You will need
- Device with access to the internet
- Coloured pens or pencils
- Scrap paper
Create your character
- The person leading the session should welcome everyone and explain that you’ll be creating your own fantasy characters and introducing them to the group online.
- Make sure that everyone has some paper and pen or pencil, and ask them to start by deciding what type of creature their character is. Explain that they could be a human, elf, or dwarf, for example.
- Everyone should start sketching an outline of their character. At first, they should think about what they look like – are they tall or small? What do their arms and legs look like? Explain that you’ll be adding more details as you go so everyone only needs to draw a basic outline to start.
- Next it’s time to think about what the characters are like – are they a warrior? Do you want them to do magic? Are they a bit of a trickster or do they love the natural world? Everyone should think about how their character might dress and add some more details to their drawing.
- Now, everyone should decide some things that they’re good at – are they strong, wise, or charismatic? You can add as many details as you want here, maybe they’re a whizz at languages or love to paint. Everyone should add some words or images to the left hand side of the page to represent their ideas.
- Think of some things that they’re not so good at as well – maybe they’re not very intelligent or they’re slow and not very agile. Maybe they’re clumsy or have bad table manners. This time, everyone should add some words or images to the right hand side of the page to represent these ideas.
- Everyone should spend a couple of minutes thinking about what motivates their character. What things do they care about and why are they joining your adventure? Maybe they’re just hunting for treasure, or wanting to spend some time with their friends.
- Finally everyone should give their character a name, they could add it to the top of their drawing.
Meet your team
- Once everyone’s finished creating their character it’s time to meet the group and start your adventure!
- The person leading the activity should start by setting the scene – maybe you’re meeting in a hut, a forest, a town square or somewhere out in the wild!
- Explain that in D&D everyone plays a character, and they can either talk in third person and describe what their character is doing, or speak in first person and pretend to be their character.
- Ask for a volunteer to go first and introduce themselves. They should hold their drawing up to the camera so that everyone can see. Remind them to share things like their strengths and weaknesses, motivation and any quirky facts that makes their character stand out, as well as physical characteristics.
- Keep going until everyone has had the chance to introduce themselves, we’ve added a few tips below.
In this activity everyone created their own characters to play. Ask the group if they think their character was similar to themselves in real life or not? Some people might have given their character similar interests, or they might be completely different. Ask everyone to share something they liked about another persons character. Sometimes it can be fun to play a different character in games or performances but if you’re new to role playing, it can feel a bit strange at first!
The last part of the activity was all about communicating with each other too. Ask everyone how they felt introducing their character to the group. Were the nervous, or excited? See if anyone can think of any things you could do as a group to help people feel more comfortable. It can be scary speaking in front of others or yourself to new people, especially when it’s a character you’ve made up yourself. By making sure you listen and don’t interrupt each other it can help make people feel more confident and valued too.
- Online safety
Supervise young people when they’re online and give them advice about staying safe.
For more support around online safety or bullying, check out the NSPCC website. If you want to know more about specific social networks and games, Childnet has information and safety tips for apps. You can also report anything that’s worried you online to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection command.
As always, if you’ve got concerns about a young person’s welfare (including their online experiences), follow the Yellow Card reporting processes.