Getting Started

Where we started.

I have been eager to start playing D&D again pretty much since the moment I had to stop playing.I have eagerly waited for when I felt my kids were ready to play so I could introduce them to the game. I was sure I would have to wait years, 10 at least, till they were ready to play. With 5e and the streamlined and easier game play, I felt encouraged that maybe they could start playing now, at age four and six. They have active imaginations, love telling stories, and get a real kick out of rolling all the dice.

So I started looking really looking into how to play D&D with kids, What I found was Monster Slayers heroes-of-hesiod and the Champions of the Elements. They were two simple encounters with very simple pre-made characters, easy monsters, and if you hit zero HP you were instantly healed. All the AC’s and HP’s were small numbers for easy math and little bubbles to fill in for easy HP tracking. It was a good place to start but it wasn’t what I was looking for I didn’t want to teach them something D&D like I wanted to play the actual game with them. So I ran the two encounters and used it as a jumping off point and slowly built toward 5e adding elements a little at a time till they understood the mechanics of the game then came diving in a creating all new 5e characters and running their first actual D&D game.

After running the two games as written I used the template of the pre-made characters and made new ones giving each character different skills to give the kids a better general idea of the types of classes they would get to choose from. We made a wizard, a fighter, and an adventurer(rogue type) to help showcase the differences. The wizard could do magic and we gave him resistance to magic attacks to help introduce the idea resistances. The fighter we gave a strength bonus and the highest AC and a bonus to his attacks. For the adventurer, we gave a bonus to search, disable traps, and picking locks. I used the pre-made creatures and drew up a simple dungeon, just 6 rooms, so they would get a chance to use the new skills. We ran the encounter a few different times, moving which doors were locked and where the creatures were and giving the kids a chance to play each different character to figure out which type they preferred playing so it would make it easier when choosing classes later. During the runs of this dungeon, we also started adding disadvantage and advantage rolls as well as gold and items for them to find. With my kids, it took only a few games before the had the basic mechanics down and were remembering (for the most part) to check for traps before running in, and when to roll advantages and before long we were breaking out the 5e characters sheet and rolling our characters. Of course, my non-reader still needs plenty of help with the parts he doesn’t have memorized from regular use, but it’s a good start.

 

 

A Quick Thought: Getting Kids Started Playing D&D

One way to get kids, even young kids their first taste of D&D is to do roll offs. A roll off is just when you take two characters, a d20, a d6 and a d10 (optional). All AC’s are 10 and all HP’s are 10. You take turns rolling the d20, ten or better hits, then the d6 for damage until someone runs out of HP using the d10 as an easy HP counter/tracker. The advantages to this, especially with young children, is the battles are quick and fit in with the short attention span of children, the rules are easy to remember and there are very few of them, and you can also use children’s toys as the creatures to make it more fun and add a new level of play to their already existing games of pretend (that batman action figure vs joker figure).

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It’s an easy system to build onto as well so once they are comfortable with these mechanics you can start adding advantage rolls, rolling 2d20 and taking the higher of the two (batman can gain advantage by attacking joker from a high place) and modifiers (batman gets a +1 to his AC because he has a Bat-suit) one mechanic at a time so that children aren’t overwhelmed.

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First blog post

Long time D&D player, first time Dungeon Master and mother of two kids age 6 and 4.

I will be blogging about writing and running the game for young kids and the critical hits and critical fails that come with it. I started running the game for the kids a few months ago and will be going back to the beginning in my post.

The Beginning.

We always tried to find time for a family game night even before I introduced D&D to the kids but it was tedious sometimes playing Candyland and similar games so it was hard to stay motivated to carve out time for it. After introducing D&D since we all enjoy it finding time for a family game night was much more fun, for everyone. When we first started I wrote an easy very short encounter aiming at taking around 30 minutes, the attention of my kids based on previous game nights. I was surprised when after they finished the encounter the immediately wanted more, I was unprepared and ended up making encounters up off the top of my head. We played for 2 hours that night and only stopped (with much protest) when I realized it was after bedtime and I had lost track of time. Now I am writing longer encounters and am working on a much longer campaign for them. I have also found plenty of learning opportunities to include such as implementing what they are learning in school in our sessions so they end up doing homework and studying without even realizing it as well as all the situations that arise for critical thinking that I have seen them carry over to real life.

While playing the game with kids isn’t the same as when I was able to get together and play with friends it is still just as fun in it’s own unique way.