Let the games begin...
Ad hoc D&D on a rainy day
It had been a couple of weeks since the kids expressed interest in role-playing. Understandably, the weather was getting nicer, and there was more daylight to play outside with their friends. This led to one of those parental dilemmas: "How much do I push my interests their way to see if they bite on them or not?" I decided to expose them to the world through age-appropriate D&D books - Dungeons & Dragons: A Goblin Problem & Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves - The Quest Begins. If it piqued their interest, great! If not, no big deal. Abby didn't love the Honor Among Thieves book; however, she really enjoyed the first few chapters of A Goblin Problem. Ethan wasn't into chapter books yet; he did like the other book quite a bit, probably because he enjoyed the movie trailer when I was watching it.
Fast forward a bit to a rainy Saturday afternoon. Ethan had taken to grabbing his gaming dice and rolling them occasionally. I get it; there is something very satisfying about that clattering sound they make. Sensing an opportunity, I asked, "Hey buddy, do you want to learn how the different dice are used in D&D?" "Yah, that sounds fun," replied Ethan. "Can I try too?" came Abby's voice from the other room. Now, we're off to the races! It was just a matter of figuring out what those races were exactly.
We started off by doing some player vs. player combat using the rules from the DnD Adventure Club manual. After walking them through how initiative, hit points, and armor class worked, they wanted to try and fight some monsters. I wasn’t fully prepared. The DnD Adventure club provided an introductory adventure which I hadn't read recently, so I figured it was time to make things up as I went along. If it went well, I could use the intro adventure for the next time. Thankfully, I was going to have a little help from the Monster Lookup I found on David Colarusso’s Dungeon Master’s Helper. After gathering my dice and such, we started our first adventure.
I kicked it off by asking them to come up with a way their characters knew each other. Abby chimed in right away.
“So, I think that we met because our moms got into a car crash when Ethan and I were little”.
“How about their horses crashed since there were no cars”
“Yeah, that’s right. And they became friends so we did too”
“That’s really creative, I like it”
So far, so good. Now it was time to determine why they were adventuring together. Ethan took the lead on this one.
“Ok, so y’all start out looking for some adventure. We have to come up with why you’re out and about. Maybe you were some thieves who…”
“Stole the wrong thing for the wrong person?” quipped Ethan, finishing my sentence.
“I see someone has been paying attention to the D & D trailer”, I replied proudly
Next, we kicked into the story. I came up with a pretty basic "go to town, talk to the bartender, get a quest" type. They ate it up and asked for more! The next day, we played the introduction story, “Something is eating my cheese!”, that came with the DnD Quickstart Guide, which also went over very well. Next on the list was "The Haunted Trilogy" that came with my DnD Starter Pack.
But that’s a tale for a different day...