While I’m still in the midst of firming up the test of the game, I figure it would be a good time to talk about the structure of the game.
Unlike sandbox RPGs, a game aimed for kids should have some form of supporting structure. This is because kids do well with having a pattern to stick to. Once they’ve got the hang of things, then the Narrator should feel free to start improvising.
Heroes of the Falling Star starts off with a tried-and-true method used in a lot of RPGs: The Voice on High.
The voice in question is The Lady of Love and Mercy. As a magical figure from the Celestial Heavens, The Lady is a being of benevolence and goodwill, who hears the wishes of those in trouble and empowers Heroes to help out. It’s a simple device, but one that works out well as it does a few things:
- Introduce the central conflict of the scenario
- Provide a trusted NPC who can provide trustworthy information
- Enforces the idea that the player characters are Heroes
It’s a quick way to get the players into the action by hitting all the bases. They know what’s at stake, and that they’re being asked to go help out.
The next phase is the granting of the Falling Star Treasures. These are magic items from The Lady of Love and Mercy, who fashions them from stars that she causes to fall from the sky. It’s a wonderful image, and a great way to play up how special these Treasures are. A fun little fact is that none of these Treasures are weapons. They’re all meant to be fun “cheats” or “hacks” through an obstacle, but are never meant for outright violence.
And so equipped with the Treasures, the Heroes are sent to go investigate the matter, and hopefully fix it. I feel that having this kind of structure would be great for parents as well, as they would have something to follow in the first few sessions with their kids, at least until they’ve gotten their sea legs in being a Narrator.
If you’re curious about Heroes of the Falling Star, do check out the Beta document draft over at:
I’ll be working on a crowdfunding campaign for this game soon to get more artwork and layout for it, so watch this space!