"Kids on Bikes" is a role-playing game from 2018 written by Jon Gilmour and Doug Levandowski which will lead players to live big adventures in small cities. It is a good title, albeit reduced in the regulation, which can range from campaigns that recall "The Goonies" to the most recent "Stranger Things", Without forgetting that also"Dark”Could have its charm.
The setting of "Kids on Bikes" is created during the session zero, keeping as cornerstones some of the points that help adventures to be lived to the fullest. The manual emphasizes how the perfect place for a campaign or “Kids on Bikes” session are small towns, surrounded by nothing, with few inhabitants and some dark rumors or secrets. These are what in Italy we would call "villages", in which everyone knows each other and very few people do their business.
Despite the name of the game, players will not be forced to play children but can also choose teenagers and adults. Obviously an adventure in which the protagonists are children, teenagers or people made and finished will have completely different tones, possibilities and twists.
Following the best currents of modern role-playing thinking, players actively participate in writing the setting by answering questions that the narrator will ask them. This allows not only to remove some weight from the master's shoulders but also to allow players to see their ideas build the world.
The "Kids on Bikes" system is simple and easily explained. All the dice, from d4 to d20, can be used and are distributed among the various statistics of the character. Whenever a skill roll is requested by the narrator, the player will roll the appropriate die. Unlike other systems, such as Savage Worlds, the difficulty will not be fixed but variable from "impossible" (20) to "trivial" (1). Fortunately the dice can explode, so allow them to be rolled back in case you get the most that dice has to offer.
For the creation of the character you can choose one of the pre-generated models, which follow clichés to be customized to the best of your personalities, or you can invent from scratch. The manual guides the player whether he wants to
Structure of the manual
The "Kids on Bikes" manual consists of 169 pages, of which more than half are occupied by ideas for adventures. With over 22 ideas to think about, even the least imaginative party can play for a long time without ever having to worry about anything. Added to this is a long introduction on the safety of people at the table, a space for the creation of queer characters and some analyzes on historical correctness. The rules themselves, admittedly, are very few because the system is very simple. The setting is naturally sparse because it needs the party to create it.
Who is it recommended for?
"Kids on Bikes" is recommended for all those who want to experience adventures to the "Stranger Things" from which the game clearly draws heavily. Those who don't like these kinds of stories will have little incentive to play this title, although it remains easy to read.