Roleplaying and Kids!

Author: Andrew /

So it's been a darn long while since I've posted but I've recently been really pushing myself to do some Dungeon Mastering and, in turn, it's got me thinking about these kinds of things again.  So with that, I'm back! :D

What I'd like to tackle in the article (I'll keep it brief, to the best of my ability) is RPG's and kids, and how darn awesome it can be!

First, for those who don't know, a Role Playing Game is a game where the players take on a specific role, usually of a character they create themselves, but sometimes games will use pre-made character for ease-of-play.  It's the same thing an actor does in a play!  Every person at the table is a player, and has a Player Character (referred to as a PC), all except for one person.  This person is referred to as the Game Master (GM) or, when playing Dungeons & Dragons, the "DM" (but they're the same thing).

The DM is what you would consider the narrator in the story.  They control the world and all the things the players interact with.  Any Non-Player Characters (NPC's), monsters, etc are all played by the DM.  This gives the DM tremendous creative power.  The DM is also the person who governs the rules of the game.  If they feel that a change to the rules would be more fun for all at the table, it's absolutely within their power to change it.  Their role is that of the Storyteller.

So, a Role Playing Game is, at its core, interactive storytelling.  This can be AMAZING for kids, as it allows their imaginations to run wild and it fosters a huge deal of creativity!  They get to imagine themselves as an awesome hero defeating a dragon or hunting for hidden treasure (or doing whatever other kind of story things the DM might come up with).  It's also very social.  It involves playing with your friends (and hopefully a parent or two!) around a table, having a great time (and generally sharing a bunch of awesome snacks lol).  One other thing it does is help with math skills, as the game involves simple addition of dice rolls (which are super fun).

Most RPG's have rule-books that can be quite large, with very detailed rules that the DM can choose whether or not to use (things like rules for if a character ducks behind cover in a fight, or rules about how far a character can go before eating or something like that).  Most of these rules are optional.  If the DM thinks they're too complicated or unnecessary, they can choose to just not use them.  One thing I found, that's great for kids, can be found here:

 https://www.wizards.com/dnd/files/MS_HeroesHesiod.pdf

That is a link to a specially made, self contained, RPG for kids based on Dungeons and Dragons called "The Heroes of Hesiod" and it's for kids 6+!

The rules in it are dead simple and very friendly.  It has fun character cards the players can cut out, and a few little monsters.  They get to go into Adventurer Training against some young monsters (like a little dragon).  They get to move their characters around the room and try to defeat the monsters, so they can be strong enough to defend the village when they grow up!

It's a well put together little game for kids and I highly encourage anyone interested who has kids to give this a shot.  There's a ton of fun to be had and there's no other game like it.  Happy adventuring!

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