How to play kid characters

The enemy lurks in shadows
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Angelman
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:13 pm

Hey all,

As preparation for an upcoming grown-up campaign (an adapted version of TEW2), I have a mind to put my players through a prelude mini-campaign where they play their future proper campaign characters as children. This will help set up concepts, characters, themes, and milius in the main campaign, and prelude such as these are some we've had great success with before.

This will be our first game running WFRP4, after finishing an decade-long WFRP2 campaign, and so it is very much a learning-the-new-system experiment as well. (We are very familiar with WFRP1 & WFPR2, I might add). The question then is, what would be an easy way to simulate WFPR4 characters as children? I intend for them to have careers, but probably not advance past the first tier (i.e. they are all stablehands and apprentices and kids groomed by their parents to follow in their footsteps, etc.) and I don't want to meddle too much with the system since we are VERY new to WFRP4. Thematically, I want everything to be dangerous and scary for the kids, and running away should always be the wisest (but not alwasy viable) option; does this make sense? We're aiming for something akin to WFRP4 equivalent of Stranger Things, early Harry Potter tales, Tales from the Loop, Goonies, etc.

I was thinking to just impose a flat -10 to all tests penalty for the characters while in their kids stage. That way, they can advance through the first tier of their careers without quite reaching expert murder-hobo level during the prelude mini-campaign. Would that work sufficiently, do you think? Or is it a better way of pulling off something like this?

(I have no idea how to handle Wounds and such for kids yet, but will probably go with a flat penalty there too, somehow... Possibly... halving Wounds? We'll see, but my main issue right now is adult-level-character-skill-checks-calibrated-for-adolecent-character-play).

Thanks in advance :)
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Angelman
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:13 pm

Or... perhaps a -2SL vs. adults and adult-world checks (i.e. picklock and spell casting and crafting etc.) would be better? That way, kids are frightening and capable compared to other kids their level. Thoughts?
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Hyarion
Posts: 197
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:56 am

Disclaimer, I am not familiar with Stranger Things, so I'm afraid that's not much help for me to frame my thoughts, my deep apologies in advance if I'm not understanding something.

Question 1) Are you restricting races to humans only? --How different races age/mature will be a big factor in this.
Question 2) Are you aiming for kids (roughly ages 7-10) or preteens (ages 11-12), or young teens (13-15)? --I might limit # of racial skills or starting skill ranks based on this.

Here's what I would do in your situation:
-- Restrict careers. Make a list of "entry level careers" Academics - Student, Burghers - Apprentice, Peasants - Villager or Miner or Herbalist, Rangers - Pedlar or Messenger, Riverfolk - Stevedore or Riverwoman, Rogues - Thief, Warriors - Squire. I'd probably disallow Courtiers as being appropriate for young people (put them in student or Apprentice). Then allow each player to play one of these entry level careers as emblematic of what they've learned/able to learn at their age before their full career specialization comes in. Also allow them to pick what career they want to start with for their story/backstory.

--If you are going for young teens (13-15), then just allow them their first career, but restrict the trappings.

--Stats are determined (as in 2e) by 2d10+ a modifer. For each stat, I would use 1d10+ 1/2 modifier for young kids or 2d10 + 1/2 modifier for preteens or 2d10+ 3/4 modifier for young teens. Then just roll skills/tests at their normal values using their normal mechanics for the sake of your learning curve.

--I think halving wounds is probably appropriate rather than a flat penalty.

--I like the -2 SL vs adults.

If I think of more, I'll add it later. Good luck!
I hold the glaive of Law against the Earth.
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Angelman
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:13 pm

Answer to q1: All humans
Answer to q2: Unsure, but probably 11-13, or thereabouts.

I would like a simple penalty of some sort so that we can, at the appropriate time, jump forward 5 years (or whatever) and just remove the penalty and play as normal.

No problems with the careers; I have that under control. In our games, the GMs make the PCs after discussing with the players, to streamline story involvement and make sure everything lines up well. We started doing this a decade ago, and we've never looked back; we find it makes for much better stories than having random heroes. (Also, there's a good chance one player will play a Servant, although the other Courtiers are pretty unappropriate). In any case, careers are not a problem.

A SL penalty & -5 Wounds (just to have a flat number that makes it easier to restore the characters to adulthood later) would probably be the easiest?
adambeyoncelowe
Posts: 130
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:54 pm

Can you just give them the Small Trait and be done with it? That reduces Wounds, makes bigger (older?) enemies cause Fear or Terror, and puts them on a par with Halflings. Just remove the Trait when they hit adulthood, and hey presto!

It's easy enough to handwave, as although Human kids are probably taller than Halflings and nearer the size of Dwarfs at that age, they're of much slighter build than both, so Small seems appropriate.
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Angelman
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:13 pm

That, adambeyoncelowe, is good idea, a quick and easy fix. I also want the kids to have a penalty navigating adults and the adult world in general, but "Small" is a smooth fix for combat stuff. Thanks! :-)
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