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Old 04-13-2018, 09:49 PM   #1
Dalin
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Default DFRPG at school

Back in October, I posted a thread (DRFPG for kids) about using DFRPG at my middle school. I bought a few box sets and GM screens last weekend and launched the activity on Thursday. We had twenty students (which was our cap... we had to turn some away!) divided into four groups of five. Students from grades 6-8, ranging in ages from 12-14. We only get 45 minutes per session, and there's a bit of logistical overhead on the first day (kids finding the classroom, learning names, picking groups, etc.) so we didn't get very far, but the students were very excited about it.

I gave a short presentation on the basics of roleplaying games (imaginary worlds, heroes, dungeon delving) and the 3d6 mechanic in DFRPG. Groups formed and chose a GM and pregen characters for the four players. We looked over character sheets, made adjustments, discussed the significance of disadvantages and skills. Then we were out of time. A few students were so excited that they borrowed Adventurers overnight so they could create their own characters. One of those students asked me today where she could buy her own box. (Woot!) Multiple students also downloaded GURPS Character Sheet so they could experiment with their own builds. (I used GCS for all the pregens.)

We continue next Thursday with our second session. My intention is to run the beginner tables through a few training encounters so that they have a clearer understanding of task resolution (using skills, ability checks, etc.) and then a simple combat. After that, I've got "I Smell a Rat" as a possibility for groups that want to run an official adventure, though based on past experience I expect most of the GMs will come up with their own adventures (often just a series of monsters chosen haphazardly from Monsters; if they're having fun, I stay out of the way).

Because the time is so tight, we're not using the cardboard heroes and hex maps. This also helps reduce the details to manage during combat so they don't obsess over the rules.

I'll post an update next week, but considering the response yesterday and the number of questions and conversations I had with students about it today, I think we're off to a great start.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
Back in October, I posted a thread (DRFPG for kids) about using DFRPG at my middle school.
Might I ask which middle school?
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Old 04-14-2018, 12:03 AM   #3
Tom H.
 
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

Very interesting.

Congratulations on finding a way to organize such an endeavor.

Keep us posted on the developments.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:14 AM   #4
Dalin
 
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Originally Posted by Rasputin View Post
Might I ask which middle school?
St. Paul Academy (SPA). For those who aren't local, it's a non-religious independent K12 school in St. Paul, Minnesota. I teach social studies and computer science (and sometimes English). We have an activities program where students can sign up for weekly mini-electives on anything they can convince a teacher to sponsor. We've got sessions on cooking, ultimate frisbee, knitting, reading, political activism, dodgeball, Harry Potter, movie making, etc. For the past few years, a science-teacher colleague and I have alternated between an activity on the Artemis Bridge Simulator (it's pretty great getting a few classrooms of students learning how to pilot starships together) and RPGs. I've been wanting to try something GURPS-related and the DFRPG gave me the perfect opportunity. I still pinch myself sometimes that I'm able (encouraged, even) to do this as part of my professional life.
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Old 04-14-2018, 06:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

I suppose it's not practical for a company like SJG to officially recognize customers/fans that give back to the company in big ways (promoting games, helping other players, etc.). Probably difficult in terms of verifying claims and what not.

But if there were such a thing, your effort sure sounds worthy of recognition. From one fan to another, nice job!
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Old 04-14-2018, 11:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

That's very cool.
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Old 04-14-2018, 02:44 PM   #7
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

A friend of mine participates in a program meant to give kids something to do in the summer, so they play GURPS thrice a week, and he gets paid to GM - $12 an hour, I think, but being paid any amount to GM makes him the envy of all his role-playing friends. :)
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Old 04-15-2018, 01:48 PM   #8
Dalin
 
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Originally Posted by tbone View Post
But if there were such a thing, your effort sure sounds worthy of recognition. From one fan to another, nice job!
Thank you! I have gotten so much joy from SJG products over the years that I'd like to return the favor somehow. In the first few years of our gaming activities at school I went with D&D because it was easier to introduce and there were plenty of resources online (cheap adventures, repositories of pregenerated characters, etc.). DFRPG gave me the opportunity to dive in with a simplified GURPS ruleset and plenty of support material. I'm hopeful that after my colleagues and I gain some experience with how students respond to DFRPG, we'll feel comfortable trying other GURPS subgenres like Monster Hunters or Action.
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Old 04-15-2018, 02:07 PM   #9
Dalin
 
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

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Originally Posted by Buzzardo View Post
A friend of mine participates in a program meant to give kids something to do in the summer, so they play GURPS thrice a week, and he gets paid to GM - $12 an hour, I think, but being paid any amount to GM makes him the envy of all his role-playing friends. :)
That sounds fantastic!

After college I spent a few years as an IT consultant for an advertising agency. They picked up a video game account, but none of them were very tech savvy, so they asked me if I like playing video games. Um, duh. So they offered to buy me a new state-of-the-art gaming rig along with the game and the online subscription. Pretty soon I found myself playing EverQuest at my hourly rate, pinching myself the whole time.
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: DFRPG at school

Sounds great & a lot of fun. Good job.
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