Author Topic: Kids In Trouble Notes  (Read 1985 times)

Anders Gabrielsson

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Kids In Trouble Notes
« on: July 14, 2016, 07:17:32 PM »
So I thought I should put down my ideas for this. It's all very preliminary, first-draft kind of stuff.

Stephen King's It: the RPG, pretty much. The PCs are 10-12-year-old kids in a smallish town where children are being taken by a supernatural Other and the adults can't handle it.

Central themes are trust, friendship, and dealing with shitty situations when you're not equipped to do so.

When I sketch AW-hacks trying to find the right stats is always near the top of my list since the stats say so much about what the game is about. With KiT I'm not quite there yet, but these are my ideas so far:
  • Trouble - Doing forbidden things, standing up to bullies, running away
  • Mean - Hurting someone physically or emotionally, finding someone's weakness, bullying kids
  • Creepy - Spying on someone, figuring out what someone wants
  • Polite - Getting along with adults, probably school stuff as well
  • Sweet - Lying to adults, comforting kids
  • Imagination - Understanding the Other, coming up with plans

I used to think "Popular" or "Friendly" should be stats but right now I think the functions they had work better in playbooks or moves.

Speaking of which...

Like the stats, these are just basic ideas that will grow and change.
  • The Popular Kid (Imagination? - maybe Popular needs to be a stat after all) - Good at getting other kids to go along with their ideas, leadership types, may be manipulative or self-sacrificing
  • The Bully (Mean and/or Sweet) - Physically or socially gifted (maybe split those off into two different playbooks)
  • The Trouble Kid (Trouble) - Noisy pranksters and tomboys, impopular with adults, brave but careless
  • The Geek (Polite) - Well-behaved, good at finding information
  • The Younger Sibling (Sweet) - Na´ve, imaginative, good at hiding
  • The Weird Kid (Creepy) - Socially awkward but also less bound by convention, willing to do what it takes

Basic Moves
Again, current rough ideas.
  • Do something forbidden (Trouble) - Includes going to dangerous places, stealing etc
  • Ask an adult for permission (Polite) - Can be used deceitfully but the request should be true in a literal sense
  • Lie to an adult (Sweet)
  • Stand up to a bully or older kid (Trouble) - Older kids are teenagers and they are dangerous
  • Spy on someone (Creepy)
  • Find someone's weakness (Mean)
  • Figure out what someone wants or how they'll react (Creepy) - This is creepy because it requires thinking like an adult, and people find it creepy when kids do that
  • Hurt someone (Mean) - Physically (anyone) or emotionally (kids only), maybe provoke older kids?
  • Run away (Trouble) - The default way to handle anything scary
  • Hide (Sweet? Creepy?) - Maybe a playbook move instead?
  • Accept the horror (Imagination)

Dealing With Shit
On top of fighting a supernatural horror, the kids also have to deal with being kids. Every PC will have (at least?) one thing they're dealing with that is a source of shame and pain or insecurity, often tied to their family situation - distant parents, abusive parents, body image etc.

The key here is that the kids can't deal with their issues alone, but getting help from their friends means they have to make themselves vulnerable. This needs mechanical support of some kind that I haven't figured out yet - perhaps the equivalent of the AW sex moves? "When you tell someone about your pain..." Or! "When someone tells you about their pain, roll Hx, on a hit you help them, on a miss you push them away". There needs to be risk involved in this.

Speaking of Hx, I think I'll call that Trust or Friendship or something. Maybe.

Kids who haven't dealt with their pain are more vulnerable to the Other.

Kids will also have a number of fears that the Other uses to get to them.

If there's a damage track it will track emotional damage rather than wounds. Physical injuries will be handled in some other way - this isn't about trading harm with the Other but about confronting your fears and traumas.

If there's anything like barter it's probably more like favors, or maybe that's popularity? Hm.

That's about it. Feels good to have it all down in one place.


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Re: Kids In Trouble Notes
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 10:01:55 PM »
This is interesting.

I'm pretty new to Apocalypse World, but both Little Fears and World of Darkness: Innocents seems like they would be useful sources for something like this. Hope they're useful.

Anders Gabrielsson

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Re: Kids In Trouble Notes
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2016, 06:12:05 AM »
Probably! I know there are a few games on similar themes, including a more "kids adventure" hack here on the forums. But designers gonna design...

It's possible I have Little Fears stashed away somewhere. I'll need to take a look.


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Re: Kids In Trouble Notes
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 04:12:37 PM »
But designers gonna design...

Ha, I like this. I'm going to start repeating it to myself whenever I'm feeling down about the lack of reply's to anything ive posted.

Mark Plemmons

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Re: Kids In Trouble Notes
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2016, 04:12:46 PM »
I like this idea!

If you haven't already, check out Brian K. Vaughn's "Paper Girls" - a new(ish) comic book series. I can't say much without spoiling it, other than this sales pitch: "In the early hours after Halloween of 1988, four 12-year-old newspaper delivery girls uncover the most important story of all time. Stand By Me meets War of the Worlds..."