Opinions sought: Much younger players?


All it takes is a simple miscommunication to cause a disaster. Best to game with unescorted minors only at a gamestore or similar location.

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Jeff Wilder said:
an attractive young woman

Doug McCrae said:
Did you use that word when you told your girlfriend the story? If so, I think I know why she was opposed to the idea.

Jeff Wilder said:
Only when she asked. (She asked not out of jealousy, but rather because she's snobbishly ignorant about gaming, and thinks there's no such thing as an attractive woman who plays D&D.)

Uhmm... Jeff? In all seriousness, after all that stuff about meeting her mother and trading contact info and so forth? Doug is bang on the money about what's up with your girlfriend's motives here.

Your girlfriend did not ask because she is a snob; she asked because she is a woman Jeff.

Do not look for a more complex motivation when the plainly obvious one is slapping you squarely in the face.

Moreover, when your girlfriend thinks "no attractive woman plays D&D", you know all you need to know about what your girlfriend really thinks is the reason the cute young thing next door "who looks 18 or 20" is being so forward.

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solkan_uk said:
As far as I'm concerned, 16 is old enough to do what they please. I wouldn't be concerned about my language with people who are old enough to have sex (legally, at least where I live - not sure about the American legalities).

I don't disagree with you in the least, and in Canada, the age of consent is 14.

In California, however, it's 18.

I know. It's a pretty wierd age of consent. From being a kid to old enough to vote, have sex and FILM PORNOGRAPHY - all on the same day. *shrug*


Steel_Wind said:

I know. It's a pretty wierd age of consent. From being a kid to old enough to vote, have sex and FILM PORNOGRAPHY - all on the same day. *shrug*

And go to war.


First Post
I think you handled things well. Although if I was gaming with an adolescent whose parents I did not know well, I would be tempted to produce a consent form to be signed by the parents (in my presence at that). Like others have said, in this lawsuit-happy time, it pays to be safe; the consent form ensures that everyone is aware of each other.

It would probably be wise to also make sure you had a female grown person in the vicinity. I sometimes serve in our church for supervising the temporary housing of young people who are in dire circumstances... and because I am male, our rules state that there must be another person (female) with the male supervisor, or two female supervisors. I guess they feel (probably rightly) that females are safer. One could understand why a church (or similar organization) might impose such rules (especially as I am Catholic), given recent events.

That all being said, I think it wonderful to include young folks into these activities. It is certainly better than Television, or semi-mindless video games, or many of the other activities that they might use their time otherwise. Good Luck.


First Post
If you've cleared it with the kids' mother, I can't see anything wrong with letting them join your game if the rest of the group is okay with it.


First Post
our ten year old neighbour sat in on our last session playing a NPC with his mothers knowledge since he asked at a weekend BBQ in front of her - (our groups 31-40something)

apart from one inappropriate joke (that would have made it into a PG rated movie - no worse than that) there wasn't a lot different in the evening. couple of 'shhh...ugars' after some bad rolls but that was about it that i noticed.

since 16 is not particularly minor (certainly not in the UK) and the parent is ok with it - what are you worried about especially since you have the entire group (plus brother) as witnesses?
If the mother is free to show up on a moments notice, plus you have an open window she can look in i can't really see the potential for litigation - unless you kill her favourite character and she sues for emotional stress but that could happen to anyone :)


First Post
You did all the right things.

My group has always had a large spread on age. I'm 51 and right now, the next youngest player in my group is 28 and the ages go down from there.

Tell your girlfriend that this game is one that transcends age as long as age isn't an issue for all the gamers involved and that there is other groups out there that have underage players in comparison to the other players (like my group)

I had one moment in which someone that knows about my game asked me why a 49 year old guy (my age at the time of the incident) was playing with 'a bunch of kids', as they put. At that time, I had two players under 18.

After the conversation, I suddenly became very concious of the age disparity in my group and a little unsettled as the unspoken implication the person I was speaking to seemed to hint - that I was somehow doing something wrong solely playing with men and women that I as old enough to be their parent.

I asked my group the next time how they felt about playing with a 49 year old. The 15 year old piped up and said "Well, how do you feel playing with a 15 year old?' I said that didn't bother me at all. He responded "Well, I don't have a problem either. In fact, I think it is really cool that you do play with us. My dad would never even try to play a game like this with me." The 16 year old at that moment also said that his parents wouldn't play the game with him at all either (he tried) and likewise, he thought I was 'cool' and my age didn't bother him.

I pushed the incident out of my mind and did what I always do - run a great game.

My point - if your group doesn't have a problem with the age of the two teenagers and if teenagers don't have a problem with the age of your group and both sides want to play a game they love, then there isn't a problem despite the opinion of others.


First Post
MadMaxim said:
If you've cleared it with the kids' mother, I can't see anything wrong with letting them join your game if the rest of the group is okay with it.

Sums it up nicely. Assuming your group is up for it and you guys can handle another two (possibly noobish) players, I'd almost say it would be wrong to turn away new gamers. Future of the hobby and all that.

Your G/F is clearly overreacting (just don't tell her I said that! o.0)


Penguin Herder
Wouldn't be a problem in the style of game I prefer.

Kudos for getting some new blood into the game.

Cheers, -- N

Lonely Tylenol

First Post
Rel said:
My take on it is it's fine to let them play as long as it doesn't bother YOU or the rest of the group. You say that you can dial back the ribaldry by 30% and that's dandy. But do you WANT to dial back the ribaldry by 30%?

I can and have gamed with a lot of younger folks at the Game Days and as a matter of fact, my 6 year old daughter played with a group of us yesterday when we were playtesting AdamantineAngel's game that he plans on running. And I will say that most of those experiences have been very positive. In fact, our Game Days have been going on so long that a couple of young guys who started gaming at those when they were 14 are now going off to college! (Damn I'm getting old!)

But those are not my regular weekly session with my buddies who are my peers where we cuss and bitch and tell dirty jokes. I wouldn't really want to have to curtail that for the sake of letting some 16 year olds join the group.
I've got news for you. 16-year-olds cuss and bitch and tell dirty jokes. You can probably learn some of the new jokes from them.

Lonely Tylenol

First Post
Jeff Wilder said:
Only when she asked. (She asked not out of jealousy, but rather because she's snobbishly ignorant about gaming, and thinks there's no such thing as an attractive woman who plays D&D.)

Wow. I'm glad she's not my wife. My wife plays D&D. And is gorgeous. And doesn't have inadequacy issues.

What a friggin' slap in the face to every female gamer out there. She should be ashamed of herself.

Yes, I believe your girlfriend's reaction was of the over-reacting variety. I also believe you handled the situation perfectly, judging from the way you described it.

1. You got permission from the parent/guardian, and this parent seems to be a reasonable person. I'd say your bases are covered there.

2. You and no one in your group is a mad rapist who needs to be separated from society at large (which includes girls of all ages).

3. You are all getting together to play a game. There is nothing inappropriate about it. In fact, it is exactly appropriate. I would certainly feel comfortable with a person of any age in my group (10 - 83 ... 83 is definitely the upper limit though!!!), so long as they were great to have around and didn't detract from the game experience.

4. Recording anything is nonsense. If your girlfriend feels weird about it, why don't you invite her over to chaperone/play in order to help your new friend "feel more comfortable?" This way, your girlfriend can see your intentions are pure and that the game is actually an innocent one.

5. Finally, craft your game so it is on the PG side of things.

You should probably extend the invite to Mom to drop by any time that she wants during a session. Let her daughter know that too - everything should stay cool.

I remember Black Moria posting about his concerns a couple years ago. It turned out fine. However, if you're able to relocate to a public place like a library or FLGS that isn't a bad way to make it all public and avoid the appearance of a problem. Because honestly it doesn't sound like there is a problem at all. Appearances can be worse than real issues though.

Now, all that aside, I think it's pretty cool that you're letting the younger generation game with you and your players are cool with it too. Congrats!


First Post
Here's my take. If you were shooting hoops or playing softball, would you let them play? D&D should be no different. Also, I refuse to change my game table habits for ANYONE. If I cuss at the table, I'm not gonna change just because there's a woman (or child) present. It won't be the first time they've heard the f word (or last). I think if it was anything besides a roleplaying game, I wouldn't be reading this thread. If their parents are okay with it, let 'em play. If she gets offended because you have a beer in front of her kids, or let fly with a few terms only sailors should be familiar with, she's free to stop them from playing. I'm not saying you should let them drink, or start cussing up a storm, just that if you change your habits just to accommodate kids, your game will take a hit.


First Post
As for recording the sessions, I would tell them I want to make the games available on the internet as a "journal" of our game sessions that anyone in the group will be able to access. I definitely would not tell them it is to cover my butt from accusations and criminal charges. That would just happen to be a "side effect".

One point: a 16 years old is not a child. They are adolescents. There is a VAST difference between the two; it is a distinction with a difference, and personally, I wouldn't change my game style of ribaldry at the table much, if at all.

Remembering my games and life at 16, the difference in the "adult" nature of the game in terms of profanitty and sex was that there was more then - not less - than there is now. YMMV of course, but 16 is not a child. Not even close.

Tequila Sunrise

I don't see what the issue is. It sounds like you need to ask your gf why she thinks it would be so innappropriate for you to game with 16 year olds. Maybe she just has a distorted idea of what goes on during a D&D session.

Oh, and I'm willing to bet that that 30% of foul ribaldry that you're planning to eliminate in their presence, the twins already assume and expect that you use and that's part of why they want to play.

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