Gamer Life General Discussion

Mine are evil.

We've had a game going for half a year, but recently nothing's been happening. They're girls, all three of them, ages 12, 10, and 7, and role-playing nothing but "shopping" is fine with them. Even that went south, though, when an altercation broke out in a weapons shop and the shopkeeper took down Ol' Bessie to deal with them. One of the PCs put him down with a sleep spell, then they talked the 7 yr old - the one who always tries to stay out of fights - to coups de grace him. She chose to do it with a knife to the throat (I was shocked by this announcement). Then when the city guards came calling, she covered their retreat with a summoned fire elemental. We had a long talk after that about ethics, and their characters have been hiding out ever since for fear of the consequences.

So it's gotten kind of slow and they asked me to help them speed things along. I decided that in this case, a little railroading might go a long way. They were separated when we last left off, so I wrote them separate little vignettes to connect their current situation to the beginning of a new adventure, as well as to reunite them. One of them was approached by a shady character accompanied by city watchmen. He offered to have the city drop the charges of attempted murder (the coups de grace failed, and help arrived before they could finish the shopkeeper off). He told them of a legendary treasure belonging to a queen of a city believed to be buried beneath the one they are in. If they bring back proof of the treasure and a map to get to it, they can go free. They are free to roam about the city in the meantime, but they will be shot on sight if they try to leave.

When asked what their share of the spoils would be, he said, "Zero percent." He told them they're lucky not to get the chopping block for what they did.

We read these little vignettes at the dinner table tonight, and here were their reactions:

Middle child: "Zero percent?! Zero?! I am so going to kill him."

Oldest: "Yeah, but after we keep the deal, so we can leave the city."

Middle: "Yeah. He didn't say we couldn't kill him after we keep up our end of the bargain."

Oldest: "Right! We find the treasure, we tell him where it is, then we kill him. And we keep the treasure and anything else we find along the way."

Youngest: "Daddy, one problem. None of that happened." (She meant, what I wrote didn't happen when we played last time. She was unclear about the purpose of the vignettes.)

Hmm, methinks our ethics conversation didn't sink in.

Liberty's Edge

All children go through a chaotic evil phase. Don't worry.

i went through that phase too. i just ended up 'neutral creepy' shortly afterwards and haven't changed alignments at all during adulthood.

'nuetral creepy' is a variant alignment in the 'advanced game master's guide to variant alignments' said to come out December 2013. alongside 'lawful stupid' 'chaotic stupid' 'stupid good' 'stupid evil' 'chaotic wierd' 'lawful homicidal' 'chaotic greedy' and 'bloodthirsty good'.

I've played with enough kids to know that they see the game in a very cartoonish way. Killing is par for the course, so it's only natural that they see it as a solution to problems without the foresight to consider consequences. After all, it worked when they slaughtered the goblin raiders and were hailed as heroes for doing so.

Remind them that they might be able to find some useful items they can pass off as something they had all along, and no one would be the wiser. They're getting a reprieve for their bad behavior, so they should be grateful, if they want to keep shopping.

It's amusing that they talked the youngest into doing the dirty deed! XD

I love shady npcs...... always tending to screw parties ov evil players. mwahahahahaha

The Exchange

Sounds like they're having fun again. They have a little adventure and a murder to look forward to.

Lol, I had a friend in one of my groups along time ago play with his youngins. Something like this also happened and I remember him and his Missus telling me the stories and the little devilkins just giggling and snickering.

I looked at him and just said: "Guess you don't skimp on presents at XMas and BDays do ya?"

His wife cracked up and mentioned 'boobytrapping their bedroom door so the know when the little heathens come into the room while their sleeping! He just smiled, shook his head and mentioned something about his parents getting even with him or some such thing.

Good luck with the gaming. I haven't gamed with any young kids in a LONG time so I both envy you and wish you good luck!

Family that Plunders together stays together?

I also pity the boy that first wrongs The Sisterhood!!!

Have Fun out there!!!

~ W ~

Sovereign Court

Lvl 12 Procrastinator wrote:

Mine are evil.


Middle child: "Zero percent?! Zero?! I am so going to kill him."

Oldest: ...

How do we reinforce morality in the real world? Lawfully and Socially.

They've felt the effects of the law, now it's time for the social impact.

Make sure your PCs have an opportunity to befriend members of the community, even allow for some hand-holding and romantic letter-writing from a local noble's son.
Give them a friendly baker who lets them have cheap cakes after they returned her stolen flour (a great excuse to have real cakes as a real reward for in game heroics), give them a local fisherman who tells tall stories and can identify unusual items, give them a town mayor who invites them to his parties.

This will make for cool roleplaying and tie them to the community.

Then, when they kill the local government guy and his guards, have these characters turn against them - they're no longer welcome in the bakery, the noble sends a meesenger to formally withdraw their standing invitation to his parties, the fisherman gives them a hard-eyed look and makes it clear that they're: "Not welcome round here no more, not with what they did to old Thadeus." The romances are destroyed: "How could I have loved you, trusted you, cared about you. You monster!" and friendships broken.

Eventually, after the wake, have the local community form a lynch mob and drive them out of town. Put their old friends at the head of the mob.

If I can draw an analogy - organised crime thrives in communities where the law is not concensual, where it exists in a vacuum, laws a re legitimated and reinforced by community acceptance of the values they represent.

If you want your players to see that crime is bad then give them NPCs they care about who create a sense of a society in which killing is bad.

Lvl 12 Procrastinator wrote:

Mine are evil.

. . . They're girls, all three of them, ages 12, 10, and 7. . . .

'Nuff said.

I'll take boys any day. They just break stuff. Pencils, remote controls, DVD players, their bones . . . .

Dark Archive

This thread is made of awesome...I'm longing for the day I'll have kids of my own to corru...raise :)

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Since I'm dropping off a Battletech boxed set this weekend and will be getting Pathfinder basic for the Godkids when it comes out... taking notes.

Liberty's Edge

Kids are generally extraordinarily ruthless, and not particularly squeamish.

Seems like a game is a nice, harmless outlet, to me.

GeraintElberion wrote:
...excellent ideas about social pressure...

I like this! Not sure why I didn't think of it...

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:

i went through that phase too. i just ended up 'neutral creepy' shortly afterwards and haven't changed alignments at all during adulthood.

'nuetral creepy' is a variant alignment in the 'advanced game master's guide to variant alignments' said to come out December 2013. alongside 'lawful stupid' 'chaotic stupid' 'stupid good' 'stupid evil' 'chaotic wierd' 'lawful homicidal' 'chaotic greedy' and 'bloodthirsty good'.

You forgot "neutral hungry" which I use to describe all those carnivorous beasts that aren't evil.

My hats off to you for letting your kids RP. Me personally, I won't encourage, or allow (if asked about it), my own kids to RP until they hit mid-ish teen years 14 or so.

Lvl 12 Procrastinator wrote:
Lots of stuff that could be seen as supporting the doctrine of Original Sin (that we all are born sinful and in need of salvation).

The dialogue you quote from your girls could have been lifted verbatim from my table, where my two girls play.

Kids are not the sweetness and light innocents some people romantically believe. In fact, in general, they quite naturally lie, cheat and steal of their own free will when they see an advantage in it. In contrast, they generally have to be taught to do the right thing, particularly if doing that right thing comes at personal cost.

I love the fact that you had a talk about ethics and the game with them. You're right that they probably didn't and might not be able to absorb it completely (particularly the 7-year old), but I think they can if you keep repeating your message. PF/D&D, run with care, can even be an effective teaching tool for kids. I know with mine it has ignited a passion for reading something beyond kids fiction, expanded their vocabulary (though I'm not sure nowing what a catoblepas is will help them that much in life), and yes, taught them some fantasy world lessons about consequences that can translate into the real world.

I also fully back GeraintElberion's ideas for showing them the consequences of their actions. Other examples I could throw out there to held mold their impressionable little minds in more socially acceptable directions:
-- Make townspeople react to them according to their current reputation.
-- If they kill someone unjustly, show them the consequences of widows and orphans (the orphan bit really hits kids where they feel it, so careful not to overdo and leave the 7-year old crying).
-- If they act heroically, reward them with praise and attention from important NPCs. Most kids thrive on praise and want people to like them.
-- Try and keep the world as real and immersive as you can for them, with NPCs that they can see as real human beings. They are less likely to treat them as cartoons or collections of stats if they have engaging personalities.

One final thing - I wouldn't personally allow kids to play evil characters (full disclosure - I usually don't allow anyone to play an evil character in games I'm running - just not fun for me, ased on long experience). While there are people who claim that playing evil characters or violent games glorifying criminal behavior like Grand Theft Auto is cathartic and beneficial, there really isn't much good research to back that claim. To the contrary, there is a growing amount of research showing that exposure to excessive violence and anti-social behavior in games can have a desensitizing effect on kids. Before everyone jumps all over me, I'm not saying that playing GTA or a CE necromancer is going to turn little Johnny into a serial killer. I don't believe that and it's definitely not that simple. What I do believe, and I believe the research supports it, is that for vulnerable kids who already have other problems like broken homes, mental illness or substance abuse, acting out evil in a game can be damaging rather than cathartic.

I have been running a D&D group after schools for Grade 6 kids for the past 5 years or so. It is amazing to encounter the different dynamics between the groups from year to year. One year, I had a gang of `thinkers`. They preceded every encounter with a lengthy talk about who will say what, what spells will be prepped, what they will do if it doesn`t work, etc. It took us the whole year to do just three adventures, but man did they have fun.

Another year saw my `hackers `n`slashers` I called these guys my `videogame`group. They were all about buffing characters. I basically ended up with a group of `tanks`, but boy did I set up some epic battles for them. Their last battle incorporated a couple of MacFarlane Dragons I had purchased for just that occasion.

Then we had my `bookworms`. These guys delved intot he rulebooks with gusto. And once they heard about prestige classes, they were off to the races, planning, modifying, predicting what feats and skills they would need. Some of the rulebooks I had not even cracked open got a good working over that year.

This year, I have a great combination of personalities. These guys are all about balance. Their party consists of a ranger-druid, a paladin, a fighter, a barbarian, a rogue, and a beguiler. When magic items show up, they don`t clamber for `dibs`. They honestly discuss who would best benefit from the item. Right now, they are about to explore the ruins of Rhest in the Red Hand of Doom campaign.

I have had a blast with every group, and it has never ceased to amaze me the capacity some of these 10-11 year olds have for imagination, ingenuity, and excitement over à bunch of books`!

Good gaming

Sounds like your average gamers. What was the problem again? :)

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