Dungeons & Dragons Mentor Needed

My 10-year-old, known by old PDDers as “Little Pirate”, wants to start playing “Dungeons & Dragons”. Can anyone help explain what “Dungeons & Dragons” is to him? He wants to play the game because he’s a HUGE Futurama fan.

And are there any D&D kids groups in Duluth?

27 Comments

zra

about 13 years ago

gus doesn't need no stinkin kids groups, especially if you let the likes of baci, lumpy, and russ school him...of course, if you DO, he'll be ruling his school with his skills...

Bad Cat!

about 13 years ago

D&D (or any other type of role-playing games) is basically a fantasy story, in which you play an active role in. Instead of watching Conan the Barbarian in his epic battles, or reading Frodo in his grand quest, you actually play the part. You (and a few friends) imagine a group of characters, then you play the role of those characters. In order to keep things organized and fair, your characters (and anything you encounter) has list of things they are good at, and a number for how good they are. For example, your character might be fairly strong, and have a strength of 16, but your friend's character is incredibly strong, with a strength of 18.
Every character will have things they are good at, and things they are not so good at. Your friend's character may have an 18 strength, but only has a 6 intelligence.
When your characters are out adventuring, the game master (story teller) will tell you what types of things you encounter (monsters, traps, spells, etc.). Once you find something, you'll tell the game master what your character is doing, and probably roll some dice. The dice keeps things interesting. Your friend with the 18 strength might normally be the strongest in the group, but when he rolls a 1 (a bad roll), his character might pull a muscle and not be able to open the gate. Your character has a 16 strength and probably couldn't open the gate, but a good die roll means he somehow summons the strength to move the iron door.
There are many local gamers, but I don't personally know of any groups of kids. You may want to ask in some of the local game stores (Collector's Connection, Dragon Port) to see if they know of any groups. If you're not able to find an existing group, you could always grab a group of friends, gets some of the base manuals, and try your first adventure together. :)

ironic1

about 13 years ago

I would highly suggest looking at the Saturday afternoon D&D group at Game Planet where my 11 year old son plays.  It's made up of kids (all boys I think) from 9-13 years old and it's not assumed that new players know much about the game.

They meet at 3:00 - 5:30 on Saturday afternoons and there is a $5 per session fee, which is a little steep, but my son seems happy to spend his allowance money on it and, hey, it's his allowance.

Purple

about 13 years ago

Thank you so much, Ironic!
I was going to contact you about this personally as I think of you as the D&D god of the Twin Ports.

Thanks also to Bad Cat & Ezra. Bad Cat, I'll make sure august reads though the above 'cause it's a good def. oh D&D.

Ezra, I told August that Lumpy should be his mentor. So your info helps as well!

Purple

about 13 years ago

(From August or Little Pirate when I was littler)Do you know of any D&D groups that are free to get in?

lojasmo

about 13 years ago

Just have him vow 10 years of celibacy.  Same end result without all the boring dice-rolling.

baci

about 13 years ago

I'd also get him reading some swords and sorcery fiction, it'll help with context. I first played D&D at his age (1975). Has he read the Hobbit? If you really want to help him have role playing games take his skills to the next level, encourage him to write his adventures down in story form or create art based on his adventures.

zra

about 13 years ago

There are also the GURPS and MERPS series, as well as a few good sci-fi RPGs too...anyone still play Battletech or Star Frontiers?

baci

about 13 years ago

also RPG (pen and paper) games are great ways for kids to apply math concepts. Nothing like needing to know your hit probabilities if you're facing down an angry skuzz.

udarnik

about 13 years ago

Ironic1, why the fee?

ironic1

about 13 years ago

Udarnik, talk to the folks at Game Planet.

udarnik

about 13 years ago

Ah -- it wasn't clear to me if it was the hosts or the group.

huitz

about 13 years ago

You should the DM Guide and take everything with a grain of salt.  Some people want to role play and some want to "roll" play.  Find some friends that are interested and form a group to feel the game out.  You might not have to spend much money, then (aside from the manuals, of course).

I was relatively shy when I approached D&D at a young age, so basically pretended epic stories by myself, dice in hand.  I eventually hooked up with others that liked the game too.  My mom thought it was satanic.  I don't know what rhetoric parents were being fed during the 70' and 80's, but I have an idea.

Another option is to play some D&D based comp games, like neverwinter nights, baldur's gate, etc. to get a feel of the concept.  They're relatively inexpensive.

BTW, wasn't Dave Arneson a Minnesotan native?  I have a battered Blackmoor module (probably only worth 5 bucks) and he seemed to be a fan of role-playing (story-telling) than logistics.

Beverly

about 13 years ago

Be aware that the Edition Four books are probably the ones people are using now. If you see older ones at a garage sale or something, those have different rules.
Also, there are D&D miniatures, which is a different game, but still with fantasy characters. My understanding is that this game is easier for young children to play.

Beverly

about 13 years ago

I think the Duluth library has the D&D books. There is a Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual. Your son would probably like looking through the monster manual. You don't need to understand the game yet to enjoy that.

baci

about 13 years ago

I appreciate huitz's post but I'd shy away from any computer based games at this stage in his experience. The joy of RPG is getting into it with some people around the table, recanting your successful attack on the goblin village...These are the greatest things in life. I'm sure the little pirate will hav plentty of time for the compute games but now it's the time to geek with friends.

huitz

about 13 years ago

baci, totally agreed!

huitz

about 13 years ago

Well, my last post sounded a little pompous.  I meant that we both agree, not that you agree with me one-sided like, baci.

Human interaction: good
Super-lcd-monitor interaction: hmmm

Blogs kinda suck the wrong end.

mevdev

about 13 years ago

I can recommend books by R. A. Salvatore. His writing is fluid and fun and it is based in the D & D universe (forgotten realms).

adam

about 13 years ago

If the library has the 4th edition Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monster Manual, that's an excellent way to start. Those are considered the "core" rule books, which will set you back < $60. 

Garage sale finds are inevitably 3.5, 3rd, Advanced 2nd, Advanced 1st and occasionally Basic editions. Avoid old "core" rule books, but all of the supplemental books can be easily converted to 4th edition. If they're really cheap, they are a good find, but don't let anybody try and sell you a 1st ed. Find Foliofor $40.

$60 is a pretty steep investment at first. But, (1) having your own books always helps make new friends / RPG groups, and (2) he'll read them cover to cover at least a dozen times.

Then when he starts slacking in math class, you can pull out the old "but you don't seem to have any problems remembering how to play Dungeons & Dragons.." line.

kokigami

about 13 years ago

RPG's like D&D can best be described as playing with paper dolls combined with double entry accounting. The high brow description I like to use is "Improvisational Readers Theater." 

I would hope to see him steer clear of modern D&D. Much of the problem with modern gaming is the spoon fed nature of the beast. If you can find a set of the basic rules cheap, get them, and some dice, and let him figure out a world and rope his friends in for himself. 

A few years back I ran a campaign for a friends kid and his friends (approximately 13 at the start). The idea was to teach them the basics, then send them off to play amoungst themselves. They proved very hard to "wean." They are in college now, and they still want me to run a campaign again.

baci

about 13 years ago

1st Ed. Fiend Folio .. adam, you're such a base modron.

adam

about 13 years ago

And there's a grip of free content available (PDF books to house rules to maps to whatever).

(Baci: I didn't even check when posting that, but... whadda ya know.

Donny Krosch

about 13 years ago

There are many gaming groups and events at Dragon Port Games & Comics downtown as well. 

There has been some talk for awhile about a Saturday Gaming Event for D&D but as of right now its a bunch of scattered groups.

purple

about 13 years ago

Thanks, all!
Donny, We bought the Players Manual & set of seven die down at Dragon Port. And august is really excited about going to the new D&D Sat. event, but couldn't come today. He's starting next week. You should post some info about the new group here....

flugelhorn

about 13 years ago

Someone asked what parents from the 70's and 80's were thinking when they denounced D&D as satanic, etc, etc.  I grew up in the 90's not particularly playing more than a couple games, but I heard the same sentiments.  Anyway, lightly enough this sketch from the Dead Alewives (Milwaukee comedy group) probably sums it up...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Kgx2b1sIRs

adam

about 13 years ago

Both Game Planet and Dragon Port use Google Calendar.

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