Advice - Elizabethan adventure for kids

edited March 2008 in Story Games
A friend is running a game at Conpulsion. We've not yet picked a system, and I'd like some suggestions. We can test any suggestions this weekend.

The game will be for kids, ages 10-12. Some of them may be new to gaming. The GM is also pretty new, having played a couple of storygames. She's extremely comfortable with the setting. Which is a fantastic 1550s England, with the characters as companions of the young Elizabeth, before she was made queen. Characters may be apprentice alchemists and teenage scientists, new to court intrigue. It could be a swashbuckley Harry Potter in tone.

Systemwise, she'd like something extremely collaborative - the idea of wanting a central GM with lots of power genuinely baffles her. So we're talking stakes setting, or goal negotiation, and conflict resolution of some sort. Lots of out of character chat informing play, certainly. Nothing tactical. A system that drives play somewhat - so could have specific scene mechanics, say. NPCs are either simple or not mechanically rated. And we're looking at about 3 hours play, with plenty of breaks. We could do some character generation, but that should be minimal.

Any suggestions? Oh, the system should either be free or readily available PDF. Or be a hack of something on my shelf, which is pretty big.


  • Uh, there's only one choice for this. The Princes' Kingdom. Not only because it perfectly fits the premise you have. But because buying it (if you do, or if any of them or their parents do), gives money to a children's charity:

    If you don't have it, and can't get it in time, it's simply a well-written hack of DitV. Instead of "dogs," the titular "princes" are empowered by their link to the throne to effect change in the world. But in this case, they are children, and have to deal with the fact that they are dealing with adults. The escalation is somewhat different than DitV (no guns, obviously). So get the game to get the cool details if you can. But otherwise just try it with DitV, and see how it comes out.

  • Yes! The Princes' Kingdom.

    Joe, I have a copy in my house if there is a way to get that to you soo-ish.

    Ian Sturrock ran it for his son Kyle and was blown away by how good it was. It's quite simple and intuitive for younger players and it gives a nice back and forth dialogue to play.
  • I didn't once think of this one, guys. Cheers!

    Dogs is pretty tricky to GM - it's easy to accidentally run a mystery, the conundrums suck, or the conflict falls flat. Will Princes be ok for a very, very new GM?
  • I don't want to derail anything, but...

    I thought TPK also simplified some of the Dogs mechanics? Is this not true?
  • edited March 2008
    Yes, it's simpler - less kinds of dice (just two, I seem to remember) and characters have fewer traits to keep track of.
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