Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Smaller Party

One of the things I've really tried to get back into is regular gaming sessions with my kids. Since my oldest is in a phase where he's just not interested in playing, that drops my players to three. My wife is pretty busy, and not an avid player, so she's kind of out. That drops us to two. It's a different challenge, especially when you are used to 4+ players, but I'm learning to scale my encounters and make better use of NPCs.

We played a session about two weeks ago, and I was blown away by the creativity and ingenuity of my 11-year old daughter. As we played, I presented plot hooks and options to her and my son in a fashion I was used to (as would most gamers be) doing. While she may have nibbled at such hooks, she never fully bit. She instead really pushed her own agenda. Example? After taking care of some necessary business, and using her magic (she plays a sorcerer) to try and earn some cash, she wanted to check up on a riding horse they had acquired from a previous session. Once she saw the horse was fine, she simply wanted to find a place in the city where she could ride the horse around. Just ride. That's it. That was all she was really looking forward to.

My 13-year old son? He kept waiting for the next fight.

That I can handle.

I did finally get the plot on track, and we may be playing this weekend. Also looks like the wife will be joining in, so it should be fun. They'll actually be taking on their first dungeon crawl. Still, I got an inkling into how my daughter thinks and what she is looking for. I'll have to make sure I keep things balanced.

I'll let you know how it goes.


trollsmyth said...

Back in college, I lucked into a gaming group that was four girls and three guys, including me. Even though the game was fairly straight-up 2nd edition AD&D, the ladies took it in completely new directions.

For instance, we had entire sessions taken up with dinner parties. They invited all their old contacts from past adventures, old flames, new flames, and family, and threw a party. They wanted to go into the details of decorations and menus and whatnot. And then we just played through the party itself.

Now, there were some political heavy-hitters on the guest lists, so it was easy to lace the parties with political intrigue while the more scholarly sorts could drop hints about upcoming adventures. So it wasn't like we just RPed small-talk over slivers of giant snail sauteed in garlic sauce all night. But it was a very different experience for me. The whole social-networking as RPG session thing blew my mind. Luckily, most of the guys could get in on the act, and we had a blast.

Best of luck with your group. Let us know how they handle their dungeon crawl, and how things go with your daughter's sorcerer and her horse.

- Brian

Huss said...

That actually sounds like a fun gaming session. I tried once to run a similar session, with a party of all males. It fell flat, and a lot of clues and hints I planned to drop, had to be placed in later sessions.

It is always interesting to see what directions people take the game.