Growing up at the loop - a Mephisto review
They Grow Up So Fast
They Grow Up So Fast is a short campaign of four connected adventures for the role-playing game Tales from the Loop. The Norfolk Loop in Great Britain serves as the backdrop for the story, but the action can also be set in the other two settings, Sweden and America, with minor modifications.
The book begins with a concise introduction that introduces the Loop in Norfolk and the surrounding area, giving an overview and setting the atmosphere for the period in England in the 1980s. After this brief introduction and an overview of the campaign, things can get started.
The campaign, divided into four seasons, begins with the Easter Egg Hunt adventure in the spring, where the kids witness a strange incident. Through the events and against some odds, they should come into possession of a strange egg, which apparently comes from an alien life form.
The story continues in the summer with The Best of What Might Be, where the egg's contents are revealed, and the player characters have to face a new challenge.
The story escalates as the year progresses and finally comes to a conclusion in The Year's Last Loveliest Smile and You Can't Get Too Much in the fall and winter.
Without giving too much away about the story, They Grow Up So Fast is about the player characters having to take care of an alien creature that first has to be hidden and taken care of, but then brings more and more challenges.
Of course, as usual in Tales from the Loop, the adults are no help here (and more of a problem). In fact, besides the challenges of the main story with a group of quarrelsome children and a dubious scientist, there are other antagonists that make the game exciting.
What is also interesting here is the fact that the Norfolk Loop, which is run by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, is being taken over step by step by Regional Geomagnetic Information Science, a division of the Ministry of Defense. This new management is quite willing to face challenges in a tougher way, which continues to change the atmosphere around the Loop and creates additional challenges.
Basically, The Grow Up So Fast offers an exciting four-part story that starts slowly in the first episodes, increases significantly in stakes, and occasionally offers interesting new challenges for the players.
At some points, the approaches to solving the problem are described relatively simply for my taste, especially when it comes to how the kids cheat their way past government officials or fast-talk them with just a short roll of the dice. But the idea that the characters here can solve the challenges with simple tests and a few tricks at the end is probably just part of the genre conventions. If you are still looking for a small campaign with more adventures around the Loop, you can find an atmospheric mini-campaign in They Grow Up So Fast.