An observation on playing D&D with young boys

Introducing people (especially kids) to tabletop RPGs such as D&D is a source of great personal pleasure, but I confess that in my current game, the honeymoon is coming to an end.  Sometimes my patience with the younger crowd in the Labyrinth Lord game I’ve been running for a couple months (at Ink Spell Books in Half Moon Bay) wears pretty thin.  Particularly grating is the near-constant bickering over who-gets-what that erupts when treasure is found, the half-joking declarations of “I’m going to steal so-and-so’s pack when he’s not looking” or “I’m going to push so-and-so into the trap,” and the incessant talk about who’s stronger, who’s going to have the best armor/weapon, etc.  So far my solution has been to trust the older players to help steer the action along or, when things really bog down, rule that the commotion has attracted the attention of a wandering monster.

I feel very curmudgeonly as I write this, and hope I don’t come across as being too bitter…  After all, I’m continuing to play when I don’t really need to (this isn’t my only chance to game) and fun is still predominant.  Besides, I can still remember engaging in exactly that same kind of behavior when I was a young gamer, so I can’t really get that mad about it!

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One response

  1. toe

    This is a sincere portrayal of the player maturation arc. I remember the “my PC’s got all eighteens” of elementary school and the die roll fudgers. I also went through a very elitist phase later on, deigning only to play with “sophisticated” gamers. I’m glad both phases are behind me.

    I’m thinking of running a game series at a small public library, perhaps even Encounters, but I’ve never done it, so the Gnome’s words are most beneficial as I prepare myself to share table-top, paper-and-pencil RPGs.

    08/29/2013 at 07:33

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