Hot answers tagged

77

Since you asked for anecdotes: I had a pre-teen player join my table once (he was the son of one of the other players) and his character concept was just a mary-sue as you fear. He basically wanted to be Raistlin the Tiamat killer on session one. So my challenge then was to find a way to mold expectations for this character concept so that he still ...


71

The Fighter is a simple, easy to play class The Fighter is traditionally the simplest class available in D&D, which holds true in 5th edition. It is generally well suited to new players as it's tough and survivable, and it rewards a simple playstyle of the "go over there and hit that thing!" variety. Compared to other classes, it has only a few ...


68

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 ...


45

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 ...


42

You don't even need to give her a class to play. Consider giving her this as a sheet: Princess daughter Age 7 HP 30. Ac 15 Sword d20, 1d8 Bow d20, 1d6 And that's it. You could include a line for skills like Charm +5, Climbing +4 , Sneaking +2 Most classes at level 1 are simple enough to play, but a one that hits things are normally the ...


42

First, let me say I commend you for playing with your daughters that young — I GMed for my daughters, but not at that early age. From their perspective, if Parent says this is a fantasy game, and I can do what I want, why is Parent not letting me do what I want? Natural sibling rivalry and age-appropriate selfishness may encourage them to value achieving ...


41

To sum up: children have same expectations of odds, probabilities, and equity as adults so long as the problem is stated clearly. For best interest capture, make it even odds (along the probabilities of blackjack) as influenced by a player-controlled simple skill minigame per test. However, the problems with Piaget's study do suggest maximal elimination of ...


36

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 ...


32

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 ...


31

"...many times he has already decided his path and just wants to play". He's off to a great start! Are his decisions negatively impacting the experience for other players at the table? If not, encourage his behaviour. Allow your son to express WHAT he wants his character to do, and it's your job as the DM to translate that into actions, and prompt your ...


27

I DM a 3.5 game and have a one year old. Yes, they will cause disruptions. They won't be the only things that do. Disruptions Happen The truth about "immersion" is that disruptions happen. That's the reality of tabletop gaming. They happen because the kids are running around, or they wake up, or the phone rings, or you need to pull something out of the ...


27

Find a D&D-esque Game Designed for Kids I have zero experience with "real" D&D (or any tabletop RPG) but I like what little I know about it and have recently been more interested in playing. In addition, I wanted to get my own kids involved in the hopes that starting early would let them grow up playing something I missed out on at that age. ...


25

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 ...


20

Is your son having fun? Is anyone else actually experiencing a problem related to this? Because if not, don't mess with his character. As you say… We will offer hints to help him, but many times he has already decided his path and just wants to play. He knows what he wants to do and is doing it. If he's having fun too, then he's playing his character ...


19

As Carcer states Fighter is generally the most survivable class; however, I don't think one class can be objectively called simpler than another. In order to make D&D 'easy' to play, you or her mother will need to do most of the metagame mechanics for her and/or house rule simpler combat scenarios. If you are concerned with her getting bored with a '...


13

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 ...


13

You generally don't have to change much. I have not run a game specifically of DND 5e with middle schoolers, but I played DND 2e when I was in middle school and I've played other editions with my middle school son. Generally, the games were not that different from playing with all adults. Obviously, middle schoolers are at least stereo-typically less ...


12

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 purchases....


12

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 ...


12

Two concrete things I learned: about team play and player removal The hard one is how the "can't have you at the table" comes off. Player Removal: talk to parents face to face I guessed right when I felt that I had to remove a player in that age range from our table, in that I went home with him and discussed it with his parents and him at the same time. ...


12

You're the GM--create an opportunity for win-win and help them find it themselves. This is a great opportunity to work on some basic conflict resolution with your kids. You should mediate a discussion between them in which you challenge them to find a way for them to free the alien and still stay with the pirates. Given their very young age, you will need to ...


11

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.


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 ...


11

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 ...


10

I speak from experience when I tell you that starting them at a young age can be done. I began playing D&D (2e) with my two sons at ages 8 and 3 respectively. We have gamed together for over 10 years now, and both my sons have gone on to play and gamemaster with their friends (2e, 4e). We are all now learning 5e. First of all, I can not overstate the ...


9

I play with all my little brothers – they're 12, 9, and 5. We play D&D 3.5 and we have a blast. I think if a child is somewhat intelligent and can roleplay fairly well then he or she is ready. My 5-year-old brother is by far the best roleplayer in my small group. I think little kids are awesome to play with. Just don't burden them with rules at first – ...


9

I will expand on this tommorow, but three things from my personal experience. Obviously it will depend on the individual children. Feel free to invite the 7 year old to play. If your child is mature enough, and depending on the relationship between the children, it's possible to have a 7 year old play a character, as well as have the younger children be ...


9

Formal Rules One way to help combat that is to move from informal, mostly made-up game systems to more formal, written rules systems. I say this because most such systems help level the playing field. They do this in part by making character creation part of the rules. If, for example, all of the characters in your game require you to "buy" your ...


9

Animal companion. If your girlfriend doesn't mind playing a ranger (or wizard), the kid can play her helpful wolf or raven or platypus or whatever. This is probably the easiest party structure for the average 7-year-old to grasp; if she's seen any Disney animated movie she'll get it instantly. The animal's character sheet will be very simple (no equipment, ...


9

[Dear Reader: if you haven't yet tried Amazing Tales and have the chance to do so with children, please do. It's really awesome. Absolutely my go-to for introducing kids to RPGs.] I ran into a situation like this when playing Amazing Tales a couple of years back with my three kids. Basically, it was an argument about whether or not we should wake the tiger ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible