D&D Next for Kids

community.wizards.com/kezzek/blog/2013/0...

So I wrote a blog for this but I wanted some input from some experienced gamers.

My goal is to be able to play D&D with a mixture of age groups from young to old and keep a mixture of different complexities which blend well together and everyone has fun.

D&D has this game called Monster Slayers for ages 6 and up but it would never mesh with a group from other editions of D&D.

www.wizards.com/DnD/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...

Perhaps a similar game could be produced for young kids but they could actually play at times in a real game with older players if the statistics could be made to line up with older players.

I am pondering how to make the game fun for them but not overly complicated.

Here is my solution.

4 Pre-made characters (each could come with a laminated character sheet with a fun picture of the character and a plastic miniature designed for children):

[Name], Elf Prince/Princess
Life: knocked after 5 hits from enemy
See in the dark
2 bow attacks per round
Bow and Arrow - 50% chance to hit enemy (4-6 on 6 sided die or 11-20 on 20 sides), range 100 feet

Attributes (4-6 on d6 or 11-20 on d20 succeeds on any check)
Strength - good
Dexterity - very good (advantage)
Constitution - not so good (disadvantage) 
Intelligence - good
Wisdom - good
Charisma - very good (advantage)

[Name], Dwarf Warrior
Life: knocked out after 6 hits from enemy
See in the dark
1 hammer attack per round (1 hit is equal to 2 hits from other characters),
range 50 feet
Hammer - 50% chance to hit enemy (4-6 on 6 sided die or 11-20 on 20 sides)

Attributes (4-6 on d6 or 11-20 on d20 succeeds on any check)
Strength - very good (advantage)
Dexterity - good
Constitution - very good (advantage)
Intelligence -good
Wisdom - good
Charisma - not so good (disadvantage)

[Name], Human Magic-User
Life: knocked out after 3 hits from enemy
1 magic attack per round (attack hits up to 3 enemies)
Magic - 50% chance to hit enemy (4-6 on 6 sided die or 11-20 on 20 sides),
range 100 feet

Attributes (4-6 on d6 or 11-20 on d20 succeeds on any check)
Strength - good
Dexterity - not so good (disadvantage)
Constitution - good
Intelligence -very good (advantage)
Wisdom - very good (advantage)
Charisma - good

[Name], Halfling Burglar
Life: knocked out after 4 hits from enemy
Sneak attack defeats all enemies in one hit (must not be seen by enemy)
1 dagger attack per round 
Dagger - 50% chance to hit enemy (4-6 on 6 sided die or 11-20 on 20 sides), range 50 feet

Attributes (4-6 on d6 or 11-20 on d20 succeeds on any check)
Strength - not so good (disadvantage)
Dexterity - very good (advantage)
Constitution - good
Intelligence -good
Wisdom - very good (advantage)
Charisma - good

Conflict Resolution:
Enemies of challenge rating 2 or more lower than character level require 1 hit
Enemies of challenge rating 1 lower than character level require 2 hits
Enemies of challenge rating equal to character level require 3 hits
Enemies of challenge rating 1 higher than character level require 4 hits
Enemies of challenge rating 2 higher than character level require 5 hits
Enemies of challenge rating 3 or more higher than character level require 6 hits

The characters would never die but would require a rest if they are ever knocked out.
Each character has 2 rests per day (1 short and 1 long) to restore full hits.
Each character has a level that is equal to the highest level in the party and levels up with the highest level character.

All characters can be hit 50% of the time by enemy attacks.

When combined with characters from regular editions of D&D for older players, hits can be converted into hit points of damage by using percentages of total hit points.

Healing can be calculated as a percentage of the total as well.  Just keep  it simple and don't stress about the numbers too much.

What advice can people offer to this mechanic?
I know there is always a desire to bring kids into the hobby by trimming the rules down, and sometimes it's a good idea with some of the more rules-heavy games (Rolemaster, etc.). However, and I am certainly not trying to rain on your efforts or anything like that, but I really think that sometimes, as adults, we don't give kids enough credit.

I learned how to play D&D (with 1E) at 7 years old. I took to it very quickly, even with all of the sometimes-wonky rulesets. Within a few months of once-weekly games, I had stopped asking questions and was well on my way to becoming a little rules lawyer. My oldest son learned how to play D&D at age 7 as well. He learned to play using the 2E rules. He took to them very quickly. By age 9, he was taking his first stabs at DMing. My youngest son started at age 8, but had little interest in it. If it wasn't a Transformer or a Lego, he wasn't interested. By age 9 he was ready to give it another go, and he picked up on the rules just as quickly (he learned with 3.5). RPGs still aren't his favorite thing (right now it's Skylanders...whatever those are), but the rule themselves posed very little challenge to him to comprehend and apply. My youngest, a girl, is now age 9 and learned to play with 4E. She loves it. She actually laughed at me when she saw me using the character builder about a year ago. She absorbed those rules like she was a sponge.

I love any and all attempts to bring kids into the game, but don't sell them too short. They're a heck of a lot smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. I really don't think my kids are super-geniuses or anything (probably not above that of any other average kid), and they all took to RPG rules quickly and easily.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
I know a 7 year old that can tear into Minecraft about as well as I can - he's already started messing with redstone circuits.

I started with D&D when I was 12, and picked it up easily. By 14 I could learn a new RPG system in under 24 hours.

But, then again, I wouldn't every play a table-top game with a kid under 16; my games tend to have mature themes - betrayal, moral ambiguity, hard choices, violence and crime that I wouldn't feel comfortable being in anything less than a Rated R movie, so...

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

I know a 7 year old that can tear into Minecraft about as well as I can - he's already started messing with redstone circuits.

I started with D&D when I was 12, and picked it up easily. By 14 I could learn a new RPG system in under 24 hours.

But, then again, I wouldn't every play a table-top game with a kid under 16; my games tend to have mature themes - betrayal, moral ambiguity, hard choices, violence and crime that I wouldn't feel comfortable being in anything less than a Rated R movie, so...


This is probably the most difficult part is to provide a fun experience for various maturity levels.

It might be unfair to older players who want more difficult choices to put them in a game with young players who want a video game-like experience.
I know there is always a desire to bring kids into the hobby by trimming the rules down, and sometimes it's a good idea with some of the more rules-heavy games (Rolemaster, etc.). However, and I am certainly not trying to rain on your efforts or anything like that, but I really think that sometimes, as adults, we don't give kids enough credit.

I learned how to play D&D (with 1E) at 7 years old. I took to it very quickly, even with all of the sometimes-wonky rulesets. Within a few months of once-weekly games, I had stopped asking questions and was well on my way to becoming a little rules lawyer. My oldest son learned how to play D&D at age 7 as well. He learned to play using the 2E rules. He took to them very quickly. By age 9, he was taking his first stabs at DMing. My youngest son started at age 8, but had little interest in it. If it wasn't a Transformer or a Lego, he wasn't interested. By age 9 he was ready to give it another go, and he picked up on the rules just as quickly (he learned with 3.5). RPGs still aren't his favorite thing (right now it's Skylanders...whatever those are), but the rule themselves posed very little challenge to him to comprehend and apply. My youngest, a girl, is now age 9 and learned to play with 4E. She loves it. She actually laughed at me when she saw me using the character builder about a year ago. She absorbed those rules like she was a sponge.

I love any and all attempts to bring kids into the game, but don't sell them too short. They're a heck of a lot smarter than we sometimes give them credit for. I really don't think my kids are super-geniuses or anything (probably not above that of any other average kid), and they all took to RPG rules quickly and easily.


I started playing at 10 years old with basic and then advanced D&D.

I play a modified version of a Ravenloft board game with my 4 year old daughter where she just moves a plastic miniature figure through the grid board and rolls the die to defeat monsters.  She loves it and asks to play it more frequently.

She's probably still a bit young to role-play at a table and probably doesn't have the attention span for it but she love to role the dice to defeat the monsters.
Any game that has words "greataxe" and "cleave" in the same sentence is not for kids.
Any game that has words "greataxe" and "cleave" in the same sentence is not for kids.



???!?

∴ "Virtus junxit, mors non separabit." 

I've done the playtest with kids 9 and up, and we all had a great time.
the dndclassics site has dnd basic back up.   That's a good way to go, methinks.


My only suggestion would be: don't tune down the rules. 
If you really feel such adjustment is needed, do it but don't overdo it.

You'll be surprised at how quick children can grasp complex things when they're interested (especially games!), even 6 or 7 years old.
Or at least what we adults tend to think will be too complex for them.

And playing a game that puts their brains to work is a great way to develop children's mental skills!
 
Any game that has words "greataxe" and "cleave" in the same sentence is not for kids.



???!?



Good point.  I'll have to ban greataxes since they can cleave.

Luckily, the characters that I created wield the following:
A longbow firing arrows that can puncture vital organs like the heart, lungs, and liver.
A warhammer that can pulverize an enemy's skull.
A dagger that can eviscerate a foe.
Magical energy that can disintegrate an enemy.

No greataxes.
No cleaving. 

Problem solved.
Re: the greataxe/cleave thing... yeah, if the kids were going to be scarred for life by action playing out in their own imaginations, it was going to happen anyway regardless of two words.  Greataxe+cleave would not have phased me at any age, and I was perfectly capable of freaking myself out without anyone else's help back then (probably still true).

"I want 'punch magic in the face' to be a maneuver." -- wrecan

It probably depends on the child and how well you can hold their attention. Even as an adult it took me years to have an okay mastery at the material but honestly that was all due to math and memorization deficiencies. I think that young children can learn just fine if they are interested and put in the effort required.
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)
I introduced my son to RPG basic concepts at 5 years old. We started playing Heroscape at 7. He has an awesome 9th level 4e essentials Scout that has a heroic legend that rivals any of my previous gaming groups. We have been using the play test packets since they came out. He now plays a 5th level Rogue/Bounty Hunter/Stealth Specialist who is deep in the Jungles of the Isle of Dread. The other players in the party are guys I've been playing with over 20 years, one of which was been including his 11 year old son. Many of my posts are based on my Next experiences with him.
We prefered the first two packets over the latest one. Playing with these young children has reminded us to examine the situation and not our character sheets. The more pre-selected maneuvers you put on a character sheet the less inventive they get. I feel that is true for all players!
We have moved on to another system the last few sessions. Partly because we wanted another genre, partly because the Next playtest has lost our interest. I still post because I have a soft spot for D&D and I discuss my posts with him. I am amazed when I make suggestion on this board and so few comprehend what my now 9 year old takes in and understands.
RPGs help with his math, socialization, and storytelling skills. I would recommend keeping the character creation simple and not delving too deeply into explaining the rules and you will learn a thing or two about role-playing and how a DM should say yes when gaming with youngsters. 

Disclaimer: Wizards of the Coast is not responsible for the consequences of any failed saving throw, including but not limited to petrification, poison, death magic, dragon breath, spells, or vorpal sword-related decapitations.

a DM should say yes when gaming with youngsters. 



As a brief aside, "youngsters" should be replaced with "people".

Supporting an edition you like does not make you an edition warrior. Demanding that everybody else support your edition makes you an edition warrior.

Why do I like 13th Age? Because I like D&D: http://magbonch.wordpress.com/2013/10/16/first-impressions-13th-age/

AzoriusGuildmage- "I think that you simply spent so long playing it, especially in your formative years with the hobby, that you've long since rationalized or houseruled away its oddities, and set it in your mind as the standard for what is and isn't reasonable in an rpg."

My suggestion is a line of board miniature games, with the little "Endless Quest" (the tittle of game-book serie).

It would be like a mixture of the 90´s classic "Hero Quest" by MB and the last miniature boardagme like "Castle of Ravenloft" and "Wrath of Arshadalon". Simple rules, but PC can look for money to buy better item. (I didn´t like the system of the D&D board game, when when players had got a limit of cards of weapons).  

Something like D&D miniatures but players must explore dungeons, opening doors, looking for traps, get threasures to buy item and all about it.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

When school failed to engage me in any real way. D&D and other Role Playing games are the reason I can read as fluently as I do and had a remarkable effect on my basic math skills as well. I really do encourage you to challenge your kids as well. Obviously content is very important but I think that if you are mindful of that you will do a great service for kids to expose them to TT / PnP gaming.
Any game that has words "greataxe" and "cleave" in the same sentence is not for kids.

???!?

Good point.  I'll have to ban greataxes since they can cleave.

Luckily, the characters that I created wield the following:
A longbow firing arrows that can puncture vital organs like the heart, lungs, and liver.
A warhammer that can pulverize an enemy's skull.
A dagger that can eviscerate a foe.
Magical energy that can disintegrate an enemy.

No greataxes.
No cleaving. 

Problem solved.

This is totally crazy. Kids can handle names like cleave and greataxe in the context of a game. What's wrong with greataxe, specifically? Cleave is a common English word. If kids aren't allowed to learn perfectly acceptable, non offensive common English words then I don't even know what to say.

This kind of sentiment reminds me of when the daughter of a friend brought some books to play group and my friend was asked that she not be allowed to bring any books in case the ones that couldn't read felt bad about not being able to read them.


It's nonsense.


And anyway, I remember covering Macbeth (the story, not so much the shakespearian language) when I was in primary school and we talked about Macbeth cleaving the Thane of Cawdor in half during the opening scene. I don't recall being scarred over that. In fact, I remember playing pretend games as a small child where we cut people in half and did all manner of gory things.


Basically if you object to that kind of violence then you probably shouldn't introduce your kids to D&D in the first place.



I also don't see what's wrong with the proposed Basic D&D Mearls is on about either. 16 pages is perfectly acceptable and it covers the basic concepts of roleplaying and the D&D fantasy sensibilities just fine.

My kids have played Basic, 4e, and Next. There was and is a learning curve with all of them, but previous posters are correct. Where there's interest, there's learning. That isn't to say that the OP's idea isn't a good one, but not for the reasons some may be thinking.

When I was a teenager, many many moons ago, we played a 1e game, but the players were only given acccess to general descriptors of what they were capable, their equipment, and their spells. This was done not to dumb down the rules, but to pull their/our heads out of the metagame. And it worked. We were drawn deeper into the story without having to worry about the numbers. It created more work for the DM, but he handled it just fine. This method enhanced and increased roleplay and I recommend it as an alternative even for adult enthusiasts as a different way to play the game. Don't know if it would be fun for all players, but as a diversion from our normal style, it was for us.
D&D next for kids, is making the game simple enough and enjoyable for us older kids, so we may introduce it to the younger kids.
The D&D Next for kids should the Kre-o Endless Quest, the board game. 

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

My seven year old son has played with a group off adults I GM in every version of the play test packet. He gravitates towards fighters, but played the pregen wizard last time. 

He played through all the DnD board games, and plays in a bimonthly 4e game with an 8 year old.  

My point is that kids can handle the complexity, as long as they can muster the attention and have people to teach them and make it fun. 
1 square =1 yard = 1 meter. "Fits all playstyles" the obvious choice Orzel is the mayor of Ranger-town. Favored enemies for Rangers
58033128 wrote:
Seems like community isn't going to give up calling mapless "Theatre of the Mind".  In the interest of equal pretentiousness, I'd like to start a motion to refer to map combat as "Tableau Vivant".  


D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

The D&D Next for kids should the Kre-o Endless Quest, the board game. 

I would totally buy a shameless Kre-O knockoff of Heroica.

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