Running SW Supers for kids?

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Kertain
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Running SW Supers for kids?

#1 Postby Kertain » Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:30 am

Howdy!
So my 50F game is wrapping up soonish and the plan was to start running a Super Hero game (or perhaps Power Rangers) for my 8 year old son and a few friends.
I have been playing less formal 1-on-1 games over the years with Adventure Maximus (great kids system) but now that he is older going to start a fun/silly campaign with a legit group.

I was going to keep things fairly street level or x-men type supers. 1 or 2 core powers.
If possible I want to keep a huge swing of modifier down due to their age and sometimes higher level supers game in SW modifiers can get intense :)

Questions:
*Any suggestions when running SW for kids in general?
*How would you handle super powers? Use SPC or keep it simplier with core power supers rules?
*Suggestions on how to keep modifier down as much as possible
*Anything else?

Thanks!

Freemage
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Re: Running SW Supers for kids?

#2 Postby Freemage » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:31 pm

The 'one or two powers' approach pretty heavily pushes for the Core Rules approach. Even with Best There Is, at low level/Rising Stars, you still typically end up with 3+ Powers. If you limit the New Power Edge to once per Rank, that should keep things from exploding later on (even if one of the players really wants to go there). This should also keep the modifiers in check.

Brickulos
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Re: Running SW Supers for kids?

#3 Postby Brickulos » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:59 pm

I agree with Freemage. The Core Super Powers is worlds simpler and easier to handle.

If they want to play something unusual, you can use the race creator to fill in the gaps.

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Jounichi
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Re: Running SW Supers for kids?

#4 Postby Jounichi » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:42 am

Core Super Powers is very...pulp, I guess. It's expensive to branch out with multiple powers since each one requires its own skill. It works well enough for someone trying to duplicate Iron Fist, I suppose (healing and smite are about as far as I'd take it), but anything beyond that is going to prove a challenge. Something more akin to Power Rangers would definitely require the SPC, and fortunately, it's easy enough to accomplish. You'll want a basic template to cover core team abilities everyone shares, but also leave room for individual specialization. Maybe one of them is stronger than the others, or faster. Not necessarily to an extreme degree, mind you, but you get the idea. Maybe Four Color with Out Of My League to help cover the wide breadth of abilities.

If you want to give them all giant robots, then I suggest handling that separately from the SPC as its a setting rule and possibly lean on the SFC. Mutants & Masterminds 2nd edition had an eastern supplement (I think it was called Mecha and Manga) which covered rules for giant robots and even gestalts. It's a good place to look for lifting ideas as to how it'd all work.
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ValhallaGH
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Re: Running SW Supers for kids?

#5 Postby ValhallaGH » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:19 am

Howdy.
Kertain wrote:Howdy!
...
Questions:
*Any suggestions when running SW for kids in general?
*How would you handle super powers? Use SPC or keep it simplier with core power supers rules?
*Suggestions on how to keep modifier down as much as possible
*Anything else?

Answers:
*Make liberal use of the Combat Survival Guide, various tokens or small signs with temporary modifiers, and cool visuals that remind them of relevant circumstances. If the fight is at night or in a dark cave then you might dim the lights / turn off a light fixture, then put up a small sign that says "Dark -1 to all Attacks".
*Depends upon the group and what they wanted. For a street / pulp game, like The Shadow or Doc Samson or Shanghai Kung Fu, I'd use the core supers rules. For a sentai team, I'd use the SPC with a "base power template"; everyone gets a set of powers (Strength, Fighting, melee attack, Leaping) that are innate to the concept, and then get the remaining points to grab one or two cool powers to individualize the character.
*Keeping situations relatively simple means that modifiers are less important. If fights are in daylight, on open terrain, with a lot of one-on-one fighting then the common modifiers of lighting, cover, and gang up are removed. Part of this is keeping the numbers for bad guys relatively low, since Parry 8 encourages characters to pile on bonuses to their Fighting rolls.
Also, sticking with the Core Rules will reduce the modifiers. A lot of the SPC powers simply provide bigger numbers for what's already being done, quickly moving out of die types and into modifiers territory.
*Don't outright refuse them, but have a few alternative suggestions or modifications to make what they're describing simpler and faster to resolve. Also, play up the coolness of Tricks - so many awesome action scenes can be done with a multi-action of Agility Trick and attack.

Good luck!
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kronovan
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Re: Running SW Supers for kids?

#6 Postby kronovan » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:40 pm

I ran a supers mini campaign with the SPC 1 for my daughter and son when they were 8 and 12. The SPC 1 was a bit different for how it handled low level heroes, but we used the equivalent of low level/rising stars in SPC 2. They didn't find it too challenging, although they certainly needed help building their PCs and my daughter needed help with every advancement. Play-wise though, it wasn't too difficult for them. While my daughter only ran 1 PC, my son started with 2 and eventually expanded to 3. There PC's were far from stock archetypes, with my daughter running a sort of Brazilian beast mistress that even had some switchable powers. While my son ran a ray-gun equipped alien with mimic and heal and a katana-wielding ninja powered in melee. He eventually added a super sorcerer. They handled them fine, but I doubt it'd have been as smooth if powers hadn't been reduced to low level heroes at the start.

If I was to run such a campaign again I don't think I'd use just the core SWD, if only because my kids loved browsing through the colorful depiction of powers in the SPC and whenever I used a WC from the Rogues Gallery I could hold the page up so they could see the picture. They also ate up the Headquarters building rules and built a way too cool HQ above a Kung Fu studio in Chinatown, in which of course they befriended some of the patrons and made them allies; actually came as a result of a draw from the adventure deck. My son actually mapped out the HQ in RPTools, and at one point it was printed out and became the scene of a combat encounter. :) You could probably find a way to use parts of the SPC while using the core SWD for powers, but I really liked that it was all in one book.

I started the early sessions with encounters just involving mook/extras, with just enough of them to make a combat encounter go 2 or more rounds. I did that later too when they befriended their allies, so they'd have a chance to stay in the fight. About the 3rd session I gave some of the extras HW rated weapons, so they could actually deal damage to the PCs. By the 5th I had the odd WC from the Rogues Gallery in. My daughter was very keen on social roleplay -having an attractive Brazilian beast mistress and all- but my son not so much so. I just addressed that by having a good helping of exploration encounters which they both enjoyed. Needless to say they loved the combat encounters. I went through the adventure deck and culled out cards that didn't fit our campaign and then let them draw one at the beginning of sessions. They really enjoyed them and unlike some of the adult players in my campaigns, they never forgot they're there and seemed to always find a way to play them during the session. If you don't have the adventure deck, I'd recommend getting it because it's something kids seem to like.

Kertain
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Re: Running SW Supers for kids?

#7 Postby Kertain » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:17 pm

Thank you everyone!
I will noodle over the suggestions and start working on a campain.

Talked to my son and he wants to keep is supers.
I explained they would need to be "X-Men level" supers with 1-3 core powers and he was fine with that.


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