Monday, August 8, 2016

Blue Book Dungeons and Dragons With Kids!

Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons with kids?

It's definitely different. 

We had a good time! A lady Knight PC(!) and a canine PC named Sammy who has a bite attack every round, a special pee attack twice per day, and all thief abilities except those which require hands...Sammy being based upon a real character who lives in our house and pretty much lives up the pee attack and the thieving.

Explorations of a ruined Castle in search of an ancient treasure, a magical sword, encounters with elves and wolves in the forest, and interrogations of captured goblins. There have also been skeletons, living statues and an encounter with a Wraith who must not be battled until the party obtains the magic sword(since wraiths cannot be harmed by non-enchanted weapons)...the two PC's have been accompanied by a Dwarf warrior named Snorri and a lady Elf who has good spellcasting named Andrea.

I like to run a serious game with a gothic vibe so it's good for me to get out of my comfort zone and run this game--the Sammy character was not my idea but I rolled with it and it turned out to be fun for all three of us!

In my humble opinion the Holmes set remains the best rules for introducing roleplaying games to beginners.

So the goblin prisoners were let go with a warning (after their cohorts were vanquished) and for one of them, it was his second and final chance, because he was encountered in combat a second time after being let loose with a similar warning in a previous encounter.

One of the interesting parts of this encounter was when the kids demanded an explanation of the alignments and it caused  reflection upon ethics and values. They did decide it would be wrong to murder the goblin prisoners in cold blood while tied up...but let them know next time there would be no quarter. Fascinating to be a DM and watch those moments!


  1. At least half of my gaming (probably more like 2/3rds) is with folks 15 and under and wow it really instills excitement into almost every session.

    Holmes is a great place to start and I use a house-rules mashup that borrows from there, Moldvay, and a couple other places.

    You were wise to surf the wave of their creativity vs trying to corral it ("hmm ... puppy is on the list of classes ..."). Recall that samurai, bug-people, and dragons could be found in the first ten years of the game. Sending along an NPC Obi-wan or two was also wise to provide subtle instruction and exposition about how the world works.

    Keep sharing as you go -- I'd enjoy reading about your exploits.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Jarret. Sounds like fun games, I belong to a group where some fathers bring their teen aged sons and their friends and everyone has a blast. A buddy DM's it, and it's awesome to see that after a year of running the campaign they are all still excited to play. I will share further adventures!

  2. I've played a lot of B/X with youngsters, but not Holmes. Tries it (Holmes) recently with my own son, but he's still a little too young (only 5). Will give it another go in a year or so.

    1. B/X is also a great system to use for this, JB. There is also a game called DAGGER that is specifically designed for much younger children like your son, it's sort of like super abbreviated and barebones Holmes or B/X with quickplay mechanics. I think DAGGER was available as a free download, I do not recall with certainty at the moment. And if you like Holmes, may I recommend BLUEHOLME by Dreamscape Designs. It's a clone of Holmes rules with some great innovations on those and expanded editions and supplemental material is underway. Thanks for sharing.