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D&D General Simplified D&D with my boys 6,7 yo.

Ashburn

Explorer
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(Some cards I quickly created before the start of our second campaign. And their corresponding "character sheets" at level 3.)

With more time at home, I wondered if it was time to introduce my boys to TTRPG. It started with bedtime stories. Instead of reading, I started telling stories leaving end of the sentences hanging, asking the boys to complete the story. They quickly caught on to this "new" type of bedtime stories as our collective imagnation made and progressed stories night after night :)

A month later, we started our first campaign. It spanned multiple story arcs ending with epic finale vs Tiamat!

eijl5knj1di61.jpg
(Epic sky battle with Tiamat, finale of first campaign!)

A few weeks later, taking lessons learned from first campaign, I restarted a brand new campaign using cards! While the boys miss their previous heroes and objected to starting new characters, they quickly took to the new system! Only STR, DEX, INT. No race, no class, no alignment. The little handdrawn cards quickly became their most prized possession. Even between sessions, I could see the boys taking them out just staring at them.. no doubt their little brains firing up with imagination! Second campaign was a big success!

Oh, yes, so in case you clicked the thumbnail and wondered, yes those are Monster Hunter Worlds references. My boys loved MHW. So after the first Lost Mine story arc from Start Set, we moved on to save Neverwinter and a certain Tower of Wizardry from strange monsters appearing through mysterious portals. Each week, they face a new monster from MHW. After defeating them (most of the time they did win), the monster will drop two corresponding loots. The boys are thrilled!

ssrboinj1di61.jpg0fyf3inj1di61.jpgcf6dsinj1di61.jpgb2x1yemiw3m61.jpg
(Familiar map? It's one of the first encounter from Lost Mine campaign of Starter Set. Their "character sheets" towards later part of the second campaign.)

Following the conclusion of the second campaigns, both boys started designing their own campaigns! And cards! Oh man, do they love to draw their own versions of utterly powerful and broken cards :) We started playing with them. While the younger one struggled with running a game smoothly, his enthusiasm and excitement of running his very own campaign is very high! (Hint: it is not very fun. But I am an extremely proud dad.) The older one seemed to get the hang of it more and I told him to follow a 2+1 or 3+1 formula. That is 2 battles (or 3) plus one event per session. Event can be puzzles, NPCs events, or just something totally out of ordinary. I'm very surprised when he ran the following sessions and indeed introduced some very interesting story events! (No major plot, just very memorable and fun from kids perspective... like we heard a tiny cooing sound in between encounters... we investigated.. a "baby dragon" popped out... (yeah).. and after some interactions.. it made some funny sounds (my boy totally acted it out), it ran off! End of encounter!)

We are now in the rest period, planning for the third campaign. I'm tweaking the mechanics abit. And I'm thankful the boys are still very interested and keen. I just printed out some stuffs and did a test run with them this afternoon. They got so into it, they begged to play 3 encounters in a row!

I'm so blessed my kids want to play games with me! :)
 

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aco175

Legend
This sounds fantastic, glad you have this. The pictures and modifications are great to introduce younger kids to the game. Probably were not thinking this when you joined the boards.
 



dave2008

Legend
I started my boys at 6 & 8, but we just jumped right in to 4e together. I did print out item cards, but see your post I wish I had done a little more handouts maybe.
 

Richards

Legend
I started mine at ages 8 and 10 with AD&D 2E, which was the latest edition at the time (after giving them the basics of standard roleplaying tropes - barbarians are tough and do a lot of damage, spellcasters are powerful until they run out of spells, etc. - through the board game HeroQuest).

Johnathan
 

Eltab

Lord of the Hidden Layer
Glad to hear the boys are picking up the reins on their own.

I did an 'Intro to D&D' session for fifth-graders at camp (in case it rained) and two of them still remembered feeling inspired by it, telling me so at their college graduation party !

May you also be so blessed - you are on the right track so far.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
View attachment 134145View attachment 134146View attachment 134151View attachment 134152
(Some cards I quickly created before the start of our second campaign. And their corresponding "character sheets" at level 3.)

With more time at home, I wondered if it was time to introduce my boys to TTRPG. It started with bedtime stories. Instead of reading, I started telling stories leaving end of the sentences hanging, asking the boys to complete the story. They quickly caught on to this "new" type of bedtime stories as our collective imagnation made and progressed stories night after night :)

A month later, we started our first campaign. It spanned multiple story arcs ending with epic finale vs Tiamat!

View attachment 134150
(Epic sky battle with Tiamat, finale of first campaign!)

A few weeks later, taking lessons learned from first campaign, I restarted a brand new campaign using cards! While the boys miss their previous heroes and objected to starting new characters, they quickly took to the new system! Only STR, DEX, INT. No race, no class, no alignment. The little handdrawn cards quickly became their most prized possession. Even between sessions, I could see the boys taking them out just staring at them.. no doubt their little brains firing up with imagination! Second campaign was a big success!

Oh, yes, so in case you clicked the thumbnail and wondered, yes those are Monster Hunter Worlds references. My boys loved MHW. So after the first Lost Mine story arc from Start Set, we moved on to save Neverwinter and a certain Tower of Wizardry from strange monsters appearing through mysterious portals. Each week, they face a new monster from MHW. After defeating them (most of the time they did win), the monster will drop two corresponding loots. The boys are thrilled!

View attachment 134147View attachment 134148View attachment 134149View attachment 134153
(Familiar map? It's one of the first encounter from Lost Mine campaign of Starter Set. Their "character sheets" towards later part of the second campaign.)

Following the conclusion of the second campaigns, both boys started designing their own campaigns! And cards! Oh man, do they love to draw their own versions of utterly powerful and broken cards :) We started playing with them. While the younger one struggled with running a game smoothly, his enthusiasm and excitement of running his very own campaign is very high! (Hint: it is not very fun. But I am an extremely proud dad.) The older one seemed to get the hang of it more and I told him to follow a 2+1 or 3+1 formula. That is 2 battles (or 3) plus one event per session. Event can be puzzles, NPCs events, or just something totally out of ordinary. I'm very surprised when he ran the following sessions and indeed introduced some very interesting story events! (No major plot, just very memorable and fun from kids perspective... like we heard a tiny cooing sound in between encounters... we investigated.. a "baby dragon" popped out... (yeah).. and after some interactions.. it made some funny sounds (my boy totally acted it out), it ran off! End of encounter!)

We are now in the rest period, planning for the third campaign. I'm tweaking the mechanics abit. And I'm thankful the boys are still very interested and keen. I just printed out some stuffs and did a test run with them this afternoon. They got so into it, they begged to play 3 encounters in a row!

I'm so blessed my kids want to play games with me! :)
That’s awesome. Good for you and good for them.

I started my kid with a dry erase board and a single Fate dice. The funny d6 with a +, -, and a blank instead of numbers or pips. We built up from there and have been playing D&D together for the last few years.
 

J-H

Adventurer
Cool. I am doing "Knights and Dinosaurs" with my 4 & 6 year old. Everything is d6-based, so the randomness is "meh"... but when one player can't count to 20 without skipping sixteen, numbers have to stay small.
 

jgsugden

Legend
My eldest (5) is playing storytelling games with me already. He is pretty advanced as a reader at this point for his age.

We started with storytelling games much like the OP.

Then we played a version of Dread - a game that uses a Jenga tower to determine when things go wrong. You tell the story, ask players to pull a piece when they do something with risk, and things go wrong for a player when they pull a piece and their tower collapses (I give each player their own tower - different than the rules).

From there we moved on to Mice and Mystics, the board game. That was a real struggle early on, but we've made steady progress.

I plan to run a D&D game for him and his Mom on (or around) his 6th birthday. I'll give him a simple character sheet but I plan to use the real rules behind the scenes with him rolling the dice. I'm teasing him with my miniatures and scenery to wet his appetite.
 

Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I've been talking to my kid about D&D since literally they day they were born. I started them actually gaming with the old Hero Quest boardgame, which provides a more tactile and visual reference for core concepts.

I moved from there to No Thank You, Evil!, which is designed as a modular game with options for pre-readers. After playing that for a year or so alongside Hero Quest, (and once the kid's writing ability reached the "more or less legible" point, we moved on to Basic Fantasy Roleplaying. After a few months of that, we upgraded to the 1991 D&D Rules Cyclopedia.

The kid is now 7, and we've been playing together more or less weekly for over two years all told. We are looking forward to bringing in more friends/classmates/kids from our condo complex in the upcoming months/years.
 
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