At one time I had grand plans for the boys campaign. I envisioned a complex, sophisticated storyline. They would have to contend with multiple enemies, and sort out who the real bad guys were. At the same time, their characters would be growing up and developing. It would be cool and fun. Then the reality of it all hit me. I was still dealing with teenagers. It took me a while to figure this all out, but I did. And now I will return to the principle I should have been sticking to all along: Keep It Simple Stupid.
The personality quirks that I like so much in the Players Handbook? Yeah, not so much. I will still use them for the purposes of giving the characters skills, but no reason to focus on things like traits and ideals.
Character creation? I am keeping it simple. I basically created templates for their classes and printed out the sheets for them. They can just plug in their stats, pick a few skills, basic equipment, spells, and weapons and call it good. I do not want to bog them down in anything more complex than that.
Adventure creation? I just went to Donjon.com, generated a simple dungeon, doctored it up and populated it with my desired creatures. I even took a piece of advice I saw on TheAngryGM.com. I picked out 3 monsters from the Monster Manual and only used them in the dungeon, just in different numbers and in different layouts.
My goal here is to not overthink this. Focus more on the gameplay and having fun with that. Not worry so much about the background and plot. I will even make use of the tools I have at my disposal in the Magic cards to help the players and myself.
There may come a time when Jimmy and one or more of his buddies are ready for a more complex game. When I can create a plot with a lot of moving parts and mystery and expect them to dig into it and really think about everything that they are doing. But that time is not now. Now is the time to K.I.S.S. and just play. And if feels like a group of murder hobos, then so be it. If they show signs of getting bored with that I can always add a little more. Stay tuned for reports and future updates.