DM for Kids: DM Style

GM Merit badges are cool! After coming across this neat set of icons  (I know, quite late compared to everyone else…) intended to reflect a GM’s approach to their game, I thought it would be fun to consider my style when running a 4E D&D game for my kids.

In general, I don’t think my style would be massively different in an ‘adult’ campaign (I’m not currently running a regular one), but there are definitely some things to consider when running a kids’ game. So here goes my take on the ‘DM for Kids’ Style:

My games will tell an interesting Story

Story Based

I certainly hope this is the case! To me, D&D is about creating worlds and telling stories using game mechanics. My daughter, especially, is very much into the story aspect of the game, so this is definitely something I aim for. Quite often she will be disappointed when ‘Roll Initiative’ is called, if she thinks it’s interuppting the flow…

Tactics are an important part of my games


However, I’ve got to keep my son happy too, so combat is an important aspect of my game. As I’ve mentioned before, they both love the battle-maps and minis etc associated with D&D combat, so its follows that Tactics are important. My son has started Warhammer Fanstasy as well, so he loves all this!

My games use a pre-made Map and pre scripted content


It would be a bit hard with even a cursory read of this blog to miss the fact that I think battle-maps are cool 🙂 In fact, all maps are cool! Back in 1E days, I still used a grid and minis for combat regularly, but with the tools available now … well I’m probably a bit over the top in terms of my encounter and props preparation! It is one aspect of the game that I enjoy a lot, although I am trying to cut back a bit, just to get a bit more efficient!

My games are Safe and you don't need to worry about content or character death


This probably goes without saying for a kids’ campaign, certainly on the content side! Not that I shy away from popular fantasy concepts – at 12 and 10 they’re old enough to be reading and watching a fairly wide range of material – but clearly there are some concepts I avoid 🙂 On the character death aspect, there are  times when one of the PC’s has been dropped to negative hit points in a fight, and this definitely comes with the chance of tears! The kids do invest heavily in their characters, so while I like to crank the tension up, care is needed…

The GM is In Charge in my games and "rule-zero" is in effect

Rule 0

Of course I’m in charge, I’m DM Dad 🙂

Animals are an important part of my game


This is an extra ‘badge’ I just had to add for my kids campaign!! As I’ve posted before, my kids characters are steadily amassing a large menagerie: beast companions, war dogs, horses, and a fervent desire to acquire a baby griffon! It isn’t an aspect of my game that I had planned, so this is definitely rolling with the kids’ input. Great fun though, and an obvious source of adventure … 

So there you have it, my DM for Kids style. Works for my campaign so far 🙂

This entry was posted in 4E D&D, Columns, DM for Kids, Roleplaying with Kids. Bookmark the permalink.

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