Monday, January 20, 2014

Meddling Kids - review

I've just finished my read through of the "Meddling Kids" RPG. This game pitches itself firmly at new and young RPG players. It's tone throughout is pitched for the younger audience, and spends quite some time explaining how to play an RPG.

I like its advice for new G.M.s  this kind of info is what I missed back in the early days of RPGs where I went on a power trip thinking I was king of the work. This book starts out by telling the new G.M. that they are firmly there it make sure everyone has a good time and that it's not an adversarial position.

As you can probably tell from the title this game is aimed at creating a game with that Scooby Doo feeling. The art work throughout backs up that assumption. The player archetypes support that too with Jocks, Fluff, Brains, Goofs, Tempers, Sidekicks, and Innocents.  Your characters have a set of stats in the traditional style, these being Strength, Moves, Smarts, and Health. On top of that you have a bunch of Abilities to pick from. Abilities are skills, and bonuses to certain types of action.

One clever trick of this system, is that the Scooby Doo character in the party is an NPC of sorts run by the G.M. It doesn't have to be a dog, could be an ape, a ghost, a batty professor or anything that's a bit out-there. This character is there to help out the kids/players when they are struggling, perhaps by sniffing out a clue or falling into the trap.

There are three tropes of the Scooby Doo series included in the rules that I think are just perfect.

The chase when the monster appears, the P.C.s will run! They have to escape the beast in the most inventive way possible and the skills and abilities back that up. Instant disguise ability anyone?

You can't just beat up the bad guys here with clubs, you have to trap them. The more monsterous the monster, the bigger and more complex the trap has to be! Players have to devise an outrageous trap to catch the beast.

Finally, no one gets killed, they get "Bonked", which means that they sit out of the game for a minute or two. Simple and straight forward, no player elimination, everyone has fun.

While aimed at kids, I think this will be a fun game for anyone willing to jump into the spirit of the game.