Tuesday, February 12, 2013

My Son The Dungeon Master

Running a game and keeping players happy requires a certain type of leadership personality. Not everyone wants to DM a game. Many, myself included, prefer to just sit back and play and have invented characters adventure along and get taken on a story as presented by the DM.

My youngest son loves being the DM. He enjoyes sitting behind the giant screen and wielding power over whoever is playing. He understands the basics, which really is all that is needed. He is only just beginning to read on a basic level so using any actual D&D or game guides are out. 

He loves dice. He loves handing out dice to everyone and his games have lots and lots of dice rolls. He rolls and then you roll. If you miss the target number he will often insist you roll again. If you still roll badly he will only knock you prone. Eventually you will prevail. 

 He loves miniatures. He takes miniatures from all our collections to run a game. D&D, Pathfinder, Star Wars, Heroclix, and even non traditional minis such as Skylanders, Ben10, Secret Saturdays, etc. All are possible in the universe he creates. Skylanders will be the subject of my next blog. Stay tuned for the Skylanders video game and its RPG potential. 

He loves drawing maps. He will take a huge blank wet erase grid map and without any complex forethought he'll bang out a huge map with obstacles, threats, monsters, etc. His maps are often not perfect but he never cares. It's more about the game and creation for him. Kids tend to jump in and make art without considering perfection. This is a good thing. This keeps them uninhibited and very creative. 

Now too with my most recent eBay purchase he loves Dwarven Forge dungeon terrain. Despite the stuff being on the pricy side it has little kid written all over it. It is extremely well made and I cant see it breaking on the table unless someone was extremely rough with it. I also suspect that tumbling to our carpeted floor would have no effect. I'm sure, eventually, he'll put it to the full test. Since it is modular it can be extremely customized  It is very akin to building blocks and LEGO and needed no explanation when I laid it out for him to use. Right away he "got it." It is now his newest favorite thing for running a game. Lucky for him I have more on the way. eBay is a great source for finding sets that are not currently available on the website. 

His stories are imaginative but tend to take up about 20-30 minutes to play. He tends to create maze like settings with obstacles and villains to keep players busy.  He keeps you rolling, he lets you make choices, and he also corrals you to the confines of his settings where you will ultimately encounter what he has laid out for you. We may not play as often as he would like but we are never bored when he runs a game. 

His style of gaming is so simple that I have even begun to write out simple RPG rules set for young kids inspired by his style of game play. When I get that finished I'll upload those rules here. 

–A