There’s a great article posted on the Dungeons and Dragons website today, from the new column entitled D&D Kids. It’s not a D&D Insider article either, so check it out!
Very humourously written, and there were some definite resonances with my experiences playing 4E with my two children. I’ve called out a few excerpts here:
If a player is going against the group try to talk sense into him before letting the others gang up on him.
I’ve had this situation a few times where one of the kids was adamant on a course of action, even though the other thought it was a mad idea. To resolve this, I normally go into character with one the NPCs in the party, trying to help them converge on a combined course of action, or just as the DM act as a sounding board for the possible flaws and complications that might come from it. Arguments at the game table certainly spoil the fun, so it’s in your interests to allay them quickly 🙂
You’ll know you’re doing your job right when they jump from their seats to describe what their heroes do, demonstrating each brutal slash with their pens and rolled character sheets.
My son does this quite often, especially when there’s been a bad miss (natural 1) or a critical – its hysterical! Hopefully it also means I’m doing my job!
Kids love gore. They love hearing how their hammers crush their enemies’ skulls, sending brains and bone shards flying in all directions.
Haven’t really tried this … but on reflection it certainly matches some of the talk they (well ok, my son…) produces when he’s playing games with his Action men, or his Ben 10 Aliens, or his toy soldiers, or … why not his D&D character!
Cool battle tiles and a boxful of miniatures will be extremely well met.
The first dungeon I ran the kids through was a home-brew, and seeing as I am an extremely keen cartographer, I designed and printed out scale maps using Campaign Cartographer 3, and their character minis could ‘walk’ through them. One section of the kobold lair, which came just after a massive battle in the ‘feasting hall’ I didn’t print out, as to me it was just a small area to explore (e.g. kitchen, sleeping chambers) before moving on to the next important area. Did I get stick for that! They almost wouldn’t go that way!! I tried to describe it well, but in the end I had to sketch it out …
Lesson learned: For kids, visuals are cool … and important!
Getting kids out of a city is almost as difficult as getting them to eat spinach.
Interesting comparison! My children are currently in their first real town (Fallcrest of course…), so we’ll see. Certainly sounds like it might be true, if the first session is anything to go by – a whole session role-playing their entry to town, finding an inn, eating dinner, looking for a place to buy horses. Great role-playing – it was probably my most enjoyable session as a DM for them, even though there was no combat, or other action.
My daughter has a whole agenda here – mainly around her desire to spend the party’s treasure on horses (which she loves and rides in real life)! To cater for this, I’ve put together a whole skill challenge around this, which I’ll probably share on the blog at some point.
Still, if I continue with the no combat theme in town, it certainly won’t be long before my son is desperate to leave!