Thursday, February 17, 2011

Playing D&D with Kids, Part 3 New Old or Old New?

So I am going to chat with my regular DM this weekend (the start of our new Northlands game) and he has run tons of games for kids.

But I wanted to catch the opinion/pulse of all of you.

What "D&D" should I play?

I kinda want to run old Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert to be honest.  I'd make the characters, and do a old timey dungeon crawl.  But truthfully other than my want there is no reason why is has to be B/X.

Should I run it as a newer Retro-Clone (something the kids can go buy)?  As D&D 4 (something they could buy and I know is fun for kids)? Or keep it as B/X?

Basic Fantasy is my current favorite retro-clone, but Labyrinth Lord runs a very close second.
Spellcraft and Swordplay is also a huge fave of mine for Original D&D feel, but I think for this I want to go with something in the Basic realm (which is why I am also not opting for OSRIC).



Game Master Rob Adams said...

I'd say keep it simple for the kiddos in terms of rules. That way they can have maximum fun and enjoy not having to do maximum rules.

BlUsKrEEm said...

I'd say BFRPG is a great gmae for kids. It nice and simple, but plenty rhobust.

Normaly I'd recomend Kids, Castles & Caves, but it sounds like your kids are a little more experienced then the target audience for that game.

Daddy Grognard said...

I'd agree with ACG. I play AD&D with Junior Grognard and he seems to handle it pretty well (as long as he can remember which dice are which). The advantage with the retro-clones over newer iterations of D&D is that for all intents and purposes, they're free. For kids, that's a big plus. I can't remember the exact details but there's a quick-start version of S&W about (I've got a copy if anyone's interested) and an introductory adventure at the back.

Timothy S. Brannan said...

My kids play D&D 3.x and 4 now. I Was thinking about a Gen Con game.

Lots to think about!

Pulp Herb said...

I'm in the "current retroclone of your choice" camp for two reasons:

1. They are available new and with minimal effort. Yes, I can get Holmes, B/X, or BECMI on eBay et al relatively inexpensively but they aren't new and it's not Amazon easy. While the first shouldn't matter (at least that's the retort) it does and people need to deal. The second just matters. It's not just ease of ordering but ease of knowing you're getting the right thing and that if it is incomplete (somewhat related to the new issue) you can get it fixed. People without B/X might not actually be able to determine they're buying the right things.

2. They're kid budget friendly. Even if you never go beyond the four core classes and races D&D4 means a Rules Compendium and Heroes of Book for players. While a kid wanting to DM can drop the Heroes of he needs the GM Guide and Monster Compendium. So player kids inspired by you are out $40 and GM kids out $60+. While if you inspire them with BFRPG they can order it for $9.50 plus shipping and have everything they need to run their own games.ho

The Grey Elf said...

Yep. I'd recommend Labyrinth Lord for all the reasons Herb said, plus the customizability when you add Advanced Edition Handbook or Original Edition Characters.

Plus, it'll scratch your B/X itch. And I still say B/X is easier on kids than 4e, any old day.

Theron said...

Run what you enjoy running. I've played both Castles & Crusades with my son when he was 9 and he caught on fine. More recently, I've played in a Dads & Kids 4th ed game that was great.

One of the Dads does an annual 4e game for kids at Owlcon (minimum age 10, maximum 13) and it seems to go over quite well.

T. Kurt Bond said...

When, after a game, a kid says "I want to get a copy of this game!" with enthusiasm in their voice, it's great to be able to point them to a real, physical, easily available, affordable book they can buy. Conversely, it's really painful to have to say: "uh, it's out of print and hard to find". Free PDFs are nice, but a kid can carry a physical book anywhere with them. The retroclones make this easy.

Unknown said...

I use BFRPG to run a game for my sons, ages 12, 10 and 8.

Alex Osias said...

You may wish to keep in mind what kind of reading preferences they have. I think that at some point they may wish to read the rules on spells and character creation as well (and memorize them in Old School fashion), so that may be of concern.

Rhonin84 said...

I know we are going to talk tomorrow but I thought why not respond.

I went old old school and ran White Box for the kids and they had fun, but they were up for the challenge of more.

IF this is for a con event, run the White Box, it looks like what we started with oh so long ago and it's simple. +1 0 -1

Really that's about it, now the downside is that as written there is no thief. Easily added of course...

Now Basic Fantasy I think is a nice melding of things and makes for a really nice bridge between old school and new school. Though Castles and Crusades is a lot of fun as well and is actually I think a lot closer to 3rd then 1st edition.

Really it's about what do you want to stress. I think that the White Book can really help with the emphasis on roleplaying and problem solving...though the younger kids might not have those skills in abundance yet. IF you are looking for a bit more, run Basic, I don't think you would be disappointed, I wasn't.

For those not in the know, I am running a game right now with my two sons, 10 and 10, two of their friends also 10 and a 7 year old neighbor girl. We have had my other son guest star who is also 7 and another 6 year old at times. I would stress that the younger kids have a much harder time of course with concentration and the stress of waiting their turns. :)

We are currently running Pathfinder and it is going smashingly well, this past week most of the group made 2nd level and that would be after running for about 7 sessions of 90 minutes each...we did have one three hour session as well.

Next week, hopefully Tim's son who is in that same 10-11 age bracket will be joining us!