A couple days ago, our youngest daughter, Rodan, asked me about the game I played with Mommy in the evenings.

No, it’s not that kind of game, this one involves dice.

I knew that I’d be introducing  Rodan, to gaming sooner or later.  After all, she’s in second grade, which is about the time I started her big sister, Gamera Rose, in her first D&D campaign.  I read stories to Rodan in the evening after supper (currently we’re going through George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin) and sometimes after that I play one of her board games with her.

A couple days ago, I told her I couldn’t do that because I needed to work on a plot for my game with Mommy.  Little Rodan wanted to help, and so I wound up explaining the campaign as briefly as I could.  She actually had a couple imaginative suggestions, which I couldn’t use, but decided to keep under consideration.  Then Rodan wanted to know more about the game itself and why we used dice.

I explained to her that Role-Playing Games are much like the Pretend games she likes to play when we’re walking to school, where she’s a cat with super-powers and I’m Magneto or something, except that RPGs use rules and dice rolls to determine how things turn out.  She really wanted to play one; in particular, she wanted to play GURPS, the game system my wife and I usually use.

As it happens, I have several copies of GURPS Lite, a condensed, simplified version of the GURPS rules that the publisher, Steve Jackson Games, puts out as a freebie.  I gave her one and told her read through it.  I wasn’t sure if she’d be able to understand all the rules, but figured it would be a beginning.  Before she was halfway done, she was demanding a print off a character sheet for her, and soon she was working on her own character.

She needed a lot of help with the character sheet; it took her a bit to understand how the point cost for some things worked; but on the whole she had a good grasp on what she wanted for the character.

The character she came up with was a “Soccer Girl”, with a couple good advantages and disadvantages and a fair range of skills from the GURPS Lite booklet.  She also told me that she wanted a game sort of like D&D with fighting monsters.  I wasn’t sure offhand how soccer would fit with dragons, or the skills she had listed of Computer Operation, but not wanting to discourage her, I let her have what she wanted.  I made a couple suggestion for a few monster-slaying skills that might come in handy, and we ran our first game.

I decided to set the game in a D&D-ish, sort-of-Medieval village with a few anachronisms near the edge of a dangerous forest.  (Like anachronisms are anything new to D&D).  I started off by having Rodan and her friends playing soccer in a large field on the edge of town, which gave her a chance to get the hang of Skill Rolls.  A grown-up from the village scolded them and told them it was too dangerous to play in the field so close to dark because of the kobolds in the forest.  (I like kobolds; they are my favorite nuisance monster in D&D; and since Rodan is staring off the equivalent of a 1st Level character, they are an appropriate threat for her).

When her character came home, she announced to her mother that she wanted to be a Dragon-slayer when she grew up and suggested that hunting the kobolds of the forest would be a good way to practice for it.  Which is actually how it generally works in D&D.  Her mother, although open-minded enough to entertain Dragon-slaying as a possible career option, told her that fighting kobolds was too dangerous and sent her to bed.

So, naturally, Rodan snuck out of her bedroom after dark with a sword, a bow & arrows, and a few other handy items.

Once outside, she spotted a small group of kobolds breaking into the family barn and stealing their cow.  Rodan challenged the kobolds and we had a nice little fight.  I pretty much ran the kobolds on the fly, making up their stats as I went along.  Rodan kept on coming up with new pieces of equipment, such as a grappling line like the one Batman has, or a whip.  I didn’t argue much.  As I said, at this point I want to encourage her and we can discuss realistic limitations later.

She defeated the kobolds and saved the cow.  Hooray!

And now she’s bugging me to run another game with her.  I guess it serves me right.