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Thread: Gaming with my Children.
Friday, 25th July, 2008, 10:18 PM #1
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Gaming with my Children.
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.
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Saturday, 26th July, 2008, 12:45 AM #2
Myrmidon (Lvl 10)
That's so cute! I'm glad she had a good time. You're a really cool dad, Abciximab.
Saturday, 26th July, 2008, 06:12 AM #3
That's why they say little girls are made of "Sugar and spice and everything nice."
Sounds like a fun little game. A memory you'll both cherish for the rest of your days. Thanks for sharing a sweet story with your fellow DnD players.
Saturday, 26th July, 2008, 05:26 PM #4
Novice (Lvl 1)
Wow, that's fantastic man. I've got a four year old niece. I should try this. Cheers, definitely post more stories like this.
Thursday, 31st July, 2008, 03:06 PM #5
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Thanks for the positive replies. There is a part two to this I will post if I can locate it. I think there's a copy sitting on my hard drive somewhere.
Thursday, 31st July, 2008, 08:30 PM #6
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
As I read the opening post, I kept thinking "awwwww", and I don't think you can blame me
I'm glad (and to be honest, surprised) that a 4 year old can be interested in roleplaying. Maybe she'll be an actress/DnD geek when she grows up?
Lovely, just lovely. I have a real-life session today, I think I'll tell my players of your daughter, see how they react, Abciximab
Friday, 1st August, 2008, 05:54 PM #7
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
Wednesday, 6th August, 2008, 12:35 AM #8
Gallant (Lvl 3)
My Daughter, the Power Gamer…
My Daughter, the Power Gamer…
For the next game I tried to mix it up a bit. I drew a map on a blank 9-piece puzzle, and then drew the same map on my battle map. The only difference was the puzzle map has an x marking where a buried treasure lies.
My thought was, the princess has a piece of a treasure map and must find the other parts. She finds people along the way who also need help with various problems. I made it in such a way that each problem could be solved by resolving another.
The fairie’s home was the site of an ancient battle and many swords, armor and other bits of metal cluttered their forest home. The blacksmith needed metal to make nails to sell to the beekeeper. The beekeeper needed nails to build his beehives. The dragon was strong enough to carry all the metal to the smith, but wanted a reward for help (honey, or some other bauble). Each challenge overcome would grant two pieces of the map. (The X would always be the last piece. Deus ex machina, but whatta-ya-gonna-do)
The troll bridge had worked well, so I placed that in the middle to solve the occasional puzzle (math or word game) as she crossed back and forth. The treasure would be guarded by a big blue dragon spawn (Bluespawn-Godslayer).
Since I had given her no direction on where to start or who to visit first I wondered how it might go.
Here’s what happened…
The dragon gets a marble. “Where did it come from”, you ask? (I did)
“Right here on the floor”, as she picks it up from just under the edge of the couch.
The dragon is thrilled. (No, really.)
She put the metal the fairies had too much of and the blacksmith together quickly.
Me : “It’s very heavy, how will you carry it?”
Her : “I can carry it.”
Me : “It’s REALLY heavy.”
Her : “I’ll use two hands.”
The blacksmith get his metal, the beekeeper gets his nails and the princess gets the honey, which she shares with everyone, including the troll.
Putting the puzzle together is tough (probably the hardest challenge, it’s double sided, though one side remains blank), but gets it with very little help.
Next is….. Where’s my Blue Spawn?
My son has it. Still not sure where it is…
So the guardian is…. Let’s see, what have I got on hand… Something big… Oh, Mountain Troll.
She charms him, they dig up the treasure and the princess has a new crown, necklace and ring. She mimes taking each item out of the chest, and she even gives the DM (“Here’s something for you daddy”) a small bribe out of the treasure chest.
She’s so going to master this game.
Monday, 25th January, 2010, 02:27 PM #9
Acolyte (Lvl 2)
It gets better as they get older. I waited until my daughter was 11 for her first game.
This is a copy/paste from my Wizards Community blog..
Have you ever had stage fright prior to DM'ing a game?
I have. The first time I run a game with a new player, especially if they are experienced DM's in their own right. I wonder if I'm going to be scrutinized, my performance checked and tested.
The one type of game I love to DM is when I introduce a new player to the game.
Not yesterday however.
I have never been so nervous about running a game!
Yesterday was the first time I ran a game for Lauren my 11 year old daughter. I so want her to grow up appreciating RPG's and for them to instil the same sense of wonder in her that they do for me.
As it turns out my worries were unfounded, she absolutely loved it. I kept the game short at 90 minutes, laid out the table complete with battle map, counters and dice. The DM screen was laid flat so there was no scary psychological barrier between us. The only two books on the table were the PHB (open at the adventurer's equipment illustration) and the DMG.
I had printed lots of illustrations and written a scenario that I knew she would like; her character was a 1st level Elf Ranger returning to her home village after five years of training. Kind of the save the village from the beast in the woods cliché.
Then something amazing happened, she wasn't a bit fazed by all the stats and powers. She quickly grasped the concept of rolling skill checks to accomplish a task (tracking and gather information) and immediately understood the concept of a combat turn (initiative, the types of actions and movement). Nothing was too complicated. Before long she was asking me what time of year it was, what the weather was like and what day of the week it was... time for an old DM to wing-it! She was even recording her rations each morning, a skill players sadly grow out of as they get older.
By the end of the 90 minutes she had explored the village, spent six days tracking and slaying a wild dog (a minor quest) and told me that she thinks the old druid "knows more than he is letting on". "Really?" I said, with a sly grin on my face.
Alasomorph / Enderrin.com
Monday, 25th January, 2010, 03:58 PM #10
Gallant (Lvl 3)
Yeah, things definitely change. We've played a lot. My daughter (now 7) is not too big on rolling the dice. I think she doesn't like the "Random Factor", she wants things to go as she pictures them in her mind. My son on the other hand (now 5) loves rolling the dice. My daughter likes 3.5/pathfinder, my son more into 4th edition (loves push/pull effects).
I've been meaning to update this with my experiences with my son... I'll have to write it up.