Since writing our initial blog, we’ve had a number of parents reach out to us and say, “I’m game! Show me how to do this, to start rolling dice with our kids.”
Easy enough done, in terms of providing online resources.
There’s a second step, however, that I do want to spend some time on.
But first, let’s ensure you have what you’ll need to start. For an online how-to manual, check out https://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop/players-basic-rules. Then you’ll want to go to a local gaming store (Google “Dungeons and Dragons stores near me”) and get some dice – these are actually different than the ones you probably have around the house – and a map and some miniatures. The latter are representations of player characters and monsters that fit on the aforementioned map. In all, maybe a $20-$30 investment, or about what you’ll pay to go see a movie.
On your own, read through the rules. Don’t worry about mastering them, just get a fair understanding of them.
Then here’s the crucial part: Don’t bore your kids with what you just learned.
Every time Heroes B&B puts on a game with players new to the D&D adventuring world we tell them the following: there are two aspects to this game. The first one allows you to interact with a fantasy world in whatever manner you wish. You simply have to tell us what you’re going to do before you do it. Second, if you encounter a threat, the game changes to a turn-based system, and we'll let you know when that happens.
At that point, we set off into a fantasy world filled with wonder, magic and the occasional grumpy troll.
The point is: Storytelling comes first, rules second.
Show me a place where my imagination can run wild and then sprinkle in some limitations (ie, the rules) and I’ll keep coming back for more. And more, and more!
Neil Pascale is a parent who lives in the Twin Cities. He is the founder of Heroes B&B, a Twin Cities-based service that provides adventure gaming to groups and families in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. He first started gaming as a middle-school student in math class. (Please don’t ask him what his grade ended up being in that class!) He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org