Thursday, August 26, 2010

And here goes the ball...

Cross posting from the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Teensburg blog:

My name is Jamie Albrecht; I work at the Homewood Branch of the Carnegie Library, and I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons since I was twelve years old.

I don’t know what it was that first got me interested in roleplaying. Growing up, I had always enjoyed reading fantasy novels, from JRR Tolkien and Lloyd Alexander to Brian Jacques and the Lone Wolf series of Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks. I loved the worlds they created: full of danger and wonder, monsters and magic. I even tried to write some myself, which turned out about how you’d expect. The first time I played D&D, I thought, “This is amazing. I created this character (a human paladin named Sir James, naturally), fought goblins and wererats and returned the stolen magic orb to the elven village! I feel like I’m in Middle Earth!”

Thus began a love affair with roleplaying games that still persists over ten years and dozens of systems. Through playing and running games, I’ve created fantastic worlds, made wonderful friends and done amazing things. I learned how to think critically, cooperate with other players and invent creative solutions to problems, not to mention a ton of mental math (quick, what’s 16 plus 8?) And now, I’m bringing all that adventure and excitement to a weekly Dungeons and Dragons game for teens at the Carnegie Library. This isn’t the first campaign to be run at the library. I fondly remember playing in a D&D summer program at the Main Branch before I went off to college (Hi Scott! Hi Joseph!) But it’s the library’s first ongoing campaign, with adventures every Wednesday afternoon at the Homewood branch of the Carnegie Library. We’ll be using the recent 4th Edition of the Dungeons and Dragons rule set and NO PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED! The library will be providing the materials, including rulebooks, dice, character sheets and token miniatures.

The program starts on September 8th and will run every Wednesday from 3:30p to 6:45p.

So there's the first barrage of program advertisements away. Now all I have to do is finish the poster, create 8 or so pregens and write the first adventure.

No pressure. :)


  1. Hi Jamie,
    I also grew up playing D&D at a library program, and this fall I'm going to be running a game for kids as part of my son's afterschool program, grades 3-6. Let's compare notes!

  2. Good luck with the game! I'm sure it will be a hit. :)

  3. Here's hoping. I've already had a pretty big chunk of setbacks, including a kid not being able to play for religious reasons, which I talked about earlier this month. But it's hard not to feel enthusiastic about this whole thing. After all, I'M GOING TO GET PAID TO PLAY D&D! Albeit at minimum wage. :D

  4. Tavis, I'd love to compare notes! What will you be using? One of my earlier goals in this blog was to work on a Basic D&D variant inspired by the things that kids these days of the 3rd to 6th grade level are into (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Legend of Zelda, adventure manga like One Piece and Fairy Tail). I think I'll eventually be able to work on it, just like my Western S&W game. And my young adult novel. And my old-time detective radio play. :)

  5. I will likely be nominally using 4E Essentials - the core of 6th grade kids are already 4E players, although they don't really understand the rules. I think the rules piece is relatively minor; having played with those 6th graders, the social structure is what I think will be challenging. It's a lot of boy-dynamics, players threatening to kill each other's characters because they weren't listened to, everyone shouting all the time; fun, but exhausting, and I see my #1 priority as helping them develop socially in a way that they can carry forward to make the games they play on their own more functional. As to how I'll do that, it's something I need to figure out ASAP...
    - Tavis

  6. Oh, and Jamie: I worked for a while on my own Avatar: The Last Airbender d20 rules. Didn't finish them, but wrote a lot of stuff and I think the setting could work great as an RPG.