You're Never to Old - Gaming with your Parents

Thondor

Explorer
A few months ago I invited my father, who has just turned 60, and my mother to play a Tabletop Roleplaying Game with me. Neither had ever played such a game before.

The game was Simple Superheroes, a game which I designed, developed and wrote. In some circles, there has been a big push to introduce younger people, ones kids in particular, to tabletop RPGs. (Some recent threads on the topic are what inspired me to post this.) There is even a family game day. Not having children myself, my mind immediately turned to teaching my folks.

As a quick aside I have played this game on several occasions with kids around 9 - 12 years old and they have always grasped its concepts quickly and had a lot of fun. In general they have always been thrilled by the ability to create a hero that they imagined, as they imagine him/her.

My father, mother and an ol' high school friend of mine whipped up characters and played a quick scenario (Issue) in about 45 minutes. The Issue, set in a contemporary developing nation, featured the three heroes protecting a truck of an NGO carrying goats, medicine and funds for microloans. I quickly came up with this scenario after they had created characters.

My father quickly got the gist of character creation and started creating a Super doctor of sorts, who had a rocket board and a deep concern for the poor. My mother came up with a large number of powers she wanted her character to have (agile, invisible, laser, sticky net) but the sense of the character came together when she settled on one of her final rank 2 talents, being a veterinarian. My friend whipped up a teleporter named 'Ninja', he also chose to be deeply concerned about the poor.

The scenario came naturally to me once these character details had been outlined. A few thugs with a slightly skilled leader ambushed the truck. And the heroes quickly set to trouncing them. A goat was injured during the fight which led to some interesting roleplaying and the scene wrapped up with the heroes delivering the goods and providing medical attention to those in need.

I was struck by how quickly both of my folks got the mechanics of the game, and also got a good sense of character and acting the part. Both of my folks reported having a very good time. My mother indicated that she would like to try short games again, she was also confided that my father particularly enjoyed getting into the character. Both played very heroic characters, and we had a lot of laughs as well.

A little context, my father has enjoyed the occasional game of RISK or Settlers of Catan, but that is essentially as complicated a game as he has played. My mother generally dislikes any game with direct conflict or more complicated than a fairly straight forward card game. While my mother indicated she would still need help understanding and using all of the mechanics, my father seemed quite clear on most of the system (from a players point of view) by the end of the 45 minute game!
Honestly, it was simply very satisfying to play with my folks and share the enjoyment that I have always had playing RPGs with them.

So have you ever played with your parents? Or even grandparents?
 
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Karak

First Post
Awesome timing and a unique subject matter. I also recently had one of my parents play. We were playtesting our game and I wanted to get someone not in any way involved to check it out. It was awesome.

I think that some games, depending on rules, can easily be described to parents in an understandable way. For example I basically just told them that roleplaying was like Monopoly but there was no board and each player had a couple special rules. For some reason that clicked and we were off to the races.

I love that you did that. So very cool.
 


Gilladian

Adventurer
Yes, I've played with my parents many times.

Background: my mother read the Hobbit to me and my brother when we were under 6. I was 4, maybe. And my dad read some fantasy (we had the "Gor" books in the house, which must have been his...). But neither of them played games, much.

My older brother learned to play Dnd in boyscouts, and brought it home to me. I was 11. When I was 13, we moved a long ways, and Dad told us that the new town "Had a game shop!". That was the first interest he ever showed, or awareness that we played. But Mom decided she needed to know what we were "in to", so at some point she and Dad played a game or three with us. From then on, whenever we needed a player to fill the ranks of a party, they got drafted. I grew up playing with them. It was just one of the things we did as a family.

To this day, my parents like gaming, and discuss it with me, though now that they're in their late seventies, they decline to actually play. Having something that fun, a truly creative hobby, to share with my parents, has made our bond as a family much stronger.
 


DnD_Dad

First Post
My step dad is a total gamer and joins the group when we play d&d. He sits out for Shadowrun and mechwarrior but loves the realms.
 

Thondor

Explorer
Awesome timing and a unique subject matter. I also recently had one of my parents play. We were playtesting our game and I wanted to get someone not in any way involved to check it out. It was awesome.

It's always nice to get that perspective. This was part of it for me as well, but I also wanted my folks to have a better idea of what I'd been working on for the past few years.

Yes and yes.

I would love to here more

From then on, whenever we needed a player to fill the ranks of a party, they got drafted. I grew up playing with them. It was just one of the things we did as a family.

To this day, my parents like gaming, and discuss it with me, though now that they're in their late seventies, they decline to actually play. Having something that fun, a truly creative hobby, to share with my parents, has made our bond as a family much stronger.

This is awesome. I was introduced to RPGs by a friend's dad and I've always wondered what that would be like growing up (your case sounds a little different). The first long running game I played was DMed by another friend's dad.
Sharing the kind of storytelling that RPGs allow with family is just great. My grandmother was a huge storyteller and I wish she was still around so we could game and tell stories together.
 

Rune

Once A Fool
I would love to here more

Nothing much to tell, I'm afraid. Both instances were back in the [2e] day, when I was but a teen-aged lad. Both games with my brother, and both with me as DM.

My father had played some D&D in his youth, so rustling up a game for him was no major thing (he played a dwarven fighter, which, if you knew the man, would not be surprising). If he didn't live so far away, I could probably get him into a game, now.

My grandmother, on the other hand, was really just indulging us. She played an elf, I believe, and I distinctly remember them fighting some skeletons. I do wish I was a better DM, way back then. I think it could have been a lot more fun.
 

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