In writing another blog post I mentioned that I was simultaneously running a game and playing a character at the same time. This is something my wife introduced me to as she really wanted to play but I wasn’t willing at the time to run a game. Wanting to also play in a campaign that I was running, I have adopted this strategy. I know to many this seems like a queer way to approach the game, but there is something I noticed that I don’t think is as obvious otherwise. This is a great way to teach yourself how to not meta-game.
Knowing what the direction the game is going to be going makes it quite tempting to fiddle with your character and what they might do. Despite this challenge, I have found it oddly satisfying being able to stop myself and redirect my thoughts back to the game and thinking what my character would actually want to do in this situation. Giving this a little more reflection I suppose there can be another benefit to this in becoming a better role player and learning how to dive deeper into a character you have created.
One way to get kids, even young kids their first taste of D&D is to do roll offs. A roll off is just when you take two characters, a d20, a d6 and a d10 (optional). All AC’s are 10 and all HP’s are 10. You take turns rolling the d20, ten or better hits, then the d6 for damage until someone runs out of HP using the d10 as an easy HP counter/tracker. The advantages to this, especially with young children, is the battles are quick and fit in with the short attention span of children, the rules are easy to remember and there are very few of them, and you can also use children’s toys as the creatures to make it more fun and add a new level of play to their already existing games of pretend (that batman action figure vs joker figure).
It’s an easy system to build onto as well so once they are comfortable with these mechanics you can start adding advantage rolls, rolling 2d20 and taking the higher of the two (batman can gain advantage by attacking joker from a high place) and modifiers (batman gets a +1 to his AC because he has a Bat-suit) one mechanic at a time so that children aren’t overwhelmed.