So I will bet that most of the folks who know me and started looking over the site figured I would hold off on the whole idea of smalls and RPG’s until later.
Ok so let me start by sharing why I think it is important for smalls to get into Role Playing Games.
- Even the most basic RPG has rules. If you cannot follow the rules you cannot play. Now then everyone who plays on a table top game knows that rules can be bent, can be broken, and can be tossed out the door when things call for it. And that is up to every game group to figure out, but still there are rules. Learning how to work with rules, and if need be how to get around them, are great things for smalls to learn. Although I do recommend taking it slow on teaching them how to get around the rules 😉
- Reading is essential. Some games are really complex in their vocabulary, some use completely made up terms and ideas. Some touch on legendary figures that have been around for thousands of years. Some use accurate history. But to get any of that you have to read. Reading to and reading with smalls is a great thing to do anyway. Doing it this way ties it into a game they can play later, or even while reading. It can boost vocabulary, grammar skills, and if you find a game with really bad editting, (cough Nephilim) as long as you don’t mind getting the book marked up, you can teach them how to correct others. And please feel free to use my blog that way too.
- Creativity. Give them the rules and then let them go nuts. Check out a few places online if you are not an artist and print out character blanks for them to draw outfits on and color. Walk them through the background they want to make for their character and help them build a story of their own. And then in the game help them to help everyone create a better story. Creative problem solving, oh my gods you would not believe the things that some smalls come up with as ways to get past a problem. Creative building, they want something how do they go about getting it or earning it. Smalls have some of the most powerful and profound imaginations ever, games like this reward them for it.
- Life ain’t fair. Yes a bad die roll can end a character, or a game session. A bad choice can get you and the rest of your group into deep trouble. You will not always win. Hard lessons to learn, but essential in growing up. And truth be told would you rather have smalls learn about the fact that they will not always win, they will not always have the answers, they can’t always get what they want, when they are smalls and playing a game, or when they are trying to come home and expecting you to pay for everything and clean up after them still? Just a thought there.
- Out of the TV. Hey it may not be playing outside but it keeps them offline, off the tv, and if you have a partner who can run a game it may give you some time with the smalls out of your hair. And with all the creative stuff going on you may end up spurring an interest in science, language, martial arts, or things like free running.
- Godlike power. Yes this is for the adults, or at least those who play them in a game session. Yes now you can have worshipers because you know the rules. You know how to bribe the game master into giving you all the best treasure, you read the book the game is based on so you know where to go before anyone else. Some smalls hero worship anyway, some are looking for an excuse. If you let them into something like this and you play the guardian angel and occasionally (‘Croods’ moment sorry for those that don’t know it) “Unleash… the baby.” you can become a hero, if not a god in their eyes.
So yeah, a lot of positive aspects. If you are worried about the time it takes or the challenge some smalls face focusing for more than an hour or so, just remember that if you keep them engaged, give them a reason to play, and help with the tools, even a short session with them can make memories that will last a lifetime.
Peace out and gimme the dice, I gotta prop up this book case.