D&D and social skills

Panda had the opportunity this Spring to get into group at her social skills center that ran a D&D group for 6wks.  It was only for kids that go to Skills in Motion.  It was run by a DM and had 6 spots available.  I jumped on that so quick that I think her head spun.  I quickly signed her up and paid the money for her to go.

I had written in the past about people using D&D to teach social skills and to help Autistic teens.

She had a blast.  She played a halfling rogue!!!  And she did a great job.  She scouted ahead.  She disabled traps.  She did take damage, but enjoyed each session.  As a group, they rescued someone from bullies(social skills group after all)  Now, due to the nature of her disability, getting any more information than that was difficult.  She does not relay information very well and is easily distracted.  But she loved it.  The DM had a modified Character Sheet for them to use.  He gave them their real character sheets at the end. If anyone knows where I can get these it would be great.

Unfortunately, it was only for 6 weeks and it ended in May.  They originally thought that they would have a second group, but the guy who was the DM got a job.

I have been trying to get my husband to run a campaign for some time now.  Pink wants to learn to play.  She has a couple of friends who are interested.   And now, Panda wants to play more.  He keeps trying to create a campaign, but work and home are busy.

Last month, we were talking with the Clinical Supervisor where Panda receives HBTS(Home Based Therapy Services for those not familiar with the lingo).  He has recently been given free reign to do club groups with the kids at the center because he is the only person interested.  He wanted to do a D&D group.  I told him about the D&D podcast where Dr. Raffael Boccamazzo talks about the benefit of D&D and how he would run the groups.  He talked with Geekdad and I about it and asked us to think about Geekdad running a group there.

But Geekdad may be taking some college courses in the Fall.  Still working on that idea and what he needs.  Plus, his work is crazy.  So I started wondering if I could DM.

I have not played D&D for years now.  Let me think…..when was Panda starting to show signs of Autism?  Oh yeah, birth.  She was a tough baby and that continued to toddler years.  We would think about starting again, but never could.  Then DDO came out and it was PERFECT!!!

But I have NEVER been a DM.  The idea of starting is quite daunting.  I pick up Geekdad’s DM guide and start reading through.  I then realized that it was actually 4th Edition.  No go.  Back the shelves.  I grabbed the Starter Set that Pink had gotten for her birthday two years ago and take out the DM Guide for The Lost Mine of Phandelver.  I start reading through it.

I then went on The YouTube(shhhh….don’t tell Pink since I am always nagging her to get off The YouTube) and searched for the Lost Mine Of Phandelver.  I found a series from Dungeons and Dragons themselves running the quest.  Greg Bilsland –  Producer for D&D Research and Design is the DM of the group.  The group has experienced and newcomers.  So far, I am on Part 3 and loving it.  I like how he keeps taking the opportunity to explain different parts of the game.  Helpful for those new to 5th Edition as the Player Handbook was not released yet during the first episode!

So tonight, we had our monthly Family Meeting with the Service Coordinator and Clinical Supervisor and discussed the possibility of the group.  I told them that I was interested in trying to DM the social skills group, but I needed to practice my skills beforehand.  The plan is for me to run the starter set with me as DM and Geekdad there to help me when I get stuck and give advice. We will use Panda, Pink, and a couple of Pink’s friends who want to learn as my guinea pigs.  I think if I bribe them with pizza and chips, I should be good.  NO MOUNTAIN DEW.  I need to save that caffeine kick for Pink when we keep her up late on raid night!

I also realized that Panda must have run part of the module as her character sheet is the halfling rogue from the Starter Set.  Good.  It will give her an edge over her sister.  The bullies were the goblins who kidnapped the knight!

I think once I get the hang of it, the 5th Edition will be easier for me than Geekdad.  His brain is still full of 1st, 2nd, and 3.5 where I just played and never really worried about the RULES……

My 5th Edition Dungeon Master’s Guide will be here tomorrow and my Player’s Handbook on Monday.  I plan on finishing this series of the videos and watching a few other groups to get an idea on DMing.

Any tips for someone starting to DM?  Videos to watch?  Things to read?

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “D&D and social skills

  1. Tholgrin

    CRITICAL ROLE. Not for the kiddos, but Matthew Mercer is an amazing DM and takes the time to explain rules as they come up…and also has a series on overcoming mistakes you (may) make as a DM. Highly recommended!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Patrick

    Allow your players to explore and surprise you, don’t push them into a box. Reward creativity, even when it doesn’t work. When you find your players latching onto various aspects of the game, do more of that (roleplaying, hack and slash, etc.)

    Like

    Reply
  3. House of Grouse

    Patrick is right about not pushing the group, kids will think of things that we would never do because we “know” the game. DM is god but the job is not to kill everyone. Have an “emergency” NPC you can bring in to save the day if necessary. One of the things I hated was dying early in an adventure but I played my barbarian like he was Conan and run towards trouble and became a mobile trap detector. Never played the quest you are thinking about but the nightmare for any DM is if the group splits up. My signature NPC was the drunken cleric, never able to do anything but amazingly sobered up in time to resurrect dead characters. Other than that remember to have fun and enjoy telling the story.

    Like

    Reply
  4. ComicRelief

    Just remember the line from “Pirates of the Caribbean” when it comes to the ‘rules’: “They’re more like guidelines, anyway.” I also like the advice of giving players the illusion of choice – make them think they are in control, when really you’re getting them to do what you want. And part of that is being flexible in how, when, and where your encounters are or end up being.
    😉

    Like

    Reply
  5. Jerry Snook

    Start small. For the first few sessions, just put together a couple of fun encounters. Worry about campaigns and such later.

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s