Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Even though I'm off the caffeine these days, my sleep cycle is somewhat of a mess. I woke up around 4 or 5 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, instead thinking about the new Wonder Woman film (which I got to see yesterday afternoon), and all the thoughts I wanted to blog about it.

But that's a post for later. Sunday, I ran a game of Dungeons & Dragons for my children after several days of begging and pleading on their part (mainly, the part of my six year old, though his three year old sister apes most everything he does, and thus chimed in).

What was the impetus for their desire? I'm not really sure. Probably it has something to do with all the books (my reprints) lying around and taking up space. Then, of course, there was the barbecue last week (at the home of my son's classmate) in which I spent a good chunk of time talking Dungeons & Dragons and the hobby/industry. The kids were also playing the Dungeon! board game last week (though that's not especially new), and we also played a game of DungeonQuest on Saturday...though that was more to stave off the harping to play D&D that had begun mid-week.

I don't know. I was actually hoping to interest them in Raiders of the Lost Artifacts (hmmm...still need to write-up a post on that particular game), going so far as to show them the first Indiana Jones film (with heavy cut-aways). While that inspired D to write his own game (yet another post I should probably write), he still wanted to play Dungeons & Dragons.

And so we did.

Diego (my son), wrote up the character sheets and helped his sister with the dice rolling. After much internal debate, I decided to run straight B/X with a few extra combat abstractions (that the kids wouldn't know or understand anyway). Both ran elf characters (Elrond the Brave and Scarooca). For a beginning adventure I used the one found in Mentzer's basic set.

The kids sat rapt with attention as I read them the (fairly short) boxed text. They encountered the carrion crawler which, with my house rules, they were able to defeat.

[I've run Mentzer's introductory adventure in the past and the carrion crawler encounter has ALWAYS resulted in a TPK. The problem is its number of attacks (eight!) and the low probability of saving against multiple hits. My (simple) house rule gives creatures with multiple attacks one attack roll per round versus a maximum number of opponents equal to its multiple attacks...so the crawler (for example) would be able to attack up to eight opponents, but regardless it would make only one attack per character per round. This is something I've been doing for a while now, and I find it works well in practice]

After pulling the body from the hole and doing a bit of digging, they discovered the 200 pounds of treasure (1000 coins each of copper and silver) only to find they hadn't brought enough bags to carry it all. So they filled their backpacks with silver, headed back to town to buy some large sacks, and then recovered the rest of the loot.

And then I put them to bed.

They were very excited by the game. They really enjoyed it. They wanted to keep playing.

And I felt very good running the game. I've missed playing D&D. I really enjoyed myself. It was fun.

I'm not sure we'll be playing again any time soon, but I want to.


  1. I have made the same to my wife's sisters. They are 7 and 10 years old. Sincerely, the little one just followed around but I really liked to play with the older sister. He was really smart and demanded more creativity than I expected to use. Being honest, I was suprised by her intelligence so I got a bit frustrated that I hadn't planned enough for her. But they liked it so much that they keep asking me to play the entire weekend.

    1. Ops... I mean "She was really smart..."

    2. I figured that was what you meant.
      ; )

  2. Keep going! You won't regret it.

  3. Kids are better at D&D than grown ups. They don't have any bad habits yet.

  4. Sounds like fun!

    My son is not due to be born for another couple weeks. Is it too soon to start prepping his first campaign? :-)

  5. playing with kids is the best! nicely done.

    also, great houserule! i will steal it. :)