After talking with the LBO’s teacher it was clear he needed to do more activities that were fun and involved reading and writing. He’s got computers down, likes to read but seems to hate writing. I think a lot of it has to do with how slow he is. He takes his time because he wants it to look nice but ends up being discouraged with the length he has to write. So I’m going to encourage him to spend less time playing video games and more time playing games that involve writing, reading and simple math.
Last night I let him pick one of the many RPGs I had on the bookshelf to start playing. He eagerly picked Marvel Super Heroes and began flipping through the cards of existing heroes. I cut out the stand up pieces and character cards and set up a quick little scenario for him. He was considering using the Hulk, Thor or the Thing but decided it might be too easy to play as them since they’re so strong! He settled on Iron Man who was still quite considerable given I was just going to put him up against some simple thugs armed with handguns.
He picked up on the system easily enough which involves using percentile dice on a table indexing your attribute rating and the die roll to determine the result. Moving his piece around the map (the box set comes with two stock maps; one of city streets and another which was inside various buildings) was simple enough and he immediately caught on with the taking turns system.
The scenario I gave him was he was flying to a nearby office building for some reason which he filled in as being saving someone from a kidnapping that involved pursuit of a car through a construction area which was very dangerous. I added a few details as to why the fellow was kidnapped and why they had him going to their office to pick up a secret tech item which was what the ‘bad guys’ were after. As he was flying down the street he noticed a suspicious looking thug hanging around outside a building that had a law office and medical offices. Seconds later two other men burst out of the doors carry large bags and handguns. The thug outside pulled a gun, checked both ways and they all dashed down an alley.
LBO decided to follow them from a distance and see where they were going. The thugs split up at the next street with one ducking left into a main street while the two with the bags kept running up the alley until the ducked into an empty lot between some apartment buildings. He followed cautiously and was surprised by the single thug who was hanging back as a lookout. We quickly learned that the thugs could be one shot by his pulse beams and he continued on after the other two but lost them between the apartment buildings. I gave him a chance to use his connectivity with local law enforcement agencies to determine who the fellows were but he missed it so I went with them not being in the system.
He ducked into a local grocery store, freaking out the proprietor (because he was Iron Man) and questioned the middle-aged Italian gentleman. From his description, Guido (hey, it was called Guido’s Grocery) knew who they were and had a general idea of where they lived. Iron Man took off through the empty lot and to the apartment building Guido told him to check out. He scanned the windows for any sign of them and caught a glimpse of one of them quickly closing a blind. He made up some of the other things he saw while scanning the windows.
Into the building he went where he found an older Chinese fellow coming out of the elevator. He described the thugs he was after, asking for a room number but I threw a curve ball at him. The old Chinese guy was partially blind and mostly deaf. It stumped him a little but he had fun as the old chap was repeating what was being asked incorrectly. I bailed him out by having a lady heading to the laundry room give him directions. (I was reminded that the LBO had never seen an apartment building and he was assuming it was more like a hotel.)
He bolted up to the third floor and to the room where the bad guys were. He wanted to sneak in, but that wasn’t happening as Iron Man. He discovered the door was locked so he forced the lock only to discover they had stacked furniture against the door. Using his enhanced strength, he shoved the door open despite the couch, table and fridge that was pressed against it. The thugs in the room immediate opened fire but the bullets bounced off Iron Man’s armor. Iron Man decided to use the table they were hiding behind to pin them to the wall but botched the roll so he ended up smashing the table and sending the parts into the thugs giving them some bumps. One thug grabbed a table leg and stepped into a baseball swing at Iron Man, which shattered the table leg and did little to Iron Man. Again the other thug opened fire but this time missed entirely. Iron Man dispatched the thugs in melee combat, sending one of them through a window and down to an arriving police car.
He had a lot of fun with it and was writing out his character sheet (despite having it all on the card) while I was preparing the other pieces. I only asked him to write down his Health but he went ahead because it was of interest to him. He’s eagerly looking forward to playing again and wants to defeat a giant robot that is walking through the city destroying buildings. I guess I don’t need to prepare much for our next session since he’s got it all planned out for me.