Running Organized Role-playing with Younger Audiences


Ever wanted to host an RPG with kids involved? I have and have done it successfully on multiple occasions, including mixed with adults!

This entry will hopefully be fruitful in your endeavors to include children in your adventures.

How Do Kids Play

If you recall from your childhood, role-playing was simple and without formalism. Most take on the role of their favorite cartoon character, superhero, or whatever. The children will then just interact with each other, which makes for fun if Superman and house mom get into inevitable mortal combat.

But how can this be harnessed properly for organized play?

Structured RPGs and Kids

Proper implementation of structured rules with kids is truly an application of “knowing your audience”. Each child is different in personality and in development. Because of this, you need to know this. Some children love structured rules. As such, they would need a kind of rules light system. Others do not yet love structured rules. These children would need something more loose. In both cases, care is needed. You might need to bed the rules with mulligans or strange superhero actions like bending bars even though they are not strong. This might be from kids of all ages. Just use your judgement and see how they react when failing something they really want.

I know I’m promoting my own thing in the entry, but I do it with love because I do think these bridges are built or reinforced with Two Bit RPG.

Groups that are mixed with adults and children might be a problem, but entirely possible.

Mixed Age Groups Together

It’s possible that mixed age groups can play together. All the above still applies. The caveat is you’ll still need to know your audiences. And yes that was intentionally a plural. In mixed age group play, there really are multiple audiences because kids are often in “their own little worlds”, whereas teens and adults are less prone to (some might disagree about me though).

So how do you resolve actions? If Two Bit RPG, or similar games are not used, then apply the rules heavier with teens and adults, but lighter or not at all for young children

Conclusion

The idea is to know your audience or audience segments. As the so-called “arbiter of worlds”, it is your duty to know how your group is organized and how to keep the game fun. And always read how your group and members of the group react towards your actions and modify those and future actions if necessary.

Facilitate fun and do not get bogged down in the pedantic!