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Good one-shot adventures for an online kid's birthday (10-11 years old)

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
What would you recommend as a good one-shot for a kid's birthday party using a VTT?

Please specify:

1. System - anything more complicated than 5e might require too much explanation and handholding, wasting limited time, and bore younger kids.

2. Estimated play time: I would try to keep it to four (4) hours. Not because I think kids this age can't handle longer games, but it is harder to keep their attention on-line and longer session just may not be practical for many families.

3. Theme and plot. Obviously needs to be family friendly.

4. VTT assets/support. Does it have digital battlemaps? How easy to prep for common VTTs?

I'll post some ideas I'm thinking of.
 

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MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
One option I'm thinking of is the new Labyrinth RPG. Easy to run and easy for me to control the play time. I'd probably fudge if to meet time while also bringing it to the final encounter with the Goblin King.

The game designer's website makes digital versions of the character sheets and all the battlemaps available for free. Because of how the game plays, no fog of war, line of sight, or lighting needs to be set up. Also there is no need for DM-only maps to referenced. So I only need to have the maps all ready to display and drop tokens on. The main prep effort is to have all the maps in the VTT and ready to be easily loaded.

Maybe I would need to make custom character sheets, but I would probably just provide PDF files ahead of time for parents to print out.

I use Foundry VTT so nothing needs to be installed, but for kids who only have access to iPads, I can just share the Foundry screen on Zoom. Rarely do you need to actually drop and move tokens. The maps are more of a graphic aid.

I might actually use the early access version of Role for this. Or I can just use zoom/Google Hangouts and open the PDFs of the battlemaps. If I did this, I would also create a party gift bag with prep-printed character sheets, some cool-looking 6-sided dice, snacks, and deliver them to the other kids homes the day before.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Another option is "King Under the Hill", which is one of the "Tiny Adventures" offered by VTTAssets for their Patreon supporters. It has horror theme and has all the content pre-prepped for Foundry. Since the party will be right before Halloween, it could be a good theme. It has custom music, nice evocotive battlemaps, lighting and line of sight effects all prepped. All the content you need to run it is in the Foundry module.

But I still need to carefully go over the entire thing to make sure it is appropriate for that age group, given that I don't know all the parents that well.

Also, it would require the use of a laptop or PC. Some of the kids may not have access to one. ALL of them have access to iPADs because they use them for school, which issues iPADs to kids that need them. I could share the screen using Zoom or Google Hangouts, but then they would be missing much of what would make the VTT experience cool.

The other issue is that it can be more difficult to control things (e.g. nothing to stop a kid from just moving along the map without regard to turns, movement, etc.) and 5e can still be complicated for kids that don't game. May be too many fiddly bits for b-day party with kids of whom some have never played D&D.
 

noko

old hag of a DM
I look at what you have and can only feel intimidated by the complexity. I was going to suggest Magic Village for Sale by MT Black at $1.95 at Dungeon Master's Guild, thinking all the kids were familiar with the game. I see from your further posts this is incorrect. Do all the kids have working computers? Do they all have Steam and Discord? Can they support Tabletop Simulator? You know, Tabletop Simulator has its own voice chat, assets that you can just pop in without all the overcomplicated mumbo jumbo VTT throws at you, AND you can change the room's appearance with a few clicks. It's on sale right now and you can at least get a 4pack and share the Steam Keys with whoever else is gonna play. Never mind a formal game with expectations and all that complication. Do the kids even want to do this? Is playing D&D online your idea or the birthday host's idea? Throwing a complex game at them online sounds like a recipe for disaster. Get the kids all in a virtual room with one or two easy games and let them rip. Make sure the host has some idea how to work it. They will have a serious blast trying to play the games and knocking the virtual table over with misclicks. Believe me, that is going to go over a whole lot better whatever the age of the kids.
 

What would you recommend as a good one-shot for a kid's birthday party using a VTT?

Please specify:

1. System - anything more complicated than 5e might require too much explanation and handholding, wasting limited time, and bore younger kids.

2. Estimated play time: I would try to keep it to four (4) hours. Not because I think kids this age can't handle longer games, but it is harder to keep their attention on-line and longer session just may not be practical for many families.

3. Theme and plot. Obviously needs to be family friendly.

4. VTT assets/support. Does it have digital battlemaps? How easy to prep for common VTTs?

I'll post some ideas I'm thinking of.
If it's a kid who likes My Little Pony, the River Horse written Tails of Equestria is pretty good. It's fairly simple, but highly effective, family friendly.
The corebook adventure took 5 adults 2 hours.
The Curse of the Statuettes was 3 hours.
If you grab the bestiary, you can expand the player options.

Prep for VTT is the failing... you'll need to scan the maps. That said, it's not a battle-mat type game, being more about finding non-violent solutions.
 

uzirath

Adventurer
Last weekend I had a great experience running two short scenarios from Rime of the Frostmaiden with a group of five younger players. It's for 5e, of course, and has digital assets available on Roll20 (and maybe other platforms). The full adventure path, of course, is way too big, but it's easy to select short bits and tone down the horror. (The long winter theme feels a bit like Narnia, which works great for kids.) I specifically ran the Lake Monster quest in the town of Bremen and linked it directly to The White Moose in Lonelywood. I wrote up my experience with it in the Running Rime thread here. Fun for kids because: dinosaurs (who you can make friends with!), winter, boats, fishing, halfling family, cookies, evil moose, magic mirror... so many juicy tidbits. If you stay focused, I think you can easily complete both adventures in four hours.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I look at what you have and can only feel intimidated by the complexity. I was going to suggest Magic Village for Sale by MT Black at $1.95 at Dungeon Master's Guild, thinking all the kids were familiar with the game. I see from your further posts this is incorrect. Do all the kids have working computers? Do they all have Steam and Discord? Can they support Tabletop Simulator? You know, Tabletop Simulator has its own voice chat, assets that you can just pop in without all the overcomplicated mumbo jumbo VTT throws at you, AND you can change the room's appearance with a few clicks. It's on sale right now and you can at least get a 4pack and share the Steam Keys with whoever else is gonna play. Never mind a formal game with expectations and all that complication. Do the kids even want to do this? Is playing D&D online your idea or the birthday host's idea? Throwing a complex game at them online sounds like a recipe for disaster. Get the kids all in a virtual room with one or two easy games and let them rip. Make sure the host has some idea how to work it. They will have a serious blast trying to play the games and knocking the virtual table over with misclicks. Believe me, that is going to go over a whole lot better whatever the age of the kids.
All good considerations. We'll probably go with using Jackbox games instead of a TTRPG for the party and run a one-shot Halloween game for specific friends who are already excited about TTRPGs and who have parents that are up for making sure they are set up computerwise.

I'm familiar with Tabletop Simulator, but have never used it. I wouldn't want to start with a whole new system and I wouldn't want to go with anything that requires the kids or their parents to download and install anything. I didn't know that Tabletop Simulator did TTRPGs. I thought it was for board games.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
If it's a kid who likes My Little Pony, the River Horse written Tails of Equestria is pretty good. It's fairly simple, but highly effective, family friendly.
The corebook adventure took 5 adults 2 hours.
The Curse of the Statuettes was 3 hours.
If you grab the bestiary, you can expand the player options.

Prep for VTT is the failing... you'll need to scan the maps. That said, it's not a battle-mat type game, being more about finding non-violent solutions.
My Little Pony would not go over well...or it would involve ponies acting in very non-MLP ways. :)

I think MLP would be great for many kids, but isn't what my kid and his friends are into.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Last weekend I had a great experience running two short scenarios from Rime of the Frostmaiden with a group of five younger players. It's for 5e, of course, and has digital assets available on Roll20 (and maybe other platforms). The full adventure path, of course, is way too big, but it's easy to select short bits and tone down the horror. (The long winter theme feels a bit like Narnia, which works great for kids.) I specifically ran the Lake Monster quest in the town of Bremen and linked it directly to The White Moose in Lonelywood. I wrote up my experience with it in the Running Rime thread here. Fun for kids because: dinosaurs (who you can make friends with!), winter, boats, fishing, halfling family, cookies, evil moose, magic mirror... so many juicy tidbits. If you stay focused, I think you can easily complete both adventures in four hours.
Good to know. I can also import it from D&D Beyond into Foundry for the VTT. So that's a plus.
 

Nytmare

David Jose
How many kids are we talking about, and what kind of gaming experience do they have?

I'd think maybe Kobolds Ate my Baby or No Thank You, Evil would be my first picks.

If it's a smaller group, maybe a game of The Quiet Year with a modified deck or Little Wizards.

I'd avoid D&D via VTT unless they were all familiar with it and instead maybe design or download a dungeon in Minecraft or something.
 

Presents for Goblins

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