I love the idea of my kids playing RPGs, and we’ve given it a few goes, but the rugrats are still pretty young (2, 4 & 6), so getting the hang of the rules is a bit hard. Admittedly, part of that problem is the system we are using; PFRPG has a lot of rules.  The few times we have played we have been kind of loosey-goosey on them as I was hoping to show the kids how much fun it is without bogging things down.  Thing is, I’m a bit of a rules freak…not just for RPGs, and I’m far from a rules lawyer, but I’ve been known to loose it over a board game or two when people are cheating not playing by the rules – on purpose or not.

I try to be more relaxed with the kids, but ultimately, if we are going to teach them to game, we should do it right.  We’ve talked a bit about trying out different rules systems or the beginner box (Ken is pushing hard for either one), and I’m coming around to the idea.

At any rate, Rugrat #1 got really excited about the Sorry! board game that was on a shelf at Grandma’s rental house over the holidays, and while we ran out of time on Christmas Day, our family actually owns a copy.

(For those who don’t know what Sorry is, you can learn more here.)

What a great idea we thought to ourselves on Sunday. Let’s teach the boys Sorry!.  It will be so fun to relax and bond over a board game. Plus, the counting, learning rules, taking turns…. what great skills for RPGs!

Rugrat #2, who is only four years old, actually took to it like a champ.  It was a great way to practice his counting, he got a sense of the squares, he had fun and smiled pretty much the whole way through.  He even took it in stride when one of his pieces was sent back to start, producing only a mild but adorable pout.

Turns out Rugrat #1 wants to win, and clearly be winning. He always wants it to be his turn. And if he isn’t happy, if things aren’t going his way, it is clear to everyone.  (Ken swears he takes after one of his parents; I’m pleading the 5th on that one.)  He spent pretty much the whole game in various parts of a tantrum.  (For the record, I don’t do that. Anymore.)

Rugrat #3 sat on my lap, occasionally grabbing a nearby piece or trying to take a card.  (Which made her a far more enjoyable play companion than her much older brother.)

My pieces barely made it out of Start before continually being sent back, and Rugrat #1 and Rugrat #2 kept being so close to winning, but never quite pulling the right card.

The game seemed to last forever, and not in a fun sense.  Finally, Ken pulled the right combination of cards and landed his fourth piece right in the Home circle.  With a loud cheer (from Ken and myself) the game ended!

Rugrat #2: I wanted to win!
Rugrat #1: I told you I wouldn’t win!

There was no congratulations.  No “That was fun!”  But the game ended and perhaps that was enough. Evidently we have a lot to teach them about good sportsmanship.

Rugrat #2: Why is it called Sorry!?
Me: Because you are sorry you played it.

I think next weekend we’ll go back to roleplaying games. There’s a lot to be said for teamwork and the story aspect of it.

If you’ve got kids, do you play board games with them? RPGs? Both?

Which do you prefer to play, either as an adult, or with your kids? Sound off below.


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