Hero Kids

Escape from the Ghost Pirates

Last night we played again (by flashlights and candles for a good bit of it since the power was out). They decided they wanted to walk down to the beach and fill their canteens at the river. I gave them the option of walking through the dark forest (which Kai’s knowledge check told him was infested with bats) or walking the other path, which their friend Aeon Mageblood, who owns the shop, told them had a nasty cobra guarding it. They opted for the woods and I did a brief bat encounter in a clearing that had a mysterious pool. They opted not to drink from it and journeyed on to the river. (I had hoped to have it make them unconscious so they could start locked up on the pirate ship). They headed to the shore and filled their canteens before noticing the large pirate ship in the harbor. They could hear the cries for help from people in the hold. Kira decided to try dragging a log to the shore to float out to the boat, but she failed her strength check and it was too heavy to move. Scrambling a little bit here trying to figure out how to get them locked up in the ship and as they stood there thinking of what to try next to get to the ship, I had a pirate on shore sneak up behind them and knock them out, awakening in the cells in the bottom of the ship, starting the actual written adventure from that point. I know, I haven’t done a great job so far, but I feel like I got better at this as the night went on.

They squeezed through the bars and realized that Roger, Maeve (Roger’s Mom), and their new friend Aeon Mageblood were all locked up. They are very excited to go to Aeon’s store sometime, but obviously now isn’t really the time. They fight their way through the hordes of pirates. Kai decides to hide in one of the barrels, which I tell him means the pirates can’t see him, but he can only attack with one die because it smells like fish in there and he can’t see very well. They head to the top of the ship and encounter the skeleton/ghost pirates, fighting their way through there as well. Kira smacks one with her axe and I remind her of her knockback ability. I say “okay, you can move that skeleton four spaces”. She moves it three spaces towards the railing of the ship, pauses, moves it one more over the railing, then looks up at me and says “I almost knocked him into the water!” and I say, “um, you did knock him into the water, that’s the ship railing there”. Her eyes lit up and she proceeded to knock many more skeletons over the railing in future turns. I’ve been impressed with the game itself to handle situations like that with a VERY simple rule structure. Kai getting to autokill the 1-health rats in the last scenario with his zap attack and Kira getting to knock the skeletons into the water were some really great memorable moments for them.

Kai was a little scared of the skeletons and opted to hop into a barrel again immediately. He chose one directly adjacent to a skeleton and he has no sneaking or dexterity skills. I told him to roll a single die and see if he got a 6. He did! I told him somehow the skeleton didn’t see him hop into the barrel right next to him. Also, these barrels are holding treasure, unlike the ones below deck which just smelled like fish, and I gave him a coin. Kira immediately picks up on what is happening and starts searching the other barrels, leaving Erin to hold off the skeletons by herself. She gets pounded pretty hard and eventually the kids have to spend some healing potions reviving her. It was a learning moment for them and they decided next time they would wait to look for treasure until AFTER the bad guys are defeated.

Erin figures out she can throw the cannonballs for an extra die on her ranged attacks and starts doing that. They all enjoyed the visual I gave them of the cannonball knocking the skeleton’s head off over the railing and splashing it into the water. They eventually met the pirate captain whom they defeated, but of course he immediately respawned as a ghost pirate captain. At which point Erin gave me the “you know it’s 20 minutes past bedtime, right?” Look, it happens. I ended up not having the ghost pirate be able to raise the dead skeletons like he was supposed to, both for time’s sake and because it would have resulted in a TPK. Letting skeletons get free attacks on you while you search for treasure is not a great plan. In the end, both Kira and Erin were knocked out and it was down to just Kai and the Ghost Captain who had one health left. Kai had 2 health, and I could have attacked from range, but opted for the melee attack so he could finish me off with his zap power, and him only at 1 health remaining. It worked great and was an exciting epic finish. They (even Erin) haven’t really been asking what all my abilities are, so it wasn’t very obvious that I had played sub-optimally. They freed everyone and wanted to immediately go back to town and go shopping and start adventuring again, but it was very much bedtime.

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Basement O Rats

We played our first game on Saturday and they loved it. Actually Erin loved it too. She did end up playing a character.

Kai isn’t quite 4 yet, but he did a really good job anyway. He had a skill that let him deal a wound to anyone who damaged him with a melee attack, which was super-useful against the swarms of 1-health rats. The first few times I wounded him he got really sad and started to pout until I reminded him of this ability and then he would get a sly grin and say “I zap him! HAHAHA!”

About midway through attacking the rats, Kira tried to talk to one. I did my best to sort of encourage that behavior, but these rats weren’t really sapient, plus they had just been beating on them for the last couple rooms, so I just had it hiss at her and not understand. Hopefully not too railroadey of me.

They did not end up going the optional way. They discussed it, but they passed their check showing them where the rat tracks led. They talked about splitting up even, but eventually decided to keep after the rats. Kira did talk about heading back down in to the caverns at some point though, so they may end up there again, who knows?

My favorite moment was actually at the very end, where they rescued Roger from the stinking rat hole and I described his dirty clothes and terrible smell and said the thing about him giving them a hug. Kai immediately responded with “I give him my gold!” I said “what? you want to give him your gold?” He said “yeah, because he needs to buy some new clothes. I was thinking about others before myself.” So I told him Roger was so grateful that his mom refilled all the healing potions for the whole party. That kid has a kind heart.

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