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Designing a setting for Young PCs

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  • Designing a setting for Young PCs

    So I'm tinkering with a setting where the PCs are street kids in a post WWII city where strange occurrences are common and ignored. It's supposed to be a horror setting in which kids are targeted by both natural and supernatural threats. I'm trying to figure out some setting rules to really nail the atmosphere. Here are the ones I have so far:

    Hard Knock Life
    Your ankle biter is an orphan, or at the very least, has extremely neglectful guardians. Surviving is hard and money goes fast. Every character starts with the Poverty Hindrance for no additional points.

    “I Didn’t See Anything”
    Most adults have the Doubting Thomas Hindrance and will generally disregard what the kids say and only notice the supernatural when it’s staring them in the face. Even then, they will usually find a way to explain it away later, mass hallucinations, swamp gas, or food poisoning etc. etc.

    Kid Stuff
    Kids are naturally sneaky, they start with a free d6 in Stealth. They also start with an additional Bennie.

    Nasty Kickback
    Firearms are generally too expensive for kids. And they have a decent chance of getting into a lot of trouble if they’re caught with one. Even worse, guns aren’t designed for kids. Their size and recoil make it difficult for children to use them effectively. Any child suffers a -2 when using a firearm.

    Small Frames
    All kids have a -1 applied to their Toughness.

    Suggested Core setting rules are Gritty Damage and Critical Failures.

    I would love people's input on these rules or suggestions of other rules, existing or new.

    Edit: I updated the rules based on feedback here and other places.
    Last edited by Brickulos; 08-21-2017, 01:20 PM.

  • #2
    Take the "adults are Doubting Thomas" out of Kid Stuff and put it in its own ruling

    Better Dead Than Red
    Adults are more worried about Communism than the fantasy stories of kids. They are treated as having the Doubting Thomas Hindrance and will often blame strange stuff on Communist plotting. This can also lead to the adults "protecting" the kids by trying to prevent them from getting involved in adult matters. This results in interference in the efforts of the kids in resolving any supernatural issues.
    I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.

    Comment


    • Brickulos
      Brickulos commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm not terribly interested in the Cold War angle but you're right, it should be its own entry.

  • #3
    Since all the characters are going to be kids, that should be considered the base rather than have everyone take Young. I would have Young or a rough equivalent be taken for someone who wants to play a tagalong younger sibling. Most of the time, I imagine it won't be necessary to provide stats for adults.
    You're rational, sir. It's only us crazy people who get to swap out realities on a whim.

    Comment


    • Brickulos
      Brickulos commented
      Editing a comment
      So do you mean they should get full Attribute points?

    • Ilina_Young
      Ilina_Young commented
      Editing a comment
      yes. full attribute points and full skill points. the idea is the children are the baseline rather than the adults. you just give the NPC adults +1 additional size rating and maybe +1 die in the relevant skills that the adult in question specifically uses in their day to day life. so if Children are Size +0. Normal Adults, Child Athletes and School Bullies are Size +1. and Adult Athletes are Size +2. you can use small for tagalong young siblings at size -1 if they are a much smaller younger sibling.

    • Jounichi
      Jounichi commented
      Editing a comment
      I disagree with adding +1 Toughness to all other creatures because it throws off the math and forces more work for the GM. It may not seem like much, but it's far easier to say "all PCs are children with -1 Toughness" than it is to give literally every other creature +1 Toughness.

  • #4
    I would definitely give them full Attribute points. Just give adults (and monsters, as appropriate) extra. The point is that it's relative to the game's baseline, so if everyone is Young (or has Poverty), it doesn't really mean anything.

    Comment


    • Ilina_Young
      Ilina_Young commented
      Editing a comment
      just reduce the starting funds.there is more to poverty than reduced starting funds, you don't have to stick with the 500 dollar rule. in fact, you would be better off restricting what gear a child can select off the bat without a darn good reason. so that you don't end up with kids running around with desert eagles.

    • Brickulos
      Brickulos commented
      Editing a comment
      That is certainly one way to handle it. And I am reducing starting funds, after all a dollar went much further back then. But, I like the idea of the kids having to actively having to support themselves via the Poverty Hindrance.

    • Ilina_Young
      Ilina_Young commented
      Editing a comment
      you don't need the poverty hindrance to require the kids to actively support themselves. just give them less money for working, you don't need a special hindrance for that. just give them the wages any entry level position would make in your world. because most children would probably do entry level labor at best. probably enough money to survive on.

  • #5
    I can see the debate on using Poverty go either way:

    For: Children are generally careless, clumsy, and frivolous. More importantly, they don't have jobs (though historically, children were used as laborers in this era, so there's that ). Money, when obtained, is often missplaced, lost or spend frivolously on things like candy, gaudy outfits, toys, cartoons/cinema, etc.

    Opposed: This can also just simply be part of the setting. In other words, poor is the norm. Lower the starting funds for everyone and limit the opportunities the PCs have to earn/acquire cash. When they do get paid it is hardly honest pay (they're just kids after all). This approach also eliminates the need to adjust income levels every game week.
    Last edited by Deskepticon; 08-11-2017, 11:58 PM.

    Comment


    • Brickulos
      Brickulos commented
      Editing a comment
      I basically lifted this wholesale from Deadlands Noir, and it has more to dp with these kids being desperate and neglected.

  • #6
    There is (IMHO), an excellent supplement for World of Darkness called Innocents with pretty much the same base idea. (PCs playing kids in an horror setting) Like it was mentionned by others, they were created by the same rules as adults, with the exact same number of points. However, adults (and the appropriate size monsters) had bonuses against kid instead except for specific sitations. I recommend getting your hand on the book if you want ideas as well.

    My take would be this:

    Kid Stuff
    All PCs are kids, but are built using the standard method. Young is still a possible hindrance, but represent a very young character (4 to7 years old) instead. Life isn't fair for the PCs, however. Every time they make a Trait or damage roll against adults (or monstrous equivalent), they suffer a penalty of -2. The only exceptions are stealth rolls, which are made at no penalty.

    Comment


    • #7
      I have updated the Setting Rules

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