Ruben had very clear ideas about character creation. ‘I want to be a Roman’ he said. Further questioning revealed that Ruben (age 5) didn’t have much idea what this would entail. I started asking questions about what to draw, and that got us someone with short hair, a nice smile, no beard, a sword and a shield. ‘How about we call him Roman?’ I suggested, and Ruben agreed. It was decided that he should have a picture of a dragon on his shield and so the name was extended to ‘Roman Dragonshield’.
‘Does he have anything else?’ I asked.
‘Yes. A dragon he rides on. Called Dragon Piet.’
Then it was time for skills. A quick discussion led to Roman Dragonshield having the following skills.
- Riding Dragons (obviously)
- Fighting Monsters
- Running and Jumping
- Super Strong
Roman Dragonshield lived on his own tower in Andrew’s Castle, along with Dragon Piet. His top skill (D12) was his Super Strength, then Dragon Riding (D10), Fighting monsters (D8) and Running and Jumping (D6).
Rather uncharacteristically Lisa (age 7) wasn’t sure what she wanted her hero to be. So again we started with a sketch. Long hair, a cloak, trousers and boots. And then Lisa decided that she should carry a telescope and that a key skill should be ‘Exploring’. And at that point everything fell into place. Els (pronounced like the else in ‘or else’) was an explorer. She was good at
- Climbing and Exploring (D10)
- Running and Jumping (D6)
- Finding Things (D8)
- Fighting Monsters (D12)
And she too was to have a companion. A Husky called Snowflake. And while Roman Dragonshield lived in the castle, Els lived far away on Falcon Mountain.
Coming up with our two heroes took about twenty minutes. The sketch below was kept handy throughout all our future adventures.
GM Notes : Ruben’s desire to play a ‘Roman’ colliding with not really knowing much about Romans is a classic example of why it’s essential to ask questions when creating characters with kids. Still the end result meant we didn’t get what I’d expected – a medieval knight – but a more interesting warrior who rides a dragon. The invention of the Dragon was a moment for taking a deep breath a saying OK. Dealing with a dragon in the rest of the story was obviously going to be hard work, but telling Ruben he couldn’t have a dragon was just going to result in running a game with a disappointed five year old. And, let’s be honest – dragons are cool.
I was really pleased with how Lisa’s character Els turned out. She looks a lot like a stereotypical fantasy ranger type, but Lisa’s yet to read or watch anything that would feature a character like that. What started Els off was the telescope, something of a recurring theme with Lisa’s characters when making up Pirate themed stories. I was slightly surprised by Lisa choosing to make ‘Fighting Things’ Els’ top skill, especially as Lisa said this was about hitting things with a telescope. But when we started including Snowflake in combat scenes as a particularly ferocious husky this made a lot more sense.