After a rousing success (no pun intended) of playing roleplaying games with my son for the first time, he and I decided to play again a few days ago. We continued where we left off from the last session, with the Star Wars RPG Invasion of Theed Adventure Game. Since he had the basics down, this session I decided to beef up the rules. I added back in the use of the vitality and wound points and required him to use skill checks to accomplish tasks. I also advanced the characters to level 2, equaling the level of the next few encounters.
In this session I wanted him to dig deeper in the roleplaying aspects of the game, teaching Henry that his character had a lot of freedom to do interesting things. I also wanted him to develop the personality of his character. Henry has a wonderful imagination and he is really good about using it when he plays with action figures or Legos. But when it comes to games, rules seem to get in the way of his imagination. I noticed in our first RPG session, Henry was all too eager to jump on the train and railroad himself, following the plot line straight as an arrow. This makes sense as most of the board games and video games he plays are on a narrow track. So as a DM, I needed to coax more roleplaying and character development out of him during our second session.
Adventure 3 in the Invasion of Theed was a good place to increase the roleplaying in the game. The adventure starts off with a visit from a NPC in need of help. The NPC is Lialla Tane, a young girl who is the daughter of the Naboo Minister of Culture. Lialla’s parents have been taken captive by the invaders and is seeking the assistance of the adventuring party. Lialla is introduced to the party by Dannt, leader of the Naboo Resistance. These two NPCs afforded me the opportunity to build a dialog with the PCs. Sometimes I needed to ask leading questions but after a few minutes I could see Henry was starting to get the hang of it. He was asking the NPCs good questions like: “how many guards are at the the prison?” and “do you know how we can break into the prison?”. With some help from me he was able to get the information necessary for success in the next few encounters. In the first encounter, it was cool to see Henry use a subtle approach with the Neimoidian prison guards, bribing them with 100 credits to get the entry code for the prison door. He was broadening his play style, breaking way from his early instinct to fight right out of the gate.
I am seeing that Henry is really getting into his character. He understands the “use the force” aspect of the Jedi class, choosing influence over aggression. After defeating the battle droids in one encounter, Henry’s character was successful in convincing a highly skeptical prisoner to escape with the party. If they have seen the movies or Clone Wars show, Jedi are a great class for kids to play because they totally understand the role. Since Jedi only use a light saber, the melee fighting style is very obvious to young players and the force gives them good incentive to roleplay. As you can see from the pictures below, Henry’s Jedi is right up in heat of the action wailing away at the enemy with his light saber while the other characters with blasters hang back.
This was another successful roleplaying session with my son. He is starting to develop a personality for his character and is using his imagination to explore the possibility-space within the game. At the end of the session I awarded him with XP and 400 credits. It was fun to see his eyes get wide when he realized his character could go buy stuff. I can’t wait for the next session and my only wish is that we could add some more players to the group. And man does this kid have a hot hand for dice. I swear he rolled no lower than a 12 the whole session and had at least three natural 20s during the game (in the first picture the 4 on the d20 is mine. Dad’s dice hand is not so hot).