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36

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 ...


20

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 ...


20

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 ...


17

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.


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 ...


9

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 ...


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

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. ...


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 ...


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 ...


6

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. ...


5

If your young ones are into Super Heroes, I'd suggest the Prose Descriptive Qualities variant Truth & Justice. For fairy-tales there is also The Zorceror of Zo. PDQ is really light on the rules, allowing for swift and fast play and character creation, with a lot of room for bonuses for creativity and the like. Plus, the books contain good discussion of ...


5

InSpectres is a simple, easy to run game that I've never failed to have fun playing. The premise is that you are part of a start-up company of supernatural investigators. The game gives you a lot of leeway for setting a particular tone in the fiction. There is a free, bare bones pdf of the game as well as a free supplement centered around playing young ...


5

I'm partial to The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men by Annie Rush, a game that's really easy to teach to young'uns while being open-ended enough to intrigue old'uns. Plus you get to eat your character when you're done. Other games that my wife and I have successfully used with kids from ages 5-12 include Toon, the Star Wars RPG from West End Games, and the ...


5

You didn't mention how young your kids are. My son is three, and we had a blast playing Argyle and Crew. You start by making a sock puppet (soppet) for each player (you included). Each soppet has only two eyes and a mouth by default, but gets to have two extras upon creation. My son, enraptured by "How to train your dragon", wanted a dragon soppet, so I ...


5

One way to make your children feel more comfortable as players to make yourself a player, too. Try games that share GM responsibilities or are GMless. I highly recommend Matthijs Holter's game Archipelago II: http://norwegianstyle.wordpress.com/2009/07/04/archipelago-ii/ Similarly, letting them GM for you would be a great step toward developing both ...


5

Most of my adventurers are homebrew, but what works thematically for kids in my experience are adventures that fit the themes and morality of the stories that they like. Setting up a scenario that is similar to movies or books that the child knows well will help with immersion and understanding of goals and expectations. Good thematic elements for the ...


4

I'd highly recommend Kids Dungeon Adventure One of my friends has two young boys (around 6 yoa) and they have loved this game, he's constantly blogging about their adventures and they are always badgering him to play some more! It's initially aged at 3-6 year olds and there's only one stat (HP) they play using their own toys as heroes and their ...


4

This is a common problem when a parent is coaching a child's sports team. Of course there a lot of the dynamic is because you need to be fair to the kids who aren't yours, and also because it's competitive so you can't under-challenge them. You could consider being more of a "dad-coach" if it was just your progeny. But I think we all know what is expected ...


4

If you are coming from the point of view of a shop or club and what rules you should run then I would personally recommend you keep to a strict enforcement of age limits for unaccompanied children. This is less about what the children are capable of and more about protecting yourself. If you are strict about the restriction you can always relax it for ...


4

The changes in Hero System are not that many. 6th ed turns the old figured stats (PD, ED, Stun, Rec, Spd, End) into non-figured, and drops Com. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same game mechanics. You would, however, be doing just fine with 4th ed, 5th ed, or 5th revised ed core rulebooks, and at much lower a price, by buying used. 4th ed's "champions" ...


4

Played with my 5 year old this weekend so I though I would answer my own question with my finding so far. I played The Warlock of Firetop Mountain with him a month or so a go and he did enjoy it but the themes are a bit dark for him and he did not want to play again (may be when he is older). This weekend we played rpgKids (v1.5) the system needs a bit of ...


4

You can completely eliminate sex, and it won't make much of a difference to the game. However, there are far too many things I'd call "kid unfriendly". They are everywhere, and to remove them all would be to play a totally different game (not to mention you would probably not want your players to read the players book) In mage: Magic to break a part of ...



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