Adding children to the group


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Sovereign Court

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UncleGeorge wrote:
You can love your kids more than anything in the world, it doesn't mean others have too. If your player don't want to play with your kid they're not "a#&$#@%s", they're not "childish" or "immature" or any of the other stuff I read in this thread, they just don't want to play with a kid. Plenty of people don't like kids, don't want to play with them, hang out with them or have discussion with them, you want to force them to play with your kid, yah, expect some to leave or be pissed at you for forcing them to do something they don't want to do...

^ What he said.

Back when I was a kid, i was introduced into a game with adults. It was ok, but I could clearly see that my presence was annoying to them. So I bowed out and found a game with players closer to my age.

I'm not a big fan of kids. I'm good with them but I don't enjoy their company, mostly because I have very little patience and zero tolerance for tomfoolery.

Some of our players now have kids, and when we play at their place, we tend to be ok with their presence as long as they weren't disruptive to the game.

We had to lose a player though, because he cannot discipline his child and lets it do whatever it wants, and it is very disruptive to the game. So when we told him we would no longer play at his house because of his kid, he got angry and quit the group.

We used to play at a FLGS near my place, and once took on a kid who wanted to play. He was 12 I think. It wasn't fun. We had to restrain the roleplay, and adult content. And we're not used to that kind of game, nor do we like playung it. We helped the kid find a more age-apropriate group and parted our ways amicably. He's got potential.

Anyway, summa sumarum. Parents, don't expect other players to put up with your kid. They are under no obligation to.

Shadow Lodge

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Wow. Talk about anger issues on both sides. Kids are people, and like all people have different capabilities.

I have 3 kids. I let each one try to join in on rpg gaming at 14. The first was banned from our game by his second session because he would not behave, calm down, or play nice despite being pulled aside by me so I could explain why and how he was disrupting the game. He was too thrilled to be at the grown-up table. My second child got bored after 4 sessions and amicably bowed out. I was very proud of her because she didn't cause any fuss. My third required just two warnings in the first three years, grew considerably in that time, and went on to be a GM himself. He started college this year.
In each case I asked the group first. And in each case it was understood that if any of the adult players developed an objection the child was out. Teaching your children is not something that you should impose onto your friends, just like making somebody choose between family and friends is not something you should do. But let's be honest. The person imposing on others is not the child and not the players that let their objections be known in advance. It is a person that will not accept the objections of the other players and is willing to impose his children on them. I highly recommend that you not bring your kids into a game where several people object. They do not, and should not have to suffer gladly through your raising your kids.
Maybe it is dickish of them to not let your kid play. I don't know because I don't know your kid, or how your kid behaves around others, or your players. What I do know is that you asked if anybody objected. People objected. Now you have to live with their objections in mind. Your choice is to use this as a moment to teach your kid about child-adult relations and interactions; or be a bigger dick than your players and try to force them to play with your kids. While I would not object to your kid having a chance to play, I would walk out with the players that did. Because if you force the issue then you don't respect them.


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We had a young adult join and then leave our group recently. His parent is enamored with him and he is certainly worthy or her adoration. He is just a great kid. But it changes the dynamic a lot. 15 years of gaming with salty language had to stop. Adult conversations about work, life, relationships no longer had a place. Before each game we often vent about our old ladies, work, finances, politics, whatever... Game night is our place to unwind and it's hard to unwind when you are having to monitor yourself.

Now Lune and others said their kids can give as good as he gets when it comes to salty language. That good for him but I'm just not ok with that. I'm not comfortable swearing or drinking around kids. I have More nieces and nephews than I have fingers to count and I know how impressionable they are.

The young adult left and I got the impression that he thought we were lame old farts and he would be 100% correct with that assessment. He also told me about a game he ran for his buddies and they fought Freddie Kruger and Jason Voorhees so how the hell can anyone top that??

Anyway each player at the table has reason and a voice, because you have a child does not negate their opinion. They said no, respect them or find a new group. That might not be a bad thing, gaming with your kid sounds very rewarding.

-MD


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Popupjoe wrote:
So I've been rping for years with pretty much the same group, we've gained a few and lost a few players here and there. Adding new people has always been a bit of a chore with me the GM being the decider. Anyways, I've grown up and had a kid. My son is 12 and has enjoyed playing with me in our bi-weekly solo game for 2 years now. But every other Saturday he sits out while the adults play "Pretend" with out him. I want to included him in my long running group but half of my players are boycotting the decision by threatening to leave the game. Whats worse is my son already made a character and overheard some of the talk about others not wanting to play with him. I strongly feel as the kid should play but my friends are very dear to me as well. Any advice? Has anyone else gone through this? I'm pretty sure I'm adding him to the group and rebuilding as needed. I can't run multiple games with multiple groups at the moment.

You'll never regret spending MORE time with your son.

If you have "friends" that have the audacity to quit over something like that, show them the door. Quickly.

It's YOUR FAULT your son is into RPGs. =D You reap what you sow. Your own flesh and blood wants a seat at literally his table. How can you deny that, especially at 12? Six, of course, but not 12.

If you want to spend time with your "friends", have them invite you over to their house and play.


OP:

You can do whatever you like. Just understand there are consequences to your actions. If you want to DM for him - great! But understand that not everyone necessarily wants to game/spend their (possibly very limited) free time with a child - and they are under no obligation to do so.

(For example, I would never have my child game in our group - she is not part of my peer group and sometimes there is Daddy time with his friends. We game not just for the game, but to spend time with our peers. That's the way things go.)

Members of your group might not just be in the game for the game itself. The reasons are many.

Sovereign Court

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Tranquilis wrote:


If you have "friends" that have the audacity to quit over something like that, show them the door. Quickly.

Sorry, but other people are under no obligation to put up with someone's child. Nor should they be.

Grand Lodge

UncleGeorge wrote:
You can love your kids more than anything in the world, it doesn't mean others have too. If your player don't want to play with your kid they're not "a#%#!#%s", they're not "childish" or "immature" or any of the other stuff I read in this thread, they just don't want to play with a kid. Plenty of people don't like kids, don't want to play with them, hang out with them or have discussion with them, you want to force them to play with your kid, yah, expect some to leave or be pissed at you for forcing them to do something they don't want to do...

wait im not "forcing" anyone to do anything! Some people don't like to play with girls, some don't like to play with power gamers and some don't like to play with gays. All of which i have in my group. Would it be ok for a player to leave a group based on hearing that a future player was any of these things?

Grand Lodge

Update: of the two players boycotting one has come back. My newest player, I think hes been with us for like 5 years or so, is going to try it but is really afraid of the game becoming kiddie. I told him we can play at an R level maybe more if I ask my son to leave the room while I describe the action. I'm happy for this development but I still morn the loss of my oldest friend.

I don’t think it much to ask a friend that I’ve had for over 25 years to try this. Yes it’s new and may be different but I’m asking because I’m having issues balancing my life, I don't want to miss another Saturday with my son. So, its not just a gamer issue it’s also a buddy issue. This player was my first good friend, my first sleep over, trick or treat partner ect. But after high school I feel as though he stopped growing. We haven't talked about real stuff in years. It’s all games and movies now. Unfortunately the home game has changed.

Sovereign Court

Popupjoe wrote:
] wait im not "forcing" anyone to do anything! Some people don't like to play with girls, some don't like to play with power gamers and some don't like to play with gays. All of which i have in my group. Would it be ok for a player to leave a group based on hearing that a future player was any of these things?

All of those reasons are valid, even those that are pure bigotry. Valid =! right though. Your player might not be doing the right thing by leaving the game because you want to include your son in it, but he has every right to do so.


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Popupjoe wrote:
wait im not "forcing" anyone to do anything! Some people don't like to play with girls, some don't like to play with power gamers and some don't like to play with gays. All of which i have in my group. Would it be ok for a player to leave a group based on hearing that a future player was any of these things?

From what I read (correct me if I'm wrong) you made an ultimatum. If that is what you did then in fact you did force them.

That being said I'm glad to see you are moving ahead with a game that includes your son. I can't imagine a better way to spend time with your kid. You are defiantly a cool dad.

But please keep in mind the real loser in the situation is your friend of 25 years. life might very well be passing him by, I don't know what his situation is but we all need friends. Maybe this might be an opportunity to reach out to him, go out for a beer and talk about something other than movies and games. Maintaining relationships and valuing friends is a great thing to teach to your child.

I wish you well.

-MD

The Exchange

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If a friend of 25 years walks out over something that had this much meaning to you then I would seriously re-evaluate the friendship and see where it actually ended, because it's been over for a while if it ever really was in the first place. A friendship is about give and take and compromise, like any relationship.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

it hurts but you made the right choice, time with your children is precious, every minute:-)

Grand Lodge

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Im going to perform a little forum necromancy so if you have a problem with it don’t read any further but there were some people who were interested in my situation (some of who messaged me personally) so I thought since its been some time I’d make an update.
Out of the four players who voted one left in protest of adding my son. He now asks how the game is going every other month or so, its clear that he misses the game but his health has deteriorated to the point of him not thinking he could make a whole session. I miss him and I had a feeling this might happen but I felt as if my hands were tied.
The second who protested still plays with the group but had a hard time adjusting his behavior, which I find sad I was hoping no one would have to do much adjusting. Looking back on it I was naïve, adding a minor will make people change. Not that it’s a bad thing mind you. This player tried to correct my son on manners a few times which is funny because the payer is notoriously crass (burping and farting with as much gusto as he can muster) yet since adding my son has curbed that aspect which I am grateful for, though in the first session with my son he did talk about old ladies and sexual pleasuring devices (but not in those nice of words). But since then he has been more muted I suspect he still resents the addition of my son. Also this player ignores my son as best as possible in the game. I mean he plays with him or should I say around him. I whish that would change as my boy looks up to all the adults in the group and wants to be accepted by them.
The other two players treat my son as a sometimes annoying little brother. They occasionally try to teach him or sit back and watch as he learns something. Its nice, they talk to him out of game as well, showing him video games or talking strategy. They interact with him but let him make his own mistakes but then intervene if needed.
So update is such, it’s a mixed bag but overall Im happy to have added my son as he is always excited to play, always present and hasn’t been jaded yet by RP. Now if I can just get everyone to get back to that mental place of wonder id feel complete.

Sovereign Court

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You won't get them back to that mental place for a loong while. At least till your son grows up.


Obligations of moderation do not make for wonder.

Sovereign Court

This experience will make your son a great GM/player someday. I think he will understand the group dynamic and how it changes with additions and subtractions. With any luck he will be very mindful of this and it will overflow into his personal and professional life as well. Hope your friends do better soon.


Long term gains for short term losses.


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Thanks for the update.
I often go back through old posts wondering what ever happened, so it is a nice change to know for once. :)

-TimD


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Hama wrote:
UncleGeorge wrote:
You can love your kids more than anything in the world, it doesn't mean others have too. If your player don't want to play with your kid they're not "a#&$#@%s", they're not "childish" or "immature" or any of the other stuff I read in this thread, they just don't want to play with a kid. Plenty of people don't like kids, don't want to play with them, hang out with them or have discussion with them, you want to force them to play with your kid, yah, expect some to leave or be pissed at you for forcing them to do something they don't want to do...

^ What he said.

Back when I was a kid, i was introduced into a game with adults. It was ok, but I could clearly see that my presence was annoying to them. So I bowed out and found a game with players closer to my age.

I'm not a big fan of kids. I'm good with them but I don't enjoy their company, mostly because I have very little patience and zero tolerance for tomfoolery.

Some of our players now have kids, and when we play at their place, we tend to be ok with their presence as long as they weren't disruptive to the game.

We had to lose a player though, because he cannot discipline his child and lets it do whatever it wants, and it is very disruptive to the game. So when we told him we would no longer play at his house because of his kid, he got angry and quit the group.

We used to play at a FLGS near my place, and once took on a kid who wanted to play. He was 12 I think. It wasn't fun. We had to restrain the roleplay, and adult content. And we're not used to that kind of game, nor do we like playung it. We helped the kid find a more age-apropriate group and parted our ways amicably. He's got potential.

Anyway, summa sumarum. Parents, don't expect other players to put up with your kid. They are under no obligation to.

I'm 51 years old, and like Hama, my introduction was as a 12 year old into a group of adults (who, I later found out, asked the DM to find a way to get me to not play with them, because they were uncomfortable).

The group let me join for a couple of sessions, but soon, they encouraged me to start my own game, and they all chipped in to get me a blue box set and a set of dice and a few minis. I then started my own game at 13 years old, and I played my whole life.

I ran games for my four children. I usually allowed other kids the same age to play, and I still ran games for other adults, but I avoided mixing groups (unless there were parents and their children other than me and mine, participating).

Now my youngest is 23, and all of my children are out on their own, doing their own thing, and I no longer have a regular group of any kind.

My advice to you, is to speak to you group about what you hope to see happen, try to get them to at least allow one or two sessions that include your son. If things don't work out, then find a way to run separate games. We should always try to be good parents, and good friends, and sometimes you can't be both at the same time.

Edited...I think you did the right thing.

Shadow Lodge

I have to ask, if your time with your son is so limited that you include him in your grown up RPG group what are you doing with all your other time? How often do you game? What other things do you do with your son? How crazy are your work ours? You sound like every moment with your son is precious and that makes me think that your time with him is very limited by something.

I know different parents are different. I like my kids, but I wanted my adult time too as they were growing up. My youngest is 18 and very much my friend as well as my son now; which I love. And he joins in the adult game now without any objections from other players now. But when he was 12/13 there's no way I would have asked the group to restrict their game play so I could have 6 more hours a month with my kids. So I made sure to have game time separately with my kids and their friends that was specifically kid gaming time.

It does not sound like you have that option though.


I honestly don't know that you did the right thing—it sounds like one of your players is still pretty unhappy with the situation, and knowing he would be, you went through with it. I don't know that you did the wrong thing, either. I don't think there was a right or wrong thing to do here. Either way, you took the good with the bad.

Grand Lodge

Usual Suspect wrote:

I have to ask, if your time with your son is so limited that you include him in your grown up RPG group what are you doing with all your other time? How often do you game? What other things do you do with your son? How crazy are your work ours? You sound like every moment with your son is precious and that makes me think that your time with him is very limited by something.

I know different parents are different. I like my kids, but I wanted my adult time too as they were growing up. My youngest is 18 and very much my friend as well as my son now; which I love. And he joins in the adult game now without any objections from other players now. But when he was 12/13 there's no way I would have asked the group to restrict their game play so I could have 6 more hours a month with my kids. So I made sure to have game time separately with my kids and their friends that was specifically kid gaming time.

It does not sound like you have that option though.

I don't have that option anymore I only game now every other week. I see my son every weekend. But that wasn’t always the case. At one time when the divorce was happening and I was in college I was lucky to see him once a month. When I was young and married my wife would throw huge CR 20 fits at me concerning my time with my friends. Back then I would play once a week for 8 to sometimes 12 hours a session. I was the first of my friends to get married, have a kid….get divorced. It may be my Catholic upbringing or my very outspoken wife but I’ve always felt guilty about the time I spent away from my son, yes I was depressed, yes I had a full time job plus commuted over an hour to school but I could have done more. Now I play every 2 weeks for 5 to 7 hours my wife has taken the mantel of Ex Wife and my son will not stop talking about the game and character builds and what’s going to happen next week.

We live in different towns so my boy doesn’t have any age appropriate friends here, well not really I may post more on this later. But the point is we’ve bonded I love seeing the wonder and joy in his eyes when he defeats a trap or figures out a clue. I cringe as he fights back tears when he almost loses a character. My regular group has been lacking any deep feelings for a while. They are so varied and different now no one can agree on any game for more then a month and they lose interest in their own character often forgetting what happened the last session (this has been going on for years now well before my son entered the game); which I understand the group has very different interests and backgrounds and life is very stressful for some of them and they all have other big stuff on their minds (half have recently married and become fathers themselves.
So yes, the days of me describing in great detail what happens to your cleric of Calistria and that metamorphing succubus may be over (actually no wait, I’ve had him leave the room once to describe the debauchery to a player) so it still happens but maybe the players are more ashamed of it then I am, making what we do even more secretive, but maybe I don’t care anymore after 12 years of very graphic and possibly morally questionable role playing I’m ready to cut back it feels like I’ve done a lot of mature stories I want the early wonder years back.

Grand Lodge

Kobold Cleaver wrote:
I honestly don't know that you did the right thing—it sounds like one of your players is still pretty unhappy with the situation, and knowing he would be, you went through with it. I don't know that you did the wrong thing, either. I don't think there was a right or wrong thing to do here. Either way, you took the good with the bad.

Kinda how I feel my man. I feel sad that an era may have ended (honestly though it haddn't been the same since we "grew up" right after the college days) but I love this new player (my son) and his excitement for the game.

Grand Lodge

One last rant for anyone who wants to listen I may have gone off track here a little. As you can tell I am passionate about The Game and I like to be surrounded by those who are as well. As a final thought I’ve always thought it wired that people have a problem with kid playing a “Mature” game. If he played with other 12 year olds he’d still be ending the life of many a goblin. Is that not mature? Killing, revenge murdering, stopping a living thing from breathing? What makes a game Mature? Violence? Language? He understands he is not allowed to use it in front of me or any other adult but in game I’ve used every curse word I can think of. Did he respond differently? Of course, but that’s what made it exciting. I curse, my adult friends don’t bat an eye, my son takes notice. Why did that character curse? Is it important? He thinks about these things. Is the language affecting him? I know for a fact he hears more curse words on a more regular basis at home and hes never repeated one to me, not that hed get into too much trouble for saying them depending on the situation. I think what it comes down to for my players, at least, is sex. I was always an open GM. Whatever your taste I could cater to it, so to speak. In our teens my group and I explored many aspects of sexuality in role playing. We had straight, gay, dominate, submissive, transgender, healthy and unhealthy relationships. It was supposed to be an open place to explore any idea and I never backed away from it. Now my newest player (7 years ago) was very taken in by such an open group and I think he really enjoyed the acceptance, but he missed the hey day, I no longer feel that sexuality needs to be addressed in every game session. That’s not to say I don’t have sexual elements in my games I just don’t need them to be front and center. I’m fine with my players expressing their sexuality in my games I won’t hide sexuality in my game because that’s part of everyday life and I want my son to know there’s everything right with that. But yes I understand the act of sex in front of a minor is problematic. That’s why I fade to black now or I can ask him to leave the room. Nothing to get worked up over. But the newest player argues that he wiil now have to monitor his language and his behavior and to that I say “Don’t we all?” I used the N word in front of a black friend once, I had to change my ignorant speech when another friend came out, I very sparingly say the C word in front of my girlfriend who sometimes plays. These are ways I’ve changed and monitored what I’ve said or done and it’s been for the better. I can still play a sexist or a racist I just don’t need to direct that to anyone real and I better have a compelling reason to play such a odorous character.
Interesting side fact that player who left was my biggest gender swapper. My son also has made 2 female characters and doesn’t bat an eye at anyone playing cross gender. See that’s what gets me in the end, my son would play with any gender and age and health level any skill level but his “betters” wouldn’t.


If anything, I would be somewhat careful about having your son gaming with people who are, from what you've told us, kinda bigoted about some things. But that's so little my business that I actually had printed "Not Business" cards with my name and phone number on them, which I will now distribute around the room.

The phone numbers all redirect to babajii. It all leads back to babajii.

Anyways, I'm sure you and your friends and your son can handle it. It just stuck out at me.

Sovereign Court

Glad it's working out for you :)
As for mature...
Ending life is one thing. Ending life graphically is another. Grey morality, senseless slaughter, no infant immortality, sex, rape, lying, scheeming...so so many things I'd have to stop doing if I accepted a kid in my group.


Thankfully my younger brother has shown zero interest in D&D / Pathfinder.

Grand Lodge

Hama wrote:

Glad it's working out for you :)

As for mature...
Ending life is one thing. Ending life graphically is another. Grey morality, senseless slaughter, no infant immortality, sex, rape, lying, scheeming...so so many things I'd have to stop doing if I accepted a kid in my group.

You're killing infants in your games! Hardcore! Just teasing hama.


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Some people prefer their fantasy gritty

Some people prefer it glittery

Different strokes for different folks.

Sovereign Court

Terquem wrote:

Some people prefer their fantasy gritty

Some people prefer it glittery

Different strokes for different folks.

Exactly. I prefer it gritty.


Hama wrote:
Terquem wrote:

Some people prefer their fantasy gritty

Some people prefer it glittery

Different strokes for different folks.

Exactly. I prefer it gritty.

Two words: baby juicer.

Yes, one of our adventures featured a baby juicer.


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Oh, you mean like a very small low volume output juicer, sort of like a...

Wait a minute...

Shadow Lodge

Sounds kind of like what I expected. Your time with your son is limited to weekends most of the time; so I certainly understand you wanting to maximize that time.

Have you considered an evening game during the week where the "adults" can play without kids present? Then you can have the more "kid friendly" game on weekends that your son is there. Admittedly that may not be realistic depending on your schedule; but it isn't impossible to manage.


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I sat next to a visibly terrified child at Jurassic World a few weeks ago. Jurassic World is a pretty hard PG-13 and at one point prehistoric birds are pecking and pulling apart a screaming woman mid air and then continuing the carnage underwater.

I just could not get into the movie because this kid sitting next to me should NOT be here. I could not get that out of my mind and it made me very uncomfortable. Now obviously mom and dad really wanted to see Jurassic World. Yeah I get it, I wanted to see it too. but really??

How does a movie relate to gaming?

Well at a movie you have no control over the narrative. One the movie starts you are along for the ride. A game however can be adjusted. If a Child sits at the game table the GM can (and should) responsibly alter the game so that the child is protected.

So all of a sudden after years of R rated games you get watered down PG or G rated games? I'm not ok with that. I'm an adult, I'm not interested in a PG game and even less interested having a child participate with my/our R rated game.

So I'm 100% for dads being active in their kids lives. And to the OP I'm happy you can spend this time gaming with your child and cool that some of your gamers are sticking around. Honestly the gamers who are sticking around are better men than I because I would walk away and find another game group.

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