5E Best way to run a mystery/adventure game for child characters?

MinkyUrungus

Villager
Hi,all. A DM friend of mine finished our 4+ years campaign and has allowed me to use his world for my own mini adventure. Without going into the minutia of the planned storyline, I wanted it to involve a small group of kid villagers investigating the strange going-ons in a nearby wood (and the mysterious witch rumored to be at the heart of it). I didn't like the idea of a bunch of children being level 1 classes, just as capable as adults, so I'm looking for any suggestions.

Also, I put this under 5E, but am open to any other systems.
 

Salthorae

Imperial Mountain Dew Taster
If they're kids and you don't want them to have classes... I'd have them roll stats in whatever manner seems best to you and then... that's it.

Basically use the NPC commoner stat block with different stats.

Depending on how old they are, you could maybe give them Backgrounds so they have a couple of skills/tools to show apprenticeship, etc.
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Beyond the Wall and Other Adventures is exactly what you want. Its an OSR, so a modern take on the older versions version of D&D, but the basic rules are like 18 pages long. It also uses playbook to generate the yound inhabitant of a village who grew up together and adventure out of their village to explore the dangers of the woods.
 

Eltab

Adventurer
More the former, but an older NPC wouldn't be a bad idea.
Have the players pick a class but they get only one of the class abilities. So for instance a proto-Rogue has to pick between Thieves Cant, Expertise, or Sneak Attack. You get a way to personalize the campaign; if somebody picks the Cant then secret messages and 'knowing the signs' become important, but if somebody picks Sneak Attack you can make BBEG a fightable monster.
 

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