Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 1549 - Mermaid Adventures

I've been posting occasionally about Ruth on Facebook and G+, but I realize that that's both a venue that not everyone follows, and that won't do as well when I try to show her things later on.  It's just soooooo temptingly easy.

I refuse to use Instagram, because I am old.

Anyway, so this is yet again me saying that I should put more stuff up here on the blog.  I actually have a massive backlog of pictures and such that I should eventually categorize, and you're missing out on Ruth's political punditry!


A little while ago, I backed the Mermaid Adventures Kickstarter on Ruth's behalf, and last week the game (a bit belated) finally arrived!

So we played a bit after breakfast and before school on Friday.  The game's art definitely succeeded in getting her sucked in and excited to play - the long-suffering Melissa had to read her about all the different merfolk splats as I made her lunch (Melissa has given up on saving Ruth from my geekery, but she draws the line at getting excited about the relative strengths and weaknesses of Lobsterfolk and Octofolk).

We did a guided/streamlined version of the game, but honestly I was a bit surprised at how little "dumbing down" I needed to do.  The game is pretty traditional in structure, and uses essentially a version of the Burning Wheel die-pool system.  For Ruth, who is just starting on math concepts, it's great - it involves counting and number recognition (I need some more dice with numbers on them instead of pips, I realized, as she can recognize numbers now, but has to count pips, which is much more tedious, and learning to "see" the standard pip patterns at a glance is not a skill that I think she's terribly in need of), but no addition/subtraction/multiplication, which is still beyond her.

I did chargen just by asking her what her character was especially good at, and filling in stat stuff on my own.  Ariel (natch), had a princess crown, was a great singer (+1W for singing), a Human Expert (from watching Prince Eric), was Cheerful (free from being a fish folk), and was Beautiful.

Ruth took the reins of the story immediately, telling me that Ariel was swimming around when she got trapped in a dark cave!  IIRC, she found her way out just by thinking hard about it.

But then she got trapped in a cage, and some fishers dragged her up on their boat.  They were talking about what to do with her, whether to sell her to an aquarium or just to cut her up with the rest of the fish and not tell anyone.  But one of them had a pet snake (Ruth's suggestion) that could get her the key.  Ariel made him a little crown that looked like hers out of coral (again, all Ruth) and gave it to him as a gift, and the snake got the sailor's keys off his belt and unlocked the cage so she could swim home.

I was pretty happy with how things went.  We played for all of about ten minutes, but Ruth seemed to have fun, and I was actually impressed with how creative she was.  And while I offered to play without the dice, she really wanted to use them, and with my help and Melissa's was able to mostly get the hang of finding all the ones with 1-3 on them and tossing them, then counting up the green and red ones (I have plenty of those, but not as many B/W) that were left.

I look forward to trying it again with her!  Then, maybe Apocalypse World.

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