(Much) Younger Player Asking to Join a Campaign?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

Dark Archive

Question for discussion:

I am starting a new Pathfinder campaign for a group of 4-5 adults (ages mid-20s to early-30s). Word apparently got around my karate dojo and a teen (16 I believe) expressed interest in joining. He's a nice kid and doesn't seem to have many geeky friends that he could play with so I feel compelled to let him join and learn the ways of the dungeon. At the same time, I honestly have no idea what kind of dynamic this would introduce to the party. Does anyone have experience with similar situations?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Our pfs group has a 30 year gap in some of the ages of our members. Geeks tend to be immature anyway so there's not that much difference...


When I was around that age, I was a founding member of a group of people who otherwise was in the upper echelon of the 20s. I don't think this was much of a problem for anyone. And we started with a Call of Cthulhu campaign using a homebrew system and focussed heavily on immersion rather than plup style splatter horror.

Playing a more lighthearted game, which Pathfinder can be, should work well.

I'd be more concerned about joining an existing group. That can be hard, regardless of any age differences between players. A long time gaming group is a tight knit community, with lots of history and in-jokes.

Try him out. Take a cup of coffee with him and your regular players, get to know him. Talk about the hobby. Invite him to a one shot session.


I would say just see how it goes. I joined my current group almost 3 years ago when I was 16 with no prior experience with RPG's. I did take a while to get the hang of things, but for the most part I think it turned out alright. I mean, they haven't kicked me out yet.

But then again, me being the young one might put me in a bit of a biased situation. Not to mention my group is full of some pretty damn patient people from what I've seen.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I started gaming at 17 with a few guys who were in their thirties. Everything worked out fine, as they were more immature than I was :) Sometimes, especially in small towns like the one I grew up in, there just aren't many options when it comes to gaming groups.


Definitely agree that age is not determiner of maturity. If you're all decent guys it shouldn't make a difference.

The only potential difficulty I've seen with dramatically different age groups is that players raised on marvel and One piece may have a dramatically different approach to fantasy than some raised on Le Guinn and Moorcock. I don't believe there is anything inherently better about each - though I have my preferences. I think it helps if each generation try's to understand the influences of the other to bridge that gap.

I have no doubt that many people will like both, and will not see this as any kind of challenge but I have seen and experienced it so it is out there and worth taking into account.

I say good for you though, hopefully you will have success!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I have a new player who is 18 while the rest of my group is between 28-37 and she is doing great. She shows a lot of interest and learns fast. In my experience younger players are more adaptable and willing to learn and that is a big advantage. If you don't mind teaching him everything his young age could even be an advantage, as long as he is mature enough to understand that he has to be a team player and that roleplaying isn't an excuse to just goof around.

But, honestly, in my experience the most troublesome players that I had were kinda experienced and the most immature were never the youngest. I've had some new and young players who realized that roleplaying was not their thing and lasted only a session or two, but all my major issue players were not that young.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Definitely the 'one-shot try-out' is a good idea, one of the campaigns I'm in does that and it has not gone wrong so far.

Personal experience?

Folks who are younger tend to be more accepting/understanding and also the most active.

Older folks tend to have more expertise, but they've started to become a bit dogmatic in their approach, because 'that's how they've always played'.

So yes, I'd suggest a 'try-out', like others above have mentioned, and remember that maturity is not age-locked.


I wouldn't say I am dogmatic as I can understand that there are many gaming styles and that they are all good as long as everybody has fun.
But I have my way of GMing and playing and with years I've got used to it and I am not even willing to try some styles of gaming or GMing. And I am not even that old.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

We're mostly in our late forties to early 50s in my group, but the 11 year old daughter of one of our players has joined and is a better player than one of my 30 year veteran players. It was the same when my son joined the game at that age. He rarely plays now, but he was a great addition to the team.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Over the decades, our group has had several kids come and go along with the scads of adults we've had come and go. Based on my experience, compatibility has very little to do with age.

We've had old fogeys that were horrible players all around; we've had kids that were the same. We've had old fogeys that were keen on different aspects of the game than we are so were not a good fit but were good players; we've had kids that were the same. We've had old fogeys that were good players and a good fit for our group; we've had kids that were the same. We've had old fogeys that said they wanted to play but couldn't be bothered to even learn the basics; we've had kids that were the same. Basically any condition that makes for a good or a bad player, or a good or a bad fit for your group can exist in a person of any age. You don't really know until you give them a try.

Luckily, for most cases where the player was not a good fit, they seemed to realize it on their own. We've only had to ask a very small number of players not to return (they've all been adults, strangely enough) so we're always happy to try playing with anyone that expresses interest as long as there is room at the table. For a game for which it can be difficult to achieve quorum, you don't really have the luxury of turning willing participants away and some of the kids we've had join up have grown into great players as well as friends since age becomes less and less relevant as everyone matures. Prolly the worst thing is when us old folks get off on a tangent about Hogan's Heroes or some such and the young'uns are like "Hogan's whaaaaat....?" *consult Google* "That was like 30 years before I was even born, yo. Were you at Woodstock and what kind of dinosaur did you ride to school?"


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Your last sentence reminds me of the the 20th anniversary re-release of Star Wars for a short run. This 10 year old or so kid in front of me turns and asks me did I see it when it came out the first time. I said I did. 12 times in the theater in my hometown. He was so excited he told all his buddies there with him and I was bombarded with questions about how was it then and how did I feel when I watched it, etc.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

The man who intruduced me to D&D had about 10 years on me. I've never seen age be a real issue, and if the old men (relatively) are the majority, it'd even stop the questions about what Jesus was like.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Talk to your other players to see how they feel about it. Talk to the kid's parents to see how they feel about it.
Make sure everybody's on the same page about any 'adult' content in the campaign.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I've run games with a big age difference and it worked just fine. I've played games when other players' teen-aged kids joined and it worked just fine.

I agree with everyone else: maturity counts more than chronology. Try them out just as you would any newbie who wants to join your group. If there is a good fit, then run with it.

If there isn't a good fit, tell them that it just didn't work out. If it's more lack of game rules knowledge, see if someone will be their out-of-game mentor and spend some time working on character sheets and skill development.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Your last sentence reminds me of the the 20th anniversary re-release of Star Wars for a short run. This 10 year old or so kid in front of me turns and asks me did I see it when it came out the first time. I said I did. 12 times in the theater in my hometown. He was so excited he told all his buddies there with him and I was bombarded with questions about how was it then and how did I feel when I watched it, etc.

With the way movies are made now with computer graphics and such, kids can't understand the context of why Star Wars is so great. Star Wars special effects blew away movies at that time.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
nicholas storm wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Your last sentence reminds me of the the 20th anniversary re-release of Star Wars for a short run. This 10 year old or so kid in front of me turns and asks me did I see it when it came out the first time. I said I did. 12 times in the theater in my hometown. He was so excited he told all his buddies there with him and I was bombarded with questions about how was it then and how did I feel when I watched it, etc.
With the way movies are made now with computer graphics and such, kids can't understand the context of why Star Wars is so great. Star Wars special effects blew away movies at that time.

Don't be silly. That's like saying Gen-x'ers like me can't appreciate "Psycho", "Citizen Kane" or "Casablanca". Great film is great film.


It happened a couple time.

Our core group is in the latend 30s, early 40s with a few mid 20s to mid 30s members.

At one point we had the 10 year old daughter of one of the members who showed intered to play and she was good, played with us for several year too.

Now we gave a teenager. He's been part of the group for the last 2 years. He's not bad, got memorable character, but easily distracted when not his turn.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

As with any under-aged person, be sure to check with his parents to make sure it is okay first. Some families have...misgivings...about these sorts of games. Last thing you'd want is someone accusing you of luring him into your satanic cult or of some other outlandish form of child endangerment.

I've had more than one run in with such people while growing up; lost some childhood friends as a result too. At least one parent certainly would have sought charges against me if I hadn't been under-aged myself at the time. As it was though, they merely accused me of being a satanist, a corrupting influence on the other children. The one parent also stole my books and destroyed them under the mistaken belief that it might save me from the devil's hold over me.

The childhood friend whose parent did that to me is now a successful lawyer, and a miserably gay adult too afraid to come out to his parents for fear of persecution.


born_of_fire wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Your last sentence reminds me of the the 20th anniversary re-release of Star Wars for a short run. This 10 year old or so kid in front of me turns and asks me did I see it when it came out the first time. I said I did. 12 times in the theater in my hometown. He was so excited he told all his buddies there with him and I was bombarded with questions about how was it then and how did I feel when I watched it, etc.
With the way movies are made now with computer graphics and such, kids can't understand the context of why Star Wars is so great. Star Wars special effects blew away movies at that time.
Don't be silly. That's like saying Gen-x'ers like me can't appreciate "Psycho", "Citizen Kane" or "Casablanca". Great film is great film.

Comment shows you don't get it. You have to watch other sci fi films in the 70s to get it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
nicholas storm wrote:
born_of_fire wrote:
nicholas storm wrote:
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Your last sentence reminds me of the the 20th anniversary re-release of Star Wars for a short run. This 10 year old or so kid in front of me turns and asks me did I see it when it came out the first time. I said I did. 12 times in the theater in my hometown. He was so excited he told all his buddies there with him and I was bombarded with questions about how was it then and how did I feel when I watched it, etc.
With the way movies are made now with computer graphics and such, kids can't understand the context of why Star Wars is so great. Star Wars special effects blew away movies at that time.
Don't be silly. That's like saying Gen-x'ers like me can't appreciate "Psycho", "Citizen Kane" or "Casablanca". Great film is great film.
Comment shows you don't get it. You have to watch other sci fi films in the 70s to get it.

Your comment shows you judge people based on information there is no way you could possibly possess.

Which is more likely: young people have the potential to appreciate great film or you know what type, volume and vintage of film I watch?

The only reason this is worth getting into with you is because the question posed by the OP directly relates to your judgemental behavior. I'm pretty sure those kids that attended the same showing of Star Wars as DungeonmasterCal demonstrated both the passion and appreciation that you are unwilling to recognize simply because you are old and they are not. Should they also pull up their pants or perhaps get off your lawn?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I never said you couldn't appreciate it as a great film. If you didn't live in the 70s or watch a lot of old movies, you couldn't understand how ahead of it's times it was. If someone made star wars today, you wouldn't have kids going to watch it in the movie theater 30 times.

I did derail the OP, since my comment has nothing to do with it. For that I apologize.


Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I have a 12/13 year old playing with us on Saturdays, and I'm almost 49. The oldest will be 50 this year. We previously had a few teens in our group, too. They're mostly players' kids.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

When i started RPGs, i was a a 7th grader joining in a group of military guys on a base who were mostly mid 20's. I had fun, they had fun, i learned a lot and was part of that group for several years. (until the inevitable move.)

Likewise in my 20's, one of the group's younger brothers wanted to join, he was about 16. He did, and again, fit right in after getting settled. I'd say don't stress too much about it and just have fun with everyone!


Check the parents are okay with it first.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / (Much) Younger Player Asking to Join a Campaign? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.