This year most kids were mortally opposed to learning anything. In truth, they would have been quite content if I just sat in the corner and let them DM for each other.
Ha! As if this is ever gonna happen...
|A typical adventure building seminar
Instead of boring them with a one-sided seminar, however, I presented them with a series of DMing challenges.
Day 1: A non-combat adventure
Day 2: A non-fantasy adventure
Day 3: An event-based adventure
Day 4: A non-linear sandbox adventure
Day 5: A real-world, non-magical adventure
Each game lasted for about an hour and a half. There were 15 kids and three groups so everyone got to DM at least once. I walked from table to table and tried to make myself as annoying a player as humanly possible. Otherwise, how will they learn and how will I have fun? (plus I had to pay them back for the whole year!).
|How my job feels like
On the first day I'd noticed a curious thing. When left to their own devices, the motivation provided by almost all DMs was, "you're hungry. That bastard over there has/is your food. Go get him!" If anyone has any idea what this means, please tell me... I'm a little scared honestly...
After each game there was a class discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of each adventure concluded with my notes and impressions. Surprisingly, the kids were anything but cruel with their critiques. In fact, the only way to get any comments out of them save, "it was fun" was to ask them, "was this the best adventure you'd ever played in your life? no? why not?"
All in all, I quite enjoyed it. It was very different from playing with my peers; bolder and more dynamic on the one hand, but often arbitrary and often railroady on the other (but more on that later.)
So, old folks running for kids, encourage them to DM once in a while. It’s quite the Saturnalian experience!
About the art: these pictures are the work of the insanely talented and talentedly insane Jared von Hindman. His page has many more pics and other cool stuff. Go there. RIGHT NOW!