Sunday, December 20, 2020

Looks Like I Might Start GMing Again (Finally!)


Looks Like I Might Start GMing Again (Finally!)
[Special Note: I'm generally not a huge fan of repeating myself, but I'm not 100% sure of just how much overlap this post will have with some earlier ones, but as the situation is eerily similar to one from a year or two ago I've mentioned at least in part.....it at least feels like I'm rehashing old ground. If so, indulge me as a Christmas offering....]

On a personal note, this week has totally sucked big green donkey #%$! I'll spare you all the details, but one of my challenges this week is the fact my home (I rent a small house) busted a water pipe and my crawlspace became a swimming pool. I've been without water for a week now, which isn't a huge deal, BUT I had some time-sensitive cooking Christmas gifts to work on. I'm making some hot sauce that has to be bottled at a certain point and it's literally unsafe to be working with the fermented peppers without the ability to clean up. Luckily I was able to reach out to a Brother (someone from my old Air Force career field) and go over to his place to borrow his kitchen.

A couple hours into this process his youngest daughter comes home and we all hang out in the kitchen while I'm doing my thing. The conversation comes around to the daughter's participation in an Anime convention and cosplay and I mention that some of the conventions I've been to have had cosplay events, either on the schedule or the spontaneous cosplay participants that are just there.

"Wait.....you 'do' Dungeons & Dragons?"

It ends up my Brother's 8th grader really wants to play D&D, but is kind of lost. Last Christmas he bought her a D&D Boxed Starter set, and some other stuff, but these thing haven't even been opened up, which makes sense since she wants to play, not GM. He's on-board to play as well, but again....lost.

"What do we do?"

First off.....you know I have to be all "I got you". Hearing this plea hits me right in the obligation. Yes, I feel completely obligated to introduce this family to RPGs. I'm sure we'll probably be playing the current edition of D&D, but I've already laid the groundwork for starting off with playing a session of several different iterations before letting her choose which one we go forward with. I thought maybe starting off with Dungeonteller, but she's older/smarter/mature enough that I'm thinking a session of Old School Essentials for more of a BX flavor, HackMaster (current edition), and then the D&D Box set she already has. I highly suspect she'll really like the HackMaster character creation, but prefer OSE and a more "theater of the mind" playstyle.....but I'm speculating. My thought was to expose the both of them (father & daughter) to the range of crunch and let them decide what they like the best before moving forward. 

These opportunities to grow fresh blood into this hobby don't come along everyday. I know one of my early posts here at the Tavern lamented my frustrations with attempting to game in rural Iowa. Man....if I had been able to start proper at that age I might have managed to get good at this thing by now!

Since this Brother is local, and I have a lot of free time coming up, this is going to happen.....well at least my end is a given. I haven't GM'd in a couple years now, and never for one this young. If any of you have some useful advice, by all means....send it my way! Actually, post it in the comments below so anyone else in a similar situation can take advantage of the advice as well.


  1. As a guy who DMs his 6th and 8th grader, my wife, and my gaming buddies' wife and 6th grader, I suggest B/X (or OSE). None of the kids, nor my wife, had any experience with rpgs before we started. We play B/X. It gives the true D&D experience. It is simple, in that there are not a lot of exceptions in the rules. Its board game aspects (movement, turn order, etc.) gives newbies a sense of familiarity.

  2. I'd be curious to know if you ever tried using Dungeonteller! Always nice to see my game referenced.


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