In this multi-part series you will get to dive down into deep deep abyss of my inner brain and find... probably not much there. I will be covering some of my iterations through my game Robit Riddle. As of this writing I am at version number 13 right now, which should be very close to the final.
Around this time my sons were 6 and 8. Both were having challenges with stories. One loved to read, but struggled with his imagination. The other loved to be read to and tell stories, but not read himself.
I thought RPG's would be a great thing to solve these issues, but I couldn't find anything that would hold their attention and be simple enough to grasp. There weren't many introduction to role playing games for kids and or those new to the hobby. My initial name was 'My First RPG', lame but to the point.
I also thought back to my days as a kid and the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. I thought a book in that style would be a great way to get the boys reading and sharing ideas together.
From there I made a list of core ideas that I wanted the game to include:
- Light RPG
- No DM needed
- Quick <= 30 min
- Ages 5 and up with an adult
- “Choose your own adventure”
- Learning (A little educational)
There are some things missing off this list that I would later add, but it was a good start.
The First Prototype... not.
Armed with my list and science I started to make the game. Computers make everything easier right? Given this theory I set to work on my first prototype on my computer. No hand written crap for me. Maybe this was a bad idea, but none the less, it is where I started.
I wrote out the rules and started writing a story. Mind you I am not good at the english language. I blame our school systems... definitely not me... definitely.
The rules came easy. The story... well you shouldn't write a story without a general direction, but I will get to that later.
I realized quickly this was not the way to do the story as I hit a brick wall. I felt the need to make it less real and more kid friendly. Thus ended the first version with really nothing created.
Start of Book
They say you should never let people read your first draft... oh well. There are probably lots of mistakes as this was just a brain dump. Here is the intro to the story that I originally wrote. It was heavily influenced by "The Goonies"
Tom Hiddleston has always been a great friend of your family. You regularly see him wearing a comfortable brown corduroy suit that seems two sizes too big, as he is ghastly thin except for his round head and big curly mustache. HIs hair and mustache are now grey although he seems in good health despite is waning years. Tom is also known as a cheese lover which explains why he always smells a little more pungent than most.
As the local town historian Tom is full of fun stories that keep you entertained for hours. The tale that you always ask Tom to tell is of the long lost treasure of Captain John Slinder. During a siege on the town, Captain Slinder was put in charge of transporting a very valuable yet secret cargo from the naval yard to the fleet deployed to the south. He never arrived.
Tom has heard and told you of the many theories about the fate of Captain Slinder, his crew, their ship and the treasure. All of them more wondrous than the last.
You enjoy visiting Tom, but those visits have gotten more and more infrequent. However when you receive an urgent message from Tom this morning you quickly rush to see him. The message reads:
MUST SEE YOU, COME QUICK
Unlike his usual long winded notes, this is short and puts you on edge. You quickly head over to his house.
When you arrive at Tom’s house you see the front door not fully secure. You cautiously approach the door and call out for Tom, but there is no answer. You hear people approaching from the street as you call Tom’s name. You turn around and see your friends coming up to the door. You ask them why they are there and what they know. They all got the same message from Tom and rushed over. You and your friends enter the house then spread out looking for Tom or any clue to his whereabouts.
Entering Tom’s office you notice his favorite painting is no longer hanging on the wall, and in it’s place is a poorly done view of the town’s harbor from before the fire had burned down the church steeple. You dismiss it as you continue looking for any sign of your lost friend. You also notice many items laying out on Tom’s desk relate to the old tale of Captain Slinder’s lost treasure.
Without any other leads you and your friends decide to take a closer look at his office. As you approach the new painting that hangs in Tom’s office you notice the artists signature, Betty Slinder, Captain Slinders wife. This strikes you as odd as Tom had always said that Betty was a well known painter of the time for her realistic reproductions of town life. This was less perfect, bordering on the amateur level.