Sunday, July 11, 2010

Elesyian Fable

I work as a page at an inner-city library in Pittsburgh, mostly shelving books, helping people with computer issues and supervising the weekly Lego club. In the past week or so, I've been talking with my supervisor about potentially running a Dungeons and Dragons club for Teens in the early Fall once the school year has started again and the library needs programming. Naturally my mind first turns to the early editions of D&D that I've been discovering, but the more and more that I think about it, the more difficult I feel that it would be for modern teenagers to go head first and enjoy an unmodified game of B/X or AD&D. Kids today aren't inspired by cheap paperbacks, Star Wars, comic books or the art from Magic: the Gathering cards like I was when I first started role playing. If I asked one of my Lego club members what the fantasy genre means to them, I'd get answers that spread from video games to young adult novels to anime and manga.

NONE OF THIS IS A BAD THING. It just requires a different approach, one that I think a Basic D&D-inspired game could accomplish very well. A simple rule set, modular enough to allow every character from fighters to magicians to have something special up their sleeves, combined with a 'rulings, not rules' aesthetic, but incorporating elements from sources that kids would recognize and understand.

It's gonna have airships, quests to save the world, ridiculously named swords, the summoning of magical beasts and godly avatars, and hopefully, it'll be a great introduction to roleplaying for a group of kids who would probably never have come to it on their own.

And if that doesn't work, I'll use 4e Essentials. :)

(Picture from a cutscene in Final Fantasy IX)


  1. Hey there! Nice blog, and thanks for stopping by mine! Looks like we're sort of kindred spirits on our own journeys into the depths of the hobby. Heck, we even used the word "forays" in our blog subtitles! ;-)

    Happy gaming to you, until we meet again...

  2. By the way, are you a fan of Stephen King's Dark Tower series? I always thought that might make a heck of a setting for a game...

  3. Yeah, that's primarily why I added you, on top of your sensible opinions. :D

    I've only read the first two Dark Tower books and the graphic novels that Marvel put out a few weeks ago, but I love love LOVE the mythic Western fantasy aesthetic. I'd probably do it in a weird and dark version of the 1800s instead of the parallel dimensions thing (not so much a fan of world-hopping) and if I ever finish Bullets and Tequila, it'll definitely have expansion rules for adding magic and weird science.

  4. Hi Jamie!

    Thanks for stopping by my Tower. I think running a library based teen D&D game is a great idea! I wish someone had done that while I was a teen. I also think that going all out with the scenery is a good idea. Make it fantastic!