Tuesday, January 10, 2017

My daughter, new dice, and rules-lite gaming

Hello again!

So it’s been nearly six years since my last post. My time off from the hobby wasn’t particularly interesting, but while chugging along with the unstoppable beast known as Real Life, I kept myself busy with other endeavors, all which eventually came to an end. It was fun while it lasted, though, I’m telling’ you.

Throughout this time, there were passing words of interest to start up a new Labyrinth Lord game with my old gaming buddies, but such pleasures never came to pass. I still maintained an interest in the hobby (however minimal), and bought the 5e Starter Set and downloaded the Basic Rules. I really, really dug ‘em and figured if I start up another game, I’d definitely incorporate some 5e ideas in my Labyrinth Lord game.

Still, it never happened. Boo.

So why am I turning the lights on here at the Prime Requisite Games blog? One reason: My 9 year-old daughter.

You see, I DID play the occasional game with my daughter. We might have played our first RPG together when she was 5 or so, using VERY bare-bones rules, such as:

• Class: Fighter, Wizard, or Elf
• Hit Points: 10
• Weapons: Sword, dagger, or bow/arrows

Combat: Roll d6 for initiative. Roll d20 to hit. A roll of 10 and over hits with one point of damage.
Spells: Whatever she could think up.

Ridiculously rules-lite, but the fun for her was her involvement in the story (explore a magical forest, save the princess, kill the dragon, etc.). Plus, she LOVED to roll the dice.

Fast-forward to this past December. It had been almost a year since we last played. Sure, she would occasionally ask if we could play, but there was always something else going on, and eventually she just stopped asking. That kills me. Ugh.

My daughter is an extremely creative girl. She’s cut from the same cloth as those of us who enjoy crafting, writing, reading, and even filmmaking. She WANTS to use her imagination, and if she’s anything like most of us, playing and reading RPGs will only excel her creativity. So last week I kicked my laziness to the side and sought out an RPG my 9 year-old could take on and run with.

My research brought me to Brave Halfling Publishing’s DAGGER FOR KIDS, a wonderful “lite” take on the old-school D&D rules. I snatched up the pdf.

My research also kickstarted my slobbering NEED to play a GAME. I started making my rounds through the OSR blogs and the digital stores to see what news/products I’ve missed. A lot. I’ve missed a lot. Also, I discovered most of the OSR crowd have hightailed it to Google+. Great. I’ll eventually get there, I’m sure.

Now that I have the game system picked out, it’s time to make this OFFICIAL: I need to take my daughter to the local gaming store and have her pick out her very first set of polyhedral dice. You all remember YOURS, right? It’s an awesome moment for the novice gamer, and I was thrilled to share that experience with her.

She was giddy as we opened the door to our awesome local gaming store TableTop Game and Hobby. Before we checked out the dice at the front counter, we took our time cruising the game isles. Her eyes were wide. Mine were equally as wide when I happened upon a copy of the Labyrinth Lord module Idol of the Orcs for $6.00! I tucked that treasure under my arm as we made our way to the dice display.

My daughter must have spent a solid 15 minutes looking over the dice sets before she made her decision on some purple gems. After our dice run, the plan was to hit a couple other stores to pick up a few items, but the effect of the gaming store was overwhelming.

“You want to go home?” I asked.
“YES!” she said, grinning ear-to-ear.

Yeah, we’re gonna go kill some monsters and take their freakin’ treasure!

When you’re beaming with ecstatic anticipation, a ten minute drive home can seemingly take hours. My daughter knew how to pass the time. “Where’s my DICE,” she asked. I heard her pop open the plastic container and afterward, the comforting clicking of poly dice hit my ears. *Sigh*

When we arrived home, we quickly made our way to the dining room table, gaming materials in hand. Housed inside my hardback copy of The Dungeon Alphabet was my handmade rule booklet of DAGGER FOR KIDS, a bunch of DAGGER character sheets, and David Bezio’s short and sweet Labyrinth Lord adventure LOST DAUGHTER (from his original Phoenix Barony setting for Labyrinth Lord).

As a quick side note, Lost Daughter was the first adventure I ran when I first got back into role-playing way back in 2008. So I figure it’s only fitting to run this adventure as a wink and nod to my most recent return to The Game. Plus, Lost Daughter is a slam dunk for on-the-fly conversion to the Dagger game.

We quickly rolled up three characters: Geoff the Knight, Mad-Pants the Dwarf, and Bob the Worm the Wizard.

The Worm and new dice!
Another side note. THIS is why RPGs with kids is so much fun. You see, her character is not named Bob “the Worm”, as in the character is a “wormy” kind of guy. No, he’s a worm named Bob. The Wizard.

While this might get under the skin of some of the more “serious games only” types, I just kept in mind that my little girl just wants to have fun and I want her to run freaking CRAZY with her imagination. Because, why the heck NOT?

So when I ask her, “What kind of character do you want to be,” and she says, “I want to be a worm who is a wizard.” Fantastic. Also, Bob the Worm the Wizard’s “steed” is a giant pig named Pork-chop. Good to go!

For the next two hours, Geoff, Mad-Pants, and the Worm killed some goblins and saved the Lost Daughter. My girl had a blast (as did I). Afterward, she immediately asked, “When are we going to play again?!” (“TOMORROW!” I wanted to say. “And EVERY day after that!!!”)

I’m in the process of putting together an original mini-adventure for the DAGGER rpg, and I’m hoping to set some time for her to conquer it within the next couple of weeks. Heck, if it plays well, maybe I’ll post it. It’ll give me an excuse to keep the lights on a little bit longer around here.