I think it really started after I took Dominic (my youngest son) to see Acquisitions Incorporated in the theater. He almost immediately wanted to make a character. This got my older son Rowan interested, and now that you have two kids with a character each you have to start playing.
It’s a rule of geek parenting – I looked it up.
So I have a Half-orc Monk, and an Elf thief working for a trading company and guarding their caravan on the way from Baldur’s Gate to Daggerford. My favorite moment of our first adventure was the variety of NPCs that looked at the elf and the half-orc working together and asking how they got along. In unison the boys replied “what do you mean” – straight faced, no concept of some of the history of the game that they were playing against. It was an immediate hand out the inspiration moment.
Here’s what I know so far.
Some difficulties of playing with “kids” – they are 12 and 13.
Attention. We only play for about two hours at a time. Normally a weekend evening.
Only Two Characters. They cover the basic fighter and thief roles, but there is a definite lack of magic. I’ve asked them what type of adventures they would like to have (investigation, dungeon crawl, monster hunt, etc) and they are still thinking about it. I may add more magical items to add some magic and mystery (and utility). Trying very hard not to add the GM PC. It would be too easy for them to look at “Dad’s Character” and just ask for advice or follow the leader.
Rules. I’m adding some of the rules as we go, depending on what type of encounters come up. This is something I’ve stolen from all the basic and beginner box sets that we have played over the years. No reason to complicate things, fun is more important.
Some ideas I’m trying.
Let Them Name Things. They got to pick the name of the trading company – Slashtrade, the inn – The Bloody Hook, and the other merchants in their caravan (stealing ideas from the caravan chapter from Tyranny of Dragons). All of the buy in and investment that brings is priceless.
Get Their Input on Next Adventures. I would like them to lead the story on the next adventures – or at least to influence the story. Twelve and thirteen year old boys get off track even faster than my “adult” gaming group. The more investment they have, the more gaming we get in during our couple of hours.
It is tough to compete with the electronics, but they have seen and heard how much fun I have when my weekly gaming group comes over. I know they want to experience some of that and this is a great entry way.