Advice for homebrew kids rpg


Hi there, I tried some different rpgs to play with my kids (2 boys, 3 and 7) and we weren't totally happy with any out now (looking forward to No Thank you evil though!). So I decided to make my own based on a campaign I made years ago.

Basically you have 4 attributes--Strength, Speed, Smarts, and Sense, and then you have skills which include weapons.
The player rolls for everything. Damage is a fixed number: no damage rolls.
Now I was going to use a d10 and just add bonuses for attributes and skills, but my 7 year old wants to use all the "weird dice"...

So I'm trying to figure out how to incorporate all of them without it getting too complex.
I tried using two dice (one attribute and one skill) and adding the result, but it seems to complicated to remember what dice do what.
Maybe they're just not used to it yet though... So I'm thinking of using a die for attributes, and adding a bonus for skills.

For example: You start with a d6, d6, d8, and d10 to distribute in attributes, and then add a +1 (+?) for skills. I worry that setting DCs will be a problem through... Math is not my strong point...

What do you think? Any advice? Comments?

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Guide of Modos
First things first: thinking of myself at 5+, and knowing my nieces of 2 and 4 years old, I don't expect you'll have much luck getting your 3 year old into the rules. Best to give him an action figure, and adjudicate everything for him without die rolls. The 7 year old can probably handle some rules, though.

4 attributes: three would be better, but less than three is almost pointless. You might be better off going with all skills or all attributes, but not both.

Incorporating weird dice: these are good for attacks and defenses, or variable progress. Want to slay the dragon? Better hope you get to use the d12 on your attacks. Turns out the dragon wants to play hide-and-seek? Now you're really in trouble, because your sneakiness die is only a d4...

Setting DCs: these might be a little easier, along with skill point use, if you limit yourself to +5, or even +3. Think of it like this: +0 is for completely random results, +1 is for amateurs, +2 is for professionals, and +3 is for the experts. When you set a DC, add the bonus to 5 and that's what your PC needs to beat. Or better yet, roll the d10 and add the bonus to set your DC.

Anyway, these are all variations on the rules that I've posted here, which you're welcome to use and abuse. Good luck with those little gamers!


Thanks! I'll take a look. The 7 year old seems to understand the rules okay. Yeah I don't expect the 3 year old to understand the rules. But gets totally into the story even though he doesn't understand everything that's going on.

I'm not sure what you mean about the weird dice though. Do you mean to use different dice for different skills?


Attributes are pretty hard for young kids to translate into "what my character can actually do." I would go with skills only, with very concrete names like "Fighting", "Shooting", "Sneaking", and so on. Take a look at my Dungeonteller kids' RPG to see an example of this idea in action. I think it's great that you're making your own kids' ruleset and I hope you'll keep us posted.

My wife and I run a homebrew tri-stat (mind, body, soul) game for our kids. We've only done it a few times so I am not claiming it's perfect or anything. We run everything with d6's and pretty much everything is opposed die rolls. The number of d6's you roll is related to the stats. The stats are basically 1, 1, 2. Each character has a bunch of hearts for HP.

We don't worry too much about balance. DD is running an "Elsa" character and DS is running a Thomas The Tank Engine character. They have fun and that's what matters.

Like I said, we're flying by the seat of our pants with this system. :)


First Post
Skill levels increase with die size (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12). A d4 is the weakest skill or attribute, a d12 is the strongest. Roll the die representing their skill. If the result is a 3 or greater the character succeeds. So 1d4 has a 50% chance of success, while 1d12 has a 83% chance of success.

This is basically the Savage Worlds model, but with the exploding dice removed and the target number reduced to compensate.

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