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-   -   DFRPG Summer Workshop (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=166445)

Dalin 11-25-2019 02:55 PM

DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
As some of you know, for the past few years, I've offered a DFRPG activity at my middle school. This club continues to go well, but I've long dreamt of taking this to the next level. Our school offers summer enrichment workshops on a wide variety of topics. Many of them fit into traditional academic areas (reading, writing, mathematics, etc.). Others are more tenuously connected to the core curriculum, including things like candy making, building robots, designing board games, and creating movies. I just turned in a proposal this morning for a week-long summer workshop for students who want to learn how to play DFRPG.

Our first hurdle is to get approved by the administration. After submitting my proposal, the first reply concerned the correct spelling of roleplaying (roleplaying vs. role-playing). I see this as a good sign that we haven't been denied outright. I am hopeful that we'll make it to the next stage. The most important question, of course, will be to find out if families will pay for a week of RPG camp. I'll report back in this thread as our plans evolve.

In the meantime, if you had a chance to run a five-day, 9Ė3 pm, workshop on DFRPG (intended for students entering grades 7Ė9), what would you include? Or, imagine that you're a young beginner: what would you hope to encounter?

Joseph R 12-01-2019 06:19 PM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
This sounds amazing! Not sure that I have any constructive suggestions; I just wanted to wish you luck :)

coronatiger 12-02-2019 07:40 AM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
I would have loved to attend, had I just been a couple of decades younger...

Remember that different people are drawn to RPGs for different reasons. Some like storytelling and role play, others like exploring and puzzle solving, and some just want to smash their imaginary enemies into a pulp. Finding the perfect balance of different elements can be difficult, but very rewarding if you succeed. It's important that none of the kids feel ignored or left out.

Some of the kids may want to try their hand at GMing. Look for the signs (they may be too shy to propose it themselves), and have a plan for it.

Dalin 12-02-2019 03:44 PM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Unwitting Pawn (Post 2298197)
This sounds amazing! Not sure that I have any constructive suggestions; I just wanted to wish you luck :)

Thanks! I appreciate it.

Quote:

Originally Posted by coronatiger (Post 2298281)
I would have loved to attend, had I just been a couple of decades younger...

Yeah, me too! I would much prefer attending the workshop as a participant rather than a facilitator.

Quote:

Remember that different people are drawn to RPGs for different reasons. Some like storytelling and role play, others like exploring and puzzle solving, and some just want to smash their imaginary enemies into a pulp. Finding the perfect balance of different elements can be difficult, but very rewarding if you succeed. It's important that none of the kids feel ignored or left out.
Great advice here. In the world of teachers, this is called "differentiating instruction." It's also good advice for GMs in general.

Quote:

Some of the kids may want to try their hand at GMing. Look for the signs (they may be too shy to propose it themselves), and have a plan for it.
This will be an explicit part of the workshop. All participants will have a turn in the GM's chair, if only for a few encounters. (I'm imagining having each group create a dungeon where each participant designs a single encounter.)

The workshop has been officially approved, though we're still figuring out locations in the building, a budget for a few supplies that we lack (mainly hex grids for the tables), and exact dates. In case anyone is interested, here's the draft blurb we're thinking of putting in the brochure about it:
Tabletop roleplaying games first gained popularity in the late 1970s with the publication of Dungeons and Dragons. Since then, millions of fans have enjoyed taking on the roles of heroes in adventure stories featuring magic and monsters. During this week-long workshop, you will learn to play one of these games, the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game. You can play a chivalrous knight, flashy swashbuckler, mysterious sorceress, or devious thief (among many other options) overcoming challenges using your imagination, your characterís powers, and the luck of the dice. You will learn the rules of the game, how to create unique characters, and how to take on the role of the Game Master, creating exciting adventures for your peers. No experience is necessary.
I'm certainly open to suggestions for revisions, though I cannot make it much longer than this.

coronatiger 12-03-2019 05:02 AM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
A couple of topics that can cause upset:
- Character death
- Conflicting character traits (perhaps not so much an issue in DF)

Tom H. 12-03-2019 05:36 PM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
This is a great idea.

There are so many summer camps, so it seems fitting that there would be more RPG camps as that is such an inspirational hobby.

I am very interested in the outcome of your experiment as it might be modeled or repeated.

On the other hand, I'll bet many local game stores may already have experience with running summer camps or groups for young people. In fact, a year or two ago, I recall seeing on their web site that Dragon's Lair in Austin held week-long summer gaming and RPG camps. I never got around to investigating it further.

As for suggestions on what to include, I think some sort of collaborative world building activity would be very engaging.

One time when I was young, I was involved in a sort of art activity where about five people had to draw and decorate an island on a huge sheet of white paper.

It was sort of a team building exercise to see how we would all approach it. The big decision we all made at first was whether we would divide the island up into one piece for each person or if we would freely share and contribute to the whole space.

I thought the latter method would be the most interesting and fun. However, the group chose the less risky first method of each person having their own plot exclusively for their artwork.

Of course, with RPGs, the world building extends into semantics and narratives over just visuals.

Dalin 12-03-2019 06:41 PM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tom H. (Post 2298553)
I am very interested in the outcome of your experiment as it might be modeled or repeated.

I will certainly keep the community posted.

Quote:

On the other hand, I'll bet many local game stores may already have experience with running summer camps or groups for young people. In fact, a year or two ago, I recall seeing on their web site that Dragon's Lair in Austin held week-long summer gaming and RPG camps. I never got around to investigating it further.
This is a good idea. I will investigate some of our local stores.

Quote:

As for suggestions on what to include, I think some sort of collaborative world building activity would be very engaging.
Love this. Fantastic idea!

Tinman 12-17-2019 11:50 AM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
As a new player I would love to explore both my character's abilities/skills and a new world (a fully fleshed out setting, even if I don't see most of it at first).

Those are what attract me to RPGs as well as great book series or movie franchises.

Tom H. 03-08-2020 01:25 PM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
Hi Dalin,

Did you see today's Daily Illuminator?

Steve Jackson Games is sponsoring a contest for children to write a The Fantasy Trip adventure proposal*.

This may be something you want to consider for your Dungeon Fantasy club.

I can't remember if you indicated what subject you teach, but this could be a great way to get more support and involvement with the school and the English department.


* Aside:
That seems awkward: "A The Fantasy Adventure", "Two The Fantasy Trip Adventures". Must you always rephrase as "An adventure for The Fantasy Trip?" It seems like titles with 'The' are less flexible.

I remember watching the movie about Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg originally named it The Facebook, but an advisor really recommended dropping the 'The'.

Dalin 03-09-2020 04:27 AM

Re: DFRPG Summer Workshop
 
Ooh, that looks awesome. Deadline is in April, so itís before the summer workshop, but I know some students who may dive into this. Iíll spread the word at school. Thanks for the tip!


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