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View Full Version : Home game with a younger player - looking for advice



Typewriter
2016-01-19, 01:50 PM
My old group fell apart and I wound up assembling a group of strangers using Facebook and Meetup. I talked to everyone online a bit, then we met at a game store to make characters and ensure we all got along. Everything went smooth, but one of them wasn't able to make it so we scheduled a meeting for another day.

I wound up searching for him on Facebook and noticed he looked young. The group so far is 20, 23, 29, 30, and 41(ish). I sent this guy an e-mail asking his age - he says he's 17. Apparently he lives on his own and moved here from a different state after finishing high school. I don't know if he's in college or what. I still plan on meeting him this Friday so we can see if we're a good fit, but I can't help but feel a bit odd about his age. On the one hand D&D is essentially a board game - yes, more complex and involved than Monopoly, but still just a game you get together with others to play - so his age shouldn't really matter. But on the other hand... I feel odd about inviting a 17 year old into my home.

I don't feel like it should be an issue, the guy seemed cool enough in our discussions, and I was playing D&D with an 'older' crowd when I was 15-18 years old. But I can't shake the odd feeling. So I'm looking for advice/opinions on this.

Segev
2016-01-19, 02:41 PM
I'd just try it out. Don't make an issue of his age; if he's on his own, he's making his own choices anyway. Don't tolerate anything you wouldn't from anybody else, and don't expect anything you wouldn't from anybody else. If you've got young 20-somethings in the group, he'll probably fit in okay with them, since it's more being on one's own than being a particular age that governs cultural behaviors.

At worst, he'll come of like a college freshman to their college seniors. Unless other personality issues are at play, anyway.

In short, don't worry about it unless he proves to BE a problem.

Typewriter
2016-01-19, 02:46 PM
I'd just try it out. Don't make an issue of his age; if he's on his own, he's making his own choices anyway. Don't tolerate anything you wouldn't from anybody else, and don't expect anything you wouldn't from anybody else. If you've got young 20-somethings in the group, he'll probably fit in okay with them, since it's more being on one's own than being a particular age that governs cultural behaviors.

At worst, he'll come of like a college freshman to their college seniors. Unless other personality issues are at play, anyway.

In short, don't worry about it unless he proves to BE a problem.

This is basically what I was leaning towards but I wasn't sure if this was a situation where I needed to listen to that voice telling me it was odd. It didn't help matters that my wife echoed that 'concern'.

BWR
2016-01-19, 04:04 PM
There should be nothing in the way with this that I can see based on age alone. It seems like most of you are as close or closer to his age than you are to the eldest.
I regularly play in a group where the youngest is about 20 years younger than the oldest (the rest of us being at 6+ years older than him) and the biggest issues we run into are the rest of us make all sorts of references to old music and movies and shows he doesn't get.

Typewriter
2016-01-19, 10:24 PM
There should be nothing in the way with this that I can see based on age alone. It seems like most of you are as close or closer to his age than you are to the eldest.
I regularly play in a group where the youngest is about 20 years younger than the oldest (the rest of us being at 6+ years older than him) and the biggest issues we run into are the rest of us make all sorts of references to old music and movies and shows he doesn't get.

My concern was more with the 'oddity' of inviting a 17 year old into my home. I'm not so worried about playing with a younger person as I am that aspect of it. I mean, maybe if he knew someone in the group it would be one thing, but we're all strangers. If I was to mention to my coworkers, "Yeah, one of my D&D players is 17 years old", I'd get a lot of strange looks and comments - but I also work with a bunch of angry old men.

Megasaber4000
2016-01-19, 11:44 PM
Don't let him drink.

dps
2016-01-20, 12:13 AM
Don't let him drink.

Assuming that you're in the US, yeah, that's good advice. Don't let the 20 year old drink, either.

Probably best to not serve any alcohol at all during your gaming sessions, and ask the other players over the legal age to drink to NOT BYOB.

hymer
2016-01-20, 03:57 AM
20, 23, 29, 30, and 41(ish)

That and a 17-year old sounds a lot like one group I was in for years. It wasn't a problem at all, and we didn't make an issue of it.

Ettina
2016-01-20, 04:33 AM
Would some people assume the wrong thing about a 17 year old hanging out with a bunch of older guys? Oh, probably. But there are also people who think D&D itself is evil, or all sorts of weird things like that, so why worry about it? Just don't bring it up to anyone you think might react strangely.

The only way he needs to be treated differently is to not be fed alcohol. Depending on where you live, that may be true of the 20 year old as well. (Where I live, the drinking age is 19, and the next province over it's 18. But I have heard of it being 21 in some places.)

My Dad lived independently at 17 (he was a college freshman in a different town from his family). And as a 26 year old who still lives at home, I've found a maturity gap between me and people my own age who live independently. So I doubt he'll stand out much with a bunch of older guys - especially since one is only 3 years older.

hifidelity2
2016-01-20, 08:49 AM
That's about the age I started so I cant see there being an issue

OH and in the UK I would expect him to bring his own drink

Mark Hall
2016-01-20, 01:19 PM
Yeah, let it be, see if he works out. I've had problem players of a lot of different ages... like the guy in his 40s who we didn't ask back when he started getting creepy at other players.

Knaight
2016-01-20, 09:02 PM
This seems like a complete non-issue to me. I've been that younger player, I've been in games where I was the oldest, age has never caused an issue. Plus, 17 isn't that young, particularly with them living on their own.

Typewriter
2016-01-25, 03:15 PM
In case anyone is curious I met the player the night before to get to know each other and build him a character. We wound up just hanging out and chatting for about 3 hours. The next day was game time and everything went beautifully. I feel like a total tool for having worried about something this silly.

hifidelity2
2016-01-26, 10:28 AM
Glad it all went well

BWR
2016-01-26, 10:55 AM
I feel like a total tool for having worried about something this silly.

Coming from a family of worriers, you are thinking about this all wrong: don't feel bad, be glad that it was not as bad as you feared.

Joe the Rat
2016-01-26, 12:20 PM
Coming from a family of worriers, you are thinking about this all wrong: don't feel bad, be glad that it was not as bad as you feared.I hear ya.

The Pessimist's Creed: Plan for the worst, be happy when it doesn't happen.

Sorry, that should be: Plan for the worst, worry about why the worst hasn't happened yet.
:smallbiggrin:

LokiRagnarok
2016-01-26, 12:34 PM
Thanks for the update!