Just DMed my first game in about 20 years.
Gave my nephew the 5e D&D Starter Set a few months ago, and we started through it to teach him to play. A little challenging as I was not totally sharp on the new rules, but I had the basics down OK, which is really all you need. Did about 1/2 of the first segment of the adventure than comes in the set. Will finish tomorrow. Overall it was pretty fun, and a good chance to get back into the gamemastering thing.
To simplify the learning process, we used the Starter Set straight-up, prefab characters and all. I had him control two of the characters, a fighter and magic user, and I used another fighter and a cleric as NPCs. At 14, I think my nephew is to the point he can start to learn role playing and the rules system. He won’t have it down perfectly, but did any of us at that age? Probably not. I think that keeping the spirit of the game is what counts.
Granted, we didn’t go deep into the 5e system, but I really must say that we I experienced as DM was pretty much identical to my experiences with 1e. I liked it. We played pretty bare-bones. Pencils, paper, graph paper, and dice. Not even any miniatures. It worked quite well.
Anyway, we’ll finish up that leg of the adventure tomorrow afternoon. My nephew was pretty stoked, and is talking about getting his friends together to play, which makes me very happy.
OK, interesting thing. At one point he was trying to figure out a way to test the depth of a stream. I explained to him that in D&D you can do anything you want, like cut a branch off a tree to use. He said he had thought of that, but wasn’t sure if he could do that. He is very involved in video games, which of course are totally restrictive. You can’t do anything the game designer didn’t account for. But in RPGs, you don’t have that limitation. It was cool to see this fact register on my nephew’s face.