Tuesday, August 14, 2012

And The Children Shall Lead Them

I wanted to take a quick break from the Star Trek entries to catch you all up on some updates of other things going on here at Barkley's Den.

My Champions campaign is ending, with the first of the 'two-parter' finale already completed last Saturday. We are skipping this coming Saturday as my friend and player Ray will be attending GenCon. And I am not jealous at all. Nope. Not one bit. I...oops. Seem to have broken my third stress ball.

In all honesty I am happy to see this campaign end, before it got to the point where I was really disliking it. I went back and read my accounts of the early part of the campaign and then compared those posts to the ones related to the latter half and you can clearly see...things changed. I think I will hold off from Superhero gaming for a bit, at least with the current group dynamic. It's a shame. I am still a huge fan of Supers games and this one had so much coolness that I didn't get to.

My amazing girlfriend Jenn (no, seriously, she is amazing. I am amazed.) has agreed to give gaming a try. The introductory game of choice? Faery's Tale Deluxe! Didn't I tell you she's amazing?


The main focus of today's post is an update on the RPG/Storytelling class summer program I continue to teach on Sundays in Brooklyn.

For this particular summer session, I wanted to focus on something a bit more light-hearted and humorous but more importantly, to teach the kids about cooperation and teamwork. Now it has been working...for the most part...but I am up against the mentality of 3rd-to-6th graders, some of whom are related. Having trouble with your cousin outside of the game means you don't want to help him in the game.

One lad in particular has a tendency to be a bit troublesome and self-centered, although strangely enough, he didn't act that way at all when he was a Starship Captain in a Starships & Spacemen one-shot I did with the kids a ways back. There he was fantastic,. letting each person voice their opinion, taking everything into account and going with the choice that best solved the problem at hand and benefitted the crew and ship as a whole.

It took some time, I had to get all 'tough teacher' on him, followed up with extra homework and then a little one-on-one conversation but I did finally find out what the issue really was. He was indeed having issues with his cousin (another player/student in the class). In the end, I think we worked out an understanding, even if everything may not be completely squared away.

I don't know that I will never see the same bad behavior again but I honestly believe he'll think about it before doing something in the game that hurts his allies (who are, in truth, his friends) or stops the game from being fun. He's a good kid, one of my favorites but like all of us at his age, he's got a lot to learn about life and growing up. Luckily he's got time.

I think I really like this teaching thing. Who knew? I sure didn't. I despised school. But then again, none of my teachers used RPGs to try to teach us stuff.

I'd love to get back to that Starships & Spacemen idea with this class. Not only would it be fun but I wonder if I could make each planet a mini-lesson on a different subject. Ooh. Wonder if that would work with my regular gaming group. They could use it...


Also, I wanted to acknowledge a few happenings, both joyous and sorrowful, that have occurred within the last month or so.

GenCon is this week! AHHH! I cannot go (weep) but my good buddy Ray will be. I am going to try for next year. If my business is as slow next year as it is this year it should be no problem to get the time off.

Congratulations NASA on the successful landing of the Curiosity Rover on the surface of Mars. Nice work ladies and gentlemen.

While our brains were placing robot explorers on the red planet, our athletes were taking the gold on the green and pleasant isle of England. Kudos to our Olympic participants.

We may be a gun-toting nation of rich people treading on poor people's backs, without money, jobs or a decent health plan but we really do kick ass at the cool, fun stuff don't we? Boo-yah!

On a more serious note...

Rest in peace Joe Kubert, father, teacher and comic book artist and pioneer. The man who taught me nothing's ever easy in Easy.*

Well, looking forward to the weekend! Another session with the kids, a game with my girl and hopefully cool news from the floor of GenCon. In the meantime, more Star Trek RPG talk is on the way!

Barking Alien

*From the classic DC war comic 'Sgt. Rock and The Easy Company'


  1. Go, go, go isn't it?

    I don't think I could cope with young children in general, although I'm fine with my own. I do have the utmost respect for those that can (including my wife who specialises in nursery age children)...

    I may be a little late, but I feel I have to point out that England is not an isle or an island, it's the largest and most populous nation on the island of Great Britain... It's a commonly-made mistake - but you don't need to swim to Scotland from here :)

    Thoroughly enjoying the Trek chat by the way. Not commenting much as I'm around 2 weeks behind on my reading!