Tuesday, September 27, 2022

The Clubhouse Chronicles #3: The mayor is sad and has to cry!

The mayor's letter

In episode 3 of our Clubhouse games in class the mayor sent another letter because he was sooo unhappy and sad that he needed someone to comfort him. What had happened? His favorite toy car had broken into pieces and he couldn't fix it. Now he wanted people to feel sad with him about this.

Bram (the cat) and Waren (the cook) responded and after gracefully descending the dangerous clubhouse stairs (for Bram) and ungracefully slipping, falling and getting an aching back (for Waren) they piled into their car to get to the mayor's house faster. That is, they would be faster if they wouldn't have gotten lost. In any case, they were let in to the mayor's office to find him dramatically crying over his broken car, with a pot of glue next to him. Bram started rubbing his head against the mayor in an attempt to comfort him, which did not help since Waren started laughing at the sight of the mayor crying over a toy.

Eventually Waren thought about what he could do to help his friend though, and called an old acquaintance from when he was five years old. Turns out the friend, called Adriaan Busan became a toymaker. He came over, fixed the mayor's toy car and got invited by Waren to join the Clubhouse.


This will lead in to our next lesson about Jesus caring for his friends, as he brings Lazarus back to life from the dead, comforting Mary and Martha. It's one of the uncomfortable situations where a story is used to teach a different lesson than the original one. It's not really about Jesus showing that he wants to comfort his friends, but rather to show that he is Life Eternal. In this case the game does a better job teaching the goals than the Bible story does.

Friday, September 23, 2022

The Clubhouse Chronicles #2: A visit from the mayor!

As an introduction to the next bible story in the lesson series about friends of Jesus, the story of Mary and Martha, we had a second episode of our Clubhouse Friends. 

Waren the Cook's Character Sheet

This time as we set the scene, the pupil was describing that Waren (played by my pupil), the cook from the previous session, was watching TV with Baby Beatrice (the NPC from previous game, turned PC for this one, played by teacher) while Bram, the cat from previous game was sleeping in the room Waren had given him at the beginning of previous game. He did not join us in this game.

As they were hanging out they hear someone climbing up the stairs to the treehouse, tripping and falling. It was established last game, that the treehouse's problem was that it was unsafe. While it's good thing was that it has many rooms. They weakly hear someone shouting "I'm okay!" from the ground.

They hear the person climbing back up and suddenly hear a knock on the door. They open to see a man in a fine suit with leaves and twigs sticking out here and there. He hands them a letter with a golden trim to tell them the Mayor wants to come for a visit, since he heard of their heroics saving Baby Beatrice's mom. Waren and Baby Beatrice accept and the fancy suit man goes back down, where they hear him slip and fall again, with a weak "I'm okay!" after the big fall.

They look around the room and realize, after reading the letter, that they have only a little bit of time to prepare for a visit, and everything's a mess. They have about half a day to clean things up, but most tasks are estimated to take up half a day's time, the main things being, cleaning the clubhouse and fixing the stairs.

They decide to work together to clean the clubhouse, but don't have enough time for the stairs. So the mayor obviously falls down when trying to climb up the stairs to the clubhouse. Here as well there's a reassuring "I'm okay!" after each fall. And the mayor eventually manages to get up, leaves and twigs sticking out of hair and pockets and take place in the living room.

Baby Beatrice realizes that they don't have any snacks or tea ready and starts clinging and clanging in the kitchen while Waren talks with the mayor. They hear a big crash and some baby wailing. Baby Beatrice had tried to bake some cookies and make some tea, but her not being able to walk, being a baby, dropped everything. Everyone, including the mayor then worked together to clean things up and do the dishes and a good time was had. Eventually the mayor had to go, but he said he would surely want to come visit again.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

The Clubhouse Chronicles #1: The sick friend (Roleplaying in class)

A new school year means a new year of playing with kids in class. Specifically in 2nd grade (7-8 year old) where until fall vacation I've got small little one-shot adventures based on the stories we're going to learn from the Bible.

Usually in this game you play a care bear, but since I didn't get to printing the character sheets we could be whoever, which I think is better anyway, as most kids don't know the care bears anymore anyway.

So every player made a friend and then we kind of designed a home base, a clubhouse. The clubhouse and the characters worked about the same in creating, in that you choose something you are good at (a talent) and something you're not good at (a problem).

This session had the following cast:

• "Waren", played by my pupil. He's good at cooking, but has problems with burning his food. So, as long as he can cook stuff that does not need a furnace or flame, he's good. He's also 18 so he can drive a car.

• "Bram", a black cat player by teacher (me). He's good at climbing but his problem is that he cannot speak. 

• "Baby Beatrice", a hyperintelligent Baby who is also a Professor. This is an NPC, and thus not yet fully worked out. She might be picked up in a following game.

Our clubhouse was established to be a treehouse in a high tree without any leaves. It's "talent" is that it has many rooms to host a lot of friends, while it's danger is literally that people fall off of it easily.

We open play on a scene where I ask what we are doing. My pupil decides that he had renovated an entire room for my character, a cat. A room all for myself, with a cat-flap so I can pass through easily. My character goes in to examine this wonderful gift and returns with a letter in his mouth, which he found in the room.

Baby Beatrice's Letter

The letter was from Baby Beatrice who asked for help as her mom fell ill and she did not know what to do. The friend decided to come over and help her. Bram helped Waren climb down the tree safely and as we rolled to see what we could do to get there as fast as we could we found that the car Waren came in was out of gas, and so we had to walk. We arrived and Waren used his cooking talent to make a soup that would heal Beatrice's sick mom in no time. 

We had to end the game there as the bell went, and next class we'll start with a story about Jesus heading over to Peter's house to see if he can help his sick mom (in law).

Friday, August 19, 2022

Bearded Rats JRPG Background: Smuggler


Smuggler Image generated by Craiyon.com

5. Smuggler

• You smuggle things, rare things, valuable things. The Wizard, at some point in your career, made something for you. He didn’t want money as payment though, he wanted you to do something for him.

• You owe the Wizard, but for what? You have a Token Item.

• You gain the Shadow Jack trait at Rank 1 and some Contraband.

Why do you owe the Wizard?

1. He enchanted your cloak so that it’s able to hold a lot more things than it should be able to hold. The things also do not show up if someone else is searching for them. You gain a Cloak of Many Pockets.

2. He made a cloak that makes you invisible. It’s alive though, and needs to be fed gold coins to do its job. You gain Obscuritas, the Cloak of Invisibility (Rank 1), both as an object and a companion, at rank 1.

3. He made you 10 Coins of Bribery, that will make any bribery attempt payed for with these coins magically succeed, provided the recipients possess intelligence.

4. He gave you a Crystal Dowsing Rod, which makes you able to look for items or people you want to find just by thinking of them. It will point in the right direction. With training you can refine the process.

5. He gave you a new face which, besides hiding your old one, has a very charming smile. You gain Smile of Innocence (Rank 1)

6. He trained you in hypnotism, making you able to hypnotize people and animals. You gain Hypnotist (Rank 1).

What contraband are you carrying right now?

1. Expensive Wine, in a wooden crate that carries 6 bottles.

2. A box full of Forged Documents that only need names and signatures to be filled in.

3. A crate of Star Metal, harvested from a fallen meteor. It behaves strangely.

4. 10 Magical Wands, developed by the king’s own mages.

5. A stolen Spell Book. You cannot read it. It has a menacing aura.

6. A Reliquary supposedly holding what remains of the hand of a powerful mage, long dead. It gives you nightmares.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Bearded Rats JRPG Background: Gambler


Gambler Illustration generated by Craiyon.com

4. Gambler

• You are a gambler, but you gambled with the wrong person and lost a bet. What did you know the guy was a Wizard! Now you are here, paying it off. 

• Losing a bet with the Crystal Wizard means you were confident enough by previous successes. You gain a Prize.

• You gain the Finger Smith trait at Rank 1 and a Pair of Lucky Dice.

What prize did you gain and who did you piss off with that?

1. You won a very expensive bottle of wine from the Innkeeper in a town of choice. 
You have a bad reputation with said Innkeeper. Bad Reputation: Innkeeper (Rank 1)

2. You won a special weapon from a warrior. You decided to keep using it. Detail it with the GM. Name the warrior. They obviously don’t like you anymore. Bad Reputation: Warrior (Rank 1)

3. You won the keys to a house in the city. It’s your property now. You haven’t seen it yet, since it’s from the same night that you lost to the Wizard. Bad Reputation: Previous Owners (Rank 1)

4. You won a strange animal. The animal seems to have little desire to listen to you though. Bad Reputation: Strange Animal (Rank 1)

5. You won a magical piece of clothing from a dark stranger. Wether this stranger is mad about it or not you cannot gauge, but they have taken an interest in you and might show up from time to time. Contact: Dark Stranger (Rank 1).

6. You died once, but managed to gamble with Death themself and win it back, for now. They might want to arrange things in such a way that surviving becomes difficult for you. Bad Reputation: Death Personified (Rank 1). You gain the trait Grave Walker at Rank 1.

Monday, August 15, 2022

Bearded Rats JRPG Background: Homunculus

One of the possible Homunculi, as depicted by Crayon.com

 3. Homunculus

• You were not born, but rather are a creation made by the Wizard. Wether or not you look human or not, there will always be at least one part of you that gives you away as inhuman.

• Because you are a servant of the Crystal Wizard you gain the Crystal Rose, a brooch that shows your allegiance with him.

• You have a Special Talent linked to your Form.

What is inhuman about you? What is your Special Talent?

1. You used to be a cat, hunting vermin for the Wizard. The wizard upgraded your intelligence and gave you a more human appearance, though he left your cat-like senses, your claws and teeth all intact. You are a Vermin Hunter (Rank 1) and a Humanoid Cat (Rank 1).

2. You used to be the powerful spirit of a lake, a fairy prince(ss), praised as a god by local humans. The Wizard caught you and stripped you of your power, forcing you to clean the Crystal Tower. You are an Urn-Trapped Lake Spirit (Rank 1) and have a Spell Slot with access to the magic lists for Elemental Water (Rank as Lake Spirit) and Cleaning (Rank 1). 
Your Magic Urn gives you Armor 8, but you have no (visible, usable) hands to use weapons or shields with and you can’t wear any other armor unless you find a way to escape the urn.

3. You used to be a porcelain doll, until the Crystal Wizard brought you to life to entertain his guest. You are an Animated Doll (Rank 1) and an Entertainer (Rank 1).

4. You used to be an owl, then the Wizard changed you into a more humanoid form. You kept your size, your wings, your feathers, your head and your talons, but gained humanoid arms. You are an Owl Creature (Rank 1) and Shadow Jack (Rank 1).

5. You used to be an ox, until the Wizard transformed you into a person with the strength of an ox. The only reminder that you were once an ox, is your tail. You still have the strength of an ox, but now the body of a human and all the perks that come with that. Grateful for this, you work for the Wizard in any capacity that needs your great strength, mainly menial labor. You are an Ox-tailed Human (Rank 1) with Inhuman Strength (Rank 1).
 Additionally you switch you highest ability score with STR and if it was not yet 2, it is now.

6. You used to be a plant, which the Wizard choose for its medicinal properties. The wizard gave you legs and intelligence, channeling your healing properties into a small capacity for magic, which makes you able to use your healing properties whenever your magic allows. You are a Humanoid Plant (Rank 1) with a Spell Slot and access to the spell lists Plant (Rank 1) and Healing (Rank 1).

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Bearded Rats JRPG Background: Burglar

Burglar image generated by Craiyon.com

2. Burglar

• You spent your time breaking into houses, that is, until you tried to break into a wizard tower, you fool. At least now you just need to do this job and you are free of imprisonment by the Wizard.

• Because you are a prisoner of the Crystal Wizard, you are equipped with a Magical Collar that will harm you if you try to just run away.

• You gain the Finger Smith trait at Rank 1 and always have Lock Picks on you.

How do you usually get into buildings?

1. Rooftop access: You gain the Roof Runner trait at Rank 1, and have a Grappling Hook

2. Explosives: You gain a Bomb.

3. Disguising: You gain a Specific Disguise.

4. Sneaking: You gain a Dark Cloak and the Shadow Jack trait at Rank 1

5. Preparation: You gain a Notebook and a Pen to write down all your observations to plan.

6. Bribes: You gain a Pouch of Coin.

The Clubhouse Chronicles #3: The mayor is sad and has to cry!

The mayor's letter In episode 3 of our Clubhouse games in class the mayor sent another letter because he was sooo unhappy and sad that h...