Games on Demand: Kids Edition
One of my favorite parts of the Strategicon weekend (and also one of the most exhausting) is running Games on Demand for KIDS ONLY on Sundays. I’ve been doing it now for almost 2 years, and it’s definitely built up a bit of hype. We had over 17 kids show up.
I had three GMs total: Andy, Rob, and myself. Andy was originally going to run Legend of the Elements (the unofficial Avatar the Last Airbender RPG), but pivoted and ran Rob’s own in-playtest Moonhaven Witch’s Academy. The two ran tables for 5 kids a-piece. I took the remainder, and ran For The Queen.
(I’ll note that in the background, I had a small crew of parents sit down and play For The Queen on a separate table with a spare deck!)
For The Queen with kids
I’ve played and run this game over 50 times, and a very few of those times involved some kids. But I’ve never run it exclusively for kids, and never with some of them this young. Ages ranged from about 8 to 11 years old. We also had a fairly large table with 7 players (not including myself).
The game itself worked well, which is as I expected. The kids needed some help interpreting some of the cards, as the wording can be a little tough for the younger crowd. The biggest issue I had was just a discrepancy in maturity levels and attention spans. A very few of the younger kids needed quite a bit of attention and lacked patience, whereas the older crew mostly consisted of kids who’ve gamed a bit before and knew how to take turns and play off of each other, narratively. This is partly due to not having quite as many GMs as I would like, and definitely not enough GMs to handle the variety of age ranges. All that said, the game worked, and it was certainly fun seeing how all the kids already decided whether the queen was evil or worth saving before we even started the game!
In either case, this game can definitely work for the younger bracket.
Moonhaven Witch Academy
I talked to a few of the kids after the game, and they all seemed to have quite a good time playing this. The touchstone of Harry Potter resonated with so many of them prior to game tie. Rob ran this for a crew one of the last cons, and here he got to see his game being run by a new GM as well! Andy just asked a bunch of questions and looked at the available playtest material, and went ahead and just ran the thing. Great stuff!
One of the kids in the For The Queen game is apparently very into D&D, and volunteered to run a game a little later on. Sophia definitely took him up on it, and they tried to schedule a game; the kid even made a sign-up sheet on one of the tables! Unfortunately not enough people showed up, and instead they ended up playing some board game with the parents, but it was a valiant effort, and one which I’d like to encourage the next time around.