DriveThru RPG is promoting Teach Your Kids to Game Week, and the kobolds are 100 percent in favor of it. If we don’t teach our spawn to game, who will defend the warrens when we’re old and enfeebled, and adventurers kick in our doors and try to take our stuff? Those traps aren’t going to set themselves!
As a designer and publisher who is also a proud, exhausted papa of two, teaching kids to game is very important to me. Because a lot of what you’re seeing this week involves groups of people sitting around a table, I thought I’d weigh in on another great way to teach kids to game: solo play.
Gaming is a social activity, but many of us at Kobold Quarterly also spent happy hours as kids playing solo adventures—particularly gamebooks like Tunnels and Trolls, Fighting Fantasy, and TSR’s Endless Quest series. We’re seeing them today in the starter scenarios in the Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Red Box and the Pathfinder RPG Beginner Box.
There will always be times when it isn’t possible to gather a group around a table, so these adventures can be a great way to keep kids’ interest in narrative play alive. Also, the engaging nature of these books—you have to actively understand the story and make decisions based on what you’ve read in order to win the game—makes them a great way to teach kids reading skills.
We recently had some fun with the format ourselves, with the “Party of One” adventures in Kobold Quarterly #18 and #19. I’d like to hear about your experiences with solo adventures in the comments, whether playing them as a kid yourself or as an adult sharing them with children.