#Foresee Alpha: “I want to play Spider-Man”.

Several families are starting to run Foresee Alpha for the kids, either as a weekend thing or some week nights using miniatures (toys not wargaming) to help play.

It’s come up several times and the ‘veteran’ parents running a game handle it no problems- a Spider-Man (or Wolverine or Iron Man) type character is easily do-able in Foresee as it is in the original game that inspired it.

However one new-to-GMing parent ran into difficulties by getting hung up on the SETTING rather than the character.

Use the Saturday Morning Cartoon test: contemporaneous with the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon was a Spider-Man cartoon. Neither of them were setting dependent since the situations are classic slapstick, nonlethal combat and mysteries, nothing whatsoever to do with what the villains say in the shows, which is all over the top and murderous. Playground level violence.

So in that context, it doesn’t matter that a Spider-Man type character isn’t in New York and that his Entanglement and Wall-Crawling will be used against a dragon or a horde of orcs. What matters is letting a child use his or her imagination, which these days includes teaching them how to, considering most schools are now marxist conformity factories.

Model the character – give it the appropriate powers – Wall-Crawling, Combat Awareness, Entanglement (webbing). Give it some extra Brawn and Coordination (but not too much, always leave room for improvement).

Help the child see that being bitten by a “magical” spider is equivalent to the pseudo-scientific origin from the original Marvel comics.

Include the character directly in play quickly- don’t get hung up on background. Children love telling their own stories anyway and there will undoubtedly be some kind of fan movie running in the child’s head already!

Get to a simple combat situation quickly. Make sure the enemy is tough enough to go a few rounds with ALL the characters being played so everyone gets a chance to think about what they want to do.

And Spider-Man is stalking a fantasy roleplaying world! (again).

If a scientist does it in a comic, rest assured there’s a wizard out there who can and would do the same. Likewise inheriting magical armor, a magical indestructible shield (whether you’re a cavalier or the living symbol of Liberty), and so on.

With such a small change, a lot of existing superheroes and villains work extremely well in a fantasy setting.

I am not urging people to rip off existing characters, but it is a fact that a lot of children will begin wanting to play a known character that they love. So let them. 🙂

 

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