Tabletop RPG Guide for Parents of Young Roleplayers

This is a pamphlet I wrote for a writing class at Northeastern University, which is meant to introduce parents of new RPG players to the hobby. Below is the context document explaining its purpose, execution, and possible distribution methods. Copper Frog Games is the name I am intending to publish certain tabletop games under in the future (pending incorporation).

RPG Pamphlet

Context Document: RPG Pamphlet

As tabletop role-playing games (TRPGs) such as Dungeons & Dragons are very niche when compared to other group activities such as sports, drama or music, and as they only sprang up in the past few decades (rather recently in the world of entertainment), many parents may be undereducated about the games that their children are playing. Most of the media exposure D&D got was in the 1980’s when it was falsely linked to youth violence, witchcraft, and suicide. An information source for parents about TRPGs is therefore important for three reasons. First, it will serve to to dispel any parent’s fears concerning their child partaking in this activity. Second, it will educate parents on the benefits of role-playing games. Third, it will introduce them to the hobby and how they as parents can support their child as they learn more about it. The ideal method for delivery of this information is a small pamphlet, as it is able to be distributed both digitally (to be printed at home) or in locations such as game or book stores. By distributing it in a game store, it is very likely that there will be employees around who can further explain the differences between different role-playing games, offer suggestions for meetup groups, and more, if parents want to further research the topic. As well, by taking a physical form, it can be tucked in with a gift of a game for indirect distribution.

The pamphlet presented is targeted primarily at the parents or guardians of children just getting into TRPGs. Whether they pick up the pamphlet when bringing their child for a D&D Encounters session, or decide to independently research the topic by asking an employee at their child’s gaming store, this document should serve as an exciting glimpse into the world of TRPGs. Through the use of an informative yet positive tone, the pamphlet will put parents’ minds at ease and help them keep an open mind when examining their child’s behavior. By citing real-world examples of RPG players who made it big, addressing concerns and questions that are very common when the hobby comes up, and by keeping the information about different RPGs unbiased in relation to each other (which many forums on the topic do not do), it will appeal to the parents’ logical nature rather than their snap emotional judgments. While I will not be citing many sources directly, (barring a quote from Vin Diesel which has become very widespread in the gaming community), I will direct parents to a few additional sources regarding the hobby. This pamphlet will avoid linking TRPGs to any other major movements so as to keep the reader focused on the benefits of the games themselves, rather than any cultural importance. The information is kept light in terms of language, with occasional bits of frank humor put in to keep the readers relaxed and enjoying the piece; after all, TRPGs are games, and thus joy should be associated with them whenever possible.

The layout primarily follows a Q&A format, with the first thing the parents seeing when they open the pamphlet fully being “What are Role-Playing Games?”, followed by information on how to support young role-players and what some examples of TRPGs are. Bolded text and blocks of color pull out and emphasize the most interesting or important pieces of information, and an image of a red d20 adds a splash of color to the inside of the pamphlet. Further, small snippets of information which are not as pertinent to issues being discussed on a first read-through of the pamphlet are placed in the colored band at the bottom of the pamphlet should the reader decide to study the pamphlet more in-depth. This use of color makes the pamphlet’s contents easy to find and follow.