Earlier this year I supported Evil Hat Games' incredibly successful Kickstarter to produce a new edition of the Fate rule system. I have recently received four of their books, including Fate Core. While I used Fudge in my classroom for many years, I have been on the sidelines of Fate. I'm excited about the possibilities of this new, lean, flexible edition. While Heroquest is still, for now, my go-to system for running role paying games with kids, due to its foundational simplicity, Fate has many of the same qualities at hear, and with its clear mechanics and player empowerment, I think it does a better job of linking characters, plot, and setting into an interacting, coherent whole.
I will be testing Fate Core on my older players in the coming months, as I get a feel for it, and I will certainly try it with one of my kid games at some point too. Using Fate, it is certainly possible to begin quickly and simply and develop characters and connections as a game progresses. One issue that limits for me the power of Fate is that when I am running games with kids, I often have ten or more players, leaving little time for such exploration. Many kids want less yacking, more hacking, but I always have a few young people that want to dig into a game more, and Fate may be just the vehicle.
I have also recently received more than half a dozen kid-oriented games - like Camp Myth and Zorceror - and I'll be reading, testing, and reviewing these throughout 2014.
Happy New Year!