Monday, November 28, 2011

D&D With Kids

Over the Thanksgiving holiday I ran an impromptu game with my niece (7) and nephew (9). I fully expected the 9 year old to get into the game and he did but the 7 year old took it to a different level of sophistication.

When I first explained the concept of an RPG to the kids I told them that it was a fantasy game where you create a character and play in a story. My nephew asked if it was something that you did on the Wii. My niece corrected him. She announced that it's when you create a fairytale and play it out with your character.

Along with the niece and nephew, their mom who used to game with me when we were kids jumped into the game along with my wife who games with me now. I chose Swords & Wizardry WhiteBox for its fast and loose nature based on rulings.

No stock characters here. I wanted the kids to have the ability to craft their characters from the very start. We began with rolling 3D6 for attributes and went right to starting gold and equipment. They loved picking equipment and coordinating with each other to make sure that the party was properly and evenly equipped.

The nephew's character started the game in debt to my wife's character so that he could purchase the base necessities of a Fighting Man. He played it very well from the start which led to fantastic role-play once the game got started.

The niece was all about being a wizard so naturally she chose to be a magic user which included picking her own spells and tracking their use on the back of her index card.

My sister played a halfling thief who picked up gold here and there without telling the rest of the party and even offered to loan some of it to the fighting man if it was of course paid back with interest.

My wife played a paladin, the class taken from WhiteBox Heroes. It's a good thing too. The party needed some mending from time to time.

Overall the game was incredibly fun. Things that we gamers find hackneyed such as goblins and giant ants shock them in ways that I remember from when I first encountered the game. It refreshes the perspective.

We managed to get in a couple of sessions over the jam-packed holiday. Leading up to the second session the kids asked, my wife figures, a couple dozen times when we'd play next. We didn't manage to wrap it up but the story surely won't stop. Since the kids live over a thousand miles away I've got some ideas for a GMless adventure to bring the story to a conclusion. It'll be fun.