D&D for kids

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My kids more specifically.


So I'm thinking instead of a fortune on lead figures, Playmobile has most of what I need :-)


Kids need more visuals and I dont have enough tiles to cover all the dungeons.


Since I'm a software geek I was toying with the idea of writing a web program that draws the dungeon layout dynamically as it is explored and run it on our IPad.


Might be overthinking it though - thoughts?


 

Kids have good imaginations, let 'em use 'em. Basic minis and a grid map should suffice. What ages are the kids? More color would help, most likely, but beyond that, standard grid maps should work for most kids.
Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such sport, And the Dish ran away with the Spoon. He ran from conviction, and fed his addiction as the Dish heated the Spoon... The Spoon begged to go, but the Dish shouted : "NO!!" "The heroin will be ready soon!" "Any time doing the right thing is funny as hell, it's probably Chaotic Good." IMAGE(http://i46.tinypic.com/2jcu9fs.png)
Kids have good imaginations, let 'em use 'em. Basic minis and a grid map should suffice. What ages are the kids? More color would help, most likely, but beyond that, standard grid maps should work for most kids.

The most basic method for a battlemat is to get some large squared paper and put some perspex over it to draw the rooms on but easier is the battlemat.

As for figures, lego, playdo could work wonders and the kids could play with it when they're not gaming.

Ages 5 and 7.


The grids is not for the combat as much as I always found it more fun to draw out the dungeon as it was explored.  Like  the map on a video game.  It shows where you've been, where you still have to explore, makes more elaborate dungeons easier to explore etc.


I guess you can always use a single gridded map and block off areas with something to form the shape of the room and its exits.


 

I'm not sure if it works on an iPad but Maptools is supposed to be a really good program for managing D&D sessions and encounter maps.

Also have you check out the D&D parents group? You can find it if you click "Groups" at the top of the page and search for "parents", it's basically where all the players who run games with their kids gather. 
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My kids are super excited about "Lego D&D" as a family. They've taken over a bunch of sets of mine that were just collecting dust (mostly the recent castle sets and a pirate ship), so I have plenty of materials to work with. It also allows for a lot more "creativity" in the game... I suspect I may have to wing it when my 6 year old tries to include aliens with laser pistols or Star Wars Lego figures with lightsabers. That's a good problem to have, I think.

l love how D&D and Lego D&D have inspired them to be more creative. I was cooking dinner and my son comes in with the pirate ship, telling me how he fixed what they destroyed on it, then he suggests using it for Lego D&D. I absentmindedly tell him how woefully unprepared the ship is, "for you all must cross the Sea of Storms, where the elemental chaos rages against all who trespass into those waters. A mast of normal wood is not strong enough for the galeforce winds that will buffet the ship. No, you must get enchanted wood, sung to life by the druids of the Feywild. And the hull will not withstand the waves crashing against it... perhaps you might survive if you acquire warpsilver plating to dampen the impact of the elementals' assault. And you won't be able to use conventional navigation; your compass is useless in the midst of the chaos. You'll need runes of guidance and glyph-maps purchased from the Seamistress of the city harbor, and she won't part with those easily. IF you get all that, you MIGHT be able to get into the Sea of Storms... but the elementals will never let you reach the opposite shore."

He replies, "Oh yeah? Well... if any elementals show up, that's why we have cannons!" And he points out the 8 or so cannons mounted on the ship. Just for fun, I ask, "But what will you do when even the fire that bursts forth from your cannon suddenly becomes an elemental of flame, bent on the destruction of your ship?" His jaw dropped and he just stared at me for a while, and then we joked about some other ideas for a game.

A couple days later, he reminds me of this conversation, and says, "Remember what you said about the fire elementals? Check this out!" He gets the ship, and he and his sister have removed all the cannons. They scoured the castle sets and grabbed catapults of every size, and mounted them on the sides of the ship instead. "What are you going to do now?" he asks triumphantly. "No fire elementals from any cannons, because there aren't any!"

I can't wait to see how else they can mess up my future plans.
I'm not sure if it works on an iPad but Maptools is supposed to be a really good program for managing D&D sessions and encounter maps.


I'm pretty sure there is no iOS app for MapTool.  It's written in Java though, so it might be possible.  My group uses it on PCs and Macs and we love it.  We live all across the country, so it makes online tabletop gaming possible.  On of our DMs has been experimenting with designing the maps on the fly.  Once you get adept at using the various tools and know your image library well, it can be fairly easy to throw down a map pretty quickly.  If you want to spend the time before hand, you can do some elaborate stuff with Vision Blocking, light sources, overlays, etc.  Check it out at rptools.net.
My kids are super excited about "Lego D&D" as a family. They've taken over a bunch of sets of mine that were just collecting dust (mostly the recent castle sets and a pirate ship), so I have plenty of materials to work with. It also allows for a lot more "creativity" in the game... I suspect I may have to wing it when my 6 year old tries to include aliens with laser pistols or Star Wars Lego figures with lightsabers. That's a good problem to have, I think.

l love how D&D and Lego D&D have inspired them to be more creative. I was cooking dinner and my son comes in with the pirate ship, telling me how he fixed what they destroyed on it, then he suggests using it for Lego D&D. I absentmindedly tell him how woefully unprepared the ship is, "for you all must cross the Sea of Storms, where the elemental chaos rages against all who trespass into those waters. A mast of normal wood is not strong enough for the galeforce winds that will buffet the ship. No, you must get enchanted wood, sung to life by the druids of the Feywild. And the hull will not withstand the waves crashing against it... perhaps you might survive if you acquire warpsilver plating to dampen the impact of the elementals' assault. And you won't be able to use conventional navigation; your compass is useless in the midst of the chaos. You'll need runes of guidance and glyph-maps purchased from the Seamistress of the city harbor, and she won't part with those easily. IF you get all that, you MIGHT be able to get into the Sea of Storms... but the elementals will never let you reach the opposite shore."

He replies, "Oh yeah? Well... if any elementals show up, that's why we have cannons!" And he points out the 8 or so cannons mounted on the ship. Just for fun, I ask, "But what will you do when even the fire that bursts forth from your cannon suddenly becomes an elemental of flame, bent on the destruction of your ship?" His jaw dropped and he just stared at me for a while, and then we joked about some other ideas for a game.

A couple days later, he reminds me of this conversation, and says, "Remember what you said about the fire elementals? Check this out!" He gets the ship, and he and his sister have removed all the cannons. They scoured the castle sets and grabbed catapults of every size, and mounted them on the sides of the ship instead. "What are you going to do now?" he asks triumphantly. "No fire elementals from any cannons, because there aren't any!"

I can't wait to see how else they can mess up my future plans.





THAT is an awesome story!

It's times like this that I really regret not having kids! 

[spoiler New DM Tips]
  • Trying to solve out-of-game problems (like cheating, bad attitudes, or poor sportsmanship) with in-game solutions will almost always result in failure, and will probably make matters worse.
  • Gun Safety Rule #5: Never point the gun at anything you don't intend to destroy. (Never introduce a character, PC, NPC, Villain, or fate of the world into even the possibility of a deadly combat or other dangerous situation, unless you are prepared to destroy it instantly and completely forever.)
  • Know your group's character sheets, and check them over carefully. You don't want surprises, but, more importantly, they are a gold mine of ideas!
  • "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." It's a problem if the players aren't having fun and it interferes with a DM's ability to run the game effectively; if it's not a problem, 'fixing' at best does little to help, and at worst causes problems that didn't exist before.
  • "Hulk Smash" characters are a bad match for open-ended exploration in crowds of civilians; get them out of civilization where they can break things and kill monsters in peace.
  • Success is not necessarily the same thing as killing an opponent. Failure is not necessarily the same thing as dying.
  • Failure is always an option. And it's a fine option, too, as long as failure is interesting, entertaining, and fun!
[/spoiler] The New DM's Group Horror in RPGs "This is exactly what the Leprechauns want you to believe!" - Merb101 "Broken or not, unbalanced or not, if something seems to be preventing the game from being enjoyable, something has to give: either that thing, or other aspects of the game, or your idea of what's enjoyable." - Centauri

I can't wait to see how else they can mess up my future plans.



Yeah that next generation are super smart and they pick up on and remember everything !

I'm not sure if it works on an iPad but Maptools is supposed to be a really good program for managing D&D sessions and encounter maps.


I'm pretty sure there is no iOS app for MapTool.  It's written in Java though, so it might be possible.  My group uses it on PCs and Macs and we love it.  We live all across the country, so it makes online tabletop gaming possible.  On of our DMs has been experimenting with designing the maps on the fly.  Once you get adept at using the various tools and know your image library well, it can be fairly easy to throw down a map pretty quickly.  If you want to spend the time before hand, you can do some elaborate stuff with Vision Blocking, light sources, overlays, etc.  Check it out at rptools.net.





Thats interesting, between that and Skype maybe I can get my friends together for a montly game since they are scattered around the world now.

You could try one of the board games. I picked up Castle Ravenloft at GenCon, and the rules seem pretty basic. Depending on their ages you could always reduce/increase the complexity as needed.
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