I had a much longer post that had nothing to do with the holiday so I decided to put it off until tomorrow. In the meantime, I did want to mention that I ran a little experiment in horror gaming with my boys.
To bring you up to speed, I've been playing "Dungeons & Dragons" with my six and four-year-old boys for well over a year now. We've kind of fallen into a rut, though, as my oldest has developed an unsurprising but still frustrating (to me) view of what role-playing is all about. Every "session" now consists of a brief combat scenario, staged on a battlemat with a combination of Lego mini figs and pre-painted WotC miniatures. The game mechanic is a simple "highest roll on a d20" wins this round of the fight. Attempts to introduce more complicated scenarios and/or mechanics have been resisted, mostly because my young boys are very comfortable with the way things are currently played.
This weekend, I did manage to try something different. I ran them through a very short sessions of Dread.
For the uninitiated, Dread is a dirt-simple horror RPG that uses a Jenga tower for resolution. If you knock the tower down, you die. Pretty simple and a hell of a lot of fun at conventions. As it turns out, it also works quite well for kids. There's no character sheet to speak of and the kiddies had a lot of fun with the physical nature of making pulls from the tower.