Old game, new players

In a fit of nostalgia I ordered the basic three late 70’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons manuals through Amazon.com Marketplace. They arrived and I joyfully paged through the familiar friends: Dungeon Master’s Guide, Player’s Handbook, and Monster Manual. Then I got distracted and left them on the counter. Kiki found them. She imediately came asking what these books were. I briefly explained D&D to her at which point she declared “I want to play that game! I’ll be the Dungeon Master!”

It has been a week now and I have totally failed to make clear to her how impossible it is for someone who has never played the game to be in charge of it. She keeps drawing maps and bringing them to me. And she keeps ordering me to work on a dungeon so that she can play. Fortunately this fits right in with my nefarious plan of getting the kids hooked on role playing games. Unfortunately finding the time and brainspace to create a dungeon is going to be tricky. Especially with that little voice at the back of my head who keeps muttering about “productive uses of time.” I just need to figure out how to convince that voice that this will be useful to my children’s education, he’s all in favor of that.

11 thoughts on “Old game, new players”

  1. Statistics, adding/subtracting, rational thinking, history, comparative theology, situational ethics, project planning…these are all good things that can be taught. Oh, and that “having fun” and “being imaginative” thing, too. 🙂

  2. 70’s stuff? 1st edition, that jazz?


    For the record there are a number of premade adventures. My personal favorite from way back then is The Lost City, followed by Rahasia. However it would also probbaly be a good idea to get some of the newer books. I think they’re in Howard’s amazon wishlist. Among other things the newer stuff streamlines a lot of the rules, and really makes it clear what the DM’s job really is – to the point that original D&D basically demanded that DMs never play again because a lot of information isn’t supposed to be known by players. Also the newer stuff has more specific rules for obvious maneuvers that weren’t really covered in older books.

    The newer books also don’t have line drawings of naked demons in. 😛

    As always, Nightstar has a resource for D&D gaming – drop in to #dnd and our crack team of insane geeks can probably cater to your every need.


  3. In addition to the qualities above, there are also great social interactions to be had/taught here. I know you don’t have a lot of time, but with a cleverly sculpted campaign you can teach your players – er, children – the proper ways to handle conflicts with other people, how to cooperate to achieve a common goal, and perhaps even some of the LDS teachings on the subjects you encounter. (Of course, I’m not sure what the Mormons would say regarding topics that would come up in a role-playing game that don’t already fall into the category of “Be good to other people”…)

    Or you could just have fun. 😀

  4. That’s soooo cool!

    It’s useful to education! Can be used to teach arithmetic, averages, probability, and so on.

    Here’s a dice game I played with kids while babysitting them, to teach addition and subtraction:

    Come up with a total number that can be reached by rolling two d6’s. Roll one d6, and subtract it from the goal/total. Decide if it’s high enough you can make that total using dice #2: i.e., if you need to make an 8, and you rolled a 1 on, then you need to roll again because even getting a 6 on the 2nd die wouldn’t get you to 8. Once the first dice is set, roll the 2nd die until you get what you need to make 8.

    Another variation is to roll both dice until you get to a total that equals 8.

    I need to get to bed, will write more on this later. Maybe Kiki and you could work on a Dungeon together?

  5. I’d just like to comment…

    That you have picked maybe THE B5 character who has MASTERED situational ethics as his personal motto…

    Love Mr G…

  6. Re: I’d just like to comment…

    Fear the Chaotic Neutral half-elf theif who when reaching high levels is actually able to beat the snot out of any fighter in the party…

    Shea was just wrong on so many levels…

    D&D (and other games like White-Wolf’s stuff) also teach how to bend rules, and find loopholes in said rules…

    Great for teaching kids you wish to grow up to be lawyers… 🙂

  7. Hrm, I wonder …

    I wonder if we could get a campaign together for our kids to play together via IRC or e-mail. For Goose and Kiki anyhow. And I could probably convince my sister-in-law to let my niece play (she’s 7 days younger than Goose.)

    It’d be a cool learning experience. We could probably make a dungeon that looks like our houses so each girl would know a bit about what’s going on.

  8. Man, I want so bad to get my son into roleplaying, but I don’t really see him enough to play much.
    I started playing when I was five, so Kiki should be about ready. Isn’t she at least five?
    I might also comment that the new “Unearthed Arcana” for D20 provides a number of optional rules that, when taken together, make for a very kid-friendly game.

  9. Kiki’s older than I was when I started playing that same late-70s edition D&D. 🙂 I remember scraping together the money with my siblings in order to buy those hardcover books as they came out. Ah, nostalgia. My brothers worked out a system where we’d roll percentile dice for the right to use the Player’s Handbook, based on the percentage of the book we’d each paid for. My mother was impressed by the conflict-resolution skills we’d learned already from this game. 😀

    Someone above already suggested this, but seconded: you can always get a premade dungeon online to use, if you want to start playing and not go through the trouble of making your own.

  10. Borrowing Books

    Sorry this is late in coming (just reading your archives). Chalain has a set of 3rd Edition D&D handbooks – DMs Guide, Players Handbook, Monster Manual and one or two others. If you are interested in borrowing them we could dig them out. If you wish you could make the game a family and friends campaign…

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