They’re Making It Up

Watched two groups of teens at the school club running games last night and it was glorious to realise that they were making it up as they went along!

One group was playing D&D – ostensibly 5th Edition – but there were several clues that the group is first of all making stuff up and secondly just beginning to reach for learning the rules.

Firstly, some players are still using the B/X character sheets they rolled up for their first taster session several months ago – the same characters – but they are referencing 5e… and nobody cares!

Secondly, the Sorcerer character’s player was, after many months of play, just getting around to writing down the spells they can use. They have been having so much fun just making stuff up that it never seemed to occur to them that maybe the rulebook has spells. (I stepped in when the player asked how the Sleep spell works, they rolled 5d8, and the Ogre dropped. Nice!)

Thirdly, the GM is simply calling for d20 rolls and giving a target number – a fine way to adjudicate – but didn’t know about stat bonuses, skill bonuses, or any of that malarkey! To be honest, it was as good a way as any to run a game and much faster than most 5e games I’ve played in.

Is this a good thing? I think so. The idea that these students are focused on the World, the emerging story, and enjoying each other’s company around a game is marvellous! I think that’s a great set of priorities and, as might be starting to happen, if they decide they want to firm up those rules, well that’s an option too.

Game on!


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