So, being a father with a 5 year old, I am always open to RPG type documents that are designed to introduce children to the hobby. A wonderful document called "RPG Kids" has been inspiration for a few one-off games with my daughter.
Last weekend, she asked me to play. I was thrilled! I had kind of coaxed her into it the first time. But this time, she asked me ... "that game with the treasure chest ... you know..." So, I quickly threw something together using Advanced HeroQuest tiles and prepainted mini's from HeroScape and we were ready in a few minutes.
I sat up a "dungeon" from the tiles in a sort of cross pattern (well a double cross) with four rooms with monsters and a final room at the end with a dragon. I set a miniature for me and one for Kaylee at one end of the dungeon and a dragon at the other end. I explained that hidden in the dungeon (one in each room) were keys to the Dragon's room and that we needed to get all four keys in order to enter the Dragon's lair and defeat the dragon.
I used different dice for our "characters" and the monsters. I gave Kaylee a d12 for her character and took a d10 for myself. The monsters in the first two rooms used a d6, the monsters in the next two rooms used a d8 and the Dragon used the d20!
Rolling to hit was an opposed roll of the dice ... high roll wins. When my character acted, Kaylee rolled for the monster, and when Kaylee's character acted, I rolled for the monster. One hit marked a character/monster as wounded, the second hit removed them from the board.
She was very competitive. When she was the monster she wanted to "win" just as much as when she was the Elven Princess. She didn't seem to understand that as fellow adventurers it was better when the Brave Knight beat the monster in a dice roll because the Knight and the Princess were on the same team. (My character was the knight, whom I couldn't name Jacob because that was a boy in her school and so I couldn't use that name ... she instead dubbed me, Sir Knight-Head.)
But despite this bit of confusion concerning just which "team" she should be rooting for, we both had a good time. She seems to understand the mechanics of the game in so much as "higher roll wins." But the Role-play aspects even simply understanding that the Princess and the Knight were one team unified to battle the monsters, seemed to allude her.
I want to try again this weekend and I want to include my girl friend in the game. I think that if my girl friend plays with us, and I maintain the exclusive role of the monsters, while she maintains the exclusive role of hero that it will all make more sense to her.
I'll let you know how that goes.