Good scenarios to GM for a table of kids? (ages 9-14)


Pathfinder Society


Recently, my small local lodge has had an influx of kids come in and express an interest in PFS. Rather than try to integrate them into the tables with all the adults (and potentially running into some problems), I decided to step up and GM a separate kid's table. I like kids and I think it will be a fun challenge to test my storytelling chops.

My problem is that I am relatively new to PFS (though not to Pathfinder in general), so I don't know which scenarios are more child appropriate and which are not. I'd like some suggestions on scenarios that are:

1. Fairly PG rated.

2. Jump right into the action or have a simple, strong hook to get the kids engaged quickly.

3. Can preferably be run in a 3 hour time slot, rather than 4.

Any ideas?

I should also mention that I am looking for full scenarios, and not quests, Beginner Box demos, or the Kid's Track.

5/5 5/5 Venture-Captain, New Hampshire

We Be Goblins
We B4 Goblins

These are 2 of my personal favorites.

The Exchange 5/5

Jason Avery wrote:

We Be Goblins

We B4 Goblins

These are 2 of my personal favorites.

We Be Goblins - yes

We B4 Goblins - errr... not what I would suggest.

Liberty's Edge 3/5 5/5 *** Venture-Captain, Nebraska—Omaha

The Pathfinder Society Academy scenarios are specifically designed for that age group. Ran Angel's Flight (PSA 4) this last weekend at a CON and the new to PFS players had a great time playing it.

Dark Archive 4/5

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Speaking of goblins, Frostfur Captives is a fun one, as you're essentially herding goblins. Kids really love goblins, and all the We Be Goblins series are usually favorites with them.

Master of the Fallen Fortress is a fairly quick module (that only grants 1 XP) with lots of action, though you may have to adjust the beginning a little (as written, you're not a Pathfinder yet; I added an intro by VC Ambrus Valsin that incorporates the info in the beginning to make it a "real" mission). The only thing to watch out for with this one is that it can be a little deadly to an unprepared party, so you might want to have the VC inquire if they have some way to deal area effect damage.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

The three hour slot is what is going to make it hard. But, that being said, why not run them through a series of quests?

Silverhex Chronicles are pretty good, and I have heard excellent things from Phantom Phenominon. Don't know anything about this years' quests, thoguh.

This would give you, at least, 18 hours of play to teach the younglings how to play. The first two are playable with their own characters, as well!

4/5 *

You also don't need to finish in a three-hour slot. You can take two sessions to play through a scenario, and give them a lot of time to roleplay and get into their characters. Most (post-Season 4?) scenarios are actually designed for 5 hours, not 4, so it's a real crunch to do them in 3.

5/5 5/5

I agree that the three hour slot can make it more difficult to find something to fit and so I'd also suggest the quests in that they have some very clear break points where you could run over multiple sessions. Some of the Year 0 and Year 1 scenarios also tend to run fairly quickly with the removal of faction missions. I enjoyed Silent Tide and Mists of Mwangi. I also like Black Waters a lot, although I think that one may be a bit dark for younger kids and think I might give that one a PG-13 rating. I ran the Devil We Know series for a father and his two children and I think that they enjoyed it, but I am less sure that you can reliably run those in a shorter slot. Also, if the players all have their characters in order ahead of time, The Confirmation can easily run less than 3 hours and I think it is a very good introduction to PFS.

Liberty's Edge 3/5

I have 3 daughters and have been running some for the 2 oldest daughters and my spouse. The daughters playing are 6 and 11.

I find pretty much any scenario goes. The modifications I make are:

(1) No one ever kills anyone. Taking a cue from City of Heroes, you instead "send people to jail". Maybe if the youngest kid is 9, you don't have to make this substitution. On the other hand, their parents :D might like it better if you do.

(2) I have these plastic
smiling gnome characters
that I use frequently as miniatures whenever they are fighting an easy enemy. So if we have for example a big baddie surrounded by 4 minions, I use the gnomes for the minions.

(3) Try to downplay any gruesome events. Feel free to substitute having NPCs fart and/or tickle other NPCs (NOT the players and don't actually do it just say they do--this is probably obvious but it is the internet and I have to be obvious.) Even fairly old kids still like fart jokes. Again, even with older kids around 13-17, do you really (as an adult) want to be going over anything with a sexual theme...No...that is going to get you in jail. Also, do their parents really want you going over some bad torture scene, even if they are older teens? No, most parents would not. Either skim over it or make it overly campy and funny.

(4) Figure out what the kids like, and emphasize that. My 6 year old will spend hours taunting enemies. She'll say the most ridiculous things to them. It might differ with your group, but I find mine gets bored to tears with long skill checks. Instead, they want to roll the skill checks quickly and get on to something else.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

This may be of some help judging what is PG rated. Though it does appear to be in need of some updating.


Darrell Impey UK wrote:
This may be of some help judging what is PG rated. Though it does appear to be in need of some updating.

I'm confused. Is there a link missing?

Silver Crusade 2/5

Bryan Bloomer wrote:
Darrell Impey UK wrote:
This may be of some help judging what is PG rated. Though it does appear to be in need of some updating.
I'm confused. Is there a link missing?

The first word "This" is a link. It is blue, if you look carefully.


DesolateHarmony wrote:
Bryan Bloomer wrote:
Darrell Impey UK wrote:
This may be of some help judging what is PG rated. Though it does appear to be in need of some updating.
I'm confused. Is there a link missing?
The first word "This" is a link. It is blue, if you look carefully.

You are quite right! Colorblindedness - 1, me - 0.

Grand Lodge 2/5

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sorry. :(

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 * Venture-Captain, Netherlands

Jack Brown wrote:

The three hour slot is what is going to make it hard. But, that being said, why not run them through a series of quests?

Silverhex Chronicles are pretty good, and I have heard excellent things from Phantom Phenominon. Don't know anything about this years' quests, thoguh.

This would give you, at least, 18 hours of play to teach the younglings how to play. The first two are playable with their own characters, as well!

I second this. This year's quests are pregen only, but you can switch pregens between quests. If you start with this, they can get a feel for a lot of different classes. A quest is about an hour long, with usually a 'talky' encounter and a combat encounter, giving a little bit of everything for everyone.

Three quests a night, and you're all set.

Silverhex and Phantom phenomena are playable with their own characters. So if they had a taste for the different classes with the pregens, they can make their own. You could even dedicate the first hour of a session to making characters together. Then play two quests with their newly made characters. Then next session, you can dedicate some time to rebuilding if they found them not working as they thought.

The three sets of quests will keep you playing for six evenings. After that you will most likely know your players better, and can take a more carefull pick of scenarios, knowing what they like.

Liberty's Edge 4/5 5/5

Season 0 scenarios are often shorter than average, with relatively simple plots. Some of them do have more mature themes, however.

Off the top of my head, #1: Silent Tide, #5: Mists of Mwangi, and #13: The Prince of Augustana (EDIT: although I've just remembered this one does have some mild themes of drug use!) might fit well.

EDIT: I think #6–18: From Under Ice would also work well, especially if you skip the optional encounter so things don't run long.

Shadow Lodge 5/5

#8-06: Reaping What We Sow is now one of the better "light" adventures. It's campy fun that took us less than three hours to play; I'd suggest that one as well.

Dark Archive 4/5 5/55/5 *** Regional Venture-Coordinator, Midwest

To expand on what Tineke expanded on my post...

For new players, the idea of playing different characters each time is an interesting one. Gives them the chance to try a lot of new things... and possibly 18 different classes... yeah, I like that idea. All eighteen of the quests, without repeating a pregen (and pregens only). Heck, I'd be up for trying that myself as a player!

If only there was a little boon we could give out for players that did that. ;)

Scarab Sages 5/5 5/5 * Venture-Captain, Netherlands

Jack Brown wrote:

To expand on what Tineke expanded on my post...

For new players, the idea of playing different characters each time is an interesting one. Gives them the chance to try a lot of new things... and possibly 18 different classes... yeah, I like that idea. All eighteen of the quests, without repeating a pregen (and pregens only). Heck, I'd be up for trying that myself as a player!

If only there was a little boon we could give out for players that did that. ;)

Yeah. What Ive noticed with kids is that they have a rough idea of what they want, like play a martial or a magic user. But what the class would be, no idea. But they are eager to find the 'best' for them. Kids are generally more eager to try out different things then adults.


There's some free scenarios on the downloads site; I like the look of The Granny Drake for level 0 characters... also Check out "Hero Kids"

You can run the starter box set without killing (m)any goblins if you play the "lost item" for laughs with We Be Goblins voices etc...

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