Kids on Bikes advice, shared characters and flaws

I will be running my first Kids on Bikes adventure for a group at our local shop. It’s a regular RPG event, where people signup ahead of time, so I will likely get a group of new players and strangers to each other.

I’ve run one-shots for the event before, so I know a lot about setting the tone, conversation starters, and simple things like having extra pencil/papers and name placards. But anyone have some advice for this game, specifically?

Aside from general advice, one thing that I’m unsure about is the shared character that everyone can run collectively. How has that worked for some? Also, with so much of the game created in a world-building session at the beginning, how much pre-gen should I prepare about this character, or the world generally? I’m trying to gauge my approach here.

Another thing is the flaws. I don’t see much to it, beyond helping define characters and serving as general roleplaying notes. Would it break the system if I introduced a compel/invoke economy similiar to Fate, where players can earn adversity tokens?

I’m super excited about trying the game. The flavor and approach is really something I gravitate to


This sounds awesome! Kids on Bikes is one of my favorite games!

Since you are running it as a one-shot and all that implies (limited time, people who may not know each other well, etc.), I would suggest coming with a setting/idea that is more prepped than the default game setup in the book where everyone create everything about the setting together. That’s completely fine in games like Kids on Bikes or Fate Core - after all, they do sell pre-built settings for these games, and none of this is truly baked in. You can still give the players an opportunity to add a few things to the setting too if you like. I would also suggest doing the minimum option in the book for building character inter-relationships as well because it’s a one-shot - to get into the action quicker.

For the shared powered character, I would suggest collecting the cards with the different aspects and powers of the shared character at least once during the game and redistributing them. I would also recommend that you as the GM should also take one of those cards to show them how sharing the character is done.

And have fun and enjoy the experience! Don’t be afraid to go with what the players come up with, even if it contradicts what you initially prepped. It’s a good game for that!


Thanks! Appreciate the thoughts!

And yeah, I figured I would come with a few things pre-loaded-- such as having some “pick one” lists similar to the PbtA playbooks but using them for elements of setting/world building. Adjectives are our friends, and leads naturally into questions. :slight_smile: “About the sounds often heard from the House on the Corner, choose from: eerie sounds, howling sounds, clanking sounds, shrill sounds” Cool. What does that sound like exactly? What do neighbors think it is? Other kids?" I just didn’t want to do too much prep and turn it into Monster of the Week, which I have also run for this game event, so maybe I’m caught up in a default to that.

And thanks again! Those suggestions for the shared powered character are spot-on.

1 Like