Tabletop Gaming with your Kids

I used to play D&D.

I started in grade 8 and played for a couple of years. Later, some friends (including the manager of a comic shop I made my purchases at) started a Shadowrun campaign and asked me to join. I did so, happily. When our GM left the group, I took over and spent more than a decade in that position.

We left Shadowrun when Vampire the Masquerade came out and I was the Storyteller for a multi-year campaign. I loved it, although I should have passed the Storyteller position to someone else sooner than I did, because I was worn-out creatively.

When my family moved to a new city, one of the things that I knew I would miss was gaming. I loved creating characters and stories. I loved getting together with ”the guys” once a week to fool around and have fun. Yes, I knew I would miss it, but… I looked forward to having my son to play with as he grew older.

I first tried introducing my older son to D&D (his brother is still too young). I figured that since I had started with D&D it would be a good idea to introduce him to RPGs the same way. I wasn’t about to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on the newest version, though… Fortunately, I still had my old, beloved Rules Cyclopedia, which in my opinion was one of the best D&D products they ever put out and used the Mystara setting, which I had very fond memories of.

Well, things didn’t go the way I planned….

I started of with a quick intro to character creation and then set my son loose on the unsuspecting world. He came across an elf who brought him to a dark, foreboding cave in the hopes of rescuing a missing companion. My son heard the cries of terror from within the cave and…

… ran back to town for more help.

Granted, it wasn’t the most heroic of choices, but one I could sympathise with. sadly, help arrived too late for the elf and his companion. sadder still, I found the game mechanics much more cumbersome than I remembered and this was basic D&D. I was a little disappointed (with the game, not my son) and pondered whether I was now too old to keep all that useless gaming info in my head. Looking up tables wasn’t as much fun as I remembered.

So, we set out to find a new game. An easier game. One that was a little less ”crunchy,” and focused more on the storytelling and character development. We also debated what type of campaign to try. Stick with fantasy? Science Fiction? Create our own world, or base it on an existing property?

Well, mainly it was me debating that. My son just wanted to have fun. So we (I) set out to find something that could appeal to us both and allow us (me) to build a fun setting and memorable characters. We have looked at a few systems, some more promising than others, but I think we have a winner. I’ll discuss some of the choices in future posts, but the main thing is, we look like we’re prepared to have some fun.  I still miss my gaming buddies, but this will be good, too.



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