First, I can't believe how difficult it is to get a few minutes with both boys at the same time in order to try this out. Finally I found a moment during Labor Day when we took a trip to our "local" Trader Joes (30 minute drive). My wife drove and I sat in the back with one of the boys and the other in the front.
Eleven yr old Connor (my youngest) had decided that he wanted to create his own character. I had shared with him a few days earlier the FAE Firefly characters (a hack that I don't have the link for at the moment). He liked them but immediately wanted to create his own because this is what he likes to do in many things. So he came up with a 325 year old shapeshifter. Does it necessarily fit the fiction as I understand it in Bulldogs...but guess what, it's a sandbox, let's go for it.
Interesting side note. I was showing him aspects and basically told him simply that it was a description of the character's personality/history/outlook. Before saying anything else, he said, "They could be either good or bad for the character." Blam - yes, that is in fact one of the most important parts of aspects. Double-edged. Very cool that he could see that without me saying any more than that.
I started telling the story and Aaron (13 year old) piqued up and asked if he could participate. I handed him the sheets and he chose Malcolm Reynolds.
- I put my 13 yr old in an awkward position to have Mal flirt and talk with a woman of the town/planet Constance to get information. He's about to be threatened from the town bully because he's talking "his woman."
- Connor, made a fun tie-in with his character's past and a "scary" sector of space the crew needed to deliver the goods. This could help add some depth to the plot.
- My wife even piped in. She saw the boys making some unusual decisions and we all said she had to be a character to play. We assigned her Zoe Washborne. She is not a role player and has little to no interest in learning. Though, using characters and a genre familiar to her certainly helped the cause. I like her participating because she brings some logic to the equation and it was fun seeing her and the boys work together to make something happen.
- I need to compel them and look at their aspects.
- I need to remember how a video game involves them and what elements get them excited. For example Connor plays Portal, Shadow, Minecraft. I need to ask him what he does in those games to figure out what to do next.
- Come to the next session with a quick recap (standard I know) remembering to:
- Tell them the main objective, delivering the shipment to the myth Iron Prophet.
- I felt awkward and overall "clunky" telling the story and relaying what was happening. A little self-conscious.