanity URL: http://www.facebook.com/HellForLeatherRPG

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Unfolding a rules system

I’ve run a few convention games for kids over the years. Instructing them in the game mechanics is tricky and it often feels like what should be a creative restraint is more of a brick wall than it should be. It’s also difficult to know what mechanic will be opaque to one kid, and pacing the explanations is hard.

So I was thinking this morning about a game about evolving robots, where the rules themselves unfolded as required.  Let’s start with the Fate system.

  • Characters begin with three skills, maybe Talk, Body, Know, and three player-chosen Aspects. The aspects are initially based on simple characterisations and physical components of the bot – Small, Lucky, Chatterbox.  There’s nothing like the stress/composure track, no health, no conditions.
  • During play, as the bot evolves and the player gets to grips with the system, they can gain aspects that define the character a little more, like motivations and quotes.
  • The skills unfold too. Talk includes Persuade and Lie, Move  includes Fight and Escape, Know includes Humans and Bots. Your +2 in Talk becomes a +2 in Persuade and a +0 in Lie, perhaps. Later, perhaps Escape splits into Running and Hiding.
  • And then you start throwing in Conditions like Damaged and Lost. And then if you really need it, Damaged becomes a health track. Maybe Lost becomes a map (!).

The setting and situation would probably be a bunch of Transformersesque protobots who’ve accidentally wound up on modern Earth. Throw in a little Invader Zim and My Life as a Teenage Robot.

What would be really neat is if the character sheet unfolded too.