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37

There's a variety of dimensions to whether an activity is appropriate for children of a given age or not. Activity Appropriateness There's no inherent age limit for "roleplaying." Kids roleplay from a very young age via "cops-and-robbers" (though nowadays it's more likely ninjas vs Transformers or something). Group imaginative play as kids is RPGs ...


35

Children don't have the depth of view or span of attention that adults have. If your players are young, it's not a bad thing to railroad them a little bit. You might do this by simply "replacing" the information via some other means: an old beggar they show kindness to tells them he's heard a rumor about the gang, a respected character lovingly chides them ...


30

Read To Him You should be doing this anyway because reading to kids is good for them in general, but it's really handy here. Both to encourage reading, and by mixing in stories of adventure you can let him use his imagination and foster that type of development. Play Games With Him You're already doing this. Keep it up! Make believe games are great, as ...


30

You shouldn't do this Your stated goal is to introduce your 9 year old to gaming. Does your 9 year old still enjoy Dora the Explorer? Would playing in a soccer game with her 4 year old sister be a real game or just a goof? Would you have them playing the same instrument together to learn it? Do they play each other on Wii/360 games without it ending up in ...


22

Engage Your Kids in Shared Storytelling Just as reading to your children is hugely important to foster a future love of reading, I think story-telling is an important activity, too. When my kids were little, I'd sometimes engage them in shared story-telling. Give them an opening theme - "One day, Prince Jacob rode out of his castle early in the morning to ...


21

Young children are interested in different things than you are. The D&D that they play will not be what you're used to. I've read various threads where fathers played D&D with their kids and they share a few things in common: Length of play is fairly short. 30-60 minutes seems to be typical. If you can hold their attention longer, great, but don't ...


21

I've gamed with my kids, I think most importantly you have to look at RPG gaming as you would playing a board game or any other "traditional" gaming. #1 you should be having fun and using the time together to create future fun memories. How would you act if you play Monopoly, or Sorry, or Scrabble with your kids? Obviously you try to win and do it in a ...


19

I'm not familiar with D&D so this will be a system agnostic answer. What you could do is provide an in-game explanation as to why the character of the youngest daughter sometimes disappears from the game or does strange things. Give her a character with a chaotic neutral allignment and take over some of the narrative aspects of the game for her. She ...


18

I was interested in D&D in the '80s, but I never got to play. Now, I have been playing with my wife, my children and their boyfriends, and some other friends (usually 9 in the group) for about six months. The GMs went easy on us at first. They didn't get too technical, and we all knew we were bending (or ignoring) the rules at times. But the object ...


15

Make it up yourself. The basic idea of a game master who presents a situation and can tell players what their characters are doing, and that they can have lots of fun exploring their options, is really intuitive for small children. The assumptions most RPGs about numeracy, literacy and genre savviness are deadly to most of this audience, on the other hand. ...


14

The Princes' Kingdom is a game designed for young children up to adults. There are actual play reports with players as young as six (at end of that review; search for "The Princes' Kingdom in Play" to jump right to the actual play section, though the review is quite informative). Character generation is quick and consists only of decisions that are ...


14

My kids have been playing RPGs since they were around 5 years old - it can be a lot of fun, but it's very different than running games for older ages. My wife and I have found a couple of helpful things: 1) Separate them by age. As you say, 7-year-old girls and 14-year-old boys want different things. For a while, we separated our teenager from her ...


11

Not much. There's nothing that's explicit in the rules for Mage: the Awakening that mandates adult themes or anything involving sex. (If you're thinking of groups like the Cult of Ecstasy or the Verbena from Ascension, there's nothing like that in Awakening.) You can keep things to the level of intimacy you'd find on television and not miss anything.


11

In addition to the issues caused by your players being children, this is a common issue for tabletop games in general: players rarely focus on what you think is important, and rarely do what you expected them to do. If you've played with a specific group for a while, you get a sense for how they might act; joining or starting a new group with different ...


10

Can they keep track of the difference between reality and fantasy? (Typically, starts between ages 5 and 10, tho' some teens still haven't.) Can they do the math for whatever system you are intending to run? AD&D needs signed addition/subtraction, and at two-digit integer precision. White Wolf's Storyteller requires addition only, and single digit ...


10

Roughly, an age: A hardline number is hard to give, but in general, the guideline I'd give is "once they are able to understand clearly the difference between fiction and reality." For most kids, that's in place by age 12; many 7-8 yo kids can do so. Generally, tho', most kids under age 10 simply are not ready for the tabletop mode of game, but some are. ...


10

Being a family man and a DM/GM, I have not made special accommodations for my children by changing the game system used. I simply adjust the burden of the system mechanics I expect the child(ren) to shoulder. I have my children, as young as 5 describe to me the hero they wish to play. I then build the character for them based upon their input and my asking ...


10

I have, I kid you not, been running a My Little Pony Campaign in the Fate system. It's got to be the most ludicrously non-violent game, of any sort, I've ever played. And it works quite well in that system because everything (including any sort of violence) comes down to a certain set of skills rather than the use of an object that your character ...


10

focus on games involving a physical object, yet using imagination The floor is lava is a great example of this (so long as you supervise and don't mind your kid getting all over your furniture). It lets you and your child utilize your everyday surroundings to create fun. Build Forts with pillows, blankets and furniture. Pillow forts (as I call them) were a ...


9

I'd recommend Faery's Tale Deluxe, a RPG that was produced by Firefly Games and printed by Green Ronin Publishing. There's definitely still fantasy elements in it, but as far as the darker side of things and violence, it's a much lighter game. It definitely gives more of a G-rated fairly tale vibe than anything. It's also under 100 pages, appropriately ...


9

Use recaps. At the beginning of each scene or encounter, recap on what has happened so far in a general, unforced and impartial way so as to remind them of options that they might have forgotten about. I have issues with this kind of thing with a table full of adults, so I really am not surprised that it's something you are encountering with your children.


9

I have experience bringing kids (my own son and his friends) into RPGs. I have experience with Dungeon World. I have experience with Fate and FAE. However - I do not have experience introducing kids to RPGs with Dungeon World or FAE. Just to be explicitly clear. With that being said, as the probable instigator of this question, I feel that it is incumbent ...


8

It depends on the age. As my children have aged I've gone through a number of simple systems. The first thing we ever played was Shadows a free RPG by Zak Arntson. It has a very simple mechanic and is based very much around telling a story, at the same time as introducing the concept of thinking about how your character would respond. It's an important RPG ...


8

There are two things you should be looking at when looking at the "appropriateness" of a game, with a third one that might affect their fun, but not their safety. First, are you okay with the game books? Second, are you okay with who they are playing with? Third, are they able to understand the rules? First, look at the book for the game. Just because ...


8

Create stories and adventures with toys, plush and otherwise. Give them persistent personalities. Get the child to participate in these fantasy adventures. Stuff like: Teddy bear goes on adventure to find the cookies. How does teddy get down? How does teddy avoid the cat/dog (ie wandering guard)? how does teddy get up to the cookies? etc.


8

I have played a bunch very simplified D&D dungeon crawl games with my 4.5 year old, using the D&D boardgames (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/59946/dungeons-dragons-castle-ravenloft-board-game and such) for most of the content. The included rules are almost like the 'big editions' of D&D but includes a number of simplifications already - such ...


7

Kids can be very aesthetic. Either draw pictures of places yourself or download them off google to act as a scrapbook of places they've been and things they've seen. Then you can build your campaign background around cool things you've found on google images. I would leave out anything that is already in the imagination and expand on things that are unique ...


7

There are already some excellent answers, but let me make a suggestion based on actual experience: Star Wars Saga Edition. WOTC no longer holds the license, but both the books and miniatures remain quite availabe. Many have written about the game system in other places, but I find it to truly be an "elegant [system] for a more civilized age." Heh. ...



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