Kid Sidekick
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From the time that I could walk he'd take me with him
To a bar called the Green Frog Cafe
There was old men with beer guts and dominos
Lying 'bout their lives while they played
I was just a kid, they all called me "Sidekick"
Just like desperados waitin' for a train
Like desperados waitin' for a train

(From) Desperados Waiting for a Train - Guy Clark

Basic Information

Commonly in TV shows a character will have a much younger sidekick. Not nearly as common in gaming (unless you've got young kids as players) since the point of Kid Sidekick in TV is usually just to give younger viewers someone to identify with.

Related tropes:

Contrast against Older Sidekick



Game and Story Use

  • So, the PCs managed to save the Determined Homesteaders Children but not their parents? You wouldn't want to send them to an orphanage, would ya?
    • If the GM wants to provoke this kind of response, he might foreshadow it by running a scene at or in front of the wicked orphanage. Perhaps he could draw parallels between the orphanage and the wicked witch from Hansel and Gretel.
    • Alternatively, there is no orphanage, or the kid(s) run away from it or getting them to orphanage (or next of kin) is an adventure in itself, during which they become one of the party. You could even make it into a FedEx Quest if the next of kin has moved on…
    • They could also be fostered with friendly locals if you want them as an incidental character. If the locals turn out to be secretly evil, there's another plot hook for you.
    • If the PC has a home base/castle/ranch whatever the kid can be dumped there as well, for incidental use.
    • The Orphanage could also be a good way of putting the kids on a bus for a while - then they return from the Evil Orphanage for revenge on those that put them there or from a non-evil one as friends and allies, maybe even seeking help to get their parents steading back.
  • As long as your game system of choice doesn't penalize the stats of kids too harshly, you could have a lot of fun with a PC that emulated this trope.
  • Outside of a Western setting this is the exact role of a squire or page (or equivalent, less feudal foster child), of young apprentices for non-martial characters and (in the female case) for younger maids.
  • A pledge to take care of a friend's children - even to the extent of raising them as your own - is relatively common in fiction (and a little less so in real life, but not unknown). If you happen to be a bachelor of no fixed abode, kid sidekick is what they become.
  • Kids, like dogs, have a habit of finding things that adults miss - and finding trouble. A kid is an ideal finder of adventure hooks by overhearing things, picking up unconsidered trifles and poking about where they're not meant to be and generally failing to mind their own business.
  • A mustered out sidekick gives the PCs a link to a community as they get invited to coming of age ceremonies, weddings, housewarmings, child dedications etc., even if they're not doing those things themselves.
  • For those who enjoy subversion use older than they look and reverse the apparent sidekick/caretaker dynamic - for example if the apparent kid is actually a centuries old vampire and their apparent caretaker is actually their pupil or ward. This can still occasionally be flipped as the actual kid occasionally has to point out where their elder is behind the times.
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