DM for Kids: The Amber Tower

Heroic Tier, Level 3

The kids’ characters are now based in Fallcrest (staying at the Silver Unicorn of course) and actively looking for new adventures! 

While staying in Fallcrest, they managed to rescue the old wizard Nimozaran (who lives in the ancient magical tower that overlooks the town) from a mugging by members of the River Rats, and as a thank you, he invited them for tea! Whilst there, they learned an interesting snippet of information – the tower (at least in my campaign’s incarnation…) has some interesting properties – for example the view from the window of the room they were entertained in was not out over Fallcrest, but rather out over a wooded valley in the Feywild!! 

This scene produced a nice role-playing session, and also provided a hook for the next adventure: Nimozaran asked them to hunt down an evil wizard who had stolen a magic tome from him (and adaptation of ‘Den of Dreus’ in Dragon Magazine 179).

The information about the tower (which is known as the Amber Tower in my campaign) however, is critical to my plans for the story of the campaign. ** Spoiler Alert – if you’re my kids, stop reading 🙂 ** The premise is that the tower, which predates the town of Fallcrest, and in fact human habitation of the Nentir Vale, by eons, is a nexus between the natural world and the alternate worlds of the Feywild and the Shadowfell. This causes a number of planar breaches in the region, which naturally attracts all the wrong sorts of people … (evil grin).

Many of the adventures coming up will be connected to this theme, as various powers and factions try and make use of the unique properties of the area to further their own designs, and naturally the PCs are drawn into opposing these plans. Nimozaran (who of course is not the doddering old wizard he appears to be…) will hopefully grow to act as a mentor to the kids’ characters: providing key information, guiding them towards certain adventures etc.

Now, in an adult campaign, this might be seen as a bit obvious and cliched, but for a kids campaign, I think it has several benefits:

  • The kids don’t always have the ‘background’ of D&D or fantasy in general to draw upon to ‘click’ to an aspect of the story that a more experienced and/or older group might have, so sometimes a little pointer is required. 
  • Roleplaying is something they’re just beginning to grasp as a part of the whole experience, so an NPC that they have reason to engage with on multiple occasions should help to stimulate this. 
  • Kids tend to operate in the ‘here and now’ so a long-running story, while they enjoy and seem to want that out of the campaign, they find difficult to keep track of. A ‘mentor’ that ties the strands together for them throughout a number sessions is likely to be useful. 
These are some of the reasons that I’m planning to take this approach – its very early days yet, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out – and I’ve also got a couple of twists up my sleeve! 🙂 

TolrendorDM (to the kids!)

This entry was posted in Adventure Design, Columns, DM for Kids, Roleplaying with Kids, The Amber Tower Campaign. Bookmark the permalink.

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