Roll Dice Build Character cover page

Review of Roll Dice, Build Character, a tabletop RPG guide for parents

Roll Dice, Build Character by Mark Hasen covers the benefits of kids playing tabletop RPGs and discusses some of the concerns or questions that parents may have about the game too. This is a great read for anyone on the fence, just starting out, or trying to convince other parents to let their kids join the gaming table!

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What is Roll Dice, Build Character about? 

Roll Dice, Build Character discusses the pros and cons of introducing tabletop RPGs to your kids.  It breaks down the benefits, from creativity and teamwork to learning broader concepts about the world and life, and it talks about some of the concerns parents may have, including time management and religious conflicts.  This book gives a solid description of tabletop roleplaying games for anyone new to running them with kids and provides tips from the author’s experience that can help you get off to a great start.  It also touches on some of the harder topics that have been associated with tabletop RPGs (race, social structures, etc.) and how to address them or direct players into a positive learning experience.

Roll Dice, Build Character easy to read and understand

This book is written in easy to understand language and felt like reading a conversation.  In no way was it simplistic, but it was smooth to read and flowed from one topic to the next because of the candid format.  Roll Dice, Build Character is also spaced out in a way that the discussion is broken up with excerpts from a game with the author’s kids.  This helped give a fun story break every so often to reset, in addition to providing actual game material to feed some of the discussion points with examples (instead of just telling about what happens). 

Favorite parts of Roll Dice, Build Character

A history lesson on tabletop RPGs!

The discussion was great and covered a lot of major points about running tabletop RPGs with kids, but I also particularly enjoyed the section about the history of tabletop gaming.  It was interesting to get the historical layout, from HG Wells to Critical Role, with key points in the author’s tabletop RPG journey inserted.  It showed how things grew into what they are today and also gave a grounded view of the author’s experience. 

Story time with the kids

I also enjoyed the excerpts from the game with the author’s children.  These excerpts were from an actual game and gave examples of what was being discussed.  So many times, discussion style books and articles will only talk about a subject and never give an act ual example. Having one with a solid amount of sample material was refreshing and helped to close the loop on the discussion.  I feel like this also helps those who learn better by example or by doing than by just taking in written information or a set of facts – it taps into a core learning method that not everyone integrates into their writing.

Who would Roll Dice, Build Character be great for?

I feel that Roll Dice, Build Character would be great for anyone who is questioning about whether or not to start playing tabletop RPGs with their children, especially if they have religious related concerns.  It would also be a good read for getting tips to for your game sessions (the last section has a lot of advice for helping engage kids in the game).  

This can also be a tool for helping those experienced in running tabletop RPGs with kids to convince other parents who are hesitant to allow their children to play.  Sometimes, it can be hard to persuade another parent to let their kids join your table if the parent doesn’t know anything about the game – this book would be a great resource to share with them and get them up to speed.

Overall thoughts on Roll Dice, Build Character

Roll Dice, Build Character was a thoughtful discourse about bringing children into tabletop RPGs, and I enjoyed reading another parent’s perspective, especially since it tapped into introducing older kids.  I feel that this is an excellent tool for easing parents into playing tabletop RPGs with their kids, and can really help with improving your gaming skills.  It was an enjoyable read, and I hope you can check it out!

Find a copy of Roll Dice, Build Character!

Roll Dice Build Character cover page

You can find a copy of Roll Dice, Build Character by Mark Hansen here on Amazon!

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5 thoughts on “Review of Roll Dice, Build Character, a tabletop RPG guide for parents

  1. This post was WAY TOO EFFECTIVE. Before I knew I was done reading it, I’d already gotten an email that my copy will arrive on Tuesday. For the sake of my family’s budget, please be careful with your power of suggestion in the future. LOL

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