We got a pleasant surprise last week when my 10-year-old cousin played with us in our regualr Pathfinder game. He has tried to play with us once or twice before, but never made it past the 20-minute mark. Sitting in once place can be difficult for a 10-year-old, I suppose.
I helped him make a character using Microlite20 rules. In the beginning, the party was doing inventory management/shopping and so forth, and he decided he wanted a ninja mask. This is the sort of thing I love and try to encourage. At one point, he was about to try to assassinate the rival adventuring party by himself, with the rest of his party several hundred yards away. I'm glad he ended up deciding against it, as I wasn't too keen on killing him so early in the game. However, if it came down to it, I would have done it. It's important for any player to learn the mortality of their character, and that I'm not running a superhero game.
|Bakna, the Hobbit Thief with ninja mask and a bandolier full of daggers|
Early on, I made a point to let him know that the game contains adult content. This was partially to warn him, as the other players have been known to mutilate their enemies and do a lot of really unsavory things, but the main reason was that I just wanted him to feel like he was participating in a "big kid's game". His brother chimed in calling it "M for mature". A few hours and several penis jokes later, he says, "I thought you said this game was M for mature. More like D for dork!" He won the memorable quote award with that one!
We are playing again this weekend, and he won't be able to make it this time (he is a very busy 10-year-old man-about-town), but I hope he joins us again. He seemed to enjoy himself, sneaking around and spying on people, and it's always refreshing to have someone at the table with no preconceived notions or ability to metagame.