Friday, June 14, 2019

Pretty Fairy Princess, a game that teaches gaming

I am always on the lookout for RPGs that are aimed at kids or least suitable for them. I do this even though I know our son isn’t going to be interested in table top RPGs :D It’s an interesting subgenre.

The most recent one I’ve looked at is Pretty Fairy Princess. Well, the demo rules at any rate.

To say the name is right in the nose is an understatement. The game is exactly what it says on the tin. Each player plays a princess who is also a fairy and pretty.

In fact, the three main stats are Pretty, Fairy and Princess. Each one has two substats. Pretty has Pep and Sparkle. Fairy has Trickery and Magic/Luck (pick one) Princess has Love and Scrapbooking. I love that last one.

Each primary stat gets assigned a number: 1 or 2 or 3 (Naturally, you use each number once) Then, you assign each substat get a success determination. You see, you use a deck of cards in the game and your success types are things like number cards or red cards or face cards.

Every one gets a hand of cards they lay face down in front of them in a row. When you have to take a chance, you point at one of someone else’s cards with the wand you made at the start of the game. The main stat determines how many cards you can pick and the substat determines what’s a success.

It’s an interesting system because it’s really easy to explain but there’s definitely a layer of number crunching in it. And it’s transparent enough that you can work on crunching the numbers in your favor easily.

The cards that are in each people’s hand are public knowledge. You just don’t know which is is which in the face down row. It’s anrules light narrative system so it’s easy to justify picking a favorable trait. In short, the game lends itself to being able to game the system for success. But it’s a game about happy pretty magical princesses having adventures so I’m cool with that. It’s a game for kids and rewards them understanding how odds work.

However, what I will really take away from the game is the two paragraphs about running the game. Which comes down to adventures are built like scavenger hunts. 

Which I think is great advice for running a game for younger kids. It gives you and the kids a structure that is easy to understand and breaks it down to a series of manageable goals. It’s not such great for running for adults since a series of fetch quests isn’t ideal for older games but it’s one I’ll keep in mind for kids regardless of the system.

Pretty Fairy Princesses wouldn’t be my first choice for an RPG for young kids. There are some really good ones out there like Hero Kids or Mermaid Adventures or No Thank You Evil. But I do like how it has a system which teaches kids to game the system and I think it gives really solid GM advice. I definitely got something out of reading it.

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