So while I spent most of the last month sweating on the Amazing Tales kickstarter (Funded, thank you all!) , I needed some distraction activities. And that ended up being completing my project to create user friendly character sheets for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, with variants for users of arcane and divine magic.
I love this video. This young man is nearly three, and he’s playing Amazing Tales with his parents. His character Sword the Knight has just captured a goblin who has stolen both pizza and icecream, and he’s taking him to jail. But things don’t work out the way Sword is expecting…
If this looks like something for your family, check out Amazing Tales a role-playing game for kids aged four and up (two and up?!) to play with their parents.
Almost since the invention of the hobby in 1971 claims have been made for the benefits of role-playing games. Early advocates tended to focus on the benefits for literacy and mental arithmetic that came from playing games that relied on heavyweight rulebooks and complex rules. More recently interest has focused on the social and emotional benefits of games.
This article points to some key resources in the area.
How old does a child have to be to play a role-playing game? I know of children who’ve started role-playing at the ripe old age of three and a half. My rule of thumb is that if a child can read numbers up to ten, and follow a bedtime story that lasts 20 minutes, then they’re ready.
But making that first game a success is still a challenge. Here are five ways to make sure that first game is memorable for both of you.
The Big Book of Amazing Tales is the follow up project to Amazing Tales. It will be a collection of adventures, some new settings, and some additional advice for parents and teachers to bring Amazing Tales to life.
Trade unions were founded to secure the rights and dignity of workers in the face of employers who viewed these things as optional.
When workers wish to form a union they should be supported in doing so.
It was deeply disappointing to learn that Kickstarter is opposed to the formation of a union by its workforce. Credible allegations that staff have been fired for union organising are concerning.
As with many small games companies I looked forward to running a series of successful kickstarters as a means of growing Amazing Tales. In my mental business plan ‘successful kickstarters’ has now been replaced with ‘successful crowdfunding campaigns’.
As it happens when the news broke I was far down the line of preparing Amazing Tales’ first Kickstarter, which will go ahead as planned. But I, like the other entrepreneurs I know, will be spending the coming months looking into alternative platforms, because in the long term I don’t want to be supporting a company that doesn’t respect its workers.
And having been both a manager within a multi-million euro organisation responsible for dealing with the workers’ council, and a member of a workers’ council dealing with management I can confidently say that Kickstarter have nothing to worry about. Union recognition would be a long term win for their company, even if it were to mean confronting some unpleasant truths about their current practices in the short term. Trade Unions help create fairer, more equitable workplaces, improve the quality of decision making at every level within a firm and improve the society they are part of. They should be welcomed, not feared.
Of course it would be remiss not to acknowledgethat Amazing Tales advertises on Facebook and sells books via Amazon, both deeply problematic companies. In a world dominated by defacto monopolies you can’t always get what you want. But you can push for change, and exercise choice where you can. Amazing Tales supports the workers of Kickstarter United in doing so.
You can follow Kickstarter United on Twitter, here.
There were a few things I didn’t like about the regular sheet so I made some changes. Basic details – name, species and career – appear in big letters at the top of the page, CV style. You can upload a portrait (I suggest a line drawing with a transparent background for best results), and there’s plenty of space for recording your ambitions and motivation.
Psychology and corruption have been moved to the front page, which I think of as the ‘role-playing’ side. Everything you want to know about your character in normal play is right there – with the personality stuff right up at the top. For skills I’ve taken advantage of things auto calculating to take a field out of the skill display, this helps reduce the density of numbers on the page.
For core stats I’ve reversed the order they’re listed in. Current stats display in bold, straight under the relevant characteristic. Initial and advances are listed beneath because they’re less important.
You can indicate career skills and stats by selecting the adjacent button.
The back side starts with the combat section. Everything you need in the event of a fight is here. And it doubles as an equipment list, since your weapons, armour and trappings are all listed here.
I put an explanation of the currency alongside the money section – it comes up often enough at my table – and then experience and related career information is listed last since you only ever need it once a session.
The Quest for the Dragon Crown is the first published adventure for Amazing Tales, a tabletop role-playing game for kids aged four and up.
When writing the campaign I wanted to get in as much exciting content as I could. If your kids only ever play one fantasy campaign, well, this should leave them with plenty of great memories.
Things start off spooky, as the heroes are sent to recover a treasure map from a very messy library. Their goal can be found among the teetering stacks of books, but so can a ghostly librarian and a very hungry bookworm.
From the library the heroes are sent out to sea where they encounter the formidable Queen Tempestua. Will she permit them to leave her ocean realm? And can she solve the riddle of the crown’s hiding place?
We’d better hope so. Because the heroes need to make their way to the magical wood of seasons. The wood is one huge riddle, but at it’s centre is the Dragon Crown.
On leaving the wood the heroes find that years have passed. But before they can worry about that they’ll have to fight their very first dragon.
Beating one Dragon is all very well, but the whole kingdom has been conquered by a dragon army. Can the heroes drive them out and restore the rightful king? It’s not going to be easy.
If you want to take your kids on this amazing adventure it’s available from DriveThruRPG. But the Quest for the Dragon Crown is also available as part of the Big Book of Amazing Tales, which includes three other campaigns and is funding now on Kickstarter.