For those of us with kids, the answer’s easy: teach them how to play. I started teaching my son and his friends how to play three years ago during our annual summer vacation on Lake Champlain. Two years ago, our gaming group started scheduling “D&D Kids” sessions and running our children through the classic B2 Keep on the Borderlands module using Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. This fall my son wants to run his own Dungeons & Dragons game because he’s frustrated by how infrequently the Blackrazor Guild kids meet.
It hasn’t been easy. Despite what you see on Stranger Things, it can be difficult to keep the kids focused and engaged for longer than an hour or two. This was especially true when we first started and even the oldest kids were only 10. It’s getting better now that those kids are 12; heck this summer at Lake Champlain the boys player for four hours straight … and didn’t want to stop! It was an exceedingly rewarding experience and made the previous two years of cat herding worth it.
Looking to the older crowd, I’ve found a number of people who are interested in Dungeons & Dragons and would like to try it out. These are people who might have played once or twice back in the day or been intrigued by seeing the game on Stranger Things or Big Bang Theory. This fall I’d like to have a “Wine and D&D” night for them (kind of like a “wine and cheese” party, but for geeks) and run them throw a short adventure with pre-generated characters.
Finally, sometimes you have to seize opportunities where you find them. Many years ago several of my co-workers mentioned that they’d love to play role-playing games but didn’t have time after work. After months of talking about it, we finally formed the “Gamer Working Group” and started playing once-a-week RPG sessions over lunch. The group ran for years and played games such as Savage Worlds, Dragon Age, Numenera, and Dungeons & Dragons. Unfortunately life got too busy and I had to put the GWG on hiatus, but there’s talk of restarting it again this fall.