I used to do a lot of roleplaying in my youth, and would like to pass on the wonder and excitement I enjoyed to my Nephews and Nieces. I have not played in a few years and so don't know what games are available anymore.

When I was playing I would have suggested to someone D&D or AD&D as a place to start.

Can anyone suggest where I should start with a 12,13,14 year old Nephew if I wanted to give a birthday present?

  • \$\begingroup\$ There are so many choices, nowadays! What genre do you think they'd enjoy? What are their favorite movies? Are they into anime, comics, fantasy, sci-fi? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 20:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fantasy probably, lord of the rings and the hobbit are a big hit \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 20:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not as up on fantasy genres as on sci-fi/dystopian, but there's always D&D's Beginner Box (I think that's still out there). If they prefer a more board-game approach, you could try one of the numerous D&D big box games like Wrath of Ashardalon or Castle Raveloft or Legend of Drizzt, just to get them used to the idea of moving around a field and using the dice mechanics, and start adding in story as you go. I've heard, but never played, Savage Worlds is a good system, fairly simple and streamlined. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 20:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't see this question as a duplicate. The other question asks specifically for kids RPGs, which suggests below 12, to which something like Hero Kids would be an excellent recommendation. But this question is about teens, which makes a much larger range of traditional RPGs suitable. I might recommend something like Star Wars: Edge of the Empire Beginner's Game. (Also, the other question is old, and answers to these kind of questions change as new games are released.) \$\endgroup\$
    – mcv
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 9:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ While I tend to agree this isn't a complete duplicate, it's not defined well enough to reopen. Since most RPGs are accessible to most teens, this will become "everyone says their favorite game." More criteria are thus required. I see "fantasy" in the comments, that helps, but please expand more on the attributes of a game you'd like recommended. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 13:40

1 Answer 1



Pathfinder's box set is, in my opinion, one of the nicest self-contained game presentations I've ever seen. I'd recommend it without a second doubt; it has folding maps and cardboard character printouts with bases that immediately offer a low-budget battle map, and it has enough content to give players a bunch of fun. Plus, Pathfinder's SRD is pretty massive, so there's no paucity of new content for creative play, and there are a ton of adventures out for it (as there are for pretty much anything). I also found learning Pathfinder much more simple than learning any of the other modern games out there, and it has perhaps the most minor-friendly content among them.


All the D6 games are available free as PDF's over on DriveThruRPG, if the beginner players are tech-savvy. That doesn't make it much of a gift, but you can also get the D6 books for ~$20 or so on Amazon, depending on which you want, and the D6 system's pretty easy.


1km1kt is a site for free game development and such. You can find a variety of games on here that have a ton of different genres and levels of complexity, including "pocketmod" games that can fit happily on a single page. Ask around on the forums, since 1km1kt is at least a decade old and some great gems are buried in its archive, including but not limited to one of the best superhero games I've ever played (back in high school, which probably lets people know how old/young I am).

This is, of course, far from an exclusive list, but when I introduce players to games this is typically my order of doing so (unless I feel like dropping them in hard on my Shadowrun campaign, which is not a easy game).


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