Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Game Night with my Kids: Wushu Actual Play

My kids have been begging me to run  one of the roleplaying games that their mother and I play, and after they did their chores and homework, we sat down to make some characters for the setting of their choice. They chose the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender for the setting, loving the idea of being able to control the elements and i chose Wushu for the system. I am been interested in Wushu for the past year or so, but have yet to find a game or players to test it out on. Lucky for me, my kids would be willing to even suffer through the hours long combats that the Palladium system enjoys (that last bit was sarcasm, if you didn't notice).

Going with the basic 5/4/3 for attributes a 1 weakness, here is the cast of characters:

My son, who is 8 years old, chose to play Luke, an Airbending Master (5) who likes to throw and juggle anything that is small like knives and apples (4), with an aptitude for riding anything large enough to fit him (3). However, he is quite unlucky (1). Luke is 19 years old with black hair, and is wearing a blue shirt and black pants.

My eldest daughter, who is 6 years old, decided to play Millie, a Firebender (4) with a sword always at her side that she uses to fight her way out of any problem (3), any problem, that is, that she cannot solve with her charming way of getting almost everyone to believe in what she says (5). There is one small problem: She is a Princess of the Fire nation and her parents will not stop until they found her and brought her back home safety (1). Millie is 18 years old with blonde hair and is currently wearing a grey dress that is very fancy.

My youngest daughter is 4 years old and is playing the role of Ana, a master at fighting with sticks and poles (5), a waterbender from the southern tribe (4), and a good musician with a variety of instruments (3). She does have a problem with fighting boys though, seems that she just can't do it! (1). Ana is 8 years old with a mixture of hair colors (pink, black, purple, gold, and grey), is wearing a pink dress, and has a penchant for jewelry.

It was interesting to see what they come up with and how they decided what their characters were good at and how good they were at each thing. The ages they chose for their characters were very entertaining for me, as a 18-19 year old is the age of adulthood for my eldest two, while 8 years old is a big deal for my youngest.

The game started out in a small village near the Earth States borders with Millie shopping for clothes to use as a disguise, Ana shopping for pink jewelry, and Luke eating a hearty dinner at a restaurant since this was his hometown.

My son wanted to fight something so suddenly a huge monster showed up in town, wanting to eat everyone! My 6 year old wanted it to be a monster made up of rock, with earth-bending powers supplied to by my son. She also gave it the shape of a bear, saying it was twice as large as a normal bear! I have to say that they flew through this part, instantly understanding that they were to create the scenario completely and that whatever they said was going to happen no matter what.

Luke put down his chopsticks, washed his hands, and ran outside to confront the Rockbear. He airbends blades of air, chipping away at the creature and slicing it to ribbons. Millie stops her shopping and conjures up a huge fireball, pushing it at the Rockbear and making the fire hotter and hotter so that it melts the rocks that make up the Rockbear! Ana lets go of the pretty jewelry since she didn't find any that were pink and waterbends water from a nearby river to hit the cut up and melted Rockbear to turn it into mud and cement. The Rockbear used its earthbending techniques to make walls of earth to protect itself with, while simultaneously throwing boulders at each of them while Luke ran back into the restaurant to grab up knives to throw.

Giving each of my kids 6 dice for their actions and 6 for the Rockbear, the kids split up their dice equally, 3 Yin and 3 Yang. Unfortunately for the Rockbear, the three benders who faced it were very good at taking the hits from the boulders and cut the Rockbear down to size. I gave the Rockbear a threat level of 8 and my kids rolled 9 successes. It was a good first combat but I could already see that I a) needed to be more careful with the amount of dice I gave them and b) use more mooks and other things to keep them distracted.

After defeating the Rockbear, my kids had no clue on how to proceed. They looked at me and amongst themselves for a few minutes before my 6 year old finally said "I say 'Hi' to the others." They then exchanged names, Luke wanted to finish his dinner and offered to buy the girls dinner as well, so of course they went along.

While eating, they learned about a haunted town nearby that was filled with ghosts (my 6 year old's decision), and away they went! It was dark by the time they arrived so they lit some torches with help from Millie and looked around. Millie searched through the homes and found nothing but skeletons left of the people that once lived here, along with dust and spiderwebs. Luke checked out the cafe (he's very interested in food this one is) and smelled nothing but decayed remains (as well as a flair for the macabre). Ana sat around in the middle of the town until a swarm of zombies and skeletons cam rushing at our intrepid heroes (supplied by my 4 year old). Time to fight!

I gave the skeletons and zombies a threat level of 5 each, with an attack of 1 each round total, remind my kids that they needed to make 1 success each round or they would get hit and it will only take three hits to render them unconscious.

Millie saw the skeletons rising from the homes and tried to shut the doors to keep them from coming at her. That failed since there are no doorknobs in the setting so she set about to burn their bones! Ana sees the zombies as the greater threat and pulls up water from the well to wash the zombies away, complete with OOC motions. Luke used his airbending to push the skeletons all into one group so that Millie could burn them easily, and then threw the zombies up into the air so that they would fall head first, making their brains squish out. He also decides to be nice and makes the air blow the burnt remains from Millie's firebending away from them, because they would smell gross.

With 6, 4, and 4, dice, they all roll only 1 each for defending against the skeletons and zombies. Millie takes a hit as a zombie munches on her arm. Ana's waterbending doesnt work all that well and with her three 6's that she rolls, she attracts some angry ghosts (I am giving them a new complication whenever they roll 6's or increasing the threat level of one of the complications already in play per an older rpg.net thread)! The ghosts have a threat level of 5 and while they do no damage each turn, they will scare the benders away from town forever within 3 turns if they are not defeated before then. The Skeletons and zombies are missing quite a few of their members, but are still coming at them.

Round 2. Millie, scared of the ghosts, thinks that if the remains of the ghosts that are not trying to attack them are burnt away, the ghosts will disappear per the tv show Supernatural. So she heads from home to home to do just that, unleashing gouts of flame. Luke follows behind her, using the air to fuel the flames and to crush the burning remains into dust. Ana pulls her instrument from her back and begin to play a song to distract the ghosts while Millie and Luke destroy their remains. Because of the zombies and skeletons trying to eat them while Millie and Luke try to destroy the ghosts remains, Millie uses her sword with other hand and begins to fight with the zombies and skeletons. Luke protects her with airbending, creating shields of air, and throws the knives he gathered from the Rockbear fight that he never got a chance to use at the zombies, aiming for their heads and brains. Ana sees that the skeletons and zombies are hurting her friends, so she tries to distract them as well with her music.

They receive 3, 4, and 3 dice, each of them succeeding in their defense as well as succeeding in defeating the skeletons! However, the ghost are still around! Seems they missed the part about needing salt from the Supernatural tv show because burning the remains only made the ghosts angrier (another 6 was rolled, increasing the ghost's threat level to 6)!

Round 3. This time, they decides that Luke should fight the ghosts while Millie and Ana would try to get the ghosts to leave.Luke swirls the air around himself and pushes it together to make dense marble-sized balls of air. With these balls of air and the knives, he throws them both at the zombies' heads. Ana plays soothing music to make the ghosts happy, while Millie tries to talk them into leaving. Millie tells them "We want you to leave this place and go to another haunted place so that you can meet new ghosts." The ghosts tell her that "We like this place, we don't want to leave and meet new ghosts." Ana backs her up, "Why not move someplace else?" The ghosts shriek at them and respond, "But will they think we are pretty?" (with myself tilting my head, placing my hands together, blinking my eyes, and using a falsetto voice. They kids cracked up for a good 5 minutes at that).

They each got 3 dice, and succeeded on all their dice. There were only a few zombies left and the ghosts were no longer angry, interested in what Millie and Ana had to say.

Round 4. Millie continues to speak to them, "Yes, the other ghost will think you are very pretty." Ana keeps playing music ans asks them, "Why do you want to be mean and scare the people here?" The ghosts reply that they like to hear people shriek in fright and run away. Millie tells them "Thats mean, dont do that." Ana agrees with a simple "Yeah!" The ghosts look sad, "But we are lonely without people to be scared of us." Millie tells them, "Go to the other ghosts who think you are pretty, then you will never be lonely again." Ana agreed yet again with "Yeah!" Luke, however, and brought all the air to surround him in a thick airball-like force-field and then releases it. The air flies in all directions, causing the buildings to shake and the zombies to break and mush.

With 5, 4, and 3 dice, they all defend against the zombies and succeed in not only destroying the zombies, but in getting the zombies to leave for another haunted town! My 6 year got the coup-de-grace on the ghosts, saying simply that they fly away in a long white train and my son says that the zombies' heads were smashed together with Luke's airblast, making their brains shoot out like jelly.

Afterwards, the townsfolk from the town they were just at come to thank them for getting rid of the ghosts and throw a huge party! Millie and Luke get drunk and party all night long, while Ana gorges herself on candy.

The next morning, and with headaches from the booze or sugar, they roll against their weaknesses with 3 dice each. Luke fails to do anything unlucky during the night, which he was rather happy about. Ana though had to sit down and cry because she was told that some of the zombies and skeletons were boys. And Millie was told that the townspeople sent of a report to her the King, thanking him for sending his only daughter to help them and inadvertently telling him where his daughter was at!

I ended it there with the kids begging for more. Seems like there will be a new reward for them to look forward to when they are putting their toys away and keeping the kitchen table free from their clutter. Also, gotta say i really liked how Wushu performed. Perfect for our needs.

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