Showing posts from 2018
It’s been a while.

I’ve been running a new business, and that’s been eating up a lot of my time. I’m running two after school D+D programs at a local community center (the always awesome Miles Nadal JCC), and as I move through this process I thought I would blog about what I’ve learned, and what might be useful to other DM’s running games for kids. Because I run games at a community center the group is strangers, and the age range is 8-15 or so. That produced some unique challenges. The next few blog posts will be about managing those challenges.

Kids are awesome to game with, but sometimes hard to run a game for, they can be mercurial, distracted, it can be SO LOUD. I’m going to post ideas as they come up, a few every day. I invite others to comment or add their experiences in the comments.

Gaming with Kids
Age Separation: We have two groups, in the first the class is longer and the majority age is 14+, there is one younger (10 year old) in the group. In the Friday class everyone is 8-9…
Power and Authority in Dungeons and Dragons

I recent tweet by @DungeonCommandr on the ties between colonialism and D&D spurred me to post something separate so I could respond comprehensibly, I have trouble following responses to tweets that are multiple posts long.

I agree with his assertion that there is a power relationship in the game that mirrors that of colonialism, that it is baked into the game, and that for the most part DM’s do good for their players. I also agree that this doesn’t excuse us from looking at the imbalance in power.

The way I deal with this asymmetry is through:
1.Transparency 2. Agency 3. Responsibility and 4. Bounded Randomness.

I also deal with race and gender issues explicitly by discussing:
A. Race non-specificity and
B. Gender openness

I’ll deal with each individually.

1. Transparency: I discuss everything I will discuss here with the players before we game, so they know the score from day one. It takes some time but its important.

The very first thing I …
Art Imitates Art – Gaming and Fantastic Stories

So a few years ago I decided to write up the adventures in my home game for a campaign journal that I hosted at I am reproducing selections from them here, cleaned up and reorganized, to showcase the games I run at Black Dragon Games.

I run first edition Dungeons and Dragons, which has a particular flavor that is worth highlighting with a bit of narrative. 1e was meant to emulate the sword and sorcery literature, and I find that the game sessions do so fairly well, they are lethal and fast paced, and magic users are a big part of the story. Magic itself is in the hands of warlocks, otherwise it is relatively rare, and monsters tend to the horrific side.

I decided to start with a session that I did for a player that was starting a replacement character (his old character died and this was the replacement). I run a solo adventure for replacement characters where possible as it allows the player to get a handle on the new…