Khyber Crawler As Played By My Kids

Well, allow me to repeat myself. This Storyhour is done with my two children. Timmy, my son is seven and has been a top fan of my CREATION SCHEMA storyhour. He has been begging for a game. My daughter, Cathy was ten when we started this game. She is now 11 (April 17th) and talks about horses, unicorns and becoming a magic user at some time. My wife, whom dislikes the game, tried it again to please the kids. She made it through the first 2 or 3 sessions before giving it up.

When we first started last fall I had several "mini" adventures designed to show them how combat works and their abilities. It consisted of rescue the noble's daughter and capture the goblin thieves. Once I felt they had the basics down I tried to think of a campaign for them. I was going to attempt a "Keep on The Borderlands" feel located in Breland but this got old to them.

After watching The Core and thinking about key NPCs in my other campaigns I thought of this- The Khyber Crawler. So here we go, a bit of The Keep, A bit of my Siberys Seven Storyline and a bit The Core.

I hope you enjoy it and see the differences between my "adult" games and this one.



PS One of my favorite features I use here is the quotes. The things kids say are awesome and often unforgetable.

If you have kids or young siblings I hope you give them a similiar experience.
 

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THE SMALL ADVENTURERS of EBERRON
SEGMENT 001
10/30/05

My 7 year old son, Timmy, has been a fan of the Creation Schema since it began. He wanted to be apart of the DnD experience for the entire time. He started by letting the players know what they were to face that day then learned that it was better to be surprised by an encounter. He has learned creature names and even a few tactics. Then came the big day. He wanted to join the group.

As a 7 year old, I didn’t want him to play in a game run by 23- 36 year olds. So I began by running a short mission game with him on weekends when his older sister was at sleep-overs. I came to discover this truly was a good way to teach counting and some attention skills my son then lacked.

Soon, my daughter, Cathy, now 10, came to check out our game and joined. We ran a few weekends as they learned how the game worked. Missions consisted of rescue the noble’s daughter, find and capture the kobold thieves and finally the dreaded aberrations.

Eventually we had a TPK (which I hated to do but each was talking about new characters) and now we are ready to start a new campaign.

I play two campaign worlds, Darksun and Eberron. Darksun is too gruesome in my mind for them so I will remain with Eberron. I will begin with a Keep on The Borderlands / Eberron mix for them. This is their story.
 

THE SMALL ADVENTURERS of EBERRON
SEGMENT 002
11/19/05
“The role (roll) playing game of Eberron”

For the past 100 years there has been a war of then unknown magnitude that covered nearly the entire continent of Khorvaire. It ended shortly after the country of Cyre was destroyed by a magical force of unknown origin. This was roughly 5 years ago. There is an uneasy peace between the remaining and fractured countries. We begin the tale with a growing conflict between the industrial country of Breland and the wild ruins of Darguun that is ruled through might by goblinoids.

The game begins with brief instructions of how the game works mechanically with my wife, son and daughter. Before I can even start my son rolls his ten-sided die and asks what he hears and sees. My daughter then, not to be beaten rolls a 12-sided die to find out what she sees. My wife picks up all the dice and asks which to roll. I have my work cut out for me.

I give a very quick and short introduction of Fort Blackscale located on the Breland / Darguun border. The mission- earn money by spying on Darguun. More specially- spy on the valley of Ruins since something is happening here.

“How much gold do I get?” asks Timmy the warforged fighter.

“Isn’t spying bad?” asks Cathy the female fighter.

“Listen to your father,” says Tammy another female fighter (and mother to the two kids)

General Breland repeats himself then sends the four (I am the dwarven cleric) on their way.

In the next few hours of game play we encounter kobolds at a rope bridge. My son, the Warforged Fighter, has a way of avoiding harm by running away from every fight. My daughter preaches to everyone about how we are heroes and should act the part (maybe she should be the cleric) and my wife is in her own world as she is doing this for the kids. (she is not overly big on DnD). We battle kobolds a few times as we work on battle mechanics and movement. I ignore the miscounts of moving diagonally for the most part and most of the attacks of opportunity. We end the first day of game play with a brief battle against an orc.


End of game session best quotes

Timmy
“I killed the kobold by myself. When do I get to speak to plants?” He is a warforged fighter but saw my players in Creation Schema do this. Obviously he thought it was neat.

Cathy
“Daddy- is my character beautiful and going to fall in love with a handsome prince?” Too many Disney movies for her.

Tammy
“It was better than I expected it to be. At least the kids seemed to enjoy it.” The ever- supportive wife’s thoughts on day one.
 

THE SMALL ADVENTURERS of EBERRON
SEGMENT 003
11/26/05
“Dire Animals and a TPK”

The wife had to work this time so I ran her character. The kids were quick to enter a fight with another group of kobolds. My son thought it was unfair that they used cross bows against him. He also scored his first critical hit, which annihilated the kobold he was fighting.

We reached the Valley of ruins and witnessed a lot of activity and decided it was better to hide in the caves nearby rather than visit the valley. Within these caves were Dire rats, Monstrous Spiders, a Scorpion and some other kobolds. We also leveled up.

After explaining what this meant to them and doing it we continued with our exploration of a series of short tunnels and caves. One of these caves had a holy symbol. Whenever within this circle a cure light wound was granted. We fought a handful of Orcs and used this healing circle often. Having defeated them, we rested here. The next day we encountered a Grick. I figured with the healing circle this would be a good battle. My bad.

The battle started with the Grick scoring two criticals, which killed Tammy’s character. Timmy decided to return to the circle, heal the point or two he may have lost then return to fire his kobold x-bow at it then retreat again. This left this aberration to only Cathy’s fighter and my dwarven cleric. We didn’t last long and Timmy found himself cornered and in time was defeated.

My second TPK ever in the ten years of DMing and it was against my family.

End of game best quotes:

Timmy
“I am soooo deadly with a cross-bow” He does max of 4 with it where he can do upwards of 12 points with his sword.

Cathy
“What do you think Mommy will think of you killing her? Hahahahahah” Saves her the half-hearted attempt to share my hobby with me.

Tammy
“Sounds like the kids had fun gaming with you.” And I love you too. Sheesh.
 

THE SMALL ADVENTURERS of EBERRON
SEGMENT 004
12/24/05
“Redo or Do Over”

Cathy reuses her first character but Timmy has me create him a new warforged fighter. His name is Stab. He is using the warforged Hero figure which has many spikes on it; thus the name. I give him an 18 strength and constitution making him very tough and formable. I reuse the dwarven cleric.

We have left the fort to retry the adventure. We encounter Orcs and Kobolds again. The kids are nearly killed when facing Fiendish Dire Weasels. Even now, 3 months later, these creatures seemed have made the greatest impression on them. Cathy’s character dies fighting kobolds. She returns with her same character for the third time.

At this point the kids decide they don’t like the idea of the Borderlands and want to go somewhere else.

The best quotes of the game session:

Timmy
“ah dad I can’t believe you used kobolds again and they killed Cathy!”

Cathy
“When can I get an unicorn and ride her?”

Me, in thoughts only-
“there goes another ten hours of game design down the tubes.” As the kids inform me they don’t want to stay in the mountains any more.
 

THE SMALL ADVENTURERS of EBERRON
SEGMENT 005
02/22/06
“Sharn and Zombies”

The kids have wanted to play nearly every weekend and I have no idea what to do since I don’t want a repeat of the last game idea. Then I get thinking about another Eberron storyhour I am doing. In Siberys Seven they are combating zombies that emerge from the sewers. I figure this can be put together within minutes so here we go.

I explain to the kids what makes Sharn unique. They think it is neat that the towers can be over a mile in height and Cathy asks about falling off bridges (thinking ahead). Timmy has interest in finding Kobolds (appears there is another fan of Kobolds).

The three adventurers have arrived to Sharn after a long journey from NE Breland battling kobolds and Monstrous Fiendish weasels (their favorite encounter to hate). Looking for fun and some adventure they travel to Central Bridge. This area of Sharn is known for taverns and nightclubs. A good place to relax after an adventure in the wild woods and mountains.

They enter a tavern called the Adventurer’s Tavern. They are several people here eating and talking. Some look up when the three adventurers arrive but are quick to return to their prior conversations and dining. Cathy sits down and orders stew with bread. The dwarf wants strong ale then he will have food. The Warforged asks for the same drink the dwarf is having.

Several people stare at the warforged as it “drinks” the alcohol. The dwarf comments on how a warforged person doesn’t normally eat or drink. He is bonked on the head for his observations. The dwarf grumbles as he adjusts his now slightly dented helmet. Cathy asks about what kind of adventure can be found here in Sharn. The waitress says there is always something to do in Sharn and more often than not adventure finds you. The dwarf orders Karrnath sausage and more alcohol. He says something smart to the warforged whom bonks him again (I see a pattern developing here).

Noting some of the strange looks the warforged is receiving for eating and hitting the dwarf, Stab (Timmy) gets up to talk to some of the other patrons within the tavern. This is when they hear a scream outside. Most of the people ignore it. The warforged ignores it also. Cathy gets up from her meal. “What if someone is being robbed outside?” The dwarf picks up his axe and joins her as she goes to the doorway.

Outside, there is a faint green mist and several figures moving about within the mist. Cathy calls out to them to find out is everything is okay. They only moan in aggravation. Cathy now allows them to get closer and spots their unique nature. In my best “zombie” I act out the stumbling creatures as they advance on the building. The dwarf hurries out to stop them. She calls to Stab whom is asking patrons what they are eating and if he can try some.

Cathy and the Dwarf battle and defeat several zombies. Even as Cathy begins to ask Stab why he did not help until the very end more zombies arrive. These are defeated also. Stab goes back inside to look into the Steak that someone was eating.

A new scream comes from the opposite direction of where the zombies were coming from. Cathy and the Dwarf prepare for battle when a well-dressed woman and a bugbear bodyguard come moving quickly through the darkness. Behind them the green mist unveils undead.

The dwarf quickly leaps into combat again. Cathy calls for Stab then fights to protect the woman. The battle isn’t going well (twice I try to Turn them and twice they successfully attack me and break it up) and Stab is inside intimidating paying customers. The bartender and waitresses move to the rear of the tavern saying something about “not again!”. Stab goes outside once he sees what is happening through a window.

He goes to the woman first.

The bodyguard suggests holding them off at the stairs leading into the tavern and they do so. (Timmy and I level up at this point)

The bugbear is seriously wounded and needs help to walk (at 0). The woman offers a reward if they get her to the safety of her home several towers away. Off and away they go.

FAVORITE QUOTES:

Timmy
“If she is pretty I want to marry her.”

Cathy
“Awwwgh Tim! You can’t just ignore us and the zombies!”

Me
“Awwww brains…….”
 

THE SMALL ADVENTURERS of EBERRON
SEGMENT 006
03/12/06
“Its Rough Being Rich”

Timmy was quite excited. We used a Tower Template for today which he has asked about a lot. Using Foam board, I will draw out generic floor plans that I reuse as needed. This one was a level within a large tower. There is a spiral stair case in the center and 8 rooms from the center hallway. I figured in a spot I could use this as the noble’s home within a Sharn Tower.

Timmy is a very alert young 7 year old and he noted the Marut being placed into my figure basket for the day’s game. He was so happy and so amazed I would use this. He knows it is an “Epic” level creature and designed to be very strong. I told him to ignore the figure and the blue one next to it which of course did the opposite. At the table we had to take a timeout as he looked at the dwarven mage and had me tell him what it read on the base. “Elderich”

“What is an “Elderich?”

“Someone whom you may meet today.”

“Is he a bad guy?”

So- back to the game….

The three small adventurers carefully walk the noble and her injured bodyguard back to her home. They see no zombies but can hear them in the background. They are everywhere.

When they reach her home they discover the lock has been broken. The noble becomes distressed (Cathy- “What does ‘distressed’ mean?”) and fears the undead are within her tower apartment. Walking into the dark entryway, the dwarf looks about and sees nothing. Cathy, the female heroine, listens carefully then takes a five foot step and listens again. She does this all the way to the stairs and about half-way up them. Stab stays back to protect his new “girlfriend”.

At the top the dwarf and Cathy can see the door has been left partially open. It is susposed to be locked. Carefully, Cathy creeps up the stairs and listens again. She can hear someone on the other side making plans. They have heard the dwarf in his armor climbing the stairs and the warforged warrior calling out if they see anything yet.

Switching to the great club Cathy has gotten from a prior encounter in the forest, she gently opens the door with her foot. A gnoll steps up to attack her but she “bonks” it and it stumbles back. The dwarf charges into the hallway and finds there are four gnoll thugs and a zombie bugbear thief. Timmy charges up the stairs now.

The dwarf and two warriors flank their foes and easily defeat the gnolls but the zombie rogue turns out to be difficult as he takes down the dwarf in one hit and seriously injures Stab in one attack. The bug bear bodyguard is pushed down the stairs leading to negatives. The noble screams in distress. “ahhhgh…will she ever stop that screaming? Its annoying to me.” Comments Timmy (Stab- not sure if said in or out of character)

Finally, the zombie rogue is defeated and they secure the tower from the thieves. The noble has two healing potions hidden in her room which she gives to the dwarf and her body guard.

That night, the dwarf and heroine take turns watching over the doorway. Stab watches the streets and bridges from a window. He sees a burning tower not far away (see Siberys Seven Storyhour). The next day comes and they nearly attack two Sharn guardsmen. They have come to warn of the undead and rising incidents of thievery. During this, the dwarf is “bonked” twice by Stab for saying something.

The noble hires the three adventurers to remain and guard herself and her home. They agree. There is one more incident with zombies.

Finally, several days have passed and there is a knock at the door. The three adventurers prepare for the worse as they circle the narrow doorway and prepare to thump anyone one there.

In the deepest voice I can muster “I do not understand why we are here. The relief efforts are great and needed but why come to this tower?” is heard by them. (Cathy laughs uncontrollably at the voice which gets Timmy going)

Cathy peers down the stairway and sees a VERY large black stone figure wearing armor and carrying a very large sword. Behind him is a dwarf wearing fine robes with silver, gold and platinum beads in his carefully braided and groomed beard.

“M’lady- it is Kim. Kim Elderich. I have come to see if you are alright.” The dwarf calls out.

She has the three adventurers and her bodyguard back off as she greets Kim. He is a long time friend of hers. She is taken back by his own bodyguard- an awakened Iron Golem Fighter in magical armor.

She and Kim talk in another room with the bodyguard nearby. Ore, the golem, talks to the three adventurers (in dad’s silly deep voice). Stab tries to tell him tall tales and make himself out to be an “epic” character. Ore finds him funny and “bonks” Stab on the head as he has seen him do to the dwarf several times. Ore is still learning much about culture and proper actions since he was awakened within the Mournlands.

Kim comes out and offers the three of them a job. He was coming here to pick up three aids for a secret magical device he has. They perished fighting the zombies. He needs three new agents to aid him with his Khyber Crawler. (Think The Core and their craft)

Completely out of character Timmy is excited and wants to begin play with the Crawler.

We are forced to stop here as I must go to work (I hate working 70+ hours a week). It cuts into gaming / family time too much.

FAVORITE QUOTES

Timmy
“I can’t believe we are going to be on the Khyber Crawler! What is it?”

Cathy
“I think the woman and I should talk girlie stuff” When asked what they do if they are forced to stay any longer within the tower

Tammy (the next day)
“The kids must’ve had a lot of fun. It’s all they talked about when you left. Something about voices.”
 

THE SMALL ADVENTURERS of EBERRON
SEGMENT 007
03/26/06
“The Siberys Seven”

Only got to play a short time this time. Maybe 45 minutes total. So we role-played mainly. The kids enjoyed it especially Cathy.

The three of them are waiting to set “sail” to the Mror Holds with Kim Elderich and Ore. Also on board is another group of adventurers also working for Kim. The Siberys Seven. (one of my other Storyhours)

I will paraphrase most of it.

Cathy went to each member and introduced herself. She liked Bora, a seven-foot tall ½ Orc. She very much enjoyed talking to Leeya whom was pleasant and enjoyed speaking to her. Incarnum was hard for Cathy. Incarnum is a relatively new warforged and a member of the 87 (created by Lord of Blades). His social skills are limited and he spoke often in a “matter of fact” way. Cathy took it in stride and let it go. She did not like Vander. He was very short and quick in his answers and had nothing to say back to her. When she reached Dura she found out that another dwarf was to join them. She liked that a lot and thought my dwarf would be especially happy about it. Aura was strange to her. The description of her facial features threw her off. She wasn’t certain if the paladin was a good guy or a bad guy with no face. And somehow she missed Mania which may be good. Mania is a flirt and somehow that just seems wrong to “role-play flirtation” with a 10 year old daughter. Very awkward. Glad she overlooked him.

Timmy spent much of his time checking out the fire elemental (while he finished lunch) then wandered over to Incarnum. He felt Incarnum and he should become the best of friends since both were warforged. Incarnum did not understand this and often asked why. Finally Timmy went to speak to Ore and try to convince him to travel with them- not Kim. (Nice try.)

FAVORITE QUOTES
Not much to quote. I’m sure if Cathy went to my ½ vampire rogue there would have been some memorable lines but it didn’t happen.

At least I got in about 45 minutes of time with them before going to work.
 

...and this makes me caught up from the "CRASH of 06".


Someone should make tee-shirts for EN World store saying-

"I survived the CRASH of '06" :D
 

THE SMALL ADVENTURERS of EBERRON
SEGMENT 008
05/21/06
“This Is the Crawler”

Another short 45 minute game. Time has been short.

I began with a quick paraphrasing of how they reached the Mror Holds and what the ship looked like and then started directly into the adventure, which I believe the kids would have preferred anyway.

Stab, Cathy, Torg and Fixit (the Dwarven Artificer) reach the base of operations where the Khyber Crawler is located. Kim Elderich and Ore watch on as the dwarven artificers and scientists finish their work and try to guess what to expect and if there is anything they have over looked. The craft is ready to go and will go on its first maiden voyage in three days. The group will be on board.

Looking at the craft, they see four linked cylinders made of wood, stone and worked raw metals. Each end has green mica like windows with no windows on the sides. At each of the end pieces there are a series of short loops made of worked stone and bits of metal. Fixit, the artificer guesses correctly that these are used to contain and control earth elementals that pass on their ability to pass through earth.

DM NOTE: I created this before reading about the Tumbler in Magic of Eberron. Go figure.

“What is a cylinder?” asks Cathy

“A thing that goes into the earth with those. Do you know what those are Cathy? Those are EARTH ELEMENTALS! I know.” Answers Tim completely out of character.

I then explain how the craft is built on a hillside. At the bottom of the hill is a large dug out hole of raw earth. It is big enough to engulf the first engine completely. “In THEORY,” Fixit stresses, “The elementals will pass on or share if you prefer their ability to phase into the earth. We can travel THROUGH the planet if we prepared far enough for it.” Fixit adds with a rapid and psychic clapping of his hands. (Think Mole from Disney’s Atlantis but as an Artificer)

Three days go by and they prepare to adventure. The job Stab, Cathy, Torg and Fixit are to do is simple. They are the bodyguards and protection for the geologists exploring the earthen tunnels below. What the group is unaware of is what Kim Elderich is really seeking.

There are two pilots and four others that are studying the results and findings. Ten passengers total. The very ends each have two seats. A pilot can sit at either end to operate or more specifically direct the craft. In each of these cars there is a small meeting room and bunks for the pilots and scientists. The middle two cars have sleeping quarters for the adventures and rooms with locks. Some of these rooms appear to be very large, as they seem to take up the entire side of a car.

It is time to buckle up and begin the adventure. Time to begin The Khyber Crawler!
 

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