Tuesday, September 27, 2011-Being Badgered by Kids

My youngest son has been badgering me to play Dresden files; he is nine years old and in 4th grade.  My older brother, his grandson, and my youngest have played a watered down version of Mouse Guard; successfully.  My son sees me playing Dresden Files with my brother and instinctively wants to be included; after all, he has played RPGs before, he can handle any game.  Obviously, he cannot play Dresden Files; he cannot even read the Dresden Files Books. Despite this apparent flaw, his request has placed me in a bit of a dilemma; I do not want him in a Dresden Files RPG and I do not want to squash his interest in playing role-playing games.   Ironically, my son gave me an out.  He does not want to play a wizard but rather a gun toting hard man; asking me in detail on how to make his guns special for the game. 

I am ignoring the munchkin factor here, he is only nine.

What he is telling me, is that he does not want to play Dresden Files, he wants to shoot big cool guns, and wants my attention.  I want to be a good father.  Is there a role-playing game out there that not only meets our expectation; but also, satisfies our relationship needs between father and son?


I am going with “Dogs In The Vineyard.”

Sure I can go with D&D or Savage Worlds, but fuck that; even Savage Worlds is too much work.  I do not want to invest all that wasted detail and work to create a tactical encounter.  Kids “make-believe” under a social contract all the time; it is called playing.  Doubt me?  Put two kids in a room with two GI. Joe figures, two Star War figures, and two My Pretty Pony figures—wow, the physiological papers would fly.  My point being: they will still figure out a way to play through compromise (with a lot of “no ways”.)  Only an adult would question the physics of a Fireball fanatically; kids just want something cool and fun.  They don’t want to measure movement values or the jamming chances of a Mosin-Nagant M1938 (you are making my point if you knew that was a Russian Rifle during WW II.) Kids want to make stuff up and see how everybody responses to it.  They don’t ask WHY this is fun. 

That is why I am moving away from tactical RPGs to a more narrative game.  I am going with “Dogs In the Vineyard” because it combines game mechanics with make believe, to the degree that is a little higher than kids playing with Legos, but not so far as Squad Patrol (Or any Avalon Hill War Game before the 90’s.)

Explore posts in the same categories: Gamemaster, Table Top RPG

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