I just GMed my 3 year old for the first time!


Now that you've introduced her to LARPing, are you going to start having her cast spells? Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt! Lightning Bolt!

Actually, this sounds like fun. I think I'll have to try somethign similar with my three year old daughter as well.


Rel said:
But I'm now a victim of my own success. She instantly demanded another adventure "RIGHT NOW". After I explained that it takes some time to plan these things and that the earliest I'd be able to put together another adventure would be after her nap this afternoon, she considered briefly before reiterating her demand of "RIGHT NOW!!".
That's what you get for starting out with LARPing! :)

My two-and-a-half year old likes dice, but they're too distracting (rolling the dice tends to become the game itself, not just the game mechanic) so we do diceless freeform roleplaying called "Let's Pretend."

All the props you used for your Dora RPG are quite cool, though...


Liquid Awesome
Cathal said:
Dude. You rock. You rock more than Rocky McRockerson of the Rockin' Rocket Rock'n'Roll Band.

My admiration for you continues to grow...in a wholesome, non-stalker-y way.
It's a bit early for you to be sucking up this much, Cathal. I probably won't be GMing our group again for several months. ;) (Cathal is one of the players from the group I normally run games for but somebody else is about to take the GM chair for a while).

But, incidentally, I was intending on putting together some "Children Challenges" for our kids as they get a little older. Maybe next spring.

That way I'll have a whole party instead of a solo player. :) Plus I'll grab you and Riggs for NPC's. ;)


Registered User
Yeah, kids are the best munchkins :D

Edit: Mostly due to using Charm Parent (no save) at will.
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Liquid Awesome
Just to be clear, I am not responsible for any children that you guys have as a result of reading this thread! ;)

The latest update is that it was rainy around here a bit yesterday and that put the kibosh on any outside adventures. But that didn't stop her from insisting that we have another one. So this time we rescued a little ceramic frog from the cabinet where my wife keeps her collection of little ceramic animals.

This required a key that could only be obtained from The Tall Doggy (a little dog puppet perched atop one of the flagpoles on her little "castle tent" that's set up in her playroom). But first she had to get through The Magic Gate (that'd be the Baby Gate set up at the top of the stairs). She made it through the Magic Gate by virtue of a Magic Wand given to her by Binky the Gnome who lives in the bottom of a large potted tree in the foyer.

Once through the Magic Gate, we made our way upstairs to see The Tall Doggy but, alas, he was too tall for her to reach the key he offered so he advised her to visit the Troll Wizard down in the living room to see if he had a solution. The Troll Wizard was happy to help her in exchange for having a thorn removed from his foot, which she extracted with a pair of tweezers that she carried in her Backpack.

Thrilled to have the thorn removed, the Troll Wizard offered her two potions. One would make you really tall and the other would make you really small. She took these and immediately ran back upstairs to The Tall Doggy. She quaffed the Tall potion immediately (it was apple juice in a tiny little bottle) and I raised her up high enough to reach the key. Then it was back downstairs to discover that the Magic Gate that led to the basement was again closed.

It didn't take her long to figure out that she needed to use the Small potion to let her squeeze through the gate (the Magic Wand was a one-use item). With that done, she got back downstairs, climbed atop a stool and freed the froggy from his prison. Quest completed!

What I learned from this latest adventure was that, considering my audience, I can slap these things together VERY quickly if I don't mind winging it a fair bit. With all the toys she has accumulated over the years, it is easy to find props for the various stuff I want to include. But she does really like using the Map so I may still have to take the time to make one of those in the future.

Even though I'm unabashedly grooming my daughter for life as a gamer, my wife has been very happy with all of this. She thinks the puzzles and things that I'm coming up with are fun and good for her development. What thrills me (but shouldn't surprise me) is how naturally the roleplaying comes to her. She looks at the critter that is supposedly doing the talking instead of me. And if I'm not quick enough or verbose enough with my responses, she says, "Talk him, Daddy!"

It's a bit gloomy here right now but they say it is supposed to warm up and get sunny later today so I'd better have something worked up for when she gets home from preschool!


Rel, it looks like your daughter has been blessed with a big imagination and a great dad. While reading the thread, I was reminded of this game my brother and I used to play when we were kids. (This was about 12 years before my introduction to D&D, by the way.)

One of us would start to tell a story, e.g. "You are walking in a heavily wooded forest in the middle of the day. You arrive at a clearing with the remains of a campfire. What do you do?" The person not telling the story would reply something like. "I examine the campfire for clues. What do I find?" The story would go on like that... one person building the adventure while the other person did the explorations. We based the idea on the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books which we loved as kids. It wasn't until I was introduced to D&D in my 20's that I realized I had been roleplaying.

I am so glad that D&D allows me to keep exercising my imagination long past childhood. From reading this thread, I have a feeling that Rel's daughter will one day feel the same way.


Rel said:
At the computer she found a treasure in the form of one of those gold-foil wrapped chocolate coins... I explained that part of her prize was pictures from all her other adventures! She was most excited about the chocolate though.
Sounds like one of my current players. :D

She instantly demanded another adventure "RIGHT NOW". After I explained that it takes some time to plan these things and that the earliest I'd be able to put together another adventure would be after her nap this afternoon, she considered briefly before reiterating her demand of "RIGHT NOW!!".
Sounds like one of my previous players. :D

Congratulations on the successful LARP intro, Rel. Before you know it, one day she'll be finagling to trade in some of her allowance for a +2 sword for her paladin character...

Thornir Alekeg

Once again people at EN World raise the bar for me. I thought I was doing well this weekend when I was the dragon who captured the 5 year old princess. She managed to escape, but the 2 year old knight tracked her down for me - and after helping me bring her back to the cave he then proceeded to slay me and rescue his big sister - two year olds have no sense of loyalty whatsover ;)

Of course now, thanks to Rel, I realize that I have to move beyond hack-n-slash. Hmmm, her birthday party is coming up Saturday - I wonder if I can whip up an adventure for her and her friends to go on if the weather is decent. Of course I'll have to adjust the EL for a party of 8 to 10...anybody know the CR of a giant teddy bear?


Thornir Alekeg said:
...Of course I'll have to adjust the EL for a party of 8 to 10...anybody know the CR of a giant teddy bear?
CR 5 with pull-string voice box, CR 4 without. This means you'll have to use at least two regardless. :)


I cannot possibly say how deeply I bow in front of you all, and what you do with your kids... and in front of your kids for their wonderful imaginations...

now I simply have to convince my wife that it IS time to have a baby... :D


Bard 7/Mod (ret) 10/Mgr 3
Great story, Rel. I'll have to do this with my daughter!

My wife & I have been wrestling with character levels for Dora, et al. She seems pretty unassuming (2nd level commoner), but but does some epic stuff (catching stars, using a Phrase of Power to chase off Swiper all the time, negotiating diabolic ancient temples). We're pretty much aggreed that Boots has some levels in barbarian or monk; Dora's parents wouldn't let her do all that stuff without a capable bodyguard, I'm sure!

And don't get me started on Blue, who must have some sorcerer levels...


Liquid Awesome
Just for the record, while these adventures are "Dora inspired", I'm not really trying to stick too closely to the pattern used on that show. Thus, I'm not trying to impart any foreign language (I don't speak much Spanish anyway) and so forth and there have been no appearances by Swiper. But I needed a jumping off point for the concept and Dora was perfect for this. And I certainly intend to continue to encourage her to watch the show.

It's funny, I was thinking that I could start a thread called, "All I ever really needed to know about Adventuring, I learn from Dora the Explorer". For example, it would sometimes make life as a GM easier if the players would be as goal-focused as Dora is. Can't you hear them plotting out the path they need to take to their objective?

"Bridge...Cave...TALL MOUNTAIN! Bridge...Cave...TALL MOUNTAIN!"

I'll post later if I get a chance and let you know how the afternoon adventure went. I'm thinking about having a Treasure Chest in this one...with a TRAP!


Herder of monkies
Great stuff, Rel.

I too started my son down this path when he was around three.

We did similar things to this, and the culmination of the first year of this was his fifth birthday party.

We had it at a big park that has a monstrous gated play area, and the day before my wife and I went and created/planted clues. The whole thing had a pirate theme, and each 'station' where the children figured out a clue, they were given a small piece to their pirate costume (headwrap, eyepatch, spyglass, earring, little foam sword, etc). Extra points went to those children who stayed 'in character', i.e. acted like a pirate. They split into teams and each team was sent after a different 'quest' at the start. Each one of the quests was either to figure out a visual clue on the playground from a riddle, or to get a certain object that could be found around the playground.

It was a blast. Several of the parents thought it was weird at first, or that their kids wouldnt get into this kind of play, but they all took to it and imaginations went wild. Of course, I dressed up like a pirate and gave them the 'briefing' before the start in my best piratey voice ("Yaaarrr, dis be Black Jack Jim, and ye are ta find me treasure...") which set a nice tone, and I continued to stalk around the playground "in character" acting like a pirate.

At the end was an actual pirate chest full of little toys, candy coins, jewelry, etc that the successful could dig a big handful out of. I was the most successful birthday party we ever threw, and beat the crap out of Chucky Cheese. The parents were *amazed* at how deeply immersed the kids were, and most of them went home brandishing their treasure and talking like a pirate for days afterwards.

Since I paint miniatures, for a long time my son would have me spray his plastic cowboy and army men and then he would sit beside me and paint them with watercolors while I painted my minis. Finally he really wanted his own and then discovered the joy of heroclix. We started simple, just opposed dice rolls and they walloped each other. Gradually I started introducing more complexity and encouraging him to act out his actions and think his way through things.

Several weeks ago we were playing and he decided on his turn that he would use spider man to create a big web on a lightpole, then the Hulk would snatch it out of the ground and drop in on two of my guys like an improvised net so he wouldnt have to hurt them to capture 'em. He did this while imitating Peter Parker and the Hulk in voice, alternating between making smart-alec comments and roaring like Mr Big Green and Ugly. I had nothing to do with this improvised approach (he believes in house rules as much as I do), and I was so proud I nearly cried :).

Great job Rel. It's amazing how much joy you can get by these little games, and it's also amazing how much of an effect they can have on your kids. I've recently started introducing my 3-year-old twin daughters to this kind of play and they are taking to it like a duck to water.
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Here I've been thinking I'd start my daughter when she was 5 or so. She's four, now, and I'm suddenly feeling very behind on my duties as Geek Daddy (tm).

Of course, I should have known that she was ready when she made her mother feed her a "healing potion" after "the dragon killed me" a few months back. Funny thing is that we don't use dragons very often in our game, so I'm not sure where she got that from. I'm not sure where her imaginary "snakes with wings", that follow her around, came from, either.

Hmm... in rumenating while typing, I'm starting to think my daughter will either be an astoundingly great author/movie producer/actress or in an insane asylum.


This thread sure did make me smile a lot.
Keep it up, folks.
Hmm, people say this is wonderful for the children -- this is wonderful for you and your children. :)
Too cool, everyone. Thanks for starting the thread, Rel.


Liquid Awesome
Terwox said:
This thread sure did make me smile a lot.
Keep it up, folks.
Hmm, people say this is wonderful for the children -- this is wonderful for you and your children. :)
Too cool, everyone. Thanks for starting the thread, Rel.
You're quite welcome! I knew it would be fun to share and I've really enjoyed hearing about the other similar experiences you guys have had with your kids.

I'm probably getting a bit ahead of myself, but I'm thinking of weaving these adventures into an entire "campaign". Obviously she's a bit too young to get into very complex plots, but I'm thinking about a sort of "Rod of Seven Parts" approach where we use a puzzle and have to find all the pieces. Maybe plant one piece in each adventure and when the puzzle is done, we celebrate somehow.

I'll be giving that some more thought but, if anybody here wants to colaborate on it to share with the kids in your life, we could share digital props via e-mail.