Most children love dressing up and playing make believe.
They also like games that they can play with grown ups.
Live role play is a game involving dressing up, make believe
and grown ups. It is however potencially dangerous and frightening
under some circumstances.
Parents should ensure that their children are within the
permitted age range for an event. If event rules say that
participents must be over eleven years old and they turn
up with nine and ten year olds then they should not be upset
to be turned away without a refund! There are a few reasons
as to why. Insurers may have dictated the age range. If
the organisors buck this and something goes wrong then their
insurence is invalid because there were children too young
involved. Protection for the child is another reason. Some
parts of the event may be physically dangerous for a younger
child. It might be just too scary for them or might include
scenes that could be morally bad for them. Finaly the event
could just be too physically taxing for a child.
At events where children are allowed there may be rules.
Most organisations will not allow children on or near a
battle, for example, and may insist that children are kept
within their own campsite after a certain time. Again it
is the parents resposibility to ensure that these rules
are kept to as it is the organisors to use these rules to
keep the children safe.
The most suitable events for children are festivals like
Mayfest and Renewal. At these events there are usually other
children they can play with and there may be things within
the plot of the event for them - or indeed that only children
can do. At Renewal, for example, there is usually a childrens'
adventure laid on and at Mayfest there are creatures designed
to be played by children and often bits of the plot just
At the larger events parents have to keep a close eye on
the children as there is often so many interesting things
to see and find out about that children can often wander
quite far and get lost. At smaller events like Mayfest people
soon get to know each other and children can be allowed
more freedom. In our experience, children soon tend to get
together and 'run in packs' inventing their own games as
they go along.
Somewhere around the age of 8 years children develop an
uncanny ability to gather information, obtain needed currency
and/or herbs and escape trouble with ease. If taught a little
they become adept at dodging blows and escaping combat only
to return moments later at an unexpected angle, get in a
couple of quick blows and are away again. I have seen two
boys take out an ogre this way. Unlike adults they do not
tend to hord their spells 'until they are really needed'
but will quite happily use them to wipe out an immeadiate
danger or even someone they don't like!
Some systems run children only adventures now and then
and very often, systems run by people who have children
of their own will run events suitable for children to attend.
In general, children have a good time at events where they
are allowed and their parents say that they find it easier
to cope with their children at such events than on, say,
a conventional camping holiday.
If you know of a system that runs such events or children
only adventures please let us know about them. Contact