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Dynamic duos

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  • Icosahedrophilia
    Dear friends, Most of the published adventures for ICONS assume a team of four or five PCs, and require notable revisions to work well with smaller groups. In
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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      Dear friends,

      Most of the published adventures for ICONS assume a team of four or five PCs, and require notable revisions to work well with smaller groups. In my case, though, my players are my two sons (ages 8 and 13). Can you suggest plot ideas and other techniques for making ICONS a great game for a dynamic duo?

      Chris

      Chris Heard
      Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
      http://drchris.me/d20
    • Soylent Green
      Murder of Crowes probably works best for 2 maybe 3 players. To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com From: d20@drchris.me Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 12:35:01 -0700 Subject:
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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        "Murder of Crowes" probably works best for 2 maybe 3 players. 


        To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
        From: d20@...
        Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 12:35:01 -0700
        Subject: [icons-rpg] Dynamic duos

         
        Dear friends,

        Most of the published adventures for ICONS assume a team of four or five PCs, and require notable revisions to work well with smaller groups. In my case, though, my players are my two sons (ages 8 and 13). Can you suggest plot ideas and other techniques for making ICONS a great game for a dynamic duo?

        Chris

        Chris Heard
        Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
        http://drchris.me/d20


      • Icosahedrophilia
        ... I ve purchased this adventure, but it seems like it might be disturbing for my 7-year-old. Based on your experience, is that a legitimate concern, or
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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          On Aug 24, 2011, at 1:12 PM, Soylent Green wrote:
          > "Murder of Crowes" probably works best for 2 maybe 3 players.

          I've purchased this adventure, but it seems like it might be disturbing for my 7-year-old. Based on your experience, is that a legitimate concern, or inaccurate?

          Chris

          Chris Heard
          Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
          http://drchris.me/d20
        • Dr. Nuncheon
          ... Duos are a lot of fun! My favorite D&D game was a duo. You get a lot more screen time for each player but you are less likely to get lockup when they
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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            On Aug 24, 2011, at 3:35 PM, Icosahedrophilia <d20@...> wrote:

            > Dear friends,
            >
            > Most of the published adventures for ICONS assume a team of four or five PCs, and require notable revisions to work well with smaller groups. In my case, though, my players are my two sons (ages 8 and 13). Can you suggest plot ideas and other techniques for making ICONS a great game for a dynamic duo?

            Duos are a lot of fun! My favorite D&D game was a duo. You get a lot more screen time for each player but you are less likely to get lockup when they can't figure out what to do (oddly, a problem with both solo & larger groups)

            As for suggestions, I'd like to get a quick overview of the two characters—and the players—before offering too many ideas, but:

            * Play to their separate strengths. There's a reason these two teamed up. Give them some things that only one of them can do, and some things they need to cooperate to do.
            * Play to their shared strengths too. If they are both melee-focused, make sure there are lots of hand-to-hand fights. (Hordes of ninjas are always popular.)

            This last one I would use for mature adults—up to you if you think your kids can handle it constructively: put a wedge between them, too. It could be differing motives or methods for crimefighting, it could be relationships, anything that would provide a source of tension that opposes their team. It makes for good stories, especially if they have to overcome that to defeat their foe.
          • Tim K.
            ... Depending on their powers, it is a good idea to build adventure that challenge (but don t overwhelm) those abilities. Built up a bit. Thugs to face they
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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              On 8/24/2011 2:35 PM, Icosahedrophilia wrote:
              > Dear friends,
              >
              > Most of the published adventures for ICONS assume a team of four or five PCs, and require notable revisions to work well with smaller groups. In my case, though, my players are my two sons (ages 8 and 13). Can you suggest plot ideas and other techniques for making ICONS a great game for a dynamic duo?
              >
              > Chris
              >
              > Chris Heard
              > Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
              > http://drchris.me/d20
              >
              >


              Depending on their powers, it is a good idea to build adventure that
              challenge (but don't overwhelm) those abilities. Built up a bit.

              Thugs to face they can win against with ease, tougher challenges with
              the thugs leaders, on up to the employing evil mastermind.

              Written adventures have to make some assumptions somewhere, and can't
              work well for every group.

              However, one of my longest running games was started for two of my more
              reliable gaming friends. (Although its been shelved for a few years now,
              due to life schedules, it has had a long and glorious life.)

              "Spider-Guys"

              The story is convoluted but the short version was, my friends were
              sitting around thumbing through my Marvel books and one of them said
              "Loki sucks!" Now Loki isn't going to take that lying down, so I turned
              the players themselves into characters for the game, in a long term game
              with Loki as one of the primary villains and other notable MU villains
              and some of my own.

              They each loved Spider-Man so I gave them variations of Spider-Man's
              powers (One of them could glide with under arm capes, one climbed walls
              with little "hooks" in his fingers, this game started long before
              Spider-Man 2099 by the way.)

              One of the things I found important is to give them people around them
              to help. These guys were teens when we started but older teens (now both
              in their 30's by the way.) However, when there aren't a lot of PC's to
              bounce tactics and ideas off of, I've found it is very useful to give
              them contacts, allies, and friends to interact with that may not be
              heroes, but can do things for them. Run chemical tests, call them when
              things go wrong and send them off to the adventure.

              In general it helps especially for a smaller team who may not have a lot
              of skills to cover all eventualities. With kids the age you've got, it
              will help, because they may not think of testing for chemical X, but can
              be helped into doing so by a friendly scientist, "Bring me some of the
              water, I need to test it!"

              Examine what they put on their character sheets. Decide what may come up
              in the adventure, and work around that. High Prowess? Fights, maybe
              against evil robots. Maybe someone calls them and wants to test out
              some combat gear or robot soldier against them. The adventure doesn't
              always need a strict bad guy, just to be entertaining. High Strength?
              Give them things to lift. Clear rubble after and Earthquake. Being that
              age, they may really love smacking down the bad guy, but a little bit of
              this side stuff can really build longer adventures that involve them
              more and that's the thing, with two players they're going to be
              interacting with the GM more than than a larger group, who interact with
              each other more. Keep things moving. With only two heroes the pace may
              slow as they struggle, but keep things happening so they will go through
              the "adventure."




              .
            • Soylent Green
              Yeah, it might be a bit too dark for a 7 year old.
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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                Yeah, it might be a bit too dark for a 7 year old.

                > To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                > From: d20@...
                > Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2011 13:23:02 -0700
                > Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Dynamic duos
                >
                > On Aug 24, 2011, at 1:12 PM, Soylent Green wrote:
                > > "Murder of Crowes" probably works best for 2 maybe 3 players.
                >
                > I've purchased this adventure, but it seems like it might be disturbing for my 7-year-old. Based on your experience, is that a legitimate concern, or inaccurate?
                >
                > Chris
                >
                > Chris Heard
                > Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
                > http://drchris.me/d20
                >
                >
                >
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              • John Dunn
                I m afraid it s terribly self-promotional, but I know at least one player had good luck using the Hope Prep scenarios for his kids (aged 8 - 18, if memory
                Message 7 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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                  I'm afraid it's terribly self-promotional, but I know at least one player had good luck using the Hope Prep scenarios for his kids (aged 8 - 18, if memory serves). It's a high school setting, so the adventures are more focused on the drama of being a teen than on knock-down drag out fights, but the fights are present as well. I'm not sure it's necessarily what you're looking for, but it might be a good fit. 

                  Also, we've run scenarios at cons for groups ranging in size from two to eight players, so I know the scenarios can work with a smaller number players.

                  -John
                • Icosahedrophilia
                  ... I was really attracted to this idea when I first saw the Hope Prep products, but my kids both insisted they wanted to play grown-ups. Chris Heard
                  Message 8 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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                    On Aug 24, 2011, at 2:24 PM, John Dunn wrote:
                     

                    I'm afraid it's terribly self-promotional, but I know at least one player had good luck using the Hope Prep scenarios for his kids (aged 8 - 18, if memory serves). It's a high school setting, so the adventures are more focused on the drama of being a teen than on knock-down drag out fights, but the fights are present as well. I'm not sure it's necessarily what you're looking for, but it might be a good fit. 

                    I was really attracted to this idea when I first saw the Hope Prep products, but my kids both insisted they wanted to play grown-ups.

                    Chris Heard
                    Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast

                  • jaerdaph
                    Hi Chris, I think it is *awesome* that you are playing ICONS with your kids and sharing your love of gaming! I ran the Adamant ICONS adventures The Skeletron
                    Message 9 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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                      Hi Chris,

                      I think it is *awesome* that you are playing ICONS with your kids and sharing your love of gaming! I ran the Adamant ICONS adventures The Skeletron Key, Sins of the Past, Jailbreak! and Danger in Dunsmouth for my two nephews (ages 8 and 11). What I did was add one or two NPC supers from the Hero Packs as "guest stars". Since I was running those characters, it was easy for me to "hold back" to let their PCs shine, and "jump in" when they really needed the extra muscle or brainpower. Yeah, I know everyone hates GM PCs, but with the kids I have found sometimes they can be very useful as in-game help.

                      I did skip Murder of Crowes though. :)

                      jaerdaph


                      --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Icosahedrophilia <d20@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Dear friends,
                      >
                      > Most of the published adventures for ICONS assume a team of four or five PCs, and require notable revisions to work well with smaller groups. In my case, though, my players are my two sons (ages 8 and 13). Can you suggest plot ideas and other techniques for making ICONS a great game for a dynamic duo?
                      >
                      > Chris
                      >
                      > Chris Heard
                      > Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
                      > http://drchris.me/d20
                      >
                    • John Post
                      Murder of Crow Spoilers Follow I ve purchased this adventure, but it seems like it might be disturbing for my 7-year-old. Based on your experience, is that a
                      Message 10 of 13 , Aug 24, 2011
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                        Murder of Crow Spoilers Follow
                        I've purchased this adventure, but it seems like it might be disturbing for my 7-year-old. Based on your experience, is that a legitimate concern, or inaccurate?

                        Chris
                        My son is younger than yours, but I think you could modify the premises a bit to gloss over the touchy part.  Instead of having Crowe die and being found on the scarecrow frame, have him be a missing person.  If he pulled a Obi Wan and poofed instead of leaving his corpse behind, then you could play it as a transformation to a non-corporeal being rather than a becoming a ghost after his murder/manslaughter.  

                         
                        John Post
                        ___________________________________________
                        "We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: the
                        stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases,
                        while the citizens may act only by permission; which is the stage
                        of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute
                        force." - Ayn Rand


                      • John McMullen
                        My own son will sometimes play, but he has no interest in playing a kid or a teenager: the character has to be an adult. We started with El Diablo (from
                        Message 11 of 13 , Aug 29, 2011
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                          My own son will sometimes play, but he has no interest in playing a kid or a teenager: the character has to be an adult.

                          We started with El Diablo (from Freedom Force) and since we saw X-Men: First Class, he wants to be someone with the powers of both Sonic and Magneto. So I've built that.

                          I have played with him and his friends, and none of them want to be less than adults. The characters may be adults, but the situations are scaled down.
                           
                          John McMullen (Young old coot)
                          jhmcmullen@...

                          From: Icosahedrophilia <d20@...>
                          To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 5:25 PM
                          Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Dynamic duos



                          On Aug 24, 2011, at 2:24 PM, John Dunn wrote:
                           
                          I'm afraid it's terribly self-promotional, but I know at least one player had good luck using the Hope Prep scenarios for his kids (aged 8 - 18, if memory serves). It's a high school setting, so the adventures are more focused on the drama of being a teen than on knock-down drag out fights, but the fights are present as well. I'm not sure it's necessarily what you're looking for, but it might be a good fit. 
                          I was really attracted to this idea when I first saw the Hope Prep products, but my kids both insisted they wanted to play grown-ups.

                          Chris Heard
                          Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast





                        • John Dunn
                          In all fairness -- I probably wouldn t have wanted to play a kid when I was a teen either. Now, it s retro. -John
                          Message 12 of 13 , Aug 29, 2011
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                            In all fairness -- I probably wouldn't have wanted to play a kid when I was a teen either. Now, it's retro.

                            -John

                            On Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 4:05 PM, John McMullen <jhmcmullen@...> wrote:
                             

                            My own son will sometimes play, but he has no interest in playing a kid or a teenager: the character has to be an adult.

                            We started with El Diablo (from Freedom Force) and since we saw X-Men: First Class, he wants to be someone with the powers of both Sonic and Magneto. So I've built that.

                            I have played with him and his friends, and none of them want to be less than adults. The characters may be adults, but the situations are scaled down.
                             
                            John McMullen (Young old coot)
                            jhmcmullen@...

                            From: Icosahedrophilia <d20@...>
                            To: icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Wednesday, August 24, 2011 5:25 PM
                            Subject: Re: [icons-rpg] Dynamic duos



                            On Aug 24, 2011, at 2:24 PM, John Dunn wrote:
                             
                            I'm afraid it's terribly self-promotional, but I know at least one player had good luck using the Hope Prep scenarios for his kids (aged 8 - 18, if memory serves). It's a high school setting, so the adventures are more focused on the drama of being a teen than on knock-down drag out fights, but the fights are present as well. I'm not sure it's necessarily what you're looking for, but it might be a good fit. 
                            I was really attracted to this idea when I first saw the Hope Prep products, but my kids both insisted they wanted to play grown-ups.

                            Chris Heard
                            Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast






                          • John McMullen
                            Duh--I can t believe I didn t think of this way back when. The three loosely-connected adventures in *Smalltown Hero might do. I put ICONS characters on the
                            Message 13 of 13 , Nov 10, 2011
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                              Duh--I can't believe I didn't think of this way back when.

                              The three loosely-connected adventures in *Smalltown Hero" might do. I put ICONS characters on the wiki, and you'll have to dial back the lethality on the last adventure, but it will do. (in other words, swords have to do comic book damage, not real damage.)

                              I've played the first two plot lines with my son and his friend.

                              --- In icons-rpg@yahoogroups.com, Icosahedrophilia <d20@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > Dear friends,
                              >
                              > Most of the published adventures for ICONS assume a team of four or five PCs, and require notable revisions to work well with smaller groups. In my case, though, my players are my two sons (ages 8 and 13). Can you suggest plot ideas and other techniques for making ICONS a great game for a dynamic duo?
                              >
                              > Chris
                              >
                              > Chris Heard
                              > Icosahedrophilia Blog and Podcast
                              > http://drchris.me/d20
                              >
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