• I turned my 4-year-old daughter into a Dungeons & Dragons geek

    I am a huge geek; my wife, however, is not. She, like Luke, could never be turned, so the responsibility for making sure our two little kids end up liking stuff like Star Wars, Tolkien, Final Fantasy, Doc Brown and, of course, D&D is on me.

    I still play Dungeons & Dragons with mostly the same group with whom I played with twenty years ago, and game night at my house is as much a social gathering between old friends as it is about killing kobolds and orcs. So naturally, I wanted to hook my kids on D&D as well. They have always been fascinated with what goes on at a D&D game. They love the funny dice, the miniatures, the maps and the stories. I knew that it would only be a matter of time before I was running them through an adventure; I just didn't expect it to happen so soon.

    By the time my daughter was four, she was ready; she wanted to play. She'd roll dice and tell me that her miniature was attacking another miniature with its sword. She would invent stories about princesses in distress, and evil monsters walking through the woods. Without me doing much, she was already hooked. So I did what any dad would do: I tried playing D&D with her, only to find that no 4-year-old could grasp the complex rules that are part of D&D. While she understood how the game worked as far as telling stories went, the mechanical parts were too complex. So again, I did what any dad would do, I wrote a kids version of D&D for her: rpgKids.

    rpgKids is a simple little role-playing game played with a 12- sided die and a regular 6-sided die. The rules are really basic; I made it easy for my daughter to grasp quickly, so we could quickly get to the stories we'd tell together. It's rules-light enough for her to grasp, yet still firmly a dice-based RPG, which makes her feel that she's really, really playing D&D with dad. Most importantly, what rpgKids has really done is bring us closer together.