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[DitV] Demoing & Playing with Kids

Started by greyorm, May 05, 2006, 02:11:54 AM

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First question: I've posted a notice about running a demo of Dogs next Thursday night at our relatively new local comic/game store -- a nice, big, clean store with a friendly owner and large, seperate rooms devoted to computer gaming and tabletop/card gaming. If there had been enough people around tonight, I would have just jumped in feet-first and started running a game with the minimal prep I did earlier today, but those who were there tonight were all involved in their D&D Online game. Since I have more time to prepare now, I am wondering if there is a good way to demo Dogs to a new audience, especially given I am new to playing myself?

Second question: has anyone thought of or tried to run Dogs with children? Not teenagers, but actual kids, around 8-9 years old? I am thinking Dogs would be a much better intro to gaming, at least hobby-habit-formation-wise, than D&D for my oldest son and daughter. However, some of the stuff I would put (or have heard used) in a regular game of Dogs would frankly be unsuitable (or I would consider it to be) for kids at that age. Anyone have any thoughts for more age-appropriate situations for Dogs?
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio

Darren Hill

Your second question: there's a thread in actual play about someone doing that (cleverly hidden with a subject title something like: "DITV with kids!")

For demoing: character design is actually a pretty good demoing process. Make sure you know the rules well enough to handle accomplishments, which is the system introduction.
After that, Vincent has suggested in the past to just start a town - it doesn't matter about finishing it, just get things moving, and get players involved in conflicts.

I ran a short game last friday, with the ever popular Tower Creek. I didn't finish, but it whetted the player's appetite for more. The notable conflicts were successfully avoiding being persuaded by the deputy sheriff to marry him to the steward's second wife, and failing to resist the mother's impassioned plea to dig up her baby and bless it. The first one escalated to melee - the last one didn't: he couldn't bring himself to beat up or kill the grieving mother, and so took the shovel and dug up the baby. This from a player who had planned to play a heartless inquisitor-type. Fun!


Heya Darren,

Thanks for the pointers. I guess the "jump right in" approach was the right one after all!

Quote from: Darren Hill on May 05, 2006, 02:40:15 AMYour second question: there's a thread in actual play about someone doing that (cleverly hidden with a subject title something like: "DITV with kids!")

Quick note, just so you/others know where I'm coming from: I saw the thread you point out, but the other thread's "kids" are 15-16...not even close to the age range I'm looking at. I would have very few (if any) qualms presenting normal DitV stuff to anyone of that age. When I say kids, I mean KIDS, not teens. I'm talking 8-9 years old. There is a huge, huge, huge difference developmentally, emotionally, intellectually, and education-wise between an 8-9 year old and a 15-16 year old. HUGE. So that thread doesn't help me.

For example, my kids barely know what sex is right now, so I sure the hell don't want to have to explain martial fidelity, prostitution, or rape to them for a couple of years, at least -- and definitely not just to play a game. Succintly, the normal DitV story-stuff is just too hardcore and too mature/adult, IMO, for children. As such, I would love any input specific to using DitV in this situation, specifically what some more age-appropriate situations might be to utilize?
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio


i've ran dogs for my little brothers (one is 12, the other is 8) and it went really well, they were responsible and they admitted that their judgement probably didnt help but they felt compelled to do it, which is just awesome if its making them consider stuff like that. They also had a major conflict because they took the issues seriously, but they did it in a fun cool way, which is doubly awesome. if you want i can write up an actual play post.

As with any game, just include whatever themes you thnk are appropriate.
Exploitation, murder, theft, cheating, lieing, cowardice, anger, forbidden love (sex implicit, but not mentioned), bullying, irresponsibility, stubborness, prejudice, betrayal, greed, etc all seem fine for kids. 

Personally, i'm just gonna steer clear of abuse, children dieing and describing sex while playing up the supernatural heroic violence. I particularly wanna explore some religious stuff (bring in some conflicts of faith with folk from back east or the mountain people) since the 9 year old is a devout christian and the 12 year old a devout atheist, yet so far they have been playing (what i perceive to be) opposite roles (the 9 year old has been very sceptical of people, while the 12 year old has been pretty trusting).