So Apprentice Blaster has a fairly big birthday tomorrow. He was with us tonight and we were out in the garage looking at my wall of game shelves and talking about birthday plans and generally shooting the breeze. He mentioned that he likes playing 4th Edition, but he really likes running Basic - it's simpler and faster - and we talked a little about his ongoing efforts to talk his friends into playing and how that's been tricky with schedules and all. Kid afternoons just don't seem to be as free now as the ones I remember. I told him I could give him the gear but he was going to have to get the players on his own. He hasn't given up yet, He also told me the pre-gens in the back of that Haunted Keep adventure are way too powerful as some of them have an 18 in something and no negative stats at all, so take that Dragonsfoot! Powergamers! So sayeth my new teenager!
The new Marvel game came up and we may give it a whirl this weekend, probably after his friends are gone. I've noticed that when we play something Marvel-flavored he prefers either Captain America or Wolverine. I'm sure that symbolizes something about the teenage mind and being torn between doing the right thing and doing what you want. Considering they both like to kick the stuffing out of people up close I think it mainly means he likes characters that kick ace up close and personal. He's getting a copy of DC Adventures for his birthday so maybe Batman will be added to that list as well.
|I'm sure this is how he sees his characters...|
Then a gerbil ran over my foot and we spent about 20 minutes recapturing it, but that's a story for another time.
Anyway it's good to know that the kids are interested in this thing, but not obsessed with it. He and the other apprentices have a pretty good attitude about it.
We have birthdays less than a month apart, putting almost exactly 30 years between us and I notice little generational differences sometimes. Some things to keep in mind about the teens and tweens coming up now:
- Lord of the Rings to them means movies more than books.
- They probably didn't start with the Hobbit or LOTR or Conan - they started with Harry Potter.
- If our top 3 fantasy influences back in the 70's & 80's were Tolkien & King Arthur & (for me) Narnia/Prydain - note these are books and cartoons at the time - then theirs are Harry Potter, Warcraft/Skyrim, and the LOTR/Narnia movies. Twilight is a player in there too, do not underestimate its power with the female set. I'm just happy John Carter is getting a big action movie and the Hobbit ain't far behind. That Hunger Games thing is a pretty big deal too apparently.
- Playing the role of a Knight or a Wizard or a Superhero is nothing revolutionary to them - they've been doing it in videogames for much of their lives so that alone isn't anything special. What makes tabletop RPG's special is doing it cooperatively with friends and family and having cool stories to tell about it afterwards. That last item in particular is something I still think is underrated and something I try to champion whenever possible. Online sessions via skype or other tools gives you some of that I think, but watching your buddy roll a 1 at a critical time, or taking down that dragon and being able to high five your brother when you do is a huge deal, and something you can't quite duplicate with an MMO or over a chat window. That's where a lot of the "special" lies.
|Pretty sure this how I still think of him a lot of the time|
Anyway, it's a good time here*. More to come.
*Other than Apprentice Red getting his learner's permit today. Oh lordy lordy lordy ...