My oldest son is five. He’s right about at that age where we might see if he is interested in playing a game that uses his imagination in a structured format: you know… role playing games. So, I’ve been collecting links related to this topic and been reading up on various do’s and don’t associated with the hobby – especially for kids. Here’s my list of my favorite ten articles. Hopefully this will help some other parents out there get starting on training their own padewans in the dark arts… mwhahaha
NOTE: I also recently picked up Rory’s Story Dice. The basic idea is you roll the dice and make up a story on the fly that fits the icons on the dice face. I’m thinking they would no doubt have some use for RPGs as well, although I have yet to give that a try. These were really fun for my son and I to play around with for the first few days we had them; now a couple weeks later the dice have been trumped by super hero action figures. Ah well, what do you expect.. he’s FIVE.
Role-Playing Games and Kids
Good article that covers the basic issues for getting an RPG group together for kids in the 12 – 16 age range, how to deal with parent “concerns”, what types of games to run, etc.
RPGs for Kids
Extremely detailed list of dozens of RPGs both in print and out of print that are appropriate for kids ages 5 up through adults. The author covers old classics like Marvel Super Heroes (which is not in print anymore, but available as a PDF) as well as many second and third string RPGs developed by independent / small press companies. I still have not gone through the whole list, but it’s on my priority list to read up on all these games to get a better idea of what would be a good purchase and investiment of my time. Final note: the end of this article has a very good list that points to yet other articles on RPGs for kids.
Glorantha for the Yoots: My Young Son’s First Roleplaying Adventure
A bit old, but Ian Young recounts a play by play summary of his 5-year old sons first RPG “campaign”. Bookmark it, becuase it’s a long one; but from what you will read you’ll see that 5-year olds are natural roleplayers and they seemed to have had tons of fun with it (they used modified HeroQuest rules).
Roleplaying Games for Kids
A big linked list for articles about RPGs and kids. Some of the links are dead though. Maybe I should gather up all the links I can find and post a huge list of everything? Hrmmm… anyway, head over there to check out where they point to.
Wired Magazine’s GEEK Dad articles on RPGs & Kids
Daniel Donohoo has written several excellent pieces on playing RPGs with kids under the age of 10. Seeing as Donohoo already writes a blog exploring ideas of childhood and youth; and has even published a book on the subject (Idolising Children), I give his opinions on the subject a bit more wieght.
- Teaching Kids to Roleplay is Only Natural - He breaks it down into age groups (i.e. 5 – 7, 8 – 10, etc) and makes recommendations on which games are appropriate for each group. He’s a huge fan of the game Fuzzy Heroes for the younger kids.
- Setting up RPG Groups for Kids - Separate from which games to play and at which age to start is the issue of how and where to set up a group. Organizing a kids RPG gaming group has some significant differences from a traditional “grown-up” group (you can’t stay up till 2 AM gaming for example). Once you have picked your game, this article will help you get organized.
- A Starter Guide to Roleplaying with Kids - This is more a playtest report of gaming with 5 and 6 year olds using the game Fuzzy Heroes as the system; but some good advice is there as well. Jump to the end to read his summary points if your not interested in the FH details.
- More Online Resources: RPGs & Kids - Short piece that directs you to The Escapist website, Sam Chumps site, and some links for playing RPGs with girls (since most of the industry is extremely oriented towards men/boys).
GNOME STEW: 10 Reasons Why Roleplaying Games Are a Positive Force for Kids and Adults
Fellow bloggers Gnome Stew dish up some ammunition for people looking for reasons to say “RPGs are good for you becuase…”. Definately a resource to look over if you are organizing a kids RPG group and meet some resistance from naysayers.
Why Should You Want to Roleplay with Your Kids?
Catch all article that covers just about all the major issues concerning RPGs and Kids. Covers everything from pros/cons; recommended games; how to start up games; positive impact of RPGs for kids; etc. If you read anything on this list.. this is the one you should check out.
Young Persons Adventure League
If you read anything on this list.. this is the one you should check out. Much like the Squidoo article above, but it’s organized way way better and had TONS OF LINKS elsewhere as well as reviews, recommendations, play tips, etc.
NOTE: I also recently picked up Rory’s Story Cubes. The basic idea is you roll the dice and make up a story on the fly that fits the icons on the dice face. I’m thinking they would no doubt have some use for RPGs as well, although I have yet to give that a try. These were really fun for my son and I to play around with for the first few days we had them; now a couple weeks later the dice have been trumped by super hero action figures. Ah well, what do you expect.. he’s FIVE.