D&D For Lunch
While I was writing today’s Indies & More post I happened to think up something I’m not sure I’ve heard of before: a D&D starter set in a lunch box.
Forgive me for saying that this idea sounds amazing.
Each year Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast should put out a lunchbox that doubles as a small starter set playable by a few young kids in small sittings. Make it playable 1-on-1 or with a GM and up to 5 or so players. Go light on components and heavy on flavor. The idea here is to make D&D a cherished childhood brand, not to get gradeschoolers thinking in 5-foot squares.
The mechanics have to fit on the inside of the lid. The characters need to be simple enough to be entirely in the heads of the players, plus maybe some small notes in erasable marker on the thermos. If it uses dice at all it should be only one. Bonus points for using typical lunch room traits (food, people, teachers) as key elements of play.
Each year would be slightly different. The outside of the lunchbox would have an evocative cartoon-y image tied to that year’s theme. The starting situation and characters would all be tied to what you can see on the outside of the box.
Since there are a lot of lunches in a year, make a child-friendly site with new ideas. No new rules within the same year, just maybe a once-a-week post that tells all the young GMs what they might have happen in their games this week. If there’s a D&D cartoon on the air all the better. Have that year’s lunchbox foreshadow the next season of the show.
As an added bonus, young nerdlings can spot each other across the lunch room as they take out their lunches. Since not everyone brings their lunch, take a similar approach to a back pack (the adventurer’s pack, of course) and folders.
And, of course, put out a fancy tin edition for the older geeks.
Kids are amazing bundles of creativity to begin with. We are natural born gamers and showing kids early that this kind of creativity is fun leads to more creative adults who just might become gamers too.