As a roleplayer, and as a hobby enthusiast in general, there is a unique pleasure in introducing a fresh face into the hobby, especially when said face takes to it with gusto and enthusiasm. I’ve had this experience twice this past year, once with a group of four people completely new to RPGs at college (playing 3rd edition, for the sole purpose that it’s how I got my start and as such running it for me requires much less flipping between tables and page references which could bore or turn off a new player), and once just a few days ago with my brother, who just so happens to be six years old.
For him, I used the Basic rules as edited by Tom Moldvay, which I was thrilled to purchase on eBay along with the corresponding Expert rulebook (including Keep on the Borderlands and Isle of Dread, naturally) for a cool $10 a few months ago. His character, who had abnormally high ability scores (for which I was glad, as the tyke can develop quite the temper pretty fast when things don’t go his way), was a fighter, a red knight specifically, whose name was… Red Knight. Later he told a group of gnomish adventurers he found in the dungeon (“What do I tell them?” “Whatever you want to tell them.”) that he came from the kingdom of Red Knight and, after some deliberation, decided that he was named after the kingdom, not the other way around.
Being a knight he was, of course, sent on this mission by his king. And although from a more experienced gamer I would severely scold this kind of behavior, it warmed my heart a little when he tried to pull things like “Does my sword have those three jewel things on the handle?” “Sure, if you want it to.” “OK, those are all bombs.” and “Oh no, the king made a mistake and he accidentally gave me his own magic sword!” To those antics I simply responded “nuh-uh, if you want magic items, you’ll have to find them the old-fashioned way!” It’s only a matter of time before he starts recording things on his character sheet when I’m not looking, trying to make like he’s always had ten iron spikes to climb out of that hole with.
The second session (for we played two days in a row, mostly because DMing a game of D&D is much easier for me than having him boss me around in LEGO Star Wars for the Wii) ended with him losing all five of his hit points in one trap, which I ruled rendered him unconscious, as I was in no mood to deal with that kind of backlash. There is, of course, more to report, but it would be unwise to do so, as it would spoil portions of this dungeon which I have crafted for my group this Sunday, and if any of them read this (which is, granted, highly unlikely do the fact that mostly beautiful sexually deprived women between the ages of 19 and 24 read this blog) well it would just be a disaster, now wouldn’t it?