Amazing Variations

Thousands of children and their parents have played Amazing Tales in the six months since it was released. And they’ve come up with all kinds of new things to do with the game. Here are some of the best.

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1. Play one scene a day: Like most grown ups I think about role-playing games in terms of sessions that last for hours. Amazing Tales is designed for kid friendly sessions that take less than thirty minutes, but you can go further. Play out one or two scenes a day, right before bedtime. And right there you’ve got a five or ten minute daily dose of role-playing for parents and child.

And who doesn’t like a daily dose of gaming?

2. Let the child GM: A friend of mine reported that his young son didn’t like conflict in adventures. And so they tended to become stories like ‘the pirate sails to the island, looks for treasure, and finds it’. Which was fine by his son, but not great for him. The solution turned out to be flipping the roles, and with his four year old son making up the stories for his hero things got exciting fast.

3. Turn to the toys: If your living room floor looks like mine often does, all covered in toys and games then this could be for you. Get down on the floor with your kids, pick a toy to be their hero and set off on an epic quest – to the other side of the room!

What’s in the way? Dinosaurs? snakes and ladders? monster trucks?

As an added bonus for parents defeated opponents can be sent to the underworld (tidied up).

4. Hit the road: Long car journey? Don’t want to leave the kids staring at a tablet? Sounds like the perfect time to play Amazing Tales. I have been truly surprised at all the people reporting that they play Amazing Tales in the car. Make sure to pack something the kids can roll dice in, or put those central arm-rest cup-holders to good use, and you’re good to go.

Take your inspiration from sign posts, place names, and whatever else you’re driving past. Take the opportunity to inspire the kids about the destination. This year our summer holiday will  be in Cornwall, near Tintagel castle – time for some King Arthur styled Amazing Tales en route?

5. Break out some prompts: Story cubes, Dixit cards, CCG cards, all kinds of things can provide inspiration when it comes to answering a question about ‘what’s around the next corner’. Just be sure that they’re quick to use and open to interpretation when the results come up. Story cubes, which take a second to roll and provide instant visual prompts like ‘a magnifying glass’, ‘a magic wand’ or ‘a bee’ are great.

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6. Add in hit points: Hit points; it seems some people just can’t live without them. Start out by finding something to represent them. Beads, counters or candy* are all good. And now you can either;

Give them to the heroes – if they fail a roll, they lose a token. Bearing in mind that they’ll probably fail around a quarter of their rolls, five tokens should be enough for a session. Especially since they’ll be able to go in search of healing if things get tough, or even heal themselves.

What happens if a hero falls to zero hit points? I’d suggest describing them as being defeated or captured. But certainly never killed. And watch out, young children in particular are very loss averse and could easily be upset if bad things are happening to their hero.

Give them to a monster – you can use hit points to illustrate that some monsters are going to take a lot more defeating than others. A lone wolf or a single enemy robot might only have one token. A rampaging bear or a whole regiment of robot soldiers might have more. Just be sure to reward super cool ideas with the removal of more than one hit point

Have you got suggestions about how to play Amazing Tales? Let us know here, or sign up for the Facebook community and comment there.

 

* Just agree in advance what the rule is for ‘Mom, I ate all my hit points’

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