Playing RPGs with my daughter: Mausritter one-shot

AKA the bold adventures of Princess Fragolina Muschio Grigio in the Thorny Orchard (with pumpkins!)

Character sheets for Fragolina and her best friend RosmarinoCharacter sheets for Fragolina and her best friend Rosmarino

Just a short post to list the things I loved about playing Mausritter — specifically the Fruit of the Orchard scenario from The Estate adventures collection — with my 8yo daughter:

  • Kids imagination is something beautiful. It can’t be overstated. Again and again her ideas about the town (a pumpkin themed metropolis since we played around October 31), its mice-inhabitants, and the way things works in this strange rodent society, left me giddy. For example, everyone was absolutely obsessed with pumpkin: pumpkin seeds were the currency of the realm; fried pumpkin vendors littered the streets; important mice of the court wore pumpkin hats: the more tall and elaborate, the more important the mouse was.
    Talk about commitment to the theme.
  • She decided her character, Fragolina Muschio Grigio (Italian for Strawberry Grey Musk) was both the princess — not a princess, specifically the princess — and a wandering musician/adventurer, the kind of mouse that everyone could count on in a pinch. 
    I didn’t expect bard tendencies” to be a thing that runs in the family, but here we are.
  • She also decided that Fragolina’s best friend had to be a bigger mouse, since she was the small-but-dexterous type. I rolled an NPC and named him Rosmarino Codafina (Rosemary Thintail). He turned out a musclebound lovable oaf, but also kind and caring. Our adventuring party was thus declared complete.
  • The adventure itself was a fun romp. She picked up on my clues very fast, and learned the system in a matter of minutes. She was afraid to meet the queen of the orchard at first, so she wandered around instead, saving trapped mice and discovering more and more about the situation. She avoided direct combat after a first attempt that left her bloodied (a very good learning experience).
  • The face she made when Fragolina met the giant pumpkin monster was amazing! The theme she invented payed off so well, and it wasn’t even intentional! Ah, the magic of collaborative storytelling…
  • All in all, she was a better player than I remember being when I started out.

This was her first real encounter with pen and paper RPGs, and also my first trial as GM-Dad. I’m extatic we had so much fun playing together. I can’t recommend the experience more.
The rules where no impediment at all, and even when things didn’t go as well as she hoped for we were still laughing about it, before regrouping and planning a different approach.

I don’t really have a way to end this post, except maybe expressing the hope that everyone reading this has the opportunity to feel the joy of sharing something so delightful with someone they love.