Little Wizards is the latest RPG from Crafty Games, the same people who brought us Spycraft, Fantasy Craft and the Mistborn Adventure Game. Little Wizards is an RPG designed for kids, and is based on Contes Ensorceles from 7eme Cercle.
Intended as an introductory game to the wonderful world of RPGs for kids aged 6 to 10 or so, Little Wizards takes place in Coinworld, an flat, circular world with two very different faces named Heads and Tails.
Each world has it’s own set of islands that serve as the center of civilization. Heads is a world with an enchanting charm and a friendly environment, while Tails is darker and gloomier, though not much more dangerous.
The trick to these two sides is that it takes magic to travel from one to the other, and thus the reason why Sorcerers and Mages are the central figures to the setting.
The game takes pains to differentiate the two. Sorcery is inherent to a person and is passed on from parent to child. Mages on the other hand are those who develop magic through book learning.
Adventures in Little Wizards are keyed towards kid friendly romps through the setting, and the game doesn’t disappoint. Each of the worlds are detailed in ways to inspire various adventures without being too scary or disturbing for kids.
Character creation is a breeze with the essential choice of being either a Mage or a Sorcerer. This is followed with a whole bunch of fun lists to choose what the Wizard in question looks like, and acts like, and what they’d like to do. The three mechanical traits are Body, Heart and Brain which are ranked according to a scale of Good, Better and Best. Powers are chosen next, with Wizards picking two powers from a list of 3, and getting a Broom Riding Power for free. Powers are ranked similarly to traits, except that they are Good in two powers, while being Better in one of their choice.
The basic mechanics are also very easy to grasp, with a simple 2d6 die roll plus the traits against a target number. It’s possible to get a Disaster if you roll two ones, and a Brilliant Success on rolling two sixes. To help the Narrator on setting difficulties for powers, they also list a bunch of sample difficulties per power set.
The book continues with a lot of useful advice for a Narrator running the game for kids. I’ll admit that the advice is useful even for running for adults and it’s a welcome addition to a game that’s focused on running for a much younger demographic.
The book also includes three Tales, adventures that are ready to run straight from the book, with accompanying material that detail a couple of locations in better detail.
Overall, Little Wizards is a pretty book with colorful illustrations, a unique setting, solid core mechanic, and written in a manner to teach people to run games for the younger age group.
It’s very rarely that I get to see a game that has such a strong focus on usability as Little Wizards. The game guides Narrators in every step in making sure that the end result and adventures for kids are rewarding and fun.
I’ve long held the opinion that Crafty Games are some of the best people at being able to convey the mood of the source material through their work. They were the one group that was able to make Mistborn come alive at the gaming table, and seeing them apply the same clarity to Little Wizards makes it a must-buy for any gamer looking to run for kids.