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Old 09-10-2018, 11:21 AM   #1
JanMikal
 
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Location: St. Louis, MO
Default Young Character Adventure Seeds

I posted before that one of my players has created a child character (25ish pts) in order to 'grow' the character organically, so that when it gets to 100ish points, it's a fully fleshed, well-known character that has a solid, confirmed backstory. I, personally, think this is a great idea, as it would lend itself quite beautifully to RP, even though it takes some time.

However, I've run into a wall. Since this is a younger character (10-11ish), I am having trouble figuring out what to /do/ with them. Clearly, a 'go slay this generic monster' run is a bad idea since the character only has 1 point in a combat skill - knife - because she helps out at the local butcher shop on the regular. Likewise, mysteries are out (a lack of investigation skills) and so on. So, any idea on what this young character could get into to give them some adventuring experience? I'll write her out below so you can see what I'm dealing with.

ST 8 IQ 10 DX 9 HT 10

Half Elf
Extended Lifespan 1
Magery 0
+1 IQ (factored into stats)
Patron (Mother, 15 or less)
Animal Empathy
Outdoorsman/2
Ambidextrous
Attractive
Gifted Artist/1

Dead Broke
Social Stigma: Minor Child
Curious
Short Attention Span

Knife-9
Baking (Optional Cooking Specialty) -10
Climbing -10
Sewing -10
Hiking -10
Naturalist -10
Traps -9
Housekeeping -10
Livestock Handling -9
Area Knowledge -10
Painting -9

That's the character. She's from the Harkwood area of Caithness, in the Banestorm book (hence the elven influence). I thought about little 'chore' quests (help Old Lady Phyllis get rid of the gophers in her garden), but those are going to wear thin pretty quick, and I want this to be at least a little exciting for the player. 'Prove yourself to the grownups' quests could be interesting, but those could get a kid killed, if we're speaking realistically, and i don't want to fudge TOO many rolls to keep her alive.

So, help a GM out?
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:41 AM   #2
Andreas
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

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Originally Posted by JanMikal View Post
Likewise, mysteries are out (a lack of investigation skills) and so on.
It is very possible to do mysteries for characters with default skills. They just have to pile up more bonuses (or attempt easier tasks) to succeed reliably. This particular child even has average adult level IQ.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:44 AM   #3
Michele
 
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Location: Udine, Italy
Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

Peer competition, including the nasty sort (half-anything is likely to have its dislikers). That gives her opponents that aren't too powerful for her, but the confrontations, quarrels, enmities and dirty tricks can be entirely serious to the children involved.

"Prove yourself to the adults" might take place as a test (formal or informal). Again, in competition with NPCs of her same age. There will be precautions against real/lasting harm; the children might be aware of this, or not.

And a child who's entrusted with livestock at this TL is more likely not to know how to handle a knife, but she'll be very used to throwing stones or using a sling. Part of the job is to keep wild dogs, jackals, or worse away from the sheep/goats/other livestock. That can be challenging if the dogs are numerous/very hungry, or if there's worse (wolves). Throwing stones is standard practice for dealing with other dangers too.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:49 AM   #4
zoncxs
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

Something to note, most kids would have the following disadvantages (and most adults too):

Pacifism (reluctant killer)
Combat Paralysis
Post Combat Shakes

Those go away once you have actual combat experience and training (points to buy them off) or the players could buy them off. If its not a straight dungeon crawl then I make sure all my players start with those, but have the option to buy them off during character creation.

I would also give them at least 1 level of luck.

With that out of the way, quests!

Gathering quests would be what she would have to do most of the time, roll to see if something interesting happens. Maybe a few hunting quests (rabbit mostly), but playing a kid would not be anything more than that. Spend the day learning and helping the adults.

The few games where I had the players start as kids was to get a backstory for them all. I had them make a few rolls for each "year" until the starting age. Based on those rolls they got new skills, increases in skills and stats, and even some disadvantages and advantages.
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:51 AM   #5
JanMikal
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
And a child who's entrusted with livestock at this TL is more likely not to know how to handle a knife, but she'll be very used to throwing stones or using a sling. Part of the job is to keep wild dogs, jackals, or worse away from the sheep/goats/other livestock. That can be challenging if the dogs are numerous/very hungry, or if there's worse (wolves). Throwing stones is standard practice for dealing with other dangers too.
The 'livestock handling' is less in the capacity, for example, as a shepherd or swineherd, but more as in her assistance of the local butcher, to calm animals and prepare them for slaughter. So she doesn't go out into the fields to herd the sheep, she just is there when they are brought in and keeps them until the butcher is ready to do their thing.
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Old 09-10-2018, 02:06 PM   #6
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

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Originally Posted by Michele View Post
Peer competition, including the nasty sort (half-anything is likely to have its dislikers). That gives her opponents that aren't too powerful for her, but the confrontations, quarrels, enmities and dirty tricks can be entirely serious to the children involved.

"Prove yourself to the adults" might take place as a test (formal or informal). Again, in competition with NPCs of her same age. There will be precautions against real/lasting harm; the children might be aware of this, or not..
All good ideas. I like where your head is at.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:11 PM   #7
Dalin
 
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Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

One trope you could riff off of is that idea that kids aren't noticed as much as adults. It might, therefore, be easier for a kid to sneak around the adult world without having to actually sneak. Just pretend you're playing a game or running around with your friends and the adults ignore you. This might open up possibilities in terms of learning interesting secrets, solving a mystery, etc.

Animal foes could be interesting too, especially with animal empathy. Some animals won't necessarily be trying to kill. So there might be a dog that nips at people or chases them. If the kid can calm the dog and sneak by, great. If not, he gets nipped and chased up the tree and over the fence. Either way, the adventure can continue in interesting ways.

Finally, magery opens up some interesting options. Maybe the kid comes across something that's magical and wants to figure out what it is. This could lead to an adventure trying to convince a local mage to help and/or working to pay for the effort. Of course the object could have been lost by or stolen from someone interesting, which could lead to conflicts and moral quandaries.

Sounds like fun! I'd love to hear about what you come up with.

Last edited by Dalin; 09-10-2018 at 07:51 PM. Reason: typos
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:29 PM   #8
Flyndaran
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

Kill quests could work for pests. Rat catchers don't need military levels of combat experience.

Mysteries work for everyone on Scooby Doo not named Velma and they're not what I'd call highly skilled or high IQ characters.
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Old 09-10-2018, 09:30 PM   #9
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

While it is ignored in most fiction, child were considered the property of their guardians until the 20th century and no one seemed to care when they were sexual exploited unless they were upper class girls, as sexual exploitation would cause them to lose their virginity. An adventure idea could be a group of children working together to defend themselves against sexual exploitation. Alternatively, they could do something like in the anime Erased, where the children protect themselves from a serial killer that the adults are unaware of.
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Old 09-11-2018, 07:43 AM   #10
dcarson
 
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Default Re: Young Character Adventure Seeds

Kidnapped followed by escape is a possibility.

See something you shouldn't and evade until you can find someone trustworthy to report it to.
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