Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Star Wars for Kids Only

The guys get serious as they plan to steal a freighter.
I've been wanting to run a kids only game for a while.  Before vacation I talked to the owner of the FLGS and she helped me set one up.  Last night we had our first game.

My son and two other boys played. Neither of the two other boys had played a role playing game and were a bit apprehensive, but they knew it was Star Wars, so they were willing to give it a go.

I'm amazed how a strange movie I fell in love with 36 years ago can still hold the attention of young and old alike.  Rather than overwhelm them with the 450 page rulebook, we played the Star Wars: Edge of the Empire - Beginner Game.  I had some issues with the beginner game earlier - but those all melted away as I saw the completely fresh gamers dive right in.

They seemed to really like the pregen character packets - especially after I told them that the character's names and genders were flexible - they could change them how they liked. Well, no one picked the droid doctor - so maybe he has a different target audience.

It fascinates me how quickly people pick up the funky proprietary Star Wars dice.  Within a couple of rolls they had it down and were chugging along, determining their successes and advantages with ease.  While they took to playing very quickly, they couldn't convince any NPC of anything, blowing their social type rolls catastrophically.  So they brute-forced their way along, bashing heads and making a general nuisance of themselves.  In other words, they behaved like seasoned RPG veterans.

I had great fun running the game, and to hear "when can we play next?" is just one of those things that money just can't buy.  In following games, I'll bring out the big book and let them rework their characters with the advanced rules.

It went really well. Most issues were minor - such as frustrations brought on by failed rolls.  The biggest problem with the game came to the fore as one of the boys asked "Can I play a Jedi?"  Yeah.  There are no Jedi in the Beginner Game.  There are no real Jedi in the Edge of Empire game at all, for that matter.  There are force sensitives - proto-Jedi perhaps - but they are expensive point-wise and rather ineffective at low levels.  Which is the way I like it.  But, you know, it's something iconic to Star Wars - especially those who grew up on the prequels - and seems like a gaping hole that will take two years to fill.

I explained the reasoning behind the missing Jedi, and that he could play a Jedi in training if he wanted too.  When we concluded the game and I told them about customizing their characters with the advanced rules, I asked the boy if he wanted to make the character a Jedi.

"No," he said, "I think I'd like an assassin better.  He wears all black and sneaks around.  He needs a jet-pack too.  I'm going to go home and draw him.  Is that okay?"

"Um, yeah, sure. That's just fine," I smiled.  Perfect, actually.

- Ark


  1. "I had great fun running the game, and to hear 'when can we play next?' is just one of those things that money just can't buy."

    Too true... my son and I both love this question from his friends. Between us we run three separate games.

    1. Dave - Ah cool. Maybe the Boy will run another game one day. The first one may have overwhelmed him a bit.

      - Ark