Going to be introducing DW to a group of five 10-year olds.

Going to be introducing DW to a group of five 10-year olds.

Going to be introducing DW to a group of five 10-year olds. Any tips for how to have them choose their character classes without inviting conflict?

I’m concerned about a fight breaking out over who gets to be — let’s say — the thief. And then having a campaign where one kid feels cheated the whole time cause now they’re — I dunno — the ranger.

I won’t have a printer onsite and can’t get an answer in advance. I don’t know the kids so can’t really choose for them. (Unless you think I should anyway?)

Should I just bring two of every class I’m offering? And if two want to be the same, allow it? That’s a lot of superfluous printing…

Thinking of offering classes from the Hack series:

Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Thief, Wizard — plus I’m also going to throw in the Witch and Dashing Hero cause they’re my favs.


23 thoughts on “Going to be introducing DW to a group of five 10-year olds.”

  1. In addition to the alternate playbook suggestion made by Nathan Roberts (which is a good one), I would bring multiples of each playbook. Just in case. These 10-year olds might be reasonable enough to pick different playbooks when you explain they’ll have more fun if people get to be cool in different ways. But you never know.

  2. Having run dw with kids that age, as long as their characters’ special abilities are tied to the campaign and given time in the spotlight they don’t usually have any problems. Keeping it to only one of each type of character at the table encourages a lot of collaboration and group strategizing and was worth the initial kerfuffle in my experience.

  3. Keep in mind that if you let two of them play the thief in order to minimise arguments now, it is only going to lead to another argument down the line over who gets to pick the lock.

  4. I would let them play whatever they want. If a task would require a job specific action, say sneaking, have them team up and highlight how it narratively looks to have the team up power. Same for something like unlocking. DW’s power exists in its ability to almost not even need character sheet, nor does it need party balance.

    Also, remind the kinds that they can do anything. Just because a person had to play as the wizard, it doesn’t mean they can’t sneak or pick pocket or pry open a window. The specialoves just exist to let everyone know what will happen specifically on a pass/fail (like in the fighter’s bend bars move). A ranger can do the same move, but the GM gets more control over what happens thereafter.

    I play a lot with little kids and I really can’t imagine that they will be too upset as long as you try hard to make them look cool in their spot light moments.

    You’ll be the authority, so if you don’t want to let them pick, I think you could just randomly assign then 5 kids and so they feel it’s fair. And that adds a lottery kind of feel. When you give each kid their sheet you can highlight the coolness of that role to hype them up.

    That’s just my two cents, let us know how it goes! You’ll do great. You’ll spur a new generation of nerd. You’ll change lives!

  5. Thanks so much for this input everyone! Running Funnel World is a great idea, but I think the kids want their characters to be awesome from the get-go, so I’m going to save that (fantastic) idea for another occasion.

    My inclination is to combine a number of these suggestions — picking for them, letting them pick, not offering duplicates, and taking advantage of similarities among classes…

    My thought is to give them the opportunity to choose whether they want to be “Quick and Cunning,” “Fearsome in Battle,” or “Magical” and that I’ll assign classes accordingly.

  6. One last discussion point, based off what you just wrote, Writer of prose​​. If anyone picks wizard, they may have a point of reference that doesn’t really fit the character sheet like Gandalf or Harry Potter. If they do, it might be good to change the name of the spells they use to have them fit, but basically do the same thing. Ie, ‘Confringo’ could be Fireball or magic missile, etc.

  7. Andrew Huffaker Good call! thanks for pointing that out! I’m going to dodge spell lists by offering either The Witch or Anthony Giovannetti’s Wizard Hack. But that question will be a good guide for how to determine which witch to give them. And then as we Q&A I’ll be sure to ask how their magic works — if they want to go in a Potter direction, maybe I’ll give them a wand and require them to speak speak incantations… and i guess if they’re into gandalf I’ll make them lean on a staff, close their eyes, and recite long passages of elvish poetry for a few hours? tolkein magic is weird…

  8. Doesn’t the rulebook say that if your character kicks the bucket during play that THEN it’s OK to choose a playbook already in play to continue gaming? I never understood the logic of that. What’s the difference between choosing the same playbook as that of another player at the beginning of session one vs. having your character killed at the end of session 1 and choosing a playbook already in play for session 2? The answer is “none” and it seems to me that the authors were just parroting AW for no good reason. Plus, in most PbtA games it makes sense that the playbooks are unique and represent archetypes. In DW it always felt off to me, at least conceptually. I see no good reason to enforce this concept in DW, unlike AW, MH, etc.

  9. Because it is super simple, doesn’t have any strict playbooks, and uses a very DW-esque resolution system. I tried it out on family during the Thanksgiving holiday (including young teens) and they found it very straightforward. I basically ran it just like DW, but with a little sci-fi thrown in. It was easy to offer mechanical bonuses to each character for various actions, and they didn’t need to refer to any written moves.

    It was just a thought!

Comments are closed.