GETTING AN EARLY
debate rages over the earliest age that a young person can begin
participating in roleplaying games. Some set the age as high as 10 or
11 years of age, while others (your humble author included) feel that
in most cases, they can begin playing RPGs much earlier.
are, after all, experts at playing make-believe. It is how they
discover who they are, and learn about the world around them. Most
would likely teach their parents and other adults a thing or two about
adventurers have contacted the League, requesting information on the
best way to prepare their young people for a career in adventure. What
follows is a list of tips that will hopefully help.
young people are different, and respond to activities in different
ways, regardless of their age or maturity level.
Try some basic storytelling with
them. Make up a story on the fly, or begin telling a
classic fairy tale, then let them decide the actions of the
protagonist. Give them choices, and allow them to see the results of
their choices. Maybe Little Red Riding Hood decides to offer the wolf
something out of her basket that will prevent the wolf from harming her
and her grandmother - a nice thick steak would probably taste a lot
better, or a jar of peanut butter or honey would certainly keep his
jaws busy for a while.
Raid the toybox. Break out the
action figures, dinosaurs, dolls, interlocking building blocks, and
more, then add some simple gaming elements to the play session. "On
your turn, the army men can only move as far as your hand, but the
dinos can move from your elbow to your fingertips."
Let them tell you about their characters. Encourage
them to give some character to their toys. What is G.I. Jim's favorite
thing to do in his spare time? Where does your dinosaur go on her
vacation? Where do you get spare parts for your MechaCyberRobo 7000
when it breaks down, and who does the repairs?
Draw, partner!. Break
out the crayons, markers, colored pencils, paints, brushes,
watercolors, construction paper, pipe cleaners, and uncooked pasta.
Draw characters and talk about their personalities. Draw castles and
mansions and shanties and hideouts, and talk about who lives there.
Draw sailing ships and airships and spaceships, and then draw maps to
undiscovered lands and go discover them.
Ease into it. When you feel
they're ready for it, introduce elements of your favorite games into
play. "Your dinosaur wins the fight if he can roll higher than a 5 on
Remember the obvious. Don't lose
sight of the point - this is about having fun. If it starts to become
boring or tedious, or gets off to a bad start to begin with, scrap
everything and try again another time.
...back to the Tinkerer's
Person's Adventure League - Main
- FAQ - Atlas - News
- Notebook - Toolbox