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The Goonies

Chris J

Registered User
Validated User
Watching the Goonies right now, great flick.

Is there an rpg that can do this? I was thinking of Tales from the Flood but isn't that much darker in tone? I'm specifically looking for the light-hearted capering kids in a fix trope.

GURPS is too heavy and Fate Core is too heroic for a group of kids out of their depth.

Kevin Mowery

Validated User
Kids on Bikes is probably what you're looking for. It allows for different ages of characters (so you can have the older teens and the younger kids, unlike Tales From The Loop/Things From The Flood, which are designed around playing different ages of character in different games.)

The other option I'd suggest is Bubblegumshoe. It's meant to mimic stuff like the Hardy Boys or Veronica Mars, but it would take almost no tweaking to make the kids a little younger and the heart of The Goonies is basically a mystery involving lost treasure and criminals hunting for it, which puts it close to a lot of Scooby-Doo/The Three Investigators plots.


Validated User
I know you said no Fate Core, but have you looked at Unwritten: Adventures In the Ages of MYST and Beyond?

It might seem weird to suggest a game about MYST for Goonies, but hear me out. The central focus of the game is on exploration, puzzles, and traps. It doesn't give players the option to fight enemies head on. Instead, fights are threats that you need to escape, possibly by using your slick shoes to make your enemy fall so that you can get away.

I'm sorry to go directly against your request with this suggestion, but it's just so perfect that I had to. It's also a great game written with lots of obvious love, so I'd feel bad not mentioning it.


Crown Prince of Next to Nothing
Validated User
I think Kids on Bikes will serve you well for a good rules light game. If you really want to lean hard into an investigative game then Bubblegumshoe is probably the better choice.


He's trying real hard to be one of the good guys.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Tales from the Loop is the "you play as kids" Fria Ligan game. It would do Goonies just fine in terms of tone (it's maybe not the lightest kids game, but then again Goonies isn't the lightest kids movie). The PCs can't be killed, and in general have the resources to solve the problem on hand, though they may suffer some psychological stress in doing so (but they'll recover if you want them too).

Things from the Flood is the "you play as teens" Fria Ligan game. It's darker in tone, but still not THAT dark (maybe more at the Stranger Things level?). Failure has more consequences, and the teens can be killed now, but getting killed still isn't going to be a regular result of failure.

Kids on Bikes or Bubblegumshoe are also fine games--which to choose really depends on where you'd want the emphasis to lie.


Registered User
Validated User
GURPS is too heavy
I disagree. One of the points of GURPS is that you only use the rules that are relevant to your game. Start them at low point values, severely limit the available traits, and use only the most basic of the combat rules, and you have a pretty rules-light experience that matches up well with what's shown in The Goonies.


New member
I’d also recommend Stranger Stuff. I love the TinyD6 engine, and Stranger Stuff is going to be the next game I run. Just like Kids on Bikes it handles different age levels, but I tend to prefer the mechanics that it uses over KoBs.


RPGnet Member
Validated User
You can really tell the influence Stranger Things has had based on how many good options there are for this now. I picked up a game at Gencon called Rememorex which really does a great job of emulating that '80s vibe. It only uses 6 sided dice (a plus for me) and has an interesting character creation system. Some of the target numbers seem a bit wacky to me, but mostly dealing with kids (fairly high failure rate likely) might have something to do with it
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