Maybe that should say, Young Groglings?
Yesterday, my son ran his first AD&D game for his friends (also aged 10) via a Zoom meeting. He had exactly two players (Evan and Caroline) who played a human ranger and a half-elf assassin, respectively.
[I later asked him about the potential alignment conflicts from such a pair to which he replied that he wasn't using alignment in his game...]
Per my suggestion, he is running the Tower of Zenopus from the back of the Holmes Basic book. For a first time adventure, Zenopus makes an excellent introduction to the game, offers multiple types of interaction with the game mechanics, and is easily converted to the AD&D system.
[it is also an adventure my son has experienced first-hand (as a player) and is fairly short to read and prep]
Besides the suggestion (and providing the books), I did nothing but set-up the Zoom meeting for the kids...that is to say, I did not interfere with the experience. Diego has already been running his Star Wars game at school for the last few weeks (he's up to 7 or 8 players), so there's no reason for me to butt in and undermine his authority. It's his game, not mine.
And they all had fun (of course), and want to meet on Thursday (tomorrow) rather than waiting till next Tuesday (of course)...because it's D&D and it's awesome (duh).
[some notes about their game: they encountered the ghouls and were able to survive. Only the ranger was hit, but he managed to make his save versus paralysis. Treasure was discovered, tunnels explored, and I believe they just finished (or are in the middle of combatting) a skeleton. They spent the first part of the session rolling characters; all the children have their own dice (provided by my son). He's using all the AD&D rules he can remember...yes, including weapon length and speed factor, etc...and is keeping careful track of time and light sources and wandering monsters and all that jazz. The main difference...besides dropping alignment...is that he is using Alexis Smolensk's experience system, which has been standard in our house since May 2019. It necessitates tracking damage inflicted and received, but that's still a lot easier than it sounds (as even a ten year old Dungeon Master can manage it)]
|My kid's rulebook.|
Evan's mom wrote this to me as well (after the kids' game):
Thanks for giving Evan dice and letting him borrow your books too! He actually received a D&D starter kit for Xmas but Chris was overwhelmed and I didn't even try to learn, so it's great that Diego is teaching him how to play.
This...this is so much of what is wrong with the hobby as it is being marketed by its current Keepers of the Flame. Hey, does anyone remember that old red book, penned by Tom Moldvay that said "Ages 10 and Up" right on the cover? I was able to teach myself AND my ten year old friends how to play D&D just using that book. Hell, the thing even came in a box with dice and an adventure to boot!
But now, even the "Starter" set is too much for adults (let alone kids) to be bothered to learn. And the damned thing doesn't even come with dice.
And I've written about this before...multiple times...at least since 2015. These are not stupid people; they are actually very smart, educated professionals. Creative professionals even. Ones with fairly open minds...
*sigh* I will stop beating this dead horse.
ANYway...my son ran a game of AD&D for his friends, without supervision. They enjoyed it, they want to do it again. The culmination of a decade of waiting for my child to take his first step into his father's world.
I am proud.
Not as proud, perhaps, of the kids' athletic accomplishments - scoring goals, hitting fastballs, recording strikeouts - as these are things I was never able to do in my youth (still not sure where he gets it from). And, also, it is pride tempered with knowledge that the journey is long and he has only just begun. But still...I feel proud.
And content in a way also. Even should he turn away from D&D or transition to a different form of the game (6th edition? 7th?) or even a different game altogether...at least, at least he has the knowledge now. The acquired experience of knowing "Hey, I can do this. It's fun, people enjoy it, and I can even teach it if necessary." I have passed on what I know...he, in turn, can develop it further (delving deep into the game even as I have), or even pass it on to his friends or his own children some day. I have assured that my love of gaming will not die with me.
Legacy. I think I've written about that before, too.
Happy Wednesday, y'all. I have some dishes to clean up from last night and then I'm going to start combing through these Dragonlance modules to make my notes. Busy-busy!