The SetupThe advertisement we put in our middle school clubs catalog looked like this:
Participation in tabletop cooperative role playing games like D&D has been shown to help us develop social skills, prime our brains for interdisciplinary stem learning, and improve our imaginative skills in writing, game design and more. Come join Mr. Walters and Mr. Reck to find out what the big deal is with D&D.
Our mission for the club included the following tenets:
- It was important to teach kids real D&D 5E so they could most easily join an ongoing game elsewhere. I love me some OSR, and free games like Basic Fantasy, but I wanted to "equip" kids to play the most commonly played version of D&D.
- It was important to have student Dungeon Masters, so they could start their own games.
- It was important to be as inclusive as possible and involve safety tools to make everyone feel good about the game.
- It was important to do this with as many tangible artifacts as possible. Yes, I am a Computer Science Teacher. Yes, both Jared and I do a lot with digital tools when teaching, but we wanted kids to have a non-digital experience with this game.
So, the overall plan was this:
- Give students a taste of basic ttrpg play with a simple Fungeons & Flagons - type scenario.
- Teach kids how to create a real 5th edition Character Sheet using the free Basic Rules from WotC.
- Teach DM's how to DM using The Lost Mine of Phandelver and Professor Dungeon Master's videos & SlyFlourish's videos.
- Go over Safety Tools.
- Get a game going.
Materials: Including Resources for you to steal
- Save us some effort up front and
- Give the students the full experience (there's something about rolling real dice).
The D&D Starter set
I know. I know. I've stated here numerous times how much I love The Essentials Kit, and it is by-far my favorite. It's the one I tell my students to buy to start their adventures at home, but the Starter Set has the following advantages:
- It goes on sale for $6.00 on Amazon at Christmas (and is normally 12 bucks). Either way, that's cheap.
- The included adventure, "The Lost Mine of Phandelver", includes in-line instructions to help DM's learn the game.
- Mike Shea, AKA Slyflourish, has an entire Youtube playlist dedicated to helping DM's prep and run "The Lost Mine of Phandelver".
As promised, Resources to steal.
Intro to D&D - First day.
- My favorite Character Sheets (both using fonts I absolutely hate - so you know they're good if I'm still linking to them!)
- Basic Rules PDF can be obtained here.