Kids and Roleplaying Games (RPGS)'s Journal
You are viewing the most recent 23 entries.
9th May 2009
7th August 2006
sambear @ : Dragonkin Podcast #3 Posted!
Dragonkin, my kids and gaming podcast, has been updated.
If you're interested in getting your kids involved with gaming, this is a good one to listen to.
dragonkinpcast for those of you who like things the LJ way
You can search "Dragonkin" at the Itunes Music Store to add it there, for free.
17th March 2006
5th May 2005
30th April 2005
28th April 2005
b00jum @ : Hello! Introduction n' all 8)
I just posted an introduction recently to:
But it hasnt' gone through yet 8(
I'm a 30something yo gamer geek dad (2 year old daughter). I'm also the Director of Youth Programming at a local (Portland, Oregon) con - GameStorm (www.gamestorm.org)
I'm working on a few rpg ideas for kids, but most of my material isn't online and I'm going through a few changes as I've begun to think about the game(s) more. I'll make a seperate post for this later.
A few suggestions (to sambear). Would you cross link from the yahoo group to this LJ? I'd like to see more activity on both lists.
I'd like to see a more complete listing of kids gaming up somewhere. I'll probably start one on my wiki in any case. Something that was essentially an index of games, possibly with ratings and comments. What open source system(s) would handle that?
I'd like to see more kids topics at gaming cons - possibly get a showing/influence at GenCon?
Current Mood: cheerful
7th March 2005
tav_behemoth @ : Great idea!
My son's turning 3 on April 1 (as are Anne McCaffery and Chip Delany), so my imaginary play with him is pre-roleplaying, but it's consistently interesting to think about how "let's pretend" relates to the RPGs I played when I was 10, or 17, or 34.
One of my wife & I's parent-friends has begun playing in my regular D&D campaign, and brings her 5-year-old son. He's very interested in what goes on, but I haven't been able to integrate him very well (we often have 10-12 other adult players, so my attention as a DM is stretched pretty thin!) When we first started playing, he reacted really strongly to the speaking-for-your-character:
MOM: I am a dragon-hatched samurai...
SON: No you're not!
MOM: I kick down the door and draw my sword...
SON: No you don't!
which I guess means we didn't do a very good job of explaining what the game was like!
5th August 2004
lederhosen @ : Blaming The Dice
My wife reynardo runs a D&D game for me, her son Adam (12 years old now, was 10 when we started), his father, and several other adults. Adam is academically very bright, but emotionally he's pretty much a regular kid with all that entails.
Several things I learned the hard way:
- Children have a lot of trouble accepting the idea of randomness. When Adam had a run of bad luck, he convinced himself that "the dice hate me", and it was VERY difficult to shake him out of this. It's hard for a child to understand that not every pattern they see is actually meaningful, and once they convince themselves a pattern exists they'll only remember the things that reinforce that.
Since then, we've made a point of commenting when he has a run of good luck, or when one of the other players has bad luck, to stop him from falling back into this mindset.
- Children overemphasize the power of the dice. Adam's run of bad luck killed two characters in a row, and he focused on this; what he didn't understand was that this bad luck was exacerbated by poor tactics on his part, without which those characters probably wouldn't have died. Nothing spectacular, just a whole lot of little things that added up to a dead character.
In particular, he'd focus on his characters' strengths instead of thinking about their weaknesses. When running a fighter, he'd spend ages figuring out the item/feat combination that would give him the best to-hit and damage scores. He *wouldn't* think about contingencies like "What if I need to get away from something?" and "What if I need healing in a hurry, and the cleric's not available?"
These days, I try to encourage contingency planning by quizzing him on worst-case scenarios, and when we're equipping I remind him that there are other things besides weapons and armour. Learning to have Plans B and C ready is a Good Thing.
- Sometimes it's not just about the game. We'd recently moved house, against his wishes (I couldn't go on commuting 5 hours a day) and this, along with other disruptions, had left him feeling powerless over his own life. In hindsight, this probably had a lot to do with his fixation on the dice as something that affected his life without giving him any say.
30th July 2004
threejane @ : Hello!
I just joined your community. I think this is just such a great idea. My son LOVES role playing games. As a family, we play from time to time but I was thinking of maybe setting up a kid's club in my community so that he could meet other kids who might be interested in playing. Has anyone tried this? If so, do you have any organizing tips? Some were meant to rule and some were meant to wonder how all that ruling stuff actually gets done. Sadly, I'm in the wondering category. I think it would have to be in a public setting to allay any parental fears. Maybe a public library, cafe, or comic shop would work. Maybe I should contact his school and see if they would be open to hosting a game club. I kind of have my doubts about this since so many people still carry bizarre superstitions and prejudices that stretch way back to the d&d urban myths of the 70's. Is it best to include adults, exclude them entirely, or insist they be accompanied by a child? I wonder what else I need to consider.
Ok. I might as well just come out and say it: HELP! heh
20th August 2003
begraven @ : Origins Kid Room Games
Just got an email back from the kid's room coordinator. Here is a list of what he can remember `;~)
Hi! I can mention a few, if you have some in mind you can describe them, and I can tell you which they are. I will be gone for a week and a half after today, so if you have descriptions, it might take me a tad to get back, so be patient! Thanks.
Otherwise, in no order, I had KinderCatan, Bang!--Mayfair, Flea Circus--R+R, methinks--out on loan, Gouda, Gouda--Euro Games (I never can get the spelling right on that one!), Lord of the Rings--Eagle Games, Captivation--Decision, Z-Cards, Apples to Apples and Blink--Out of the Box, Eye of Horus and Fast Figure--Playroom, Phoenix--Euro, Give me the Brain--Cheapass, Once Upon a Time--Atlas.
If I didn't hit it, let me know. I had a few others on loan from the Game Base 7 folks, so don't remember the names of those, but those I list are mostly the new (for me) games from the dealers area.
Current Mood: good
19th August 2003
begraven @ : Hello!
Hi, Just joined and think this is a fabulous find! Hubby is a huge RPG'er and I enjoy it quite a bit. My 16 yr old even started a RPG club at her HS! However, it is very very difficult to find others where we live. So, we decided to get the kids started early. To start off, we took the kids to Origins this year and we all had a blast. I spent a lot of time with the kids in the kids room while hubby was at the booth. There were games for even my 6 yr old girl to play! I wish I had bought them while we were there, because they are scarce in this area.
More later `;~)
25th June 2003
sambear @ : Question for the masses....
... is it true, really true, that we are still dealing with the shadow of the late 70's, early 80's "Mazes and Monsters" crap? Aren't we past that?
There's been a Dungeons and Dragons *movie*. HASBRO puts out the books, essentially.
Surely this means something in the overall scheme of things?
Yes, I know we need to be circumspect when dealing with parents and kids. But wouldn't that be true for anything we thought to do with kids - camping, softball games, painting classes, etc., etc.? It's not rocket science - just get the parents' *informed* opinion before you play.
How hard is that? Is there something I'm missing? Am I just too naive for words?
20th June 2003
sambear @ : Kids, gaming, kids and gaming
Just to let this community know that I am still here. Haven't heard from you guys. But there you go.
I wanted to say that I am thinking about this:
Isn't Girl Scouts a kind of LARP?
They meet regularly.
They must learn special skills and teach others.
They have a code of conduct.
They go camping.
They do service projects.
Hmmmm - this means something. I must think on this.
What if there were a LARP-style organization, based loosely on scouting as a concept, for kids?
14th December 2002
real_pochacco @ : I used to use my imagination to spin stories using my dog beanie babies. I have lots of them. Also, I once created great stories while playing with legos and building ships that would fight. The storyline could get quite complex sometimes. For example, one time shadowkatt and I were talking and we asked the question: Where do they get their food? I decided that my society was provided food by the great Pochacco, who later on died and became a widely worshipped deity. Pochacco was psychic, and was able to teleport things from far away, even from other dimensions. So, he would go "fishing" for meat with his mind, and suddenly food would appear in front of him. His powers were enhanced when he went to the Omega Institute, where the "good vibes" had a strong effect on him and enabled him to do all kinds of amazing things. Later on, Pochacco also gained a necklace that contained all the psychic energies of one of his opponents in raw form. When Pochacco defeated this enemy, he gained the necklace and thus grew more powerful. Anyway, back to the food thing. So one day, he teleported some food in, and along with it came a few lego people inside various ships. They told the beanies that their planet had lost most of it's food in a strange disappearing manner. When Pochacco realized his mistake, the lego people became angry and attacked the land of Dogs, and a great war insued. Reinforcements came from both sides. The lego people who had disappeared were tracked, and so more legos came into Dog Land. On the other side, cat beanie babies from shadowkatt's Cat Land came in to help out. It was very grusome, and many beings fell. In the end, the great healer from Cat Land invoked her powers and sacrificed herself to resurrect all the legos and beanies that had been killed. At least, I think that's how it ended. :-) However, I still do sometimes play these games when I am feeling especially imaginative.
Current Mood: nostalgic
13th October 2002
musicwolf @ : Hello and where to begin...
First of all, I have to blame birdofparadox for bringing this to my attention! Thanks dear!
For our kids, we're blessed that they have relly good imaginations. We try to reinforce this all the time. Rowan's ALWAYS a princess this or princess that. And she's assign roles to me, her brother and her mom, deza. They she'll direct us in what we have to do...yes, a little GM in training.
Also, we try to watch as many things as possible and let her pick movies out, Rowan's favorite movies include Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, anime like Tenchi Muyo, and musical stuff like Fantasia 2000. Sh ealmost always makes up a story to tell her younger brother or us.
Speaking of her brother, he's on my lap having me help him "read" a picture book.
She wasn't gamed, but when we were larping a lot, we took her a couple of times to watch our friends dressed up, fighting monster, and saving the day. It really helped athat a lot of peopl would play their characters over the top for her. It would make her day. Shame there's nothing kids friendly down here in Florida.
That's just a beginning, so what has other people done with their kids? Both Deza and I want our kids to enjoy gaming as much as we do and no lose their imaginations like it seems so many kids nowadays do.
14th August 2002
8th August 2002
7th August 2002
sambear @ :
Cool Games for Girls (and Guys)
OK, so today's post is about games girls might like. Now, the thing of it is: it's all subjective. I'm certain to get accused of being sexist here, when I say that I believe girls want more story, more character, and more plot in their games than boys do.This is my experience and it is my opinion. I'm totally open to hearing alternative points of view, however. Convince me otherwise, I love it!
Until then, however, I will continue to be an advocate of gaming for girls and in that advocacy, I advise people who are running games for girls to make sure that they contain the following:
* A sensitivity to character. Is the character fun, brave, interesting in some way?
* Emotion, friendships, relationships, family - these are more important to girls in games.
* Discovering secrets and uncovering mysteries are neat for girls.
And there are many more. Of course, these could apply also to some boys, and some girls might like the rock-'em sock-'em sort of boy-type play.
I've put together a list of games I think girls might like. Let me know what you think.
6th August 2002
5th August 2002
cearalaith @ : *waves*
I've got two kids, Tristan (age 4 tomorrow) and Summer (10 months). It's been fascinating to me to watch Tristan describe pretend scenes with his toys, and hold whole conversations with invisible friends, and act out little scenes for his own enjoyment. He also loves playing with his parents' dice and miniatures, and I'm positive that he's going to be wanting to play for real in a couple of years. At least until he's 13 and decides that anything his parents do is majorly uncool.
I also spent several years running a live-action Vampire game aimed at the teen crowd, with our primary audience for most of that run between 15 and 17. Originally begun as an alternative to the "adult game" (and hopefully reduce the number of 16 year olds trying to sneak into that), Second Progeny gradually overcame derision as "the kiddie game" to become one of the more popular LARPs in our area for even the grown-ups (the age range for the Changeling game which grew out of 2P is currently 14-30). I learned a lot in running that game about dealing with teenagers (it's amazing how much you do forget in a few years), and especially about dealing with the parents of teenagers, and how to construct stories that entertain and challenge people with a variety of gaming and life experience and expectations. But I still feel that I've got a lot to learn.
I'm really looking forward to sharing here. Thanks for making this community!
Current Mood: cheerful
sambear @ : Start small....
People have asked me how I got my kids interested in RPGs. Basically, there is no one tried-and-true method, but there are a few guidelines:
Pre-Literate Children: Before a child can read, they can still do imaginative play...and this is where you get started. Assist the child in her make-believe, create castles, spaceships, old west corrals. Do what you can to encourage role-playing activity. This is the time when you start to instill a sense of adventure and creative expression. Of course, you're going to have to get in there and RP, too! Your child will feel even less inhibited if you're willing to interact and model good RP.
This might be a good time to model "Rules" as well - at least, as rough guidelines. Using a modified rock-paper-scissors challenge system might be good enough to solve the "I GOT YOU! NO YOU DIDN'T! YES I DID!" arguements. Encourage character development by asking questions about the character your child is playing, such as:
"What does she eat for dinner?"
"Who are her favorite people?"
"What does she like to do for fun?"
"Does she have any friends? If so, who?"
This will help the child start to think of the *make believe* persona as a character, with independent thoughts, hopes, dreams, and goals...which will also be handy for differentiating between "magical thinking" and RL.
Post-Literate Children: Kids who can read can play your basic everyday tabletop RPG. The trick is to find one that they like. The trick to finding one they like is to find character concepts that excite them. The trick to finding exciting character concepts is to watch how they react to various characters in the media or in stories you tell.
For example, Jay, a young man in my kids' gaming group, is kind of a hipster sort of kid who likes to be cool. He thinks Keanu Reeves' character Neo in "The Matrix" is pretty cool. So I gave him a character who looked and acted and seemed like that character...and I think he really likes it.
Gee, another gamer in my group, likes to play faeries and such. She enjoys playing a faerie dragon. I had to make up my very own core character class, the "Faerie Dragon" class, to allow her to play and advance with the rest of the players, but so far it has really worked to get and keep her attention.
The point is, don't quibble with the child. Just create the character they want, the character of their dreams: even if it's a little silly, it will pay off when they catch the "gaming bug" and start *asking* you to play.
Tweens & Teens
Tweens (ages 10-12) and Teens (13+) must be approached differently. My thought is that you would do better to take a clearly cool "adult" RPG and tone it down in terms of hardcore "mature" content and offer it to the teens and tweens to play. They'll feel more grown-up and in the meantime you can still share a common language and common experience gaming with them.
Whatever you do, remember: kids are not tiny adults. But they do not wish to be looked down upon. They are people who have very little power and are constantly having to worry about what they may or may not do. Being someone else for a while can give them the opportunity to have fun and make mistakes in a safe way, without causing them lasting harm.
Thanks for listening!
sambear @ : Welcome to Kids_RPG!
Roleplaying games have always been about imagination, fun, interaction, creativity, and good times with friends. In the early days of RPGs, games were targeted towards college-age men who played complex wargames. As the strategy and tactics of wargames became less important to RPG design, a premium began to be placed on imaginative scenarios and good roleplaying interaction. Such games as Traveller, Runequest, GURPs, and of course Dungeons & Dragons fostered the creation of worlds of imagination and ties between friends. Then, with the advent of next generation, adult-oriented games like White Wolf's Vampire: the Masquerade, gaming took on a harder, tougher edge.
Today, with the advent of Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition and the d20 Open Source Gaming License, roleplaying is once again on the rise. Small press game companies publish electronically over the Internet. The rising economic tide raises all boats, as even independent gaming companies find an audience for their material.
But the next generation of role-players is growing up *right now.* And the competition for their mindshare is fierce: from the day they are born, children are offered endless distractions: the Internet, video games, television, CDs, MP3s, DVDs. And yet, how many of these entertainment outlets are *passive* rather than active? How many challenge a child to think critically, to interact socially? How many teach them that for every action there is a reaction? How many show that decisions lead to consequences? I don't think many do. But RPGs do these things, and more.
Kids need RPGs in this day and age. And for parents who are already roleplayers, gaming offers a new way to relate, a new language to share.
This journal is about kids and roleplaying. Since I am such an advocate of kids playing RPGs, I've felt it necessary to create this place. I'll be very interested to hear what other people think about the topics put forth here, and I'll try my best to keep this Community updated with information of interest to kids and RPGs.