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Mark Stone
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Teacher, Writer, Storyteller, Nerd
Teacher, Writer, Storyteller, Nerd

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I've decided to actually develop a D&D setting to use with the middle school kids I run games for. I think that would be a lot more fun than just running the same free adventures over and over again. It would also be a fun challenge, and maybe in the end I'll have something I can pass on to other teacher/nerds.

Emphasis, however, on the challenge. Who wants to brainstorm me?

Here are the design constraints I've identified so far:

1) I want it to be actiony and D&D enough to capture my kids' attention, but still include plenty of opportunities for nonviolent solutions. The characters live in a dangerous world and get to kill monsters, have adventures, and face down clear villains - ie, all the good escapist stuff we come to D&D for in the first place - but are not murder hobos.

2) I want to build in prosocial values, such as resisting unjust authority, feminism, anti-racism, anti-homophobia, teamwork and communal responsibility, and anything else I haven't thought of yet.

3) Must be girl-friendly - mostly boys are interested, but I have gotten the occasional girl and I want to avoid elements that would put her ill at ease.

4) It should be acceptable for main characters to be in the 11 to 13 range and still get shit done in the setting.

5) I'm looking for a "gentler" aesthetic, rather than a super grim dark one. If you've read Diane Duane's Tale of the Five, you might have some idea what I'm talking about. I don't want this to be a neutered world where nothing is frightening and everything has an easy solution, but I very much want a "dragons can be beaten" sort of feel.

6) I still think that 4th Edition D&D is the pinnacle of the game - especially if you're playing with pre-teens and younger teens - and I want the world to fit into that system with minimal elbow grease. However, we don't need to use EVERYTHING out of those books - in fact, I'd rather both pick and chose AND invent a few weird-ass unique things than present my kids with something that's completely BAUF (Business As Usual Fantasy).

Thoughts?

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Baby jeweled lacertas are in!
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A bit of a frog congregation...
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Check out the inaugural post on my new blog, LegionXVIII, a record of my exploration of the Horus Heresy.

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Tiny lizord!!!
It's hard to be a convincing danger lizard when you get shavings stuck to your face.
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