For the past couple of months I’ve been thinking about starting a family RPG campaign. Kate has long watched our roleplaying sessions and wanted to participate, but we rarely even got started before her bedtime when she was younger. She’s had a few cameos, like her duck with the “quack attack” who was working towards an invisible bill, but hasn’t really been part of a campaign. She’s 13 now, a night owl like her step-dad, and clearly interested in doing some roleplaying. Not a surprise I suppose when it’s our family business. And by her age I had been roleplaying for three years already.
The idea is that I’d run the game for Kate and Nicole. It’d be something we could do on off nights without having to worry about whether anyone else could show up. It’d be fun family bonding too. This, of course, led to the eternal question: what do I run? Nicole asked that we avoid any flavor of D&D; and that was fine by me. I considered games like Big Eyes, Small Mouth, Faery’s Tale, and Prince Valiant but decided they weren’t quite what I was looking for. After digging around in my collection, I had three serious contenders.
Star Wars (West End Edition): This used to be my standard recommendation to people as a starter RPG, because it was fairly easy to pick up and featured a setting that everyone knew. Unfortunately, the whole prequel trilogy has really soured me on Star Wars. Those movies were ultimately so shitty that it takes something on the level of KOTOR to make me feel even a glimmer of the fondness I used to have for Star Wars. Nicole and Kate were both lukewarm to the idea, so this was a no go.
Savage Worlds: I’ve wanted to try Savage Worlds for awhile but haven”t had the opportunity. The flavor I’m most interested in is Solomon Kane, but adventuring like a Puritan witch hunter doesn’t exactly scream 13 year old girl. No other setting leapt out at me so I put this on stand by. I could always make something up, of course, but I don’t have a whole lot of time for prep.
Marvel Superheroes Adventure Game (Saga): This is the second Marvel RPG, the one WotC published in the 90s. Kate likes comics and loves the X-men, and I always liked the card-driven design of the game. I was working at WotC when it came out, so I have everything that was published for the game. And letting Kate and Nik play established Marvel characters means we don’t have to deal with superhero character creation. The downside is they both asked about playing Wolverine! This is currently the leading contender.
I’m still considering options, but Saga is looking pretty good. If there’s something you think I’m totally overlooking, make a suggestion. Just realize that if you tell me to run Exalted or to use Dogs in the Vineyard to run the Chronicles of Narnia, I will punch you through the internet.