Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving SIGPUP

So a few years ago, I coined, in jest, an acronym for a fictitious organization called SIGPUP – The Society to Increase the Gamer Pool Using Procreation.  This was, at the time, my way of summing up my thoughts that one of the ways to ensure tabletop role-playing games lived on was to pass it on to the next generation…to the point of making your own next gaming generation.

Those of you who know me know that I've already got my kids on that track, playing games at home when time allows, at GenCon, and at GaryCon. They've played The Warriors RPG, D&D 3.x, Gama World (4e), AD&D, and their current favorite, DCC RPG…among others.

I am fortunate that for the past four GenCon’s, I have been able to stay at a very nice condo in downtown Indy – my sister’s "vacation" place. On a few occasions, she and her two young boys have joined us in Indianapolis for a part of the weekend and we've done touristy things like the zoo, or the Children’s Museum. The last two years they have even gone to the convention hall on Sunday.

So this last year, I decided it was time to get her kids hooked. As a token of appreciation for allowing us the use of The Condo, I purchased a game my wife, kids, and I found in the Dealer Hall –“ Rawr! TheMonstrous Adventure Game”.  It’s a game geared towards kids and families involving good monsters – the PC’s – that battle the bad monsters. I figured it would be simple enough for my non-geek sister to pick up and would be a fun hook for her boys of eight and six.

About a month after passing the gift on, I received a call from my younger sister asking about…well…essentially how to run a game. The boys had been harassing her about playing since they returned from GenCon. Unfortunately, I was not familiar enough with the rules to offer anything more than general advice. “If he wants to pick up a rock, then let him. You just have to figure out what that means with respect to the rules…or hell, just wing it! It’s more about them having fun than anything else.” Stuff like that.

Fast forward to Thanksgiving a portion of which I spent at my Mother’s house in Michigan. My sister and her boys were there and they brought “Rawr!” along so either my son or I could run it for them. After dinner on Saturday night, while I was introducing Liar’s Dice to the adults in the gathering, my son took a stab at running the game:

Unfortunately, he didn't have a lot of time to get acclimated and so, I think, ended up in the same place as my novice sister did when she attempted to run it. So after my loss in Liar’s dice, I grabbed the rule book, took about ten minutes to get a feel for the rules, and went to it (unfortunately, no pics of that!).

We played through the first sample adventure of the game. I saw where my sister and, subsequently my son, ran into their first question. We had barely begun the first encounter when my nephew says, “I pick up a rock and throw it at his head!” Consistent little guy…

When it was over, my sister said something that struck me as interesting. “It wasn't that I couldn't figure out the rules, but when you ran into something, you seemed to know where to look for the answer much more quickly than I could figure that out.” Huh.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome story, very appropriate for the holidays. What ages were the kids?