Help from the D&D DMs here

Started by jamus34, September 29, 2019, 09:47:02 AM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


Reaching out the MD and any other DM's. How do you craft a campaign to try to get younger kids involved? Basically looking at the 10- 14 Age range.

Two of my kids have expressed interest but don't really get how to role play.

Any pointers?
Insert witty comment here.


It's all about attention span.

They have been cursed to use tablets and cells so much getting them to not use one during the game is impossible.

So employ the devices instead. Send all comments and communication through a cell text. Helps if you are using a real keyboard to send mass texts to all of them.

Use simple minis to let them know who they are, and where everything else is during battles.

Keep it simple in the beginning. They'll want more complicated soon enough.
Just killin pixels and cardboard


Dramatize the action!  Describe the monsters - but don't name them to keep up the mystery!  Praise them when they do well.  And always get them to decide what to do.


Heh, bro and I WERE the DMs (and players) age 10 to 14! It helped that we were very detailed and process oriented. We wanted to learn the systems and be in operational control of the systems.

I can't think of one overarching rule set that covers all kinds of kids. Even "kids like stories so be story oriented" might not necessarily apply.

So I'll give the one piece of advice we learned as kids trying to get Mom and Dad to play, because they still tell this story umpty years later: if you're the DM, do not under any circumstances let the game kill off the characters.

Dad (and Mom) spent an hour working on rolling up and outfitting their characters, for the famous Keep on the Borderlands starting campaign, and I had enough sense to skip getting to the dungeon and so got right to the dungeon. You may recall that just inside the front door there's a hinged floor with a spiked pit? -- well, Dad doesn't remember a single thing about D&D other than that he spent an hour setting up and then stepped one foot inside the door and instantly died on a bad roll. HE DOESN'T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT GAME WE WERE PLAYING! But he never has once forgotten that. Mom thinks it's hilarious now; Dad is still kind of mad about it (though likes to tell the story as far as he remembers it to be funny about it.)

So, inconclusion: don't kill the kids. You can threaten them, you can deal out consequences short of death, but keep them in the game.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in lots and lots of chronological order...
Dawn of Armageddon -- narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse
Survive Harder! -- Two season narrative AAR, an Amazon Blood Bowl career.
PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Fantasy Wars narrative AAR, half a combined campaign.
Khazâd du-bekâr! -- narrative dwarf AAR for LotR BfME2 RotWK campaign.
RobO Q Campaign Generator -- archived classic CMBB/CMAK tool!


For most kids roleplay come naturally, but they 'transform' in high school age-range to adults, so its important to keep that flame lit!
They are in an age range where peer pressure is building and conformality increased in importance to 'fit in'. This naturally causes a discrepancy for trying to roleplay.
I would say the age of 8 is ideal to start pen and paper roleplay, not puberty. :)

Still, if they are showing interest all is not lost! 😊
You, as the adult, will have to unshackle yourself and over dramatize the action and the monsters to show them its ok to play pretend and a lot of fun too. Before you know it they might have friends sitting at the table with you.

Attention span is definately a good point; don't go for the classic three hr block, but start small.
A good way to play, I find, is to ask them what their character wants to do and how he or she would react and then tell them whats possible within the rules instead of making them worry about knowing the rules all the time. Be lenient.

You'll find some great kids oriented adventures on DMS Guild if you take a minute to search.

Good luck! Happy to read more about your endeavor soon!
"Pilots do not get paid for what they do daily, but they get paid for what they are capable of doing.
However, if pilots would need to do daily what they are capable of doing, nobody would dare to fly anymore."


Thanks for the tips everyone!

Maybe I'll write up an AAR of how it goes.
Insert witty comment here.


Make it episodic

Make it about them

Give them chances to be heroic and then let them

The more you give to telling the story, setting the scene and their place in it, along with different voices, accents, and/or visual cues, will draw them into it and make them more willing to respond in kind. 

Try to remain flexible to their ideas and the story you are trying to tell.  If they say something that makes you stop and think, find a way to incorporate it into the story.  It gives them ownership and pride in what y'all are doing.  It'll make'm want to play more, too.

Rules are less important than telling a good story and making a memory.
And the One Song to Rule Them All is Gimme Shelter - Rolling Stones

"If its a Balrog, I don't think you get an option to not consent......." - bob