Kids RPG Journal – #31 Dice Trays

This last week has been a little difficult getting items posted to the blog, as my routine has been messed up. I typically get my posts ready in the mornings after I drop the kids off to school and before I have to log in for the day job, or on the weekends when Monica takes them to the gym with her in the mornings. So far this week, I haven’t had any of that morning time and therefore no posts.

But with only 4 days to go until we run the game, I’ve definitely been busy with prep work.

Since I’m going to be recording the game, I have been a little worried about the sound quality and reducing things that will make it difficult to record. I don’t have any solid plans for what I will do with the recording. It’ll probably be some time — if ever — before I get into putting the recordings up on a podcast, let alone doing video on Twitch or Youtube, but I want to make what I do have as clean as possible.

The first thing that came to mind was dice trays. First, to reduce the audio clatter of rolling, and to temper the enthusiasm of six-year-olds who will hurl the dice across the room.

Initially, I thought about making my own from scratch, but I just don’t have time for that right now. The boxes would be simple enough to cut the wood and assemble and probably even stain, but I’m not the quickest woodworker and I think it would take me a while.

I can’t afford the beautiful trays from Wormwood and I would have some serious reservations with letting the boys play with them if I could afford them. So I chose the next best option: quick and dirty dice trays.

I picked up some cheap unfinished pine wood trays from the craft store for about $5 apiece, and come sheets of foam in assorted colors.

quick and dirty dice trays using pine boxes and foam sheets from the craft store

For the first session, I am just cutting the foam sheets to size and sticking them on the unfinished trays with some wood glue. Perhaps if I find a little time, I’ll go back and stain them with a little weathered stain I made using steel wool and vinegar.

cutting the foam sheets to size for the dice trays

But for now, the kids can roll their dice for the game in their cool dice trays and the foam keeps it nice and quiet. Not a bad deal for the time and money.

trying out the finished dice trays with kids' new polyhedral dice

Kids RPG Journal – #16 Lore Cards

The boys are excited to play the game now and really want to get going right away. I’d hoped to do more during the holiday break, but I spent most of my time with them and I find I work so much better when I have more alone time… even if the majority of that is doing the day job.

I’m nearly done with the design of the character sheets and have the layouts pinned down, however, I’ve been putting off going through each of the class-specific moves to pair down the text and clean up any mechanics aren’t cutting it. It feels like it’s going to be a lot more work than I think it actually will be, but I’m dragging my feet anyway.

Another reason I don’t have the character sheets completed yet is that I am so ready to jump into some adventure design and get started on the actual content of the first adventure and how to make it kid-friendly within the time that I have.

Snarl Wort Lore Card for Kids RPG - Snarl Wort is a rare herb with a sweet, spicy flavor. It is used for potions and cooking, and can be quite dangerous to harvest.

As a brief change of scenery, I started drawing out some of the lore cards, I will be handing out during game-play. I want to have a bunch of interesting handouts for the games, as they definitely make things more exciting for younger players. The lore cards will be designed to go into the boys’ adventure journals, two to a side on the 5.5×8.5 pages.

Vampire Pumpkin Lore Card for Kids RPG - In the eastern lands, it is said that pumpkins left on the vine after the Butcher's moon may turn vampiric and most evil.

To make them kid-friendly, I’ve done a simple illustration with very little text, more to jog the memory than to give a complete summary of who, what, when, where, and how the PCs got the information. It also makes them a little more flexible, and I can put specific ones in play whenever it feels appropriate, not necessarily in some heavily-scripted manner.

The first two I have posted here are the Snarl Wort and Gourd Gone Bad. Snarl Wort is a made up herb for a mini-quest and may have some place in the main quest too. Gourds Gone Bad goes into the Slavic folklore of vampiric pumpkins and melons coming to life when they are left on the vine too long. I don’t go into a lot of detail, but the second will play a significant role in the first main adventure.

Similarly, I’ll be putting together notes cards which will have more specific things from the game which will serve more as clues on how to find creative methods to get things done.

I’m not 100% sold on the template yet, but they’ll definitely do for the first game or so.