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RPGaDay 2021 – Tradition


For a hobby that’s been around for only 50 years, modern roleplaying is already full of traditions. They govern the way we play and the way we act while playing, but are they a good thing?

This is too simplistic a question. Some traditions are absolutely a good thing, while others can lead to lazy game play. Think of the trope of fantasy adventures starting out in a tavern where they’re hired for a quest. While this is a convenient way to begin, it can get a bit boring the third or fourth time it happens. Unless your players are using the tavern as a deliberate place of business, it’s better to mix things up.

And this is where running games for children comes in. Since they’re new to roleplaying, they’re unaware of these traditions. Everything is new to them and they don’t expect things to play out in a certain way.

We can make the most of this by trying something new. Don’t start any of your adventures in a tavern. Have them seek out employment, or begin the adventure without a call to action. The changes don’t have to be massive, either. Tweaking things a little here and there is enough.

They’ll likely encounter these tropes later on, and that’s okay. By starting them out with something new they’ll just be a different way to play the game.

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