My 10 year old daughter wants to play D&D...

I don’t do RPGs really, tabletop or otherwise. I did play in a long running LOTR D&D game here on the SDMB that What Exit? ran, and it was tons of fun, but that’s really where my knowledge of this stuff ends. But last week, kind of out of nowhere but not really if I think about it, my kid asked us if she could learn to play dungeons and dragons. I asked why, she said she saw it on a youtube show she watches and it looks super fun.

The trouble really is, you know, the pandemic and social distancing. Also, none of her current friends play. So, we found a cool looking “class” that she started today on outschool.com that teaches the basics of how to build a character and play the game on a video chat with a teacher and 8 other kids. She is fully hooked. It’s the most excited I have seen her about anything since we went into lockdown and so, I want to support this, but I have no clue how.

I can have her play in more of these online groups run on video chats by an adult GM, but like, should I be getting her books? Dice? Can I play with her just the two of us (my wife is less than uninterested). Most of the stuff she has ever been into is something I vaguely understand, but I have no clue how to support this interest. Also, shes’s a 10 year old girl and gamer internet can get weird and I am, perhaps unfairly, a little hesitant to let her explore that on her own, and given that she’s 10 and can’t go anywhere much right now it’s not like she can go to the library and get books on her own, so I sort of feel like if we don’t support this it will just die, but she needs the outlet I think. Badly.

So, I don’t know what I am asking really, but for the last 15 years if I found myself in a situation where I just didn’t know what the heck to do I asked the SDMB. So, here I am. How do I proceed here?

I’d suggest the D&D starter set. It’s built for beginners (including beginning DMs), and while you’ll likely have to do some work to adapt the adventure if you’re just running for her (though you might send along an NPC that you run).

(Also, a salute to my fellow veteran of **What Exit?’**s awesome LotR game!)

That was a great game! It’s a shame it didn’t keep up steam, but all things end.

So you want to be supportive of her hobby, but don’t know enough about it. So ask her! What’s her character like (both mechanically and in personality), what did they do in their latest adventure, what does she think will happen in the next session. Think of fictional characters that sound similar to hers, and some of the things they can do, and ask her if she’s able to do those things. Let her tell you all about it.

A lot of people are playing the game now with tools like Roll20. https://app.roll20.net/sessions/new

That is what my kids are using in their games. You might not need the books or dice to start. The Ref would probably be able to guide through everything along with the veteran players.

I just might restart the online Play on message board game again later this year. I’ve been asked about it.

If you are going to play with her, you will want at least one set of dice although you can find online apps for dice rolling if you don’t want to wait. Wizards of the Coast have made the Essentials Starter Rule Book free and you could download and play just using that. It also contains rules for “Sidekicks” which are sort of mini-characters you bring along to help. Your daughter could make (for instance) a wizard but then have a Warrior sidekick to help without having to worry about running two distinct characters. Or the DM can run the Sidekick and not worry about having a whole character to play in addition to running. Either way, it helps keep her from getting clubbed by the first goblin she comes across.

Ultimately, if she’s really into it, you’ll eventually want to get her at least the Player’s Handbook and perhaps Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. Those two books contain 90% of what a player needs and the Player’s Handbook is the only one she really needs (though XGtE adds extra class types, spells, etc). The other 10% is split between multiple books and is pretty unimportant; just extra races, a few extra spells, etc. Not worth the investment if just getting started.

If you’re planning on playing with her and running games, it could help to have either the Starter Set previously linked or the Essentials Kit. You only need one of the two as both are designed for the same thing: teach new players and Dungeon Masters the ropes and how to play, including an introductory mission for the first five levels. You can play with the free PDF I linked but the adventures are sort of a hand-holding through the DMing process for people unfamiliar with the game.

I’m running a game for a group of mostly 11yo girls over roll20 (my daughters and the older one’s friends). It’s pretty intense.

The advice you’re getting here is good. Roll20 works pretty well, but you don’t even need to use that: my nephew is running a game just using Google Hangout.

Playing with just two people is pretty hard, and you almost 100% need someone who’s willing to run the game (it’s possible to play in a variant style without anyone running it, but it’s really not designed for that and is a lot harder than having someone run it). If she has a group of peers who are interested in playing, she or you can take on the DM job, and it’s a great way for her to socialize. Otherwise, is there a local gaming/comics store you can call? They might know of some local online groups.

I’m glad to hear she’s getting into it–it’s a hobby that’s lasted me 40 years and going strong!

There have been a lot of great responses here, but I wanted to address this bit more directly.

You’re right, gamer internet can definitely get weird, and I’d absolutely very highly recommend that you pay close attention to what’s going on if she’s gaming online.

On the other hand, the gaming scene is vastly different than it was even 5-10 years ago. The coincidence of the release of D&D 5th Edition, which is by far the most newbie friendly version of the game since Basic D&D in the early 80s, and the rise of “actual play” streaming and pod casts has dramatically changed the demographics of the hobby. After decades of an aging population of mostly male nerds, the past few years have seen a huge influx of younger gamers, with the new gamers being by most estimates a roughly 50-50 mix of boys and girls. There are a lot of girls around your daughter’s age who have come into the hobby in exactly the same way.

I mostly play with middle-aged adults, but even there, the demographics have changed, for similar reasons. After decades of playing with all-male or almost all-male groups, I now have almost as many female gamers in my extended gaming circle as male gamers. I’ve played in a couple of campaigns where us guys were outnumbered by women.

So, yeah, absolutely, definitely be vigilant if your daughter is online, and there are definitely still some toxic grognards out there, but the tabletop RPG community as a whole is becoming demographically and thus culturally a much friendlier place for a young girl.

I’d be in. I had a lot of fun playing Bitur.

We haven’t really had a full-on Play-by-post campaign game since The Shadowrun campaign died mainly due to the real-life death of one of my fellow players.

I can definitely endorse the recommendations for the Starter Set - my brother got it when lockdown started here and there’s been a weekly game since. It’s a pretty gentle introduction - there are pre-set characters with interesting back story that makes what seem to be a fairly balanced group, and does a fair bit of the arithmetic around e.g. [this stat plus proficiency bonus = attack bonus] for you at first so you can jump in and play quickly. The adventure is pretty well constructed so you’re facing a series of escalating challenges that not only get arithmetically harder as you proceed but also introduce you to different concepts early so that you become better at playing as well as simply getting more hit dice.

But I’m burying the lede here because the point is that the player roster is not just my siblings and their partners, but also includes my 11-year-old son who is absolutely loving it. That’s partly the fun of the game but also being an equal to the grown-ups - joining in with strategy discussions, making jokes, using his skills as part of the group. It’s been really good for him.

(There’s a slight downside, in that you have to get used to saying things like “Gosh-darn it, I’ve rolled another dratted 1” but it’s probably good for the soul.)

So, if you think you might be able to rustle up some adults with an interest, I’d suggest giving that a go.

Also, you say in your OP that she’s in an online class with 8 other kids - maybe that or a subset could be her group?

:smiley: I was running a roll20 game a few nights ago for my adult friends, and they’d hired a foul-mouthed first mate for their newly-acquired ship. One of them called out to her that there was a weird-looking eel in the water, and she shouted back, “Well, whoop dee doo!”
“Whoop dee doo?” my players asked in disbelief. “She shouts whoop dee doo?!”
“My daughter just came downstairs to say goodnight,” I told them, “So yeah, she shouts whoop dee doo.”

:smiley: too.

I’m thinking some sort of lookup table - I think this is a Pratchett idea - so that I can say “Oh, heck and blast” and have everyone know what I mean.

I’m hoping that ends up being the case. The classes are great in once sense because they are small and on video (like zoom but not zoom) so my kid gets the real interaction with other kids while she does this. They are short though. This one is 2 one hour meeting. We are looking into seeing if she can get into a multi week campaign to get off the ground.

Also, this thread made me realize that maybe I know people locally who play that I wasn’t aware of. So I’m going to ask around a bit.

NAF if you need players, both my kids play. Heck, I’d play too. My daughter’s group has been using Google Hangouts, with near daily promises to start using Roll20.

I would be in. Let me know if you need help. It sounds awesome.

I would have to figure out if I would use the same style or not. I think we would be reviving characters from 9 years ago in some cases. I haven’t given it too much thought yet. The prior game was a hybrid 1st Ed Middle-Earth game. I made the big leap to 5e and might need to convert the characters over. Our players were in the UK and all over the US, so we had to go play by post style, roll20 wouldn’t be an option I think.

That’s the other option though, is try for a roll20 game, once per week maybe.

As long as I can keep Gwaelur alive I’m in either way, though play by post is probably easier on my schedule.

Edit, just checked Google drive and I still have a lot of his stuff from when last we played (2013?!). It might not be fully up to date though.

Another option may be the various computer or online versions of the game. i think there may be a version for Playstation. Something like the Baldur’s Gate series, or Icewind Dale might give you something you could do together when other options aren’t convenient…

That really isn’t the same at all.

Before she discovered this I had been thinking about seeing if she liked something like Final Fantasy (or more likely Kingdom Hearts.) She is obsessed with the game Undertale because of the role playing elements so my assumption was that was the next logical step, but she seems to dig the full control she has over character creation most about D&d. But I never played those specific games.