I’m expecting that this post will be read by my family and friends, but also some role-playing game folks that I hang out with on the internet. It therefore has both references to my kids and to various games and RPG lingo. If you don’t understand something, just move on. It’s hard to hit both target audiences.
My dream has always been to get my kids involved in pen and paper role-playing games. The games kept me busy during a time when lots of my peers were out getting into things that I’m glad I didn’t get into, and I’d rather that my kids don’t get into. They forced me to read a lot, and write a lot, and create a lot, and learn a lot, and laugh a lot. I’d wanted to share that with my kids.
I’ve been looking for a suitable game to play, because Jennifer is a hardcore pacifist, and while I am not quite as hardcore, teaching my kids to walk around killing things indiscriminately isn’t really where I wanted to go.
Mouse Guard is a series of graphic novels by David Petersen in which mice talk and have a society (there are no humans). The Mouse Guard is like a Police force or Park Ranger service that keeps everyone safe from the weasels and other dangers. Time they don’t spend helping merchants and solving crimes, they spend simply surviving the world of owls, birds and other creatures that are higher on the food chain. It’s alternately very cute, very sad and very deep. A great place for some good problems to solve.
Luke Crane took the world and adapted it to the game system he developed (Burning Wheel). The Mouse Guard game was highly recommended for playing with new players and kids. I bought it and read it, and read it again, and loved the world, but not the system. So I designed my own based on my experience with a free customizable gaming system called FUDGE (Freeform User-Defined Gaming Engine). It’s simple and the kids love it. They play a Patrol of Mouse Guard members, and are given missions to perform.
I’ll be posting mission logs of how play sessions go, and hopefully some recordings of play sessions themselves.