My little brother wants me to run a game for him and his friends, ages 12-13. Do you guys have any tips or ideas that could help them get into the game as first time role players?
Hello, You know them better than we do ! But most important in my view is… start from you. You DM with what you are, with your experience, etc. Double guessing the players ? the goal is that they surprise you. But you : where do you have balance, where are your roots ? From there you can push. What is it you have to express, I mean.
Well, that would be my take. If you can make a little survey before play, about expectations regarding party, story, characters, etc. that’s writing some misunderstandings out from the start.
Probably a game of Dungeons and Bananas - a game about coming up with creative solutions to overcome all hindrances on their way to from rag to riches.
Do you know what they are excited about or interested in?
Beyond that, let me echo @DeReel - come forward with something that excites and motivates you, and let that spread to them.
I like to pitch 2-4 games I’m really excited about, and let them choose between them.