DM for Kids: Moral Qualms?

RPGKidsLogoIn our last but one session of the Amber Tower campaign, the PCs arrived in the Seven-Pillared Hall (we’re playing through Thunderspire Labyrinth at the moment). After quite of bit of interaction and role-playing the party headed off to the Chamber of Eyes. We were a bit pushed for (real) time, so we stopped before the first combat. Obviously, as you can imagine from previous posts, this did not go down well with my combative son; however I reminded him that this meant the very start of the next session would be straight into fighting!

So fast forward a week and the maps and minis are laid out and we’re ready to go! The PCs had found the side door to the Chamber and stealthily crept along the passage to a room where two  duergar were hanging out. I was ready for the ‘Roll Initiative’ call, but things took a different turn …

Instead of attacking, Xyana (the Eladrin wizardess) used ‘Ghost Sound’ to distract the dark dwarves, while the party snuck through the room, behind the guards at the front door, and through to the kitchen, where they surprised and fought a group of goblins and bandits that were drinking and dicing there.

After a short combat, they had dispatched all but one goblin, who they decided to capture and interrogate. Snippets like the below ensued:

DM Dad: So what do ask the cowering goblin?

Kids: What’s your name?

DM Dad: Ummmmm … Ugrik!

 Kids: That’s a nice name… what were you doing in here?

DM Dad: We were off-duty!

Kids: You mean all those people we killed were off-duty?? That’s bad, we shouldn’t have done that! 

 DM Dad: Yes … they were off-duty … from being vicious slavers who sell people from all over the Nentir Vale to the dark dwarves, yes!! 

Kids: It’s still bad! 

DM Dad: Ok, what are you going to do with Ugrik now? 

Kids: We’re going to take him with us … 

DM Dad: I see … but what are you going to do him while you raid the rest of the Chamber? For example there are a pair of guards in the hallway round the corner?

Kids: We’ll tie him up and take him into the next room. Then we’re going to trick the guards into the kitchen and barricade them in …

DM Dad: Ummm, why? 

Kids: So we don’t have to kill them. We don’t want to kill any more monsters… 

At which point I was fairly pleased with my DM reaction. Going with the ‘say Yes!’ philosophy, followed by a few skill rolls and all went according to plan! Onwards into the main shrine of the Chamber of Eyes … where they encountered a Dire Wolf!!

Kids: Can we tame it? 

 DM Dad: What! It’s a Dire Wolf!! … sigh … roll a Dungeoneering Check

 <a successful check>

 DM Dad: You realise that this is an adult Dire Wolf, which has grown up and been trained by a bunch of nasty goblins, so it’s probably too late now … and it’s snarling at you … 

Cue short combat, complete with several critical hits, and the Dire Wolf is dispatched without landing a bite!!

Kids: Can we buy a Dire Wolf puppy when we get back to Fallcrest? 

This session was priceless! Lots of role-playing and fun. The whole time the classic Paladin’s dilemma (what should I do with the orc babies when I’ve just destroyed a whole lair of orc soldiers…) kept running through my mind.

How long will the moral dilemma last? No idea, although they’re determined to take Ugrik with them when they leave the Chamber of Eyes!!

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