Since my regular gaming group called out this week (we're on for Monday), I thought I'd post something else this week. About a year ago (May, 07) I posted a short story about an introductory game of D&D I played with my daughter. The original post has disappeared, but I found it reposted in someone's Blog. So without further ado, I give you...
Gaming with my
From time to time I see a post about how old you have to be to play, how do you introduce new players to the game, etc. Well, here's my experience with introducing my daughter to the game. Luckily, I’ve had years of experience to prepare me for the unexpected things players do...
My four-year-old daughter enjoys telling just about everyone she meets, "This is my daddy, he like dragons and likes to play dungeons and dragons".
Yes, thank you honey.
From time to time she'll ask me if she can play and I've tried to think of a way for it to work. She's never actually seen a game since we always play elsewhere but she liked playing with my plastic minis and liked to watch me paint minis, always looking at the most ugly, horrendous monsters and saying with absolute sincerity, "It's beautiful daddy".
Finally, last Wednesday, when she asked, I told her we would play on Saturday. All night it was all she could talk about, it was hard to get her to bed.
Over the next few days, she didn't bring it up and I figured she had forgotten, but I was giving it a lot of thought, just in case, and came up with a few ideas. I was basically going to run it like an episode of one of her favorite TV shows starring a rather adventurous little girl who likes exploring.
Saturday rolls around, and she definitely remembered.
Her little brother’s nap time rolls around and I set up the prepared maps and place a few monsters and let her pick a princess mini. Yes, I have a few. Surprisingly she does not choose the one in the pink dress and goes for the one in purple.
The Story – The kings beautiful unicorn has been taken by goblins and has asked his daughter, the princess, to bring her back.
The Tools – The king gives her two magic wands, one that will turn the subject into a frog, the other will make the subject her friend.
Step one – The Troll Bridge.
Like any good troll, this troll demands an answer to three questions and then you must speak the password. The questions are simple math, 5+5, 8+2, and the toughie, 2+3+5. Yes, all =10, very good. The password is written on the map, "PLEASE". She's really good at addition and sounding out words. She passes this challenge quickly. At this point she somehow gets it in her head that the unicorn belongs to the Troll, and she promises him to bring his unicorn back soon. Ok… thank you.
Step two – The Mountain of the Dragon.
At the bottom of this great mountain sits a ferocious dragon (Platinum Dragon actually, but she's still unaware of the color code.) As she walks up, the dragon says, "Oh, I think I'll see if this princess tastes good."
"You can't eat me dragon, I have a wand that will make you my friend." At which point she indicates that she is going to use her wand to make him friendly. "Hello dragon, can you fly me over the mountains?"
I had expected to have to make the offer, but she knew what she was doing. "Sure thing princess."
Step Three – The River of Crocodiles.
The dragon drops her off before the river, explaining that he can't fly any further. She accepts this and seeing the crocodiles in the river, she is already telling me she's using her wand to make the crocodile friendly so he'll carry her across the river. Too easy.
Step 4 – The Goblin Maze.
At this point she meets what I describe as a "Grumpy Group of Goblins", the alliteration was unintentional, it just sort of slipped out. I expected her to use either of the two wands the King gave her, but no….
"A long time ago the king gave me a third wand that makes people happy, I use that wand to make them happy."
At first I didn't get it, my mind was on evil goblins. How does making them happy solve the problem? Then I realized what I had actually said. There was nothing in my description that would make her think they were hostile. To her they were just goblins in a bad mood.
"Once they are happy they can have a party, and I can get into the maze."
Done. Huh, didn't see that coming.
The maze was just that, a maze drawn on the map that she would have to find her way through, which she did and found the (now) trolls unicorn.
She then journeyed back, asking all her friends for help when needed, and returned the unicorn to the troll.
"Great job honey!"
"Let's play again!"
With slight variations we did the same thing over again, a total of four times.
In the end…
She had no use for the wand that turned people into frogs. Even when confronted with a giant purple worm, she only wanted to make everyone her friend. (The worm then tunneled under the mountain and she followed through the cave.)
She renamed the mountain range and the river every time there was a new guardian.
The Grumpy Goblins (the only unchanging guardians) partied almost nonstop.
She then proceeded to play a very similar game with her two-year-old brother when he woke up, using her little dolls and animals. An elephant in the river, a tiger guarded the maze and oddly enough, there was a unicorn in the middle of the maze.
Sure, it's not "true" D&D (though we did use official minis ), but she was the perfect Role Player.