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Feathered Adventures is great for all ages
Feathered Adventures starts out by stating that there’s basically nothing permitted in the game that wouldn’t be in weekend comics or cartoons, so no character deaths, nothing risque, and no going above a “PG rating” for any of the content. It also has a strong focus on collaborative storytelling and making sure that all players feel comfortable at the table.
For playability, there’s potentially some reading required depending on if you’re using the pre-made character sheets or creating your own, but the general feel and tone of each character can also easily be summarized into a short phrase (like “absent-minded but brilliant”) and has one primary goal so that even kids who can’t read can still easily follow. There’s no stats to track, so math skills won’t be a barrier for young players.
Feathered Adventures can be set anywhere that your brood seeks out
Feathered Adventures has a lot of openness in where you can go for your setting and includes premade settings that range from treasure hunts in various locations to fancy parties. You can also easily make up your own adventures following the concisely and well-laid out format for tracking your quests and progress.
Because Feathered Adventures has a particular feel to it that aligns really well with newspaper comics or early morning cartoons, having a setting similar to what you’d find in DuckTales, Slylock Fox, or Darkwing Duck would fit really well with this particular game.
Player characters in Feathered Adventures
To create your character in Feathered Adventures, you’ll pick an archetype from an offered list (or make up your own), like “bad tempered but selfless” or “a platypus wizard who is not very good at magic”. Then, you’ll fill in your brood sheet with any notes on the character and a potential longer quest or goal, if you are playing a campaign.
The brood sheet for each archetype also has a special success condition at the bottom for that particular character, so playing a character who is “lazy but lucky” would have a success condition of succeeding through luck… at the determinant to a party member. These last bits are meant to help with RP and with driving the story forward through a combination of succeeding and also maybe creating a bit of chaos for an interesting tale.
That’s all for your personal character!
Beyond that, you can use the premade character sheets or suggestions to get ideas for personality traits, how to RP your character, and more. You also have the option of choosing a predetermined brood, or group of characters, with your fellow players that set up for some interesting RP opportunities (like having a superhero, their sidekick, and a villain who wants to help teaming up).
Mechanics in Feathered Adventures
RP focused and driven by actions
Feathered Adventures is very focused on RP and group storytelling with the Cartoonist (the general guide for the story) watching the pacing, staging, and calls for successes and failures for actions. Players are actively trying to fulfill their special success condition, which may cause others to fail or need to react, without requiring randomization methods.
To track the progress of the adventure, Feathered Adventures has a very cool progression mechanic with some fun graphics to go with it and help show the whole group how far the quest has gone. Each adventure has a particular set of rules for what’s required to fill in a progression box, and there’s suggestions for how many progression boxes to use depending on the length of the adventure that you want (i.e. 3 boxes for a <1 hr session, 8 boxes for more than 2hrs, etc).
The scene concludes when all boxes are marked after having satisfied the conditions for that particular type of episode. For an investigation type story, you could get a progression tracker box marked for finding a clue, puzzling out how clues fit together, and so on.
With it being a visual representation of the story that all players can see, it is really helpful for games with kids. They can get a feel for how long the story is and clearly see that they’re going somewhere as more marks are being ticked.
Extras as foils to PCs
There are several points I would like to get into (like the amazing Cartoonists pencil case sheets or the Interludes), however, for my last “deep dive” I want to tackle how NPCs are uniquely positioned to cause some fun drama with the PCs.
Each PC follows a particular archetype during character creation. When an Extra (or NPC) is introduced, they also have an archetype, and they are all particularly suited to conflict with or be a foil of the PCs. For example, you might have a “resourceful supervillain” Extra who shows up in an adventure featuring a “clumsy superhero” PC. This sets up for a really easy way to make impactful NPCs that significantly facilitate RP and exciting storytelling.
Overall thoughts on Feathered Adventures
This was a great game and just a lot of fun. We ended up playing The Brood in Dark Suits premade team, which has a big superhero vibe to fit with what kiddo is into, and we went on one of the Treasure Hunt quests to search for a magical hidden gem that the heroes wanted to protect from a baddie and that the helping villain wanted to take for themself. It was wonderful; kiddo had a good time, I had a good time, it was easy to run, and the story kept itself going. I definitely recommend checking this out to play with either grown ups or with kids!
Find a copy of Feathered Adventures
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