We went to Half-Price Books about three weeks ago and what does he see? A copy of Heroes of the Fallen Lands, one of the player's handbooks for the Essentials line. And he wants it and Mom says "Yes". He devours the thing and starts creating characters left and right.
"Why don't we have a few practice fights to get a feeling for the combat system," I say.
He agrees and we pick out two characters. He chooses a rogue and I pick a fighter. He then proceeds to kick my butt. Not once but three times! I must be doing something wrong for a thief to beat a fighter three times in a row. So I try to learn what the feats, powers and other things do. Then we play again.
He still beats me but I do better this time.
I take the book one evening after he's gone to bed and try to make a character of my own. I tried. I really did. I couldn't figure it out. "I must be doing something wrong," I thought. The next day I have him walk me through the character creation process. Yes, my 12 year old son is teaching ME how to create a character. I'm just a touch ashamed. (And though there's no dice involved in creating the character, I still have an urge to say "roll up a character".)
When did role playing games become so complicated? I've preferred rules-lite games since I got back into role playing as an adult. A large portion of that is because I am a parent with a full time job. I simply don't have the time or energy to delve into the arcane, minutia filled world of the rules-heavy games. At least that's what I told myself. Perhaps I've lost the ability to memorize these things the way I did when I was a kid. The way my son can. I told him half jokingly that my brain is more filled up than his is and that is why I can't keep the details of Essentials straight the way he can.
Then he asked for the other player's book Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms for Christmas. And his Mom, being his Mom, has me pick it up. I snagged the Rules Compendium at half off the cover price because I know he'll need/want that too. I think D&D essentials is here to stay in my household. At least for a while. He mentioned 5th edition the other day and said that he had no interest in it because he's happy the Essentials.
And I didn't get a single role playing item for Christmas. And I had some on my list.