All comments appreciated.
Let’s make something like a pen-and-paper roleplaying game suitable for kids 5 and up.
Kids that age aren’t going to be good at the talky, thinky bits of roleplaying but can handle some simple combat. They (sample size: 1) may already pretend to battle with toys anyway, so this is simply adding some kind of structure to it.
In any game I run for adults with coherent powers of imagination, use of miniatures in combat is punishable by death. (Probably mine, as it means I’m not describing the situation well enough that it sticks in players’ heads.) Young kids are blessed with over-active imaginations, meaning that they won’t be able to keep the scene in their heads for long without forgetting or embellishing bits.
Right on cue: Lord of the Rings Lego. These will provide cheap, endlessly reconfigurable characters. Assuming one can buy the characters individually at some point (or you want the scenery to fight around).
Mechanics that Kids Already Know
Mechanics Joseph already knows (‘sup Pokemon):
- Hit Points
- Characters with various techniques that do different amounts of damage
- Elemental strengths/weaknesses
- Turn-based combat
- Levelling up
- Gear costs money
- Hidden treasure chests in the bottom of dungeons
Mechanics he might not know yet:
- Attacks having min/max ranges
- Initiative (higher speed => hit first)
- XP per kill
- Money per kill
…there will be more beer! And then I will write rules!