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Author Topic: Getting the kids started early  (Read 589 times)
lastknight1973
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« on: December 01, 2012, 06:06:12 PM »

My son has been begging me to teach him how to play my old Top Secret S.I. game.  This got me thinking, for a very advanced 7 year old (I started playing original TS at 7 22 years ago and he is way beyond where I was) would you all suggest original TS, TSSI, SC 1.0 or SC 2.0?  No matter what eventually he will be moved from whatever rpg gateway drug we go with to SC 3.0.  Thoughts?  Opinions?  Thanks!!

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Morganti
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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 06:23:47 PM »

SC 1 is really easy to teach to people, SC 2 has lot of crunchy bits that can get overwhelming if you try and go "By the book" but if you do it more along the lines of spoon feeding, it is just as easy to teach.
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Black Cheese
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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2012, 07:38:01 AM »

I wrote other stuff below this, but this is a better question: What does he want to do in the game that makes that game so attractive?

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Age 7 is rough. My 11-year-old is pretty bright, but I wouldn't try to weigh him down with a mechanics-heavy RPG like Spycraft or TS at all just yet--although I really want to. I've had success with Apocalypse World hacks (core AW is a mature game, though). If he's familiar with the more video game-y elements, Black 7 almost runs itself.

However, if you're just going for exposure, cutting out minigames usually works better than forcing system mastery early.
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lastknight1973
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2012, 05:31:27 PM »

He's starting to get hooked on the genre because he has been watching some of the Spy Kids movies and his sisters Kim Possible episodes.  He's also been reading 39 Clues so its got him hooked.  The RPG angle came in when he saw me pull out my old Top Secret stuff and asked if he could learn to play.  It got me thinking of when I got started.  So now I'm trying to find this least scary way to bring him in and his sister into the hobby  Grin
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Black Cheese
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2012, 08:37:38 PM »

Quote
He's starting to get hooked on the genre because he has been watching some of the Spy Kids movies and his sisters Kim Possible episodes.

An Aside: There's seriously a genre in there, and it's sad that Spycraft 2.0 never got to it. The rules (epublished... somewhere...) for younger-than-adult PCs were humiliating to the point of unplayability. I wish the Saturday Morning series had continued so I could drop Phineas & Ferb and Jimmy Neutron--and Kim Possible,* obviously--into my Spycraft 2.0 game instead of merely Transformers and G. I. Joe.

Quote
He's also been reading 39 Clues so its got him hooked.  The RPG angle came in when he saw me pull out my old Top Secret stuff and asked if he could learn to play.  It got me thinking of when I got started.  So now I'm trying to find this least scary way to bring him in and his sister into the hobby.

Again, I'm going to recommend Black Seven, which, while not a great game, serves as an interesting starting point. An even stronger suggestion would be establish a die mechanic (1d20 & target numbers, die pool & successes, whatever) and let it grow organically from what the players want to do. O, and find some logic puzzles, number games, and basic codecracking stuff for use as "phycial challenges."


* I'd call the character the gender-neutral Sam Azing. You can, too!
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starwarsphil
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« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2012, 06:10:16 AM »

There's seriously a genre in there, and it's sad that Spycraft 2.0 never got to it.

There was a Signs and Portents article on playing kids within the SC2.0 rules, it's available on the main Crafty site at http://www.crafty-games.com/files/File/Issue_75-Childish_Things.pdf.

Phil
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Black Cheese
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« Reply #6 on: December 03, 2012, 11:57:36 AM »

Quote from: Me, Yeah, I Said That
The rules (epublished... somewhere...) for younger-than-adult PCs were humiliating to the point of unplayability.
Quote from: Phil
There was a Signs and Portents article on playing kids within the SC2.0 rules, it's available on the main Crafty site...

Yeah, that's somewhere all right. Existing, however, doesn't make them good. Although it's not mandatory a PC take the Young or Teen talent from that article, it's the only way to get any advantage from taking an age other than adult. Being ages 7-11 means a -3 to Str & Con and a -1 on Dex, Int, Wis, & Cha, while ages 12-15 means -1 to every ability score. That's monstrous.

Nothing those Talents provide compensate for the ability score hit. The only advantage to either is that the Young talent makes your PC Small, which is, I'm pretty sure, otherwise impossible outside of species talents and feats. Seriously, Spycraft 2.0 says you can just say your character's an (adult-sized) Fierce Playboy toddler (which is weird, but whatever), so you don't even need the Young or Teen talents to take the underaged feats.

Children as PCs, under the rules, are only good for shooting yourself in the foot, which is a shame, because, as I said, there's a whole genre there.
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Desertpuma
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 10:10:46 AM »

I started playing Top Secret when it first came out at 9 and had no problems.
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