My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?


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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 17:21

My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

My son wants to play my "dungeon game." Those of you who've introduced it to children before, what does and doesn't work well? I'm not so interested in him winning, as in having a pleasant shared experience with him.

I expect that some sort of berserker is the way to go. Start from the get-go teaching good positioning and luring. Maybe MfBe so he can't mindlessly tab and learn bad habits?
Won (42). Remaining (19): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 7 Backgrounds: CK, Tm, AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 7 gods: Ely, Jiyv, Qaz, Sif, WJC, Xom, Faded

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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 17:30

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Do not: make him a Tavern account.

I think that children are different from grown ups in that they may not understand many things for lack of experience, but also have the ability to reach enormous levels of concentration (aided by the fact that they don't have much to worry). Like, they're completely there.

What about a stabber? Debuff, stab, run if things go wrong look fun and straightforward, if somewhat underpowered.

(disclaimer: no previous experience at introducing video games to children)
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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 17:47

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Hmm, I hadn't thought of stabber. And it seemed intriguing for a while. But then I realized that stabbing is the antithesis of good positioning, in that you are approaching enemies and putting yourself in harm's way if they wake up prematurely. So currently I'm leaning towards CeBe or CeGl^Oka starting with polearms and taking a bow off a centaur. If I'm going to teach kiting and luring, may as well use the species designed for it! Just what to do about defenses when the time comes, I've not quite figured that out with Ce.
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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 18:09

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Explore/Wiz mode?

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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 18:18

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Yes, explore mode sounds good. Objective: Die as rarely as possible.

Ce sounds good. Why not go Hu, so you don't need to wait for that bow? AM is also really good.

You don't worry too much about defences. Train some fighting, train a couple levels of dodging when it's cheap. Where a heavy armour, train a couple of levels of armour when it's cheap. Where a barding, etc. If you go Oka, you'll get decent items to wear after a while, usually including good plates and bardings.

Oka also often gives you unrandarts which can be great fun!

I suppose the biggest question for yourself is: How much will you guide the playing?

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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 18:33

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

I didn't want to go CeHu because I didn't want to risk ammo issues early. I can teach luring and kiting with a polearm as much as I can with a bow. Earlier on in my development as a player I'd run out of arrows because I'd misjudge a situation, fire a bunch of arrows and then need to retreat, and then there were all my arrows on the floor guarded by an ogre or an orc warrior and I'd lost a ton of killdude capability. By starting Gl, by the time we consistently make it down to where centaurs are he'll be better equipped to know when to run, and he'll also have a melee weapon trained to help him if he shoots all his arrows.

Good question on how much guidance. Ideally I think I'd always answer any question, and also that I'd watch silently except that when I see a dangerous situation that he doesn't recognize as such yet, perhaps ask, "What are you thinking right now?" or something like that if he's already died that way a few times. First milestone would be clearing D:1.
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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 18:34

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Airwolf wrote:Explore/Wiz mode?

Duh! Never considered it, since I never used it myself when I was starting!
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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 18:37

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Does explore mode keep track of deaths? They would be in the character dump, right? That would be a score right there, and a more relevant one for my purposes anyway.
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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 20:11

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Can you make us a training montage video like in Karate Kid?

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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 20:23

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Oh, not the video. I'm not really savvy about that sort of stuff.

We made it through D:1 without a death as a CeGl with a trident. Every encounter at the beginning, I'm saying, "okay, run back to a place where you've already killed everything, so no one will hear you kill this." And about halfway through, he saw a cockroach and before I could say anything, he said out loud, "Where can I go so no one will hear me?", looked on the minimap, and then went there. So he's already ahead of 50% of Crawl players worldwide I guess. On on local tiles and for now we're clicking on icons for actions instead of using keypress commands.
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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 20:43

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

On D:2 I taught him how to kite on worms. When we went down to D:3 we got ambushed by a gnoll pack and an adder, and ran back upstairs. Two gnolls followed him (no polearms) and he killed them all by himself, taking damage only once from orthogonal when he should have done diagonal. Going back down another stair, an iguana saw us. I brought him and the iguana upstairs, and then he killed it kiting with a sling. We want the glowing halberd one of those gnolls had, so he'll need to kite from range 3+. At this rate I think he can do it. I'm still making overall tactical decisions for him and letting him focus on learning the tactical toolbox. He says, "I had no idea how fun this is! Thanks, Dad!"
Won (42). Remaining (19): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 7 Backgrounds: CK, Tm, AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 7 gods: Ely, Jiyv, Qaz, Sif, WJC, Xom, Faded

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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 20:50

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Have him play GrBe. He just needs to learn when to press aa and ab.
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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 21:23

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

tabstorm wrote:Have him play GrBe. He just needs to learn when to press aa and ab.


Or maybe anything Mu, only button required is ctrl+q
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Post Sunday, 18th June 2017, 22:17

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

TrFi
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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 03:44

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Very impressive!

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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 07:03

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Do you teach him to x every monster to learn their abilities/properties/wielded weapon? This is what made my son stop playing, he got tired of that when several new monsters came into view. Yet it is very important to do if you want to avoid dying to every new monster :(
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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 11:11

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

I've told him about x, but he's still a bit overwhelmed by all the keystrokes. I haven't even really told him about consumables and such yet, we're still working on movement and positioning. It important to me that I not try to tell him The Right Way To Do Things, because 40 years later I'm still dealing with perfectionism because my own Dad would never praise anything I did but always tell me the little part I did wrong.

Last night while I was baking he played by himself for about 20 minutes. Turns out he's been roving around picking up garbage from the floor, he had about 5 clubs and 3 daggers in inventory. But he's also exploring some and here are three significant anecdotes.

At one point he called me, "Uh Oh, I'm surrounded." He'd somehow gotten his centaur in a corner with a rat or something useless above him, an orc wizard immediately right, and then an orc with a hand axe and a gnoll with a spear two tiles away. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to extract him, but I netted the gnoll, the orc moved to one spot away diagonal so I was surrounded, and then I whaled on the wizard until it blinked and ran out the gap where ti had been. "Thanks, Dad!" He had no idea I was pleased myself that I'd pulled that off!

Another time, he ran excited to me and said, "I killed a green snake without getting poisoned!" which tells me he's probably kiting stuff even when I'm not looking over his shoulder.

Thirdly, I was watching him but not saying anything when he lured a gnoll back to the stairs. It had a spear, and he was wielding his sling (I've said nothing about skills BTW, I've set them to auto and he's oblivious to the concept). I forget the exact conversation but it was evident that he wanted the gnoll to step next to him so he could take it upstairs. I've not told him anything about stairdancing, though he's seen me do it a few times when I got in the driver's seat to rescue us from an ambush or his poor positioning. But I think he was trying to do it just from having seen me do it. So I said, "He doesn't have to step next to you because his spear can reach you from where he is. So you just have to beat it up. Switch to your trident [show him the ' key, he'd forgotten it] because it's bigger than his spear." "Tab?" "Yep" dead gnoll.

He's having a lot of fun and he's barely scratched the surface of what the game has to offer!
Won (42). Remaining (19): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 7 Backgrounds: CK, Tm, AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 7 gods: Ely, Jiyv, Qaz, Sif, WJC, Xom, Faded

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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 11:22

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

By the way it's still possible to lure a gnoll with spear upstairs, you just need to have the stairs between you first.
Good luck to both of you!
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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 12:10

Dad, here's a weird looking man!
Is a scythe dangerous?

Dad, what does confused mean?

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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 13:37

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:By the way it's still possible to lure a gnoll with spear upstairs, you just need to have the stairs between you first.

It took me a while to figure this out but I got it:

Me on stairs:
g.@.
Step back, gnoll follows
.g<@
Step forward, gnoll stays
.g@.

Thank you!
Won (42). Remaining (19): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 7 Backgrounds: CK, Tm, AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 7 gods: Ely, Jiyv, Qaz, Sif, WJC, Xom, Faded

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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 14:30

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Just be a little cautious beause the gnoll (or other polearm monster) will get multiple opportunities to attack you.

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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 18:52

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

True! But in this case I'm a Ce and I can't stand next to the gnoll to stairdance it, I'm running away to where I can rest!
Won (42). Remaining (19): 5 species: Ba, Fe, Mu, Na, Op; 7 Backgrounds: CK, Tm, AM, Wr, Su, AE, Ar; 7 gods: Ely, Jiyv, Qaz, Sif, WJC, Xom, Faded

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Post Monday, 19th June 2017, 21:33

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

It's usually only one more attack than normal stair dancing. When walking one step past the stairs the monster is following you as normal, and gets no extra attacks. Then stepping back onto the stairs it gets one extra turn, and walking up the stairs is slow, but equal to stair dancing a gnoll with any other weapon. You may take hits from two polearm monsters if there's a second polearm user behind the first, so watch out for that case. It's a good process if you need to break up a pack, but it sounds like the above example was only one gnoll, so you can probably finish that off on the current floor, depending on circumstances.

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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 04:21

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

you got him using vikeys right
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 06:52

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

vikeys are the one true way to play.

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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 07:52

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

prozacelf wrote:vikeys are the one true way to play.

I actually refuse to play roguelikes that don't implement vikeys.
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 08:08

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

vikeys are not user friendly: unintuitive and too close to other buttons. I don't refuse to play games with vikeys, I just can't play them physically. Even asdw is much better, you don't have nonsense like jk which are on the same row yet one of them is move forward and another is move backward.
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 12:41

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:vikeys are not user friendly: unintuitive and too close to other buttons. I don't refuse to play games with vikeys, I just can't play them physically. Even asdw is much better, you don't have nonsense like jk which are on the same row yet one of them is move forward and another is move backward.

I think you got it backwards: when you touch type, you want to use the regular keys (with or without modifiers) as much as possible. Years ago I forced myself to learn vi keys in NetHack, and now any RLs where you constantly have to move your hand right between the home row and numpad is just so horribly unergonomic that I just can't bring myself to play them.
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 12:51

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

ThreeInvisibleDucks wrote:I think you got it backwards: when you touch type, you want to use the regular keys (with or without modifiers) as much as possible. Years ago I forced myself to learn vi keys in NetHack, and now any RLs where you constantly have to move your hand right between the home row and numpad is just so horribly unergonomic that I just can't bring myself to play them.


I started playing roguelikes just several years ago so it was all new to me. I don't see how numpad can be worse than vi keys, the former is really WYSIWYG, close to joystick, we all live in 3 dimensional space, right? and the latter is "weird scheme which you should learn before use". Maybe it can be explained by fact that I cannot blindly type even after 20 years of extensive keyboard use.
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 13:11

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

I'm teaching him numberpad. Not only do I use numberpad, but also I am having a difficult time teaching him to save a turn moving diagonal and the numpad makes this easy to show how to do it. Indeed he said recently after playing alone, "you can use the arrow keys at the bottom of the keyboard too (the ones in asdw configuration) and I'm thinking to myself, "NOOOOO"
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 13:18

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

VeryAngryFelid wrote:I started playing roguelikes just several years ago so it was all new to me. I don't see how numpad can be worse than vi keys, the former is really WYSIWYG, close to joystick, we all live in 3 dimensional space, right? and the latter is "weird scheme which you should learn before use". Maybe it can be explained by fact that I cannot blindly type even after 20 years of extensive keyboard use.

I suppose enjoying the ergonomy of the vi (NetHack?) keys requires some touch-typing proficiency. I think I'm in a minority here, as I even tab with Ctrl+I because I find it more ergonomic; yes, I've switched left Ctrl and Caps Lock keys to make the left control modifier more ergonomic, and yes, I use Emacs a lot.
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 17:57

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

You can have a control scheme where your hand is on homerow but make it better than vi keys via making the direction keys move you in actually be relative to their position to each other. vi keys is only sort of like this for some reason.

Image
here's vi keys. it's ok, but up and down are in weird positions that don't correspond to the direction.

wouldn't it make a lot more sense if it was like this?
Image

(my own personal control scheme is centered around using
QWE
ASD
ZXC
for movement, because that means it's more familiar to most modern games which have my hand on wasd for movement and my muscle memory mostly carries over. but if you really want movement on the right, something like the above is probably the way to go unless you have sunk cost fallacy'd yourself into thinking vi keys is the perfect setup.)

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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 19:03

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

"Hey Buddy, can I play? do you want to watch me play?" "Okay, sure!" Inwardly: YES!

[Species selection screen] "Hey Buddy, pick something, what you would you like me to play?" "Ohh, a mummy!" "Are you sure?" "Yes, you said I could pick anything, right?" Inwardly: OH GOOD LORD WHAT DID I GET MYSELF INTO. [Background selection screen] "Pick something white, okay buddy?"

"Daddy, when I throw rocks they're brown, but yours are purple." "That's because I'm blasting magic at him." "Oh wow!!! You blew that guy up!"

"What's that white guy, is he dangerous?" "He's on my side, he helps me. See the green circle?" "Where did you get him?" "I made him with magic" "Cooooollllll!"

On D:3. "Daddy, you're really good at this game!" Inwardly, looking at the skill screen: GOD THIS IS AWFUL. MUMMIES SUCK.

On D:4 or 5. "What's that green guy?" "It's a troll. It's probably going to kill me." It did. Did I use suboptimal tactics just to end the game? Maybe I did.
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 20:24

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Shard1697 wrote:You can have a control scheme where your hand is on homerow but make it better than vi keys via making the direction keys move you in actually be relative to their position to each other. vi keys is only sort of like this for some reason.

Image
here's vi keys. it's ok, but up and down are in weird positions that don't correspond to the direction.

wouldn't it make a lot more sense if it was like this?
Image

(my own personal control scheme is centered around using
QWE
ASD
ZXC
for movement, because that means it's more familiar to most modern games which have my hand on wasd for movement and my muscle memory mostly carries over. but if you really want movement on the right, something like the above is probably the way to go unless you have sunk cost fallacy'd yourself into thinking vi keys is the perfect setup.)

Actually VI keys are superior because it involves less finger movement, that's why they put them where they did for VI back in the 70s, they're very efficient, if not as intuitive, intuitive is only useful for a very short while at the beginning of using something, once you've internalized it, the efficiency is more important.
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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 21:07

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

oh my god

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Post Tuesday, 20th June 2017, 21:50

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

there's no way you are getting anywhere near enough of a difference in amount of finger movement for it to actually be more efficient

you've also ignored how with my proposed scheme the "wait one turn" key, which is a very important key that you use all the time in this game, is in a much more convenient place

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Post Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 14:21

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

The vi keys discussion should probably be split on account of 1. this thread is way more heartwarming without it and B. who cares how others pilot their tab machines

On topic, I can't wait to introduce my kids to roguelikes. I work in education so I get to see the amazing minds of kids at work every day, and I'm really excited to experience that with kids of my own. You seem like a super cool pops.

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Post Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 15:42

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

ZipZipskins wrote:The vi keys discussion should probably be split on account of 1. this thread is way more heartwarming without it and B. who cares how others pilot their tab machines

On topic, I can't wait to introduce my kids to roguelikes. I work in education so I get to see the amazing minds of kids at work every day, and I'm really excited to experience that with kids of my own. You seem like a super cool pops.

+1 to having vi convo split off, i am sorry i said anything in the first place, and had chosen not to respond to the most recent reply because of the off topicness of the discussion.
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Post Wednesday, 21st June 2017, 23:27

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

this my favorite thread, ty, i hope ur kid wins crawl
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Post Thursday, 22nd June 2017, 19:36

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

Siegurt wrote:
prozacelf wrote:vikeys are the one true way to play.

I actually refuse to play roguelikes that don't implement vikeys.


Yeah, my laptop doesn't even have a numpad, and it's such a titanic pain in the ass to use the number row that it more or less renders those games unplayable for me. I guess I *could* go use my desktop, but I'd rather not most of the time.

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Post Thursday, 22nd June 2017, 20:07

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

This is turning in to the "No True Roguelike Player" fallacy. FWIW I bought a USB numberpad for movement to go with my laptop for Nethack, and I'd use it for Crawl if my current laptop didn't have a numberpad.
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Post Friday, 23rd June 2017, 21:04

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

When I started playing I really enjoyed seeing all these bizarre monsters and the distinctiveness of every branch. I don't know if anyone else cares about the quotes which show up when you examine a monster/item/feature but I got a huge kick out of reading those along with the descriptions of everything.

Some of my friends have remarked that playing RPGs expanded their vocabularies as children, and certainly inspired fantasies and imagination. I bet crawl has the same potential for young players. Often we focus only on the tactical and mechanical aspects of DCSS, but when I look back at when I started playing, all the fun was experiencing the incredible diversity the first few floors had to offer, testing new strategies, desperately trying to figure out how bad this new threat was, and so on.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that it's fantastic you don't "tell him The Right Way To Do Things" as the learning phase is definitely the most fun (I had tons of fun coming up with novel bad strategies)

I think when I was 9 I really liked looking at stats pages and inventories and really just agonizing over these little things. Does he play any other video games? In the JRPGs I played back then it was easy to check out endless stats pages, but Crawl has so many buttons it's tough to find everything. Anyway, if he's like I was, he might have some fun looking at the % and m screens.

Also remember there's a tutorial mode, although by the sound of things he's beyond that!

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Post Saturday, 24th June 2017, 06:37

Re: My 9yo Son Want To Play! How To Not Screw This Up?

I used to spend a lot of time reading the descriptions too. Sometimes I still get a kick out of them when I'm looking at the description for some other reason and catch something I'd forgotten or hadn't noticed before.

I also think when I was like 8 and playing Final Fantasy IV (marketed as FF2 here) I would have been almost as happy with an inventory management simulator. I also spent wayyyy too much time hunting for rare drops just to have them, even though half of them were crap by the time you could find them.

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