Thursday, July 5, 2012

Going Camping

Way back when I decided to hop back into role-playing I was looking for something I could play with my kids.  The first criteria was that they could get it, that they could at around the age of 6-8, look at the character sheet and get an idea of what dice they needed to roll or what spell or ability they wanted to use.  I totally ruled out the big d20 books and I even ruled out stuff like Savage Worlds because they were too complex (I might have been able to train them in Savage Worlds but it would have been a thing).  Basically I wanted them to deal with some simple math and a couple concepts without having to deal with powers, skills, chargen optimization tactics or tons of lookup rules.  The second criteria was it needed to be a game I could take camping, something modular that I could run with a small sheaf of papers, a few pencils and some dice.  I gravitated towards Microlite because it satisfied both these criteria.

Meh, I'm not playing unless I can be a halfling...
It was a huge success.  So much so that I started working on Beacon which is essentially a re-factor of Microlite but maybe a bit more complete (Microlite leans heavy on SRD resources) and still compatible with d20 mechanics.  I've slowly weaned my kids from Microlite to Beacon, but to be honest we haven't been playing a lot lately.  Oh we're still gaming, were playing a lot of board games and video games and  my oldest has started to run her own games of Laser Ponies.  But we haven't played any serious Beacon for a while.

Well in two weeks we're going camping, and I am going to see how well it all stacks up now.  I'm going to grab a couple one page dungeons, my Beacon 5.1 print out (42 page booklet format on legal paper), some dice and pencils and a bunch of character sheets.  We're going with family so I'll try to get the adults roped into it too.  The Dragon Gulch they started out adventuring in has kind of morphed into the town of Milham over the past few years, but in the good way.  We're going for a week so we'll have some time to play as the fire crackles and I examine my notes by lantern light.  They are a bit older now, a bit wiser and I'm hoping to pull off the kid gloves a bit and lets see what happens.


  1. I've run Beacon with my eldest (9 at the time) and a couple of her friends and it went very well, especially with the one page dungeons. I'm gonna give the 5ed rules a go with them when we go to the cottage next week (thanks fer tha copy btw!).

    Also, excellent bear picture.

    1. The alternate caption was going to be "I was lead to believe there would be punch and pie..."