Merchant: The Kids’ Game Continues

The weekend before this one I ran a one shot for a convention at the time that I had set aside to play with my kids.  My son was devastated so yesterday I knew I would be short of time so I made sure that we played, even if it was just for an hour.  My son set up the dining table an hour early and was moving in and out of the room I was in as we waited for his big sister to finish up work and join us.

He mumbled something on one of his passes through the room and I asked him what he had said and he replied;

I hope they have weapons in Lothmar.

This made me smile as it showed that he had been paying a lot of attention.  The game before had just been a travel scene from one city to another that I made up on the day.  His character bore the brunt of a surprise attack by a goblin and had been crippled for most of the game and so he wanted to get the goblin back (Toth his name was my son informed me).  You see, I realised I had done a bad thing and left the notes I had made from that adventure at work!

merchant action
Esteemed weapons merchanting by my children (Image is in public domain)

His sister got home and we sat down to play.  They had a package that had been given to them by the Dwarf Gildar (a priest who restored the use of my son’s characters leg back to him) to take to the temple district.  they did this after a short trip to the animal markets and my son ‘s character buying my daughter’s character a goat (she had sacrificed her own so Toth would not eat my son’s character).  In the temple my daughter handed over the scroll without any inkling of interest but my son attempted to follow the priest that took it.  He failed and the priest critically succeeded and managed to  slip away.

What do you want to do here? The first question I asked and got some blank stares.  I am trying to indoctrinate the pair into a game where they drive the plot.  They want to chase down Toth – OK lets go do it, they want to go see the ruling senate – sure, why not!  That style of game.  It requires me to be very fluid (especially as I have not finished reading the RuneQuest rules yet – shhhh!) and reactive to their needs but I think it will be a lot more attractive to them after a while.  To help them along I reminded my daughter, who had complained long and loud about being a merchant without a horse and cart, that she could probably get a new horse and cart (I had made it a bit of the story at the start that she had to get out of the previous city quickly due to some dodgy deals and had to leave her caravan behind) as she did have a fair bit of silver in her pouch.

Now, a cart is 60 silver and a working horse is 1400 silver!  My daughter’s character had just over 1500 silver and I suggested to her that she could haggle for it.  I think that may have set the tone for the rest of the day.  She negotiated well and knocked the price down.  they then decided that she needed to get some goods to sell but rather than doing it the shifty merchant way she turned to her brother’s character who is able to craft weapons and armor!  They hired themselves a cottage and a forge for a couple of weeks and my son made some crafting rolls making some OK (and some awful) daggers and a couple of short swords.  They spent the second week selling them in the market place and working out what profit they had made from the sales which is pretty much where the game finished after an hour of playing.

I had a ball running this mini adventure and so did the kids.  Merchanting it up netted them a tidy little profit and provided for some fun scenes.  For example, the first customer picks up one of the good daggers my son made.  A good dagger goes for 50 silver normally and so to start the haggling I said in character “Well, it looks OK but the balance is a bit off so how about 20 silver” my daughter leapt in thinking she was doing great and said “No less than 30!”  This got a neat little laugh out of me and I had to explain the purpose of haggling.  Once we had done that things ran a lot smoother.

My son loves role playing.  He is having an absolutely brilliant time and it is good to see him getting the rules.  This is the first time that my daughter has played a percentile (%) based system and she is adapting well.  In fact she is also picking up on the intricacies of RuneQuest where the closer you get to the upper limit of your skill then the better you have done in opposed tests (unless of course you critically succeed).

I was very happy that they went along the merchanting line as I need to read through the remainder of the rules.  I have almost completed the rules on magic and then I will be reading through a lot of the interesting material about GMing and planning the games which should help me for the next weeks adventure.  Let us see where the adventure heads next week as I plan to have a normal sized session with the kids and possibly lead them into some misadventure in the city.  Keep rolling!

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