Introduced my two sons to Dungeon World tonight.

Introduced my two sons to Dungeon World tonight.

Introduced my two sons to Dungeon World tonight. I’ve done some minor role playing things with them over the years, but always the “kiddie version.” This was full blown DW and as others have reported the conversational tone of the game made it so easy for them to get right into the swing of things.

What was interesting to see was how they almost NEVER just attacked or cast a spell. There was alwasy a story based effect they were trying to achieve. Amazing to see what happens without the preconceived notions that come from having played other games.  Perfect example, I let them come up with what magic items they found on the main bad guy they defeated and my younger son immediately describes a Necklace with a mirror inside that will show you a hopeful future… I have no idea what that will do exactly, but what a concept. 

Looking forward to seeing what happens as their adventure continues. 

17 thoughts on “Introduced my two sons to Dungeon World tonight.”

  1. “a Necklace with a mirror inside that will show you a hopeful future… I have no idea what that will do exactly, but what a concept.”

    No kidding, what a concept.  And I think you know exactly what it does: it shows you a hopeful future.  Just run with that, maybe ask them what a hopeful future looks like. I bet your sons will show you just how powerful that can be.

  2. Great story! I’ve screwed up RPGs with the family here, trying games that are too crunchy, and consequently made them wary of everything D&Desque. How old are your boys?

  3. Phil Mitchell I am wondering what’s the appropriate age to start playing standard rpgs (i.e. with stakes not loaded openly towards player). I am not referring to the themes, only to mechanics.

  4. Paride Papadia my Boy started when he was 9 with games like Mutants and Masterminds, and a spattering of 4E. I started him with a modified version of Mage Knight/Legos, based on rules that we wrote together… before that. Eventually went to Pathfinder for awhile until I was introduced to Dungeon World… Once he tried it, we haven’t looked back. He won’t play any game that requires initiatives or counting squares.

    You should easily be able to play Dungeon World with any kid older than seven…. depending on their ability to pay attention. (playing with figures with younger children has been helpful in my experience whether you are counting squares or not)… Ask them LOTS of questions and run with them, with kids the weirder the better.

  5. Paride Papadia I think what you’re asking is when does it get to the point where you’re not essentially prompting them (ie “so the bad guy just ran into the temple, are you going to follow them hint hint”) I still had to do that last night to some degree. Like anything else you have to learn. I’ve taught grown up the game and faced the same learning curve. In fact, kids learn stuff faster than us grown ups, so I’d say they will advance in tabletop skills with increased and consistent exposure. I’ve seen kids as young as 5 have a good time rolling the dice and killing monsters, but I think 9+ is the age when they can begin to operate at the level of autonomy I think your asking about.

    Something I’m contemplating is having them play with some of my grown up players. I think they might learn something about how to engage challenges, interactions and expand the possibilities without it being me to always prompt them… and my kids might learn something too 🙂

  6. Phil Mitchell No, while these are interesting insights, I am really wondering when kids are able to cope well enough with failure that the GM can avoid pulling punches all and making them “win” every time without losing their interest.

  7. Chris S DW, while not being written in the simplest possible way, has a very limited amount of “rules” to learn, so any kid with a sufficient attention span to watch a movie, should be able to play.

    I would probably rewrite the basic moves handout with some more non-mechanical text.

  8. Many adults don’t possess that level of maturity, I think that’s completely reliant on the individual. Also, DW helps. For example, my older boy could not roll above a 6 for much of the game last night. The mark XP function for failed rolls turned what could have been a terrible experience into a good one.

    I will be very careful before I take them to a place where a failure would be absolute and not just a new complication. That’s not my goal – my goal is to get them away from the idiot box, talking and imagining.

  9. Phil Mitchell I think that generally, the “soft” nature of DW rules can help avoiding absolute failures. I did not consider the usefulness of the mark xp in that regard, tough.

    Regarding your second point, I can only say that I started playing D&D then AD&D (and other stuff), between 12 and 13, and the game is pretty unforgiving. For sure, I was not playing with my father, but occasional failures were expected.

  10. Paride Papadia Sounds like we came up in D&D at the same time. Yes, Gary Gygax was a sadist 🙂 An uber win for me is if they take up a Tabletop RPG on their own, introduce their friends and then they can experience the agony of defeat as it was intended: at the hands of your best friends.

  11. Never underestimate your kids. My girls started playing grown up board games at 5 and 7. Losing is good for them. Yes the younger one sometimes cried and threw tantrums when things went bad for her but she has learnt through boardgames to deal with failure.

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