D&D 5E Finally got my kids to play D&D with me (Actual play report)


Dungeon Master of Middle-earth (He/him)
For my 50th birthday, my two teenage children agreed to play D&D with me. From an earlier discussion with my son about playing some classic adventures in which each player would control a stable of characters, it was decided they would have three characters each. When discussing options for the type of adventure we would play, my daughter expressed a preference for a generic dungeon adventure, so I decided to use the random dungeon generator from Appendix A of the AD&D 1E DMG. For game-play, we decided to use the 5E PH. My daughter wanted to randomly determine her characters’ races and classes with each option having an even chance, so she rolled a d12 for class and a d10 for race (disregarding 0’s), and she ended up with:
  • a high elven war cleric,
  • a human fighter, and
  • a tiefling paladin.
My son tried the random method but didn’t seem to like any of the results. Eventually he chose to play:
  • a human druid,
  • a human rogue, and
  • a human wizard.
They chose to roll and assign ability scores and to take the default class equipment. They chose spells for the spellcasters. We decided to leave skill, tool, and language proficiency slots open to be selected during play, so the only predetermined skill proficiency in the group was the elf’s Perception.

I determined (randomly) that the dungeon entrance was in an area of scrub woodland, and my daughter said the party would approach the entrance at midnight, her war cleric casting light on a rock she was holding to provide the group with illumination. I rolled on the tables for the first room at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the entrance. It contained a single door opposite from the entrance and a group of 14 halflings (reduced from 16 to avoid exceeding the party’s adjusted XP per day). The party proceeded down the stairs and, nearing the entrance of the room, heard some movement within. I rolled an indifferent reaction for the halflings on a reaction table, so I described that a small female voice called out to the party to say who they were and what they wanted and that some armed halflings emerged from the shadows.

My daughter said the party was just trying to get into the dungeon, so the halflings agreed to stand aside and let the party through the room to the opposite door. The door led to a long passage which opened into a chamber containing 4 large spiders. (I forgot to make the adjustment for monster level which would have reduced the number of spiders to two.) I used my conversion of the AD&D large spider which I assigned a CR of ⅛, so it should have been an easy encounter for a party of six.

As the party approached the entrance to the chamber, with the fighter and war cleric taking the lead, I described webs coating the walls of the passage and a sound of scuttling and scurrying coming from the chamber. The adventurers proceeded ahead, and, according to the 90% chance the 1E MM gives of these spiders attacking any creature within 30 feet, I rolled a percentile die for each spider. Three out of the four attacked, which I described as the spiders crawling across their webs hanging from the ceiling, so we had our first combat.

The paladin got to go first and shot at one of the spiders with his longbow but missed entirely. Next, it was the three spiders’ turns, and they attacked the two heavily armored frontliners. The first two spiders missed, but the third bit the war cleric who failed her save against its venom and dropped to 0 hp. Then the rogue, wizard, and druid had their turns, each of them dispatching one of the spiders, the rogue making a sneak attack with his rapier, the wizard targeting one with all three darts of a magic missile, and the druid using produce flame to hurl fire. Edit: The rogue and wizard each killed a spider, but the druid missed his which was then killed by the fighter, attacking with his longsword.

I informed the players that the war cleric would remain stable but paralyzed for one hour due to the poison, so, after the battle, the paladin used Lay on Hands to neutralize the poison, and the druid cast cure wounds to restore her to consciousness. I had rolled one exit for the chamber, a door, but we decided to end the session there and to resume exploring the dungeon at our next session.

Large Spider.PNG
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I like that you were able to get your kids to play and hope that one or both will continue for a long time. I was only able to get my son converted and not my daughter. I would think about making some of the encounters ahead of time mostly to tailor them to the PCs in order to have the players have more fun. Throw in some undead to be turned and some traps to be disabled. Maybe a puzzle or riddle that the kids can bypass. You did not mention the ages so riddles might not work for some. I would also recommend giving out some cool items tailored as well.

Hook-em through bribery I say.


Kudos on getting your kids to play. My 6 kids are all fans. The 3 who've graduated college have been begging me to set up a chat-based game, and the 3 I have still at home (ages 11-13) constantly beg me to play.
"🙄 OK, but only if you clean your room first." "OK!" 😁
It's such an amazing way to connect with our kids and maintain that relationship & communication, especially during the pre-teen & teen years when they're figuring out who they are and how they fit into the world.

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