D&D General Struggling to get started

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Ignore this. You have a couple of quite young kids and a reluctant player just along for the ride. They need quite strong direction, not a sandbox.
What I described is really more of a pointcrawl with only two points (the town and the dungeon), not much of a sandbox. The "quite strong direction," such as it is, can be framed as "go to the dungeon" since that's where adventure can be found. The kids aren't that young in my view, and certainly no younger than a lot of kids who started off in the town-to-dungeon model of the early days of D&D. I bet they do just fine.
 

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Clint_L

Legend
I think what we all agree on is that in this situation, it makes sense for the DM to keep things simple and offer lots of direction until they are ready to run with it.
 

The kids aren't that young in my view, and certainly no younger than a lot of kids who started off in the town-to-dungeon model of the early days of D&D. I bet they do just fine.
My observation is that children behave very differently when they are with a group of other children their own age than when they are with their parents. If they were only 11-14 year olds in the group they would be just fine in a sandbox, doing and saying things they would never consider doing in front of their parents.

And "going to a dungeon" is likely to bore mum ridged. It takes something a bit more stimulating than fighting monsters in a hole to win over sceptical adults.
 

Oofta

Legend
Something I do is attach the group to some other organization along the lines of The Harpers in the Forgotten Realms. If they want to strike out on their own they can, but for the most part their given small assignments by the organization. This helps tie together little adventures that may last a session or two while tying everything together. I also add in background stuff, rumors of bad guys, hints about a larger conspiracy and so on. The 11 year old likely won't care about that kind of stuff but the 14 year old will.

I normally just run campaigns from scratch, but there are also a ton of resources out there that people have eluded to. I got over my fear of being a bit silly long ago by just leaning into it and accepting that occasionally I'm going to look a bit silly. If your kids are having fun with it, that's all that matters. This is still a precious time when your kids actually want to play with you, embrace it!
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
My observation is that children behave very differently when they are with a group of other children their own age than when they are with their parents. If they were only 11-14 year olds in the group they would be just fine in a sandbox, doing and saying things they would never consider doing in front of their parents.

And "going to a dungeon" is likely to bore mum ridged. It takes something a bit more stimulating than fighting monsters in a hole to win over sceptical adults.
I don't know about that. I've certainly converted a lot of people who were down on dungeons to become down with dungeons. And it sounds like mom's priority is seeing the kids have fun anyway. I wouldn't approach it to try to win her over, personally. If the OP is right on her motivations, win the kids over and she's in.
 

Well, I've been playing D&D for 40+ years, but I was bored with dungeon crawls by 1984. D&D can do a lot more interesting stuff than that, for all ages.
 
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dave2008

Legend
@Mercury53 , I to have a hard time running published adventures. I generally just uses pieces of them for my own campaign/world. I do have two thoughts for you given what you have said:
  1. You implied there was some buy-in for Dragonlance. Go for it. You can start the characters later in the adventure (that matches their character's current level) and/or increase the level of the encounters/adventure by may enemies and challenges tougher and more numerous.
  2. Use the DMsGuild or other 3PP sources to get level appropriate adventures. On DMsGuild you can sort adventures by edition, theme, level, etc.
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Here are some links:
DMsGuild 5e, levels 1-4
DMsGuild 5e, levels 5-10
DMsGuild 5e, dragonlance adventures - if you need a transition or additional material beyond what is in the WotC book
 

I'll also suggest not running with the big WotC campaigns. But that doesn't mean you have to do it all yourself (but you can!) There are lots of good third party adventures, many that are small 1-4 sessions in length. For example, AAW Games has a bunch of mini-dungeons, and they have a website where you can search by level and a few other criteria. Such as this: Mini-Dungeon Tome Adventure Assistant - AAW Games

Frog God Games and Kobold Press are more good sources. Plus EN5der has good content too. Though I like the DMsGuild, what you will find there is some great and some really bad stuff. It's pretty much a dumping ground and it will be up to you to find what is valuable enough to invest in.
 

My wife only plays to be part of family time, she finds the whole game rather silly. This makes me pretty self conscious when we’re playing because any role play at all seems silly in front of her. She loves watching the kids get into the game but that’s pretty much it.
Is there anything so far she has responded positively to? When you say silly, do you mean "roll your eyes this is so stupid" silly or does she play a character who has to constantly tell jokes even when the tone is serious?
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I don't know about that. I've certainly converted a lot of people who were down on dungeons to become down with dungeons. And it sounds like mom's priority is seeing the kids have fun anyway. I wouldn't approach it to try to win her over, personally. If the OP is right on her motivations, win the kids over and she's in.

I agree, and this was certainly the case for my wife. She's not at all into gaming, but when I ran for the family she was just happy that my son was having a blast.

That said, once, I threw in a shopping sidetrek. Initially mostly as a joke, but my wife enjoyed it much more than I was expecting. My son and his friends also enjoyed it, mostly because of how much fun my wife was having. So yea, when people are having fun it feeds of eachother and helps the entire table have fun.
 

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