Princesses of the Pizza Parlor - part 1

Book review of Princesses of the Pizza Parlor, a story of tabletop RPGs, friendship, and running games for kids

Princesses of the Pizza Parlor by Maikel Yarimizu is the story of and uncle running a tabletop role playing game for his niece and her tween friends.  It’s a fun tale that follows their character’s adventures in the game… and the drama between the players outside of the game as they navigate their friendships.  I enjoyed the read, and I hope you and your kids do too!

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What is Princesses of the Pizza Parlor about? 

Princesses of the Pizza Parlor is about a group of tween girls being introduced to table top role playing games by Uncle, the uncle of one of the girls playing in the game.  It covers the adventures of the character, the table drama between players, and the musings of Uncle who sees that this campaign is very different from previous adventures.

Each player’s character is a princess, though… most are not the typical princess you’d think of.  They range from a half-orc barbarian daughter of the Khan who is VERY sick of princess school to an anime-inspired moon princess determined to bring light and truth and justice in the name of the lunar deity!

The players are equally varied – some REALLY want to play while others initially don’t, some are quiet while others are very outspoken.  Along with that comes some drama (that occasionally spills into the game) as the players are navigating tween years and working out issues both mid-adventure and during pizza breaks.

Uncle also has some fun asides to the reader, especially when it comes to giving liberties with powers and laughing at his own jokes (even if references to some classic sci-fi or Quick Draw McGraw went over the players’ head).  Through Uncle, we also see the thought process behind a good guide for adjusting classic-style TTRPG’s for new players in order to set them up for a game THEY want to play too.

Princesses of the Pizza Parlor - book 2 cover

Who would Princess of the Pizza Parlor be great for? 

Princesses of the Pizza Parlor would be awesome for kids about ages 10-15 and for adults looking for ideas on how to introduce games like D&D or Pathfinder to kids in that age range.  

If your kids are into She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Voltron, or Kipo – I was definitely getting those vibes!  There’s adventure, drama, epic battles, and teamwork… and, by means of a book, so, something very familiar, it gives kids an avenue to play out those adventures by introducing them to TTRPG’s that can facilitate that.

From the parent side, there are a lot of great ideas, slowly introduced by the game’s dungeon master, to make it easy for the players to jump into the game without getting too overwhelmed.  I will go into it more in the next section, but, in short, this is also a good guide for both kicking off a game and getting a taste of what to expect from a DM perspective too.

What Princesses of the Pizza Parlor shows about running games for tweens

Throughout the book, the DM, Uncle, explains the logic behind introducing the game gradually to the players and the modifications made to help them enjoy the game. These changes range from having partially pre-made characters, making spell cards ahead of time, simplifying spells, giving out reroll tokens, and more.

It also touches on some of the drama to expect.  Out-of-game misunderstandings between two of the girls or the introduction of a new player that the rest of the group isn’t too fond of kick off some pretty normal tween issues that Uncle maybe is or isn’t always sure how to handle.  Based on some stories from DaddyRolleda1, these definitely seem like realistic issues that could happen and spill into the game – it’s a valid heads up to give to anyone looking to start a game like this.

Princesses of the Pizza Parlor - book 3 cover

My favorite parts of Princesses of the Pizza Parlor

First, I loved the eclectic mix of characters and players.  I shamelessly enjoyed watching She-Ra, and when I said earlier that this book gave me some She-Ra vibes, I was not joking.  There’s a wide range of how to define princesses, and this book shows that.  Kids can make their characters and heroes whatever they want and be strong and accepted even if they don’t match the template for what everyone thinks a princess should be.

I also appreciated going through the thought process and describing all the modifications to the game instead of just focusing on the actual game play.  Saying how high or low rolls affected the results explains what new players and DM’s can expect.  Explaining that a DM normally wouldn’t allow this much liberty or could be pretty mean here, but… it’s OK for now, helps to show the flexibility needed to keep kids interested and enjoying their TTRPG experience.

I also really enjoyed some of the references.  I remember watching Them! on campy movie family night as a kid, and when Uncle kept saying it but no one at the table seemed to get the joke… at least I chuckled.  There were some nice side references to Hannah-Barbara cartoons, Monty Python, Sailor Moon, etc.

Overall thoughts on Princesses of the Pizza Parlor

I enjoyed reading Princesses of the Pizza Parlor!  It was fun, it was easy to read, and it adds another awesome way to connect with TTRPG’s.  I honestly wish I’d had this book when I was a tween, and I hope it gives a good gateway for kids to find this awesome hobby and have fun!

Find a copy of Princess of the Pizza Parlor!

To find a copy, check out the book series here on Amazon!

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4 thoughts on “Book review of Princesses of the Pizza Parlor, a story of tabletop RPGs, friendship, and running games for kids

  1. Thanks for letting us know about this series! We snagged a copy and my daughter has dubbed it “one of the best books I’ve ever read.” And now that she’s finished it, I’m going to get read it. 🙂

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