If you love Stranger Things, IT, ET, Goonies, then I have a new tabletop RPG for you! It is called Kids on Bikes and it focuses on folks in a small town who inevitably comes across the paranormal and somehow have to overcome great odds in order to save their community.
While the theme of Kids on Bikes is already amazing, which makes it even better is the fact that it is easy to pick up and play. No need to memorize every aspect of the rules nor your character. You merely pick a trope you’d like your character to be that offers various skill sets. You choose strengths, flaws, starting inventory, and then decide what your background story is along with your relationships with the other players.
Even as the game master, Kids on Bikes offers a great balance between being light on the rules and yet having enough to address boundaries. While a majority of the game is a series of skill checks, there are a few unique aspects of the game that makes it stand out.
For one is the Adversity token system where players are rewarded with an adversity token for failing checks. You can then use these tokens to help pass a failed roll, assist other players with their rolls, or even use special abilities. This is a fun way to ensure that everyone has fun no matter what happens in the games!
The second aspect that I enjoy is the Powered Character! Just like 11 from Stranger Things or even Sloth from the Goonies, your game session can include an NPC who has special powers along with hindrances.
What is fun about this is that the character isn’t just controlled by the Game Master but is heavily influenced by the players. There is an entire system focused on the players having to manage the physical/mental strain of the powered character using their abilities and their feelings towards the group. They are not just a weapon wielded by the players but supposed to be a relationship that has to be managed by the group and similarly protected when needed.
Various popular RPG groups have started playing the game from Rivals of Waterdeep
to Hyper RPG !
What is interesting to me is that there is no dedicated health system nor ways to level up or get stronger. Granted, you can give them items, money, status, and even additional strengths but nothing drastic. This seems to be focused on one main campaign and then it finished, which is fun in its own way! It will rely heavily on the Game Master and players to collaborate on what story they want to tell. There is no Monster manual, state blocks for items, or additional rules for any sort of specific situations. It is all up to the Game Master to world build.
I highly recommend picking up Kids on Bikes if you are a fan of urban fantasy! You can find it over on Renegade Game Studio’s website! there are also supplements to the game such as Kids on Brooms, Teens in Space, and Junior Braves Survival Guide to the Apocalypse!