Thursday, January 19, 2012

And My Plan Would Have Worked If It Wasn't For Those Meddling Kids...

Having finally returned to RPGs last year I have to say that I'm having a blast with it.  In fact my wife has even joined our Pathfinder game and now my daughter has asked to play as well.  The question is which game to play.  I've actually been thinking about bringing the family into gaming for a while and I've been looking for games besides the typical mainstream ones that we might have fun with.  I've managed to find a few so far and I wanted to share my thoughts on them.  This week we're going to look at one for all the Scooby Doo fans out there.


Meddling Kids was released in 2004 by Pandahead Productions as an introductory role playing game and I have to say that they've done a good job with it.  The mechanics are simple enough for anyone to grasp quickly and the writing is very well done for an intro to the hobby.  It breaks it all down into simple concepts and explains everything from character generation to skill challenges to experience points clearly and concisely.

Basically the game revolves around a group of kids investigating some mysterious goings on in their hometown.  In addition to running the game, the GM also controls their own character called the wild card who is part of the group and also helps with the investigation (basically the Scooby Doo for the gang).  The resolution mechanics revolve around rolling 3d6 plus the relevant stat and any modifiers from abilities either against a target number set by the GM or your opponents roll for opposed tests.  The rules also include a very thorough list of examples for all the target numbers making it easy for even the newest GM to pick a reasonable number.

A sample investigation with pre-generated characters is also included to give you an idea how to set up and adventure but I have to say that this is the weakest part of this product.  The overall impression that I got from the game is that the players are trying to solve mysteries involving monster in the vein of Scooby Doo (meaning its really just some guy in a mask) but the sample adventure ultimately focuses on the origin of Captain Bingo, the groups possessed chimp.  Yeah, I said possessed chimp.  I suppose its not really a big deal but it just doesn't seem to fit with the overall feel that they were trying to get so it just seems awkward.

Even with this drawback I still think that the game overall is nice gateway for players and GMs just getting into the hobby.  As far as where to get it, the PDF is currently available from DriveThruRPG.com and there is also a Kindle version of the rules available from Amazon.com.

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