I'm thinking about running a very small dungeons & dragons pen and paper thing with my nephew, who is 8. It would absolutely be an excuse for me to play pen and paper DnD more than anything else, but it also might be a fun way to bond with the kid. Eventually I can see adding more family members should they become interested. But it might just be a fun thing for us to do when I visit every month or so. I'd DM and play a henchman character that would complement whatever he chose to play.
I'm trying to figure out what to buy. I don't get a lot of traffic these days on this site, but if anyone reading this has some experience I'd be glad to have it. At this point, my current thought is to buy three things:
DnD 4th Edition Starter Set
My understanding is that this wouldn't get us past level 2 or so, and is made obsolete as soon as you have other stuff. But it comes with dice, which I don't have, and a nice-looking battle map. Anyway, I'm torn on whether to get this. The main selling point to me, beyond being inexpensive for what you get, is that it is supposed to be a very good introduction to the core game mechanics. That might be very helpful when trying to introduce new players to the game.
Dungeon Master's Kit
From what I've read, this kit includes most of what you really need from the Dungeon Master Guides, plus game pieces and grids. I do sort of wish we could just do completely abstract fights like I usually did in the past, but apparently the new rules system really needs tokens on a game board.
Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Rather than get the player guides, I've been reading that this book makes a good alternative. It profiles the cleric, fighter, rogue, and wizard, and is completely compatible with the characters that you make using the starter set. This would easily get us started. Later I could add Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, which would let us do Druids, Paladins, Rangers, and Warlocks. But those, I think, are more specialty classes. The core four classes in the Fallen Lands are really all you need.
Anyway, while I could just get the starter kit at first, I get free shipping if I buy at least one of the other two items. And being the sort that I am (and having some amazon.com birthday money), I think I'm just going to go for it. Later, I might like to add the other Heroes book, plus the Monster Vault for more monster options and tokens.