Great writeup by Richard Stephens of playing Threadbare with kids!
Originally shared by Richard Stephens
Just finished a quick play test of Stephanie Bryant’s new #Threadbare_RPG . It went something like this:
The characters of the party are a fast and quirky stuffed rabbit toy named Callie, a dozen green army men collective known as Troopers (leading to a lot of “Troopers fall in! Troopers move out!” statements), and a very clever gym sock dubbed Mr. Sok.
Our intrepid friends are helping their community of toys evacuate due to rising water levels of a nearby lake. A large contraption is the town’s collective vehicle (made up of dozens of toy cars, trucks, and other wheeled toys, all held together by nails, rubber bands, and hamster tubing), but is unable to carry everyone to safety due to the muddy terrain caused by rising water levels. The group sets out to find something that can help, and stumble onto an undiscovered trove of treasure in the form on overturned trashcan along a forest path (an old hiking trail). They collect a lot of Stuff, but not without a cost. Callie tore her favorite Red Hair bow, and one of the army men become lost in the hustle and bustle! Not knowing how long they can wait, Mr. Sok offers to remain behind and find the missing man, while the other two hurry back. Mr. Sok is successful and is able to actually catch up, reuniting the Troopers. Once back at home, the group decides to build a series of platforms that can be laid down to roll across muddy spots, then picked up to be used again. Their friends and community are delighted, and all are safely moved to new temporary home. Now about that lake. Why is the water rising anyways?
Keeping in mind that my test group consisted of myself, and my three children (aged 11 y.o. girl, 10 y.o. boy, and 5 y.o. girl), I can easily say that this is the quickest and most easily that the three of them have taken to an RPG. System, setting, and all.
In a mere 30 minutes (a short eternity in kid-time reckoning), we managed to craft an amusing story about cute characters trying to help their friends. And by we, I mostly mean my children. I think they were slightly taken aback when I first started asking them what the problems were, and why they needed solving, and how they were going to solve them. But they took to it very quickly, probably relishing at the chance to be the making the story, rather than just playing along with it. And really the only contribution I gave was the very first line “The water levels of a nearby lake are rising.” Everything else came from them.
And it’s a very simple system to learn and use, and rather than being a firm determinate, the rolling system is really there just to provide sudden twists and turn to your story, to keep you thinking. And if it can keep the attention of my three kids for a half hour straight (which included me walking them through character creation), you know it has been interesting.
There is still time left on the Kickstarter for Threadbare(https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mortaine/threadbare-rpg-a-stitchpunk-tabletop-role-playing), and if this is what I can get out of my kids with the bare bones test stuff, I can’t wait to see what
they can do with a finished product.
Highly recommend supporting this project!
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