Castles & Cats had an amazing day yesterday! And today… WE FUNDED! SO Awesome!!
My son and I sat down and played the first five pages of Adventure 1: Forest, Fungi & Flowers. This is about 10% of the adventure. Adventure 1 takes about an hour and a half to play through and we will usually finish in 1 - 2 sessions. Adventure 1 is very linear where as Adventures 2 and 3 are more open, involving more puzzles and role playing.
I decided to play after a school day (not a great plan but a plan!) when our normal play time is on the weekends in the Am (very much suggested), which gives us a more calming time and time the night before for me to prep. I made a few mistakes in the video that I want to point out so you as the Game Master get a better feel for how the game works. But also to say mistakes can be made with this game, it’s hard to keep your child engaged and communicate with them while also keeping track of a bunch motivations, backgrounds, stories, facts, etc. And with all of my testing and mistake making my kid has never once not wanted to sit down and play. We get silly and talk together and that’s what is most important.
So let’s get down to details.
Card stock! If you are playing with the digital copy of the game try to print maps, story item cards and character cutouts on card stock. My son loves touching all the pieces while we play and normal paper floppily falls everywhere with the slightest movement. One of the big pluses of the physical copy of the adventures is definitely the standees and map mats, especially if you have multiple little hands touching everything.
Card organization! Give your kid time and help them organize their cards. We normally do this by adding stats to my Game Master notes together and then stacking the equipped items, class and race card, so its mainly items that are out for easy use.
I forgot to introduce Pyre after the garden training encounter and kind of just tossed her in during combat. While my son didn’t really seem to care we could of had a lot more fun with the interaction. But I had to introduce her at the same time because I bumped the difficulty up to a 2 player game. Party Pals is something that I am still messing around with, I definitely want to give solo or even duo players a “O NO!” button, because like in other table top role playing games, monsters can have a lucky streak and totally annihilate a player in one swoop. I want to give them all the tools they need for a successful adventure at the beginning so they remain confident when the game does become more challenging. Currently I’m looking at making the party pal more like a spell card, where they can use one-three of their combat rolls to heal themselves or perform a certain effect, depending on the pal.
So another downfall from yesterday was that I sat down hooked up to a camera and mic without grabbing a pencil and wasn’t able to use my Game Master notes, which made combat seem less organized (at least to me). Normally in my notes I draw little hearts for the monsters health and cross them out as we damage them. The mushroom folk only have 2 health so as long as a player rolls higher than a one their target is automatically knocked out. Also I usually have notes on a separate piece of paper so my son is less likely to see it during an encounter.
Lastly, I do apologize for the shaky camera. I didn’t intend to go “Blair Witch” on the project, little brother decided to climb the Cat Tower I had the camera anchored to.
I would say our house isn’t normally chaotic, but that would be a lie. Lets just say it’s chaotic good! ;)
For reference below is a quick guide to monster combat. The way the combat system works now players do not have to “roll to hit” as the monsters don’t have an armor rating but as the Adventures progress introducing monsters with armor that players will need to “roll to hit” is part of my plan.
After all players have taken a turn any remaining monsters get a chance to attack. Monster combat is more traditional and takes player armor and monster attack power into consideration. Monsters all have a basic build. As the story progresses monsters will also start to have Weapons, Armor, Racial Abilities, and Items that will cause them to be more challenging.
Base Monster Stats:
XS: Damage: D4, 1-2 Heart Points
S: Damage: D4, 2-4 Heart Points
M: Damage: D6, 6-8 Heart Points
L: Damage: D8, 10-12 Heart Points
XL: Damage: D8, 12-14 Heart Points
Boss: Damage: D10,14-18 Heart Points
As the game master you will roll monster attacks.
Who to hit: Use a D4 for 2 or 4 players and a D6 for 3 players. In your notes indicate a number value for each player. ( Ex. 1-2 for player 1, 3-4 for player 2, 5-6 for player 3.) Roll the dice needed to see which character you are attacking. If a character is doing exceptionally good or seems to be drawing attention to themselves in any way, it is only natural for the monsters to attack that person. Keep role-playing mechanics in mind when choosing who to attack.
Do you hit or miss? Next roll a D20, hitting is dependent on the armor the player is wearing, you will always need to roll one over the players armor. If their armor is 13 you will need to get a 14 or higher to hit that player. Anything lower than 14 is a miss and that monsters turn has ended. Some monsters might have negative or positives to hit.
In the mushroom folk encounter Hal's armor is 10 and the mushroom folk have a -3 to hit so in order to hit Hal they needed to roll a 14 or higher. Hal got unlucky as they both rolled a 17.
Damage: After rolling to see who is being hit and if the monster successfully hit the player, it is time to roll damage. The dice you roll for damage all depends on the monster. If using a Castles & Cats adventure, monster damage will be included in the monster facts located in the campaign guide.
During adventures some monsters will have the ability to attack before the players get to take their turn. This is usually a reaction to a failed role-playing action or if the monsters were waiting to ambush travelers, etc..
Lastly I’d like to discuss a more complicated part of Castles & Cats versus traditional role playing games, the clean up. After my group and I play a long game of Dungeons and Dragons we normally just toss the papers in a folder and forget about them til the next game. In this case a characters information consists of lose cards and chits. I made a little binder with pouches to toss Characters in between game sessions, but you really don’t need to get too fancy, a white business envelope works just as well and can be tossed into the box.
Thank you for taking a look at our game play video, and to anyone who has shared and pledged for Castles & Cats! I still can’t believe we funded today! Truly and completely awesome! I’m still dancing!! I am so excited to share this game with you and can’t wait to hear about all the adventures you have with your littles!