Saturday we returned to (S) and (C) captured by the rats. They woke up in one of the rat holes on “hurt” (one hit from KO), and heard a higher ranking villain (a bandit leader) speaking with the new rat king. (S) healed (C) once and then they attacked, a little prematurely. Rolls went against them, but the Hunter was in front in the hole, and her melee defense bonus made a huge difference while (S) focused on healing and (C) tried to get some damage in, killing the king and wounding the bandit enough that he fled.
The damage was going slow due to bad rolls and (C) kept going down and I made the mistake of saying “don’t mark her as ‘Knocked Out’ because you’re just going to heal her again and have to erase it.” Why was this a mistake? Because (S) didn’t want me making decisions about what her character would do, or didn’t want to be predictable, or didn’t like the way the grind was going, or any number of other reasons and became belligerent in her desire to not heal (C), but to instead attack for herself.
Due to her lower defense and lack of healing, she too was quickly knocked out. We agreed that the rats wouldn’t likely leave them alive again and they were eaten. Given the option to play new characters this Saturday and either rescue their Healer and Hunter or start on a new adventure, (S) chose to go on a new adventure. I hope lessons were learned all around, but at least I’ll not be directing my players what to do again, no matter how young.
Hero Kids is a great system for kids with a lot of great art. While I’m considering writing an article arguing that systems barely matter to the kind of fun most players chase, this is a good system if you’re looking to play with your kids.