Adventuring! The great equalizer! Where anyone, from a beggar to a prince could gain riches, fame and glory by plumbing the depths of the countless dungeons that existed in the various kingdoms.
Aware of this fact, an enterprising Gnome Illusionist founded the first Adventuring Academy! Open to students of all socio-economic classes, the Adventuring Academy taught students all the necessary skills to survive and thrive in a dungeon, all for a percentage of all wealth discovered, and first purchase priority of all magical items found therein.
The player characters play the role of young teens that study in the Adventuring Academy, delving dungeons for course credits, fame and fortune armed only with their wits, My First Adventure Kits ™ and the third, revised edition of “Dungeon Delving, Survival and You” by Harrison and Harrison.
Here’s something that will work for D&D and for just about any of the traditional fantasy rpgs. This opens up possibilities for all sorts of interesting hooks from childish shenanigans to interesting coming of age stories.