Here's the situation: the boys at the school club have been setting up and playing a fantasy-genre game using the Imagine RPG. Over the past few weeks, as a player, I've been taking part in the entertaining efforts of our newbie GM. As a reward, he has attracted a total of three new players to his campaign, taking the table total (including me) to seven.
At the same time, I've noticed at least three girls at the school (all of whom I teach) who are deeply into storytelling and who are very creative. Unwilling to try mixing up with the boys group, I am wondering if the girls might enjoy things more if we pull together an all-girl newbie group alongside the regulars.
Enter the conundrum: how do you set up a cool roleplaying experience for three (perhaps more) 11-13 year old teenage girls?
Enter Fate Accelerated... For Girls.
Fate is a very flexible storytelling game which has had a big make-over via Kickstarter. It's a fast-paced, adaptable, and easy-to-learn system for modelling... well, anything dramatic.
Fate Accelerated is Fate Core minus around 250 pages. It's super-lite, quick to grab and play, and designed for newcomers. What really appeals more, however, is that it's capable of handling pretty much any idea that's thrown at it... and it can do so while beginners do their learning piecemeal.
Fate can handle characters created in a few minutes using just two short phrases and six values. Come up with a High Concept and a Trouble for your hero: what are they all about and why do they end up in hot water? Order your six Approaches (how you do stuff) from Good down to Mediocre. You're set.
As you play, you are invited to add in two more Aspects (those short phrases that define your hero) and choose a Stunt (something cool that gives you a bonus). These can arise naturally from the story you're telling, so players get to choose them as they feel they've discovered something new about their character.
Fate is intuitive, simple, and allows details to emerge from play.
The issue for me is that I'm trying to game with three (or more) newbie girls. Never one to wish to sound prejudiced about gender, I'm going to admit one thing: it's slightly daunting to know what to offer.
Chatting on G+ yesterday was interesting: male players make similar assumptions about girls. These include the belief that girls will downplay violence, want to be more collaborative, and seek to play feisty Princesses. Hmm.
All I know for sure is that these girls already enjoy adventure stories. They are readers of fiction. What I am hoping is that the love for stories will translate into a love for storytelling.
To be honest, I think that the best approach will be to go with a blank sheet of paper and ask them what kind of stories they enjoy. From there, through a discussion, we should be able to begin to create some characters and a setting. It'll be down to me as GM to improvise the rest.
Bailing On The Boys?
Well, not exactly. Certainly, if this project gets any traction, I'll be dipping out of the boys' campaign. But I'll be sitting around 2 metres away in the same room, gaming with another group. That makes me accessible for their inevitable queries and interruptions.
In truth, what I've been seeking to do is take a group of players into the hobby and make them independent. Right now, with their own budding GM, the lads are starting to fly. One session without me certainly won't hurt. If the ladies like playing, which I hope they will, it's no big deal to have me drop aside longer term.
To be honest, I think the boys will actually enjoy the freedom to play.
Labels: Fate, GMing, review, settings