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Subject: First try with 8 and 10 year old kids rss

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Andrew P.
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I'm a huge fan of Rory Story Cubes, and I've been very excited to get this to the table. Here's what my kids (8 year old daughter and 10 year old son) and I came up with on this snowy Anchorage morning. We used the 9 purple spooky/supernatural cubes for this Scooby Doo-ish story.

Episode 1 of "Spooks Away" - "Spooked in Spooksville"

Spooksville is a small coastal town. It tends to stay dark and foggy all the time, and lately something or someone has been scaring the locals away. The extremely curious investigator Sam (son) and his fortune telling dog Snoopy (daughter) are joined by the famous reality TV show director Franz (me) and his loyal assistant Timmy to a) find out what exactly is going on in Spooksville and b) cash in on a hot new reality TV show.

Sam, Snoopy, Franz and Timmy are quickly drawn to the old light house when they hear screams. It's Mayor Milk being dragged away by the disgraced scientist Dr. Filch! Franz orders Timmy to start filming, but Mayor Milk screams at him to turn the camera off. It turns out Mayor Milk and Dr. Filch are in cahoots! Sam tries to calm everyone down, and he suggests having a civil conversation inside of the light house. Mayor Milk and Dr. Filch want nothing of it, and they run off into the darkness.

Next, we learn that Dr. Filch is using a toxic chemical to control the minds of rats. He has been using the rats to drive people out of their homes and out of Spooksville. Years ago, he was arrested and thrown into the Spooksville prison for leaking his toxic pesticides into the city's water ways. Is he out for revenge?

The crew decides to investigate the sewers. It's pretty dark down there, and they're attacked by a shadowy figure! Franz orders Timmy to take a picture of the dark figure, but Timmy has trouble operating the camera in the dark. The bright flash goes off in the dark sewer, and when Timmy looks at it, all he sees is Snoopy photo-bombing in front of the figure who turns out to be surrounded by hundreds of rats. Sam decides to get the heck outta there while the rats being dipping their mouths into the sewer water. Toxins flow out of them towards the team. Franz orders Timmy to collect a sample of the toxins because it'll make great material for the reality TV show. Unfortunately, rats shove Timmy into the water. He begins acting like a rat and scurries off into the dark. This causes enough of a distraction for Snoopy and Franz to get away.

Upon leaving the sewers, all of the nearby televisions spontaneously turn on. It's Dr. Filch with a message for the team. He warns them not to interfere; he is actually trying to protect Spooksville from an even bigger threat! Mayor Milk agreed to work with him because he promised to protect the city. Forcing the citizens away from Spooksville was the only way to protect them. Is he telling the truth?

The team heads over to the TV studio Dr. Filch is broadcasting from. He begins berating them for interfering with his plans, and he orders his rats to restrain them. Franz asks if he'll agree to a sit down interview, but he'll have none of it. Sam manages to convince Dr. Filch to step aside and tell him alone what is threatening the city. He tells Sam who begins laughing wildly with disbelief which angers Dr. Filch. Snoopy barks loudly at the rats to scare them away, and then she uses her fortune telling dog collar to discover what happened to Timmy. He is apparently running towards his home with a bunch of rats.

Is Dr. Filch really helping Spooksville? What threat awaits? Where's Mayor Milk? Was he the shadowy figure in the sewers? Will the team save Timmy? Find out next time on "Spooks Away"!

********************

I really dug it, and the kids seemed excited to tell the next part of the story. Learning and jumping in to the game was a breeze (we have played a fair amount of the family-friendly RPG No Thank You Evil). I'll write up some more thoughts later, but the combination of the Story Cubes for inspiration and the game for structure really works.
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Michael Fox
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Thanks for the great write up, Andrew - I'm glad to see that you and your fellow junior adventurers enjoyed the game! Do you reckon you'll play again in the same setting to continue the story?

(Also, nice Spelunky avatar!)
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Rory O'Connor
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I love the idea of working for a Reality TV Show as the hook that can lead you into different adventures. It sounds like it was a wild ride. I hope Timmy returns to his normal self soon!
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Andrew P.
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idlemichael wrote:
Thanks for the great write up, Andrew - I'm glad to see that you and your fellow junior adventurers enjoyed the game! Do you reckon you'll play again in the same setting to continue the story?

(Also, nice Spelunky avatar!)


I'm sure we'll use some if not all of the Mystery set for episode two. My daughter wanted to go with the Scooby Doo set in the first place, and she was a little disappointed the story was not sillier. Maybe we'll each pick three cubes and see what happens.

Also - Spelunky is awesome! Did you see the Spelunky 2 announcement? My dream story cube theme set might be Spelunky with Derek Yu art (no offense to Mr. Rory's fantastic drawings).
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Automatische Piloot
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pieforteeth wrote:

I'm sure we'll use some if not all of the Mystery set for episode two. My daughter wanted to go with the Scooby Doo set in the first place, and she was a little disappointed the story was not sillier. Maybe we'll each pick three cubes and see what happens.

Great adventures await!

About how long did this session take?
I'm looking forward to try this out with my niece and nephew but they're less experienced with rpg and they're 5 and 7.
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Andrew P.
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Autopiloot wrote:

About how long did this session take?
I'm looking forward to try this out with my niece and nephew but they're less experienced with rpg and they're 5 and 7.


I think it took a little under 2 hours, but this was with a rules run down for the kids, the world building portion, and character creation (which you do during scene 1). I think our next game will take about an hour.
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