As much as I adore Dungeons & Dragons, I know there is a cornucopia of amazing TTRPGs out there. There are several I am desperate to play, but recently I finally got to have a shot at one.
Kids on Bikes.
Inspired by Stranger Things, this RPG lets you create and play as a group of meddling kids, teens or adults who have to take on some unimaginable evil.
The fun part is you get to pick every detail. Want to play in the 1950’s Texas, 1801 London or 1983 Smallville? You can. Plus, the game is really easy to set up. It took us about ten minutes to get our characters made and agree on a setting. In fairness, we did use the premade character archetypes for stats and basic personality outlines but the characters we made were unique.
My character was Matilda Jefferson, a 16-year-old conspiracy theorist with a Mountain Dew addiction, a worrying amount of scalpels at her disposal and questionable mentality to put it nicely. Frankly, she was a borderline psychopath, and I loved that about her.
Matilda, or Mat as she was often called during the game, was such a fun character to play. I went all out with my terrible southern accent that would probably make anyone who has ever been to the southern states die of second-hand cringe, and all but screaming “ALIENS” at every little thing.
Think of the meme of the ancient aliens’ dude, that was basically Mat.
I loved playing Mat so much that I am trying to figure out a way to add her to my campaign I’m writing. I keep doodling her, even though my art skills are pretty much non-existent. What can I say, I’m a writer, not an artist.
The story was Mat and her childhood friend/classmate Thomas Boyle were getting to stay overnight at the Natural History Museum in NYC in 1983 during a class field trip. Of course, during the night weird things start happening.
Our magic kid was this feral sewer creature/child thing (honestly, I’m still not sure what he was) that Mat named Dewey. It was prerolled that he was going to be protective of me, so it was funny that I gave him a good reason to be without knowing that. Yes, he was named after Moutan Dew. By the end of the game, Mat had pretty much adopted him. I am worried, Mat can barely keep herself alive but I’m sure she’s taking good care of him.
Kids on Bikes is a great one-shot RPG. With endless combinations, you will never have the same experience twice. The gameplay is so straightforward that I would recommend it for those who want to get into TTRPGs but are overwhelmed by the technical side of Dungeons & Dragons.
It’s also good if you want to play in a small group since you can play with three people, one of which being the Game Master. So not only is it simple and quick but if you are nervous about roleplaying with a whole party of strangers, this is a good way to ease yourself in.
Dungeons & Dragons is still my favourite, but Kids on Bikes is a very close second. I highly recommend it and I am looking forward to playing it again!