Tabletop for Two: Episode Six
This episode of Tabletop for Two covers how to play in a one-on-one D&D game with kids! This is something we’re seeing more and more, especially because of the pandemic, but also because it’s fun!
So, what are some of the special considerations to keep in mind when playing with kids at the table? Some of the principles we’ll discuss tonight apply to duet games specifically and some to playing D&D with children in general.
And, as a quick disclaimer, we are happily child-free, but we have outsourced some of the advice aspects for tonight’s episode to parents in the community who game with their kids and some to Jonathan’s experience running the D&D club at school!
Watch the Episode
Below, you’ll find our show notes and the topics we cover during our discussion.
Also, if you’d like to support Tabletop for Two and our other creations, we’d love for you to join us on patreon!
Part One: Tips for Gaming with Kids at the Table
Combat is King!
From what we’ve gathered thus far: Kids. Love. combat! We delved into this a little further, because that preference really surprised me, and the parental instincts at least are that they really enjoy rolling so many dice.
The advice for catering to this preference is to keep things fast-moving and avoid save or stuck spell effects.
“Save or stuck” spell effects are any effect or condition that make it difficult for the PC to move or take actions if they fail their save. It can be especially frustrating for a player in a duet game, and even more so for kids, to have to wait several turns to be able to do something with their character.
One parent we talked to described how much his son loves combat, so he makes sure that whenever possible, he adds in a creature for his son’s PC to face, like a gnoll when the PC and his friend went for a potty break through the woods. He said his son glowed the rest of the day after they defeated it, which I thought was really cute!
Let Their Interests Be Your Guide
We’re talking about this a bit more next week geared toward whomever is sitting across from you at the gaming table, but some of the other really great advice we got from parents was that kids may not respond to D&D lore, but they will craft missions and adventures based on home values and their current interests.
The advice here was to do as much as you can to foster and lean into that interest at the table.
Part Two: Teaching Kids to Play D&D
What are some of the adjustments to the story, the mechanics, and other game elements that we might make, especially when teaching kids to play D&D?
- Learning to pick up the d20 first any time a roll is called for—unless the DM asks for a different die—is really helpful for new players and streamlines their learning of the game.
- There was a really cute thread on twitter recently of D&D advice from a four-year-old player/DM, and one of the things he said that is also great for us all to remember is that you should wait until the DM asks you to roll before you do, or that you should tell the DM what you’re trying to do before rolling.
- My other favorite piece of his advice was that you don’t have to know all the rules because Daddy does.
- There was also an emphasis on silliness, which I think we can all learn something from!
Do you play D&D with your kids? What other advice could you give to fellow parents to help with their one-on-one games? Please share in the comments below!
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