If there has been one good thing to arise from this dreadful pandemic it has been the realisation within that we were all too hurried and harried in the time before. I have been forced to slow down. To stop. I have learned to sit in silence and to enjoy the time I have with my wife, my work, and my hobby.
We’ve been teaching small fragments of classes on a few sporadic days since the beginning of the current half-term, but the government is asking that we return fully in September. In considering the return to school, I have been thinking a little about how I would like to run things at the Dungeons & Dragons Club.
Dungeons & Dragons Club
Dungeons & Dragons is what this hobby is for the eleven to eighteen year-old students I teach. The idea of roleplaying games is firmly rooted in that property, that name, and has little meaning outside of it… at least, not until they begin to play and explore a little farther.
Thus, the club is the Dungeons & Dragons Club and I am learning to embrace that. Thus, with that game in its Fifth Edition, the game that I should be bringing to school is Dungeons & Dragons, aka 5e.
But, what it this? Amazing Adventures 5e? Ah. Now, there’s an idea!
Receiving this book triggered a realisation. Because the kids love 5e, I need to embrace that set of rules whole-heartedly. This is no longer about me getting my gaming fix, vicariously or actually, through the kids at school – I get to do that with my friends online or in person. This is about me, as a teacher and gamer, sharing the hobby and its riches.
I received my copy of the Amazing Adventures 5e book from Troll Lord Games this week and, immediately, was inspired to some thoughts about how to bring afresh the roleplaying hobby to the kids at school. Maybe it’s because I already know the game will be great – after all, the original is top stuff! I dunno. But here we go…
Six Ideas for D&D Club
I had a set of ideas and I record them here partly as an aide memoir but also in case these thoughts have value to anyone else:
Beginner’s D&D Sessions: the primary need is for me to differentiate between D&D for beginners and D&D for everyone who has played before. Too often these have become conflated. Beginners need a taster – a simple adventure to allow them an experience of the game. I am thinking of the encounter on the road (and follow-up dungeon) from the Beginner’s Box. If they bite, they can continue into Phandelver.
Amazing Adventures: once the basics are in place, I could offer some tasters of other genres via the Amazing Adventures 5e book. Surely this is what was intended by Troll Lord Games? Wouldn’t it be cool to offer the neophytes a taste of something other than Fantasy? Maybe it’d also act as an antidote to the idea that D&D is the only roleplaying game out there.
Saturday Sessions: as an alternative to me running an online game every other weekend on a Saturday, I’m considering offering a once-per-month daytime session at the school on a Saturday. I don’t know that this can happen in the near future (cf. pandemic) but it’d be a cool way to give kids an extended taster of the hobby. It’d also open up the Club to other Dungeon Masters who want to come and play.
Holiday Specials: I used to do this and I need to get back to it. I am thinking of the one-day extended sesssions which are essentially full-length one-shots, much like I used to enjoy as a teenager. I can do those in the holiday period and can probably get permission to use the school as a meeting point (post-pandemic, obviously).
Middle-earth Adventures: extending the logic of other genres, I could also offer a taste of Middle-earth for those who want a more World-focused experience of the Fantasy genre. This would put my collection of Adventures in Middle-earth for 5e into use.
The Dungeon Mastery Course: finally, I could turn my regular after-school slots (when I am not introducing beginners) into a space to offer time to aspiring Dungeon Masters. We could treat it much like a reading or writing club: set them small tasks to prep, share those pieces of created material, and offer a space to critique each other’s work. I think it’d be instructive and could move from first principles out towards ever more complex matters. I would have loved this when I was first gaming.
That’s it. Inspiration from receiving Amazing Adventures 5e and the first excitement I’ve felt for that system in months. Hope you like at least one of those ideas.