We had a great time this weekend at the game con. In the kids’ room, Moomin played in two short games of Dungeons & Dragons and in an excellent game called Monster Smash.
I loved the idea of Monster Smash. Here’s the recipe!
Get a bunch of kids. Give them a ton of play-dough. Get them to make a monster that will fight for them in the monster arena. Stick the monsters onto index cards.
On another index card, name the monster. Give it some stats, like this:
Poison Bite 1d10 +2
Pounce (ranged) 1d6 +1
Spider Smash 1d4
If you want a special ability like flying or tunnelling, or an extra movement point or point of armor class, take away one of the three attacks.
Put your monsters on the table. Take turns. When it is your turn, move and make an attack. (Or, don’t move and take 2 attacks.) You might move 4 lengths of the index card, or could mark off squares or hexes for your monsters on a big sheet of paper. Battle till a monster loses all its hit points. The monster who deals the killing blow gets to smash its foe. SMASH! SMASH! SMASH!
Here is how combat works. The attacking monster rolls a d20 to attack. In this case we might attack with a poison bite. To hit our opponent, we have to roll higher than the opponent’s armor class. If you roll higher than your foe’s AC, roll the 1d10 for damage, and add the +2 bonus. This was a simple enough combat system for Moomin to handle on his own. The 5 year olds in the game could still handle it but needed help or prompting.
In our game, there were about 10 players. Defeated monsters were allowed to beg for mercy. Victors were persuaded not to smash the defeated monsters of other kids who were going to cry otherwise. (No one cried in our game, but we heard there was trouble the day before.)
The AC was too high for most attacks to hit. The game might have taken us all day! No one could hit, and when they did, ack, the monsters all had 70 hit points. Our intrepid GM, Jen, handled this beautifully by making the Wizard who Ruled the Arena declare in a grand voice, “I WEARY OF THIS TIRESOME COMBAT!” All monsters would be zapped by a glowing green cloud or hot lava or something that made them lose 10 hp and a point of armor class. I saw the genius of Jen’s setup. Everyone felt tough and invulnerable and confident in the beginning. They weren’t afraid to go on the attack! Then once they were engaged in combat, hit them all equally and speed up the game.
The kids loved this game!
Their monsters were so creative!
And here is a Great Smashing for your enjoyment!
Thank you ConQuest/Pacificon and especially Jen and the other volunteers who organized the kids’ room. It was fantastic!