Ramblings of a Girl Gamer

Archive for January, 2013

Even More Flying Temple Mania!

All of the kids stories would not fit in one post, so here are the rest.

I R Help

The Pilgrims answer a letter from a goblin and an orc, whose dungeon has been raided by a party of adventurers: a dwarf and an elf. They must get back the copper pieces and the magic stick that keeps the troll away.

As the Pilgrims arrive at the dungeon, Pilgrim Jumping Shapeshifter (who gets in trouble by jumping off things and helps people by changing into a useful animal) is flying along and he sees popper pieces and picks them up. Pilgrim Smart Potbellied Pig (who gets in trouble by knowing too many facts and helps people by being really cute) sees Sil the Goblin and Grob the Orc. Pilgrim Blind Tongue (who gets in trouble by bumping into things and helps by seeing, smelling, and sensing things with her tongue) goes down there and tries to smell out more copper pieces. She runs straight into Grob the Orc. Pilgrim Drawing Cleaner (who helps people by cleaning things and gets in trouble by drawing on things) looks into another room and sees the Dwarf and the Elf, who are still here. She doodles on their walls as she stares at the Elf. Pilgrim Curious Company (who gets in trouble by being curious and helps people by being friendly) walks over to Pilgrim Drawing Cleaner and ushers her away from the Dwarf. Pilgrim Curious Company says “I wonder what that magic stick does?”

As Pilgrim Jumping Shapeshifter is picking up copper pieces, he hears the grunting of a hungry troll. Pilgrim Jumping Shapeshifter turns into a gorilla and smacks the heck out of the troll’s face. Pilgrm Smart Potbellied Pig says “Did you know that over 20% of Orc deaths are caused by Elves?” Pilgrim Blind Tongue tells the Orc that she didn’t see him because she was distracted by all the copper pieces. Grob the Orc says “Get away! Those copper pieces are traps set by the Dwarf and the Elf!” Pilgrim Curious Company walks over to the Dwarf, grabs the magic stick, and turns him into a frog. She sees the Dwarf’s hammer, and says, “Ooh, isn’t it shiny! I wonder what is so off-putting about it?” Pilgrim Drawing Cleaner stands in front of Sil the Goblin ready to spray the Dwarf and Elf with cleaner to keep them away. But Sil doesn’t know what cleaner is, and thinks it is dangerous, and says “Me no want die!”

As Pilgrim Jumping Shapeshifter is fighting, the Chief of the trolls comes out from behind the other troll and says, “What are you doing to my precious son?” Meanwhile, Pilgrim Smart Potbellied Pig clamps her hand over her mouth and says, “Um, the number of elves not killing orcs has increased dramatically since 1962.” Grob the Orc gets up and walks away from Pilgrim Smart Potbellied Pig. Just as a cage is about to fall on Pilgrim Blind Tongue, she sees it and jumps out of the way. Pilgrim Drawing Cleaner sprays cleaner on the floor and makes the Elf slip, and Sil the Goblin laughs. Pilgrim Curious Company was about to pick up the hammer when a gorilla (Pilgrim Jumping Shapeshifter) comes running in with the angry troll chief after him. Pilgrim Smart Potbellied Pig realizes she is all alone, hears the sound of danger, and runs back in to help her friends. But she runs into Grob the Orc and he is still mad at her.

As Pilgrim Jumping Shapeshifter runs into the room the troll chief breaks down the door screaming “What have you done to my son? You made him scrape his knee!” Pilgrim Blind Tongue detects the last of the copper pieces on the floor and picks them up before the troll steps on them. The Elf gets up and runs away, and Sil thanks Pilgrim Drawing Cleaner. Pilgrim Curious Company gives the hammer to the trolls as a peace offering and gives the magic stick back to the goblin and says, “It’s time to go home for dinner.” Pilgrim Jumping Shapeshifter turns back into a person and flies back to the temple. Pilgrim Smart Potbellied Pig finds Grob the Orc and apologizes and they become friends. Pilgrim Blind Tongue gives all the copper pieces back to Sil the Goblin and Grob the Orc.

The End, and on to the Next Story!

Worlds Collide

The pilgrims answer a letter explaining how Juku, the desert planet, is going to crash into Ishita, the water planet, because of a third planet, Rova, that has invaded their orbits. The letter writer is Yotta, assistant to the Great Sages of Juku. (The Great Sages, incidentally, will not help because they feel it is nature’s will that the planets collide.)

In case you are confused (I think we were all confused by the end of this one), they did win this game and get the good ending.

Pilgrim Sesquipedalian Potbellied Pig (who gets in trouble by using very long words and helps people by being really cute) is going to the Great Sages of Juku. But as she walks over to the Great Sages of Juku, she gets so nervous that she says “Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia” (which means the fear of long words!), making them utterly confused. Pilgrim Opinionated Tongue (who gets in trouble by voicing her opinion and helps people by sensing with her tongue) walks up to Yotta to get more information about what is happening. She voices her opinion that it is the will of nature, and it would be easier if they just let the planets collide. Pilgrim Sparkly Candy (who gets in trouble by standing out because she sparkles and helps people by giving them candy for different emotions) walks up to Yotta and gives him a candy to make him want to leave the planet and to get everyone else to leave so they don’t get killed. Yotta seems offput that she is glittering,and pulls out a scroll and yells “the Messiah, the Messiah!” Pilgrim Angry Mind (who gets in trouble by losing her temper and helps people by using telekinesis) says “Rova just exploded, so the water planet will not flood the desert planet, and the Phloerals (the people of the water planet) will be safe. But the Phloerals don’t understand,and start making fun of her, and she punches them in the face.

Meanwhile, Pilgrim Sesquipedalian Potbellied Pig, talking to the sages, stutters, and says “I meant to say there’s a hippo out there, and I am afraid of it (and there really is a hippo!). Just then, a flood of frogs from Ishita washes away the hippopotamus, making her seem like a liar. Pilgrim Opinionated Tongue says to Yotta, “I meant to say it is the will of nature that the planets will not collide. But the orbits of Juku and Ishita will be messed up because of Rova exploding. Yotta says to Pilgrim Shiny Candy, “you are the Messiah who will bring gravity to our lives. All hail the Messiah!” and they all bow down to her. Meanwhile after Pilgrim Angry Mind punches someone, the Phloerals start to believe her, thinking no one would get that angry about something that wasn’t true. A little Phloeral girl says, “the Messiah of the Water Planet!” and they all bow down, but this makes her mad.

Because the Sages think Pilgrim Sesquipedalian Potbellied Pig is lying, they think she is from the water planet, come to kill the Sages, and they take her prisoner. Pilgrim Opinionated Tongue says, “even though the orbits will be messed up for a few years, you will probably have better farmland for a while.” Pilgrim Shiny Candy says, “people of Ishita, I bring a message from the Messiah. She says the shift in gravity has been brought back to normal and you do not have to worry.” While the Ploerals are bowing down, Pilgrim Angry Mind says, “I am not your Messiah, I am a regular person just like you, and the planet that was going to make the other planet crash into you has exploded.”

Meanwhile, Pilgrim Sesquipedalian Potbellied Pig gets taken to a jail cell to be interrogated and they ask her “why did you come from the Water Planet to kill the Sages?” At the same time, Pilgrim Opinionated Tongue says to Yotta, “even though there will be better farmland, every three minutes there will be a deluge.” The people pick Pilgrim Shiny Candy up while chanting “sacrifice her to the Desert Planet!” Pilgrim Angry Mind says, “Shiny Candy is the Messiah from Ishita, and you cannot sacrifice her or the planets will crash together. The people say “only a prophet would know that – you must be the prophet of Ishita.”

Pilgrim Sesquipedalian Potbellied Pig says to her interrogators, “you’ve got it all wrong; I am not a spy, I am a Pilgrim. See, here is my passport.” The sages say, “no, she is not a Pilgrim; she is from the Water Planet!” Pilgrim Opinionated Tongue looks around at all the crazy people and just flies off, grabbing Pilgrim Sesquipedalian Potbellied Pig. Pilgrim Shiny Candy sees that Pilgrim Angry Mind is having trouble, grabs her, and flies away too. As they are flying away, Angry Mind says “see ya, suckers!” Pilgrim Sesquipedalian Potbellied Pig holds a conference between the two planets, and they agree to join together to form a super-planet.

The End, Until the Next Pilgrimage.


Flying Temple Mania!

We had a very creative group of kids at SCARAB Gaming Convention this year. Here are some of the stories they wrote while playing Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple. If you are not familiar with this game, the premise is that a group of teenagers (who can fly and have various powers) travel around a world of small, floating “planets” on a pilgrimage to help people and try not to get into to much trouble in the process. Each pilgrim character has a two-part name that tells how they help people an how they get into trouble. The players take turns writing sentences to create a story.   Here are some of their creations.

Swallowed Whole

The pilgrims answer a letter from a little girl whose tiny planet (just big enough for her, her house, two trees, and her cat) have been swallowed by a whale.

The Pilgrims arrive at Melanie’s planet. Pilgrim Jumping Earth (who helps people by moving rocks by magic and gets in trouble by jumping off of things) traps the whale between two other planets. As he is trapping the whale, he sees a nearby cliff and wants to jump off it. Pilgrim Loud Face (who gets into trouble by being loud and helps people by having facial expressions that can do anything) tries to sneak up on the whale, but trips over a tree root, emitting a loud scream. She falls into the whale’s blow hole, and finds Melanie. Pilgrim Smart Mimic Octopus (who gets in trouble by knowing too many random facts and helps people by changing her body to blend in) jumps into the blowhole after Pilgrim Loud Face and sees Melanie’s planet. As she is getting up she says, “penguins eat fish,” which has nothing to do with anything. Pilgrim Curious Animal (who gets in trouble by being too curious and helps people by contacting animals) contacts the whale and asks it to open its mouth so the planet can float out. But then Pilgrim Curious Animal hears Melanie’s cat make a weird sound and goes looking for it.

Meanwhile Pilgrim Jumping Earth jumps off the cliff, then flies down to the whale. But he sees the roof of Melanie’s house and feels the urge to jump off it. Pilgrim Loud Face goes over to Pilgrim Smart Mimic Octopus, where she is standing next to Melanie, and makes a weird face to make her shut up. Melanie is offended by her face and throws the plate of cookies at her. Pilgrim Smart Mimic Octopus goes over to Loud Face and eats all the cookies. Pilgrim Curious Animal stops chasing the cat and jumps up and down, cheering “cookies!” Pilgrim Jumping Earth jumps off the house, and makes the cliff crumble and collapse. As Pilgrim Smart Octopus eats all of her cookies, Pilgrim Loud Face makes a sad expressive face.

The End, and on to the Next Story!


A Matter of Roses

The Pilgrims answer a letter from the Three of Spades, who has accidentally planted white roses instead of red roses in the Queen of Hearts’ garden.

As the Pilgrims arrive at the palace, Pilgrim Loud Candy (who gets in trouble by being loud and helps people by giving them candy that can change their moods) introduces herself to the Three of Spades. As Pilgrim Smart Gerbil (who gets in trouble by knowing too many random facts and helps people by making vicious squeaking noises) is looking at the roses, she shouts “Her Majesty ordered the wrong roses for her tea and croquet party!” Using his mind, Pilgrim Jumping Mind (who gets in trouble by jumping off things and helps people by moving objects with his mind) unplants all the white roses. But then he realizes he doesn’t have the right seeds for the red roses.

Pilgrim Loud Candy shouts at Smart Gerbil, “Shut up, you fool, everyone in the garden can hear you!” As she realizes what she has done, she hands Smart Gerbil a candy to forgive her. Smart Gerbil realizes what she has done and says, “Um, I mean, Her Majesty’s red rose border sure looks wonderful, and and it is definitely red.” But what she really said was “your ruined red rose border looks wonderful.” Pilgrim Jumping Mind asks if anyone has any red paint. The Three of Spades hands him the red paint, but he jumps off the can and spills it.

Pilgrim Loud Candy shouts at Pilgrim Smart Gerbil, “Don’t say the roses are ruined; The Queen is not supposed to know!” She was going to say that, but decided to eat some feel good candy instead. Smart Gerbil says, “Not ruined in a bad way, I mean, so ruined they are beautiful, I mean . . . . “ she continues to babble for a minute, “ . . . . you know, like Lady Gaga.” Then loudly she says to the Three of Spades, Her Majesty might want you to bury those seeds soon. When Pilgrim Jumping Mind spilled the paint on the seeds, it killed the seeds.

Pilgrim Loud Candy shouts “Look what time it is! The sun is setting in the garden.” But she realizes the queen might come out if she hears about the sun and says, “is that a rain cloud? Her majesty might not want to come out after all.” Pilgrim Smart Gerbil says “we don’t need to plant these seeds; I know the art of paper mache.” As she is planting paper mache roses, she sees that the garden is too wet and they don’t look like roses, they look like blobs of paper. Pilgrim Jumping Mind lowers the floating roses and gently rolls them in the paint. But one of the floating rose bushes crashes into the palace.

As the bush crashes through the window, Pilgrim Loud Candy shouts, “Oh my gosh! Her Majesty’s roses are flying now!” But then she shouts “It’s a good thing Your High and Mighty Monkness is hear to get those roses under control.” Pilgrim Smart Gerbil says “No, the roses aren’t flying, they’re simply divine!” Pilgrim Jumping Mind says it looks like Her Majesty’s party will be ruined because of the rain.” But then everyone hears the sound of rose birds that would not be out in a rain storm.

Pilgrim Loud Candy says, “It’s a good thing that Your High and Mighty Monkness is here,” and puts the rose bushes back in the ground. Pilgrim Smart Gerbil says, “If only the roses hadn’t ruined that window.” Pilgrim Jumping Mind throws the roses that broke the window out of the parlor and blames the mess on a servant testing a flamingo croquet mallet. Pilgrim Loud Candy realizes the window is broken and gives the cards and encouraging candy and encourages them to fix the window. Pilgrim Smart Gerbil says “It’s great that they’ve decided to make croquet balls out of roses, but I think they should discontinue it because roses go everywhere when they hit the ball.

The End, and on to the Next Story!

Tales from the Kids Track Part III

So it’s been a while since I last wrote anything. But SCARAB time has come around again, and I feel the need to report. The convention overall went very well. We had upwards of 300 people. The Kids Track was a roaring success. I GMed for at least 7 new kid players, in addition to our regulars from the previous two years, and the children of the con staff. (That’s at least 16 kids total – though lucky for me they never all tried to sit down at a single gaming table at once!) I ran 12 different game sessions, in 6 different game systems. All of my tables filled except for one (which I then ditched to go play a game myself – yay!) Four of the children (all girls – the future of female gaming is safe, y’all) GMed their own games, and all of their players left the tables happy. Oh, yeah, and a teenager took 3rd place in our Iron GM tournament. (I played in and judged her game, and it was loads of fun.) Oh, and in the middle of all this I still found time each night to run home and feed my cats. So that’s one more year down. I can’t wait for next year!

In case anyone is curious or looking for some good kids game systems, here’s some info and links.

First of all, I debuted a system I wrote myself, called Pathfinder Jr. Actually, I can’t take very much of the credit. It was a merger system. I used the base mechanics from the Shadows system (By Zak Arntson: http://www.harlekin-maus.com/games/shadows/shadows.html ). I have written about this game before (see Tales from the Kids Track Part I). It is simple and story driven, and relies on two things. First, the idea that each character has a Shadow, an invisible monster that wants to get them in trouble. The player states two outcomes, what they want, and what their shadow wants (something that will get them in trouble). Then they roll two dice, one for their outcome and one for their shadow’s, and whichever rolls higher is the outcome that happens. The other part is a token mechanic where the players spend tokens to let other players (but not themselves) reroll their dice. I simply took these basics and added a few things to make it more like Pathfinder/D&D. I added hit points and damage, and created a character class set with a “specialties” system tied to the token mechanic. Nice, simple, and awesome. It worked in play exactly they way it worked in my head, and I was thrilled. I will definitely do it again next year.

I also ran Wushu, an action-adventure RPG. The downside of Wushu – it only does combat. The upside – it’s really fun and easy. Players have pools of attack and defense dice, and describe what they are doing, getting more dice for more detailed descriptions. We had an anime-style mecha tournament. I am still trying to figure out the best way to implement this system, but I count this one as a success. Here’s the system (it’s free, but you can buy awesome splat books): http://danielbayn.com/wushu/

I ran PDQ, of course. It is still my very favorite system for kids and adults. We did The Zorceror of Zo (fairy tales), Truth and Justice (superheroes), and I was planning to run Swashbucklers of the 7 Skies (pirates with flying ships!), but that was the game I ditched because they needed an extra judge for the Iron GM contest. Zo and T&J are available at http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/products.asp and S7S can be found there and also at http://www.evilhat.com/home/ I also ran my first Fate/Dresden Files game for the kids track. My GMing of this system needed a little work, but we had a good time.

The kids played several sessions of Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, which I have reviewed before on this blog. Not exactly an RPG, but a creative storytelling exercise of awesome fun. It’s also available on the Evil Hat website.

Finally, I ran Og! The Caveman RPG. The title says it all. Also, one of the main game mechanics is that your caveman character only knows 1d6+2 words, so in-character conversations are a riot. It comes from Firefly games, http://www.firefly-games.com/

My AMAZING kid GMs ran 12 game sessions between the four of them. Emma and Trinity ran Faery’s Tale (also from Firefly games). In this game, players play tiny magical faeries. These two girls wrote their stories themselves, and did a great job. Trinity also ran a kids Savage Worlds game titled “Guys, I Shrunk Our Parents”. Was it a rip off of an old Rick Moranis movie? Yes, but she wrote it herself including creating stats for all the giant bugs and stuff, and her players loved it. Dee ran 3 sessions of Hero Kids (a cool system with D&D-like stories and very simple mechanics – rules and modules can be found at http://herokidsrpg.blogspot.com/ . She also ran this game in the Iron GM tournament and won 3rd place. I was so proud of her! Finally, our youngest GM, Bethany, ran Warriors, a game about cats that protect the forest, based on the books by Erin Hunter: http://www.warriorcats.com/warriorshell.html Bethany wrote her own story and created her own characters. She also ran Argyle and Crew: Soppet Adventures, an RPG about sock puppets. The best part? The kids actually made sock puppets! See http://trollitc.com/los/ for the game. Short version? I am super-proud of all our Kids Track GMs. They are an awesome group of girls.

More SCARAB reports coming soon.