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Thursday, 8th July, 2010, 12:07 AM #1
Defender (Lvl 8)
Introducing the Younger Generation
Last night, my group of almost 2 years did something special, they let my 6 year old daughter join them for a brief, 1 hour, delve. She has been watching us since the start and she and I have played a little, but never actually statting up a character and playing.
We decided to use AD&D as she would have had trouble trying to grasp all the powers that would be available to her in 4E. She and I rolled up Knight Arianna, a Fighter/Magic-User, late last week and she was READY.
I built a basic 3 "encounter" delve that I hoped would last about an hour. She and the other characters were hired by a Wizard to retrieve a Crystal Ball that had been stolen by a Dragon. Pretty basic premise, but hey, she's 6.
The first encounter was 4 guards at the gate to the cave the dragon was in. The other players gave her the choice of attacking or talking with the guards. Interestingly, she opted to talk with them. They denied the players entrance since they didn't have a letter from "the boss". Much to my surprise, she took out a piece of paper, and with the help of a couple other players, proceeded to attempt to forge a letter of entrance! I wanted them to fight, so I called the bluff since she didn't know the real name of "the boss". I did praise her several times afterward for such a great idea. It was a fun encounter and she got to use her sleep spell as well as have some melee combat. The characters recovered a small can of red paint, yellow paint, and blue paint from the corpses. I do feel guilty about shooting down her letter idea though.
Entering the cave, a fire giant was found guarding a door. One of her other spell choices had been Charm Person and she was HOT to use it. The giant was placed there specifically for this reason. She charmed him and he left. However, the door was locked and only by solving a puzzle could it be opened. Engraved on the door were the words "Only by using all the colors can you enter." There were 6 grooves underneath the words. She continued to amaze me by solving the puzzle with minimal help from the other players. Mixing the 3 paint colors to create the 6 colors of the rainbow really impressed me....I was also impressed I came up with the puzzle.
The final encounter was behind the door, the dragon. It only lasted three rounds, with the rogue jumping on top(and getting slammed against the ceiling), a ranger diving underneath(and getting crushed on the way down from the ceiling), and a whole lot of hammering on the dragon. They recovered the crystal ball and received a big diamond each as reward.
She hasn't stopped talking about it. She actually cried when it was over because she had so much fun and it was over. To anyone who has a child interested, encourage it, she'll be filling in at our bi-weekly game soon enough. Thanks again to my players for indulging me for an hour. I think they all enjoyed it as well since they wanted to know if we were going to let her join us again this summer.
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Thursday, 8th July, 2010, 12:18 AM #2
Cutpurse (Lvl 5)
Awesome man, happy you and your daughter got to enjoy some AD&D!
Thursday, 8th July, 2010, 03:23 AM #3
Spellbinder (Lvl 16)
My six year old has played through the old 3.5 Basic set adventures and had a great time. I've also done a few solo adventure for him. He has a good time and has a surprisingly good grasp on the basics. He's rolled some dice with me during group sessions we've played at my house but we haven't done a real group adventure yet.
Thursday, 8th July, 2010, 05:46 PM #4
Defender (Lvl 8)
That is how it all started, she liked my "pretty" dice. Then, the players all purchased minis and she was hooked. She already has her own mini, and a backup, because she's 6 and you never know when you'll need a second mini.
My cousin who plays in the group has a son the same age as my daughter said his son is also interested. In fact, when he meets new people, he asks if his dad plays D&D with them. So at some point, I assume he'll be joining us and I think my brother's 8 and 10 year old step daughters will also give it a try.
I found the hardest part dreaming up a puzzle a 6 year old could solve. Usually I'm trying to come up with ones that I can't solve for my players to struggle with.
I just wanted to say how nice it is that she enjoys something else that I enjoy so much. Hopefully I can keep her interested and this can be one of those special bonds.
So go play D&D with your kids. They might even like it.
Friday, 9th July, 2010, 01:56 AM #5
My son, Isaac, started out in much the same way. Our 4e group lost a player and we needed a new person to fill the Leader role. My son had been watching us play for some time and it was a gradual, natural progression from "Isaac can roll the dice for our temporary NPC cleric until we find a new player" to Isaac just being part of the group. He's been playing with us for over half a year now and greatly enjoys it.
Recently I've started taking him to D&D Encounters events at our FLGS. Again, he's having a great time. I bought him a thri-kreen miniature a couple weeks ago and we painted it together.
I honestly don't think it matters that much what system you play. Certainly the array of different powers can be confusing for a new player but it's not that bad. By far, the biggest hurdle is attention span. Isaac is good for about 2 hours of play and my impression is that that's well above average. The highest priority is a venue where the child is free to leave at any time.
Friday, 9th July, 2010, 06:29 PM #6
Defender (Lvl 8)
How old is he now? At 6, soon to be 7, just letting my daughter stay up till after 9:30 was a big deal for her.
Letting her roll the dice for someone presents an interesting option, as one of our players won't be at the next session. Someone can play him, but she could roll the dice till she went to bed. I'll have to see if she is interested...I'm sure she will be.
I agree about how the edition, and even the game probably doesn't matter much. It's more about engaging their imaginations.
Friday, 9th July, 2010, 10:17 PM #7
Grandfather of Assassins (Lvl 19)
One of the things I found surprising when I let my son play was that in one of the first encounters we had, he stopped to talk to a group of dwarves rather than outright attacking them. It's amazing the creativity young 'uns can display, if you give them half a chance.
Here's to hoping for more fun for you and yours!
"If it has stats, we can kill it." - T.G. Jackson, intro to 3rd ed Hackmaster
Friday, 9th July, 2010, 10:45 PM #8
Enchanter (Lvl 12)
My 4 year old wanted to join our Star Wars Saga game one night. He was R4-D4, a robot sidekick. He would say "beep boop, dee boop" and pretend to do things with the mini on the table like open a door for us. He was grinning from ear to ear just to pretend play with the grown ups. I need to do more with the kids.
Friday, 9th July, 2010, 11:42 PM #9
For kids the imaginative/ creative side seems far more 'in the present' and storytelling and 'questing', possibly, offer more accessible ways of expressing creativity/ ingenuity than tactical combat systems.