Anyway, I am now raising a pair of kids who are congenitally resigned to be nerds as well. My (almost) 7-year-old lives, eats, and breathes Star Wars, Harry Potter, and anything having to do with dragons. The great thing is that he not only wants to watch the movies and shows, he wants me to read them to him. So far, we are through Harry Potter to Goblet of Fire (waiting for him to get older til we read more). We are in the middle of Lloyd Alexander's Chronicles of Prydain (one of my favorites from my youth). We are now safely in the realm of reading "grown-up books." He still likes looking at picture books, but he is definitely able to deal with the big books.
He has also been playing a few different Kids MMOs - Legos Universe (clunky and shutting down in January 2012), Free Realms (Sony Online, slick, but aimed at tweens), and Wizard 101. Wizard 101 is our overall favorite - especially since all of the NPC text is spoken to you and there are directional arrows for your quest objectives.
So, one day when he was browsing through my old Monstrous Manual (he loves all of the art and reciting the monster names and alignments... I have NO idea), we started talking about D&D. We talked about me playing. We talked about his mom and I playing (and how our first big fight was because her character died while I was DMing...). One thing led to another and we decided we would play over Christmas break. Immediately, I started yearning for those halcyon days of my youth, hanging out at a certain Junior High teacher's home with about 15-20 other gamers while we beat up spiders, met gods, and made mischief with paper, pencil, and dice. My folks SO did not know what to make of me.
So, I start pulling out my old 2nd Edition books. I am going with 2nd Ed. simply because I don't have any later books except for the 3rd Edition Players Handbook. Besides, from everything I know of 3rd Edition and have heard of 4th Ed., they are all a bit too much for his age - "crunchy," if you will.
If nothing else, there is a HUGE volume of resource material for cheap online, if not on your bookshelf. I happen to have collected a pile (a couple of shelf feet) of 2nd Ed. stuff way back when, so I am set for background - not that a 7-year-old needs much more than to be given a simple hook and to be asked what he wants to do. I figured that much even before I began looking online for ideas from others.
If you are looking at doing something like this, I would recommend reading through the following:
- Gaming with kids
- A Guy who used to write a column about D&D with Kids for WOTC
- That same Guy's article on D&D Kids: Combat Encounters
- Confessions of a D&D Camp Councilor
- D&D For Kids