So we spent our Sunday afternoon learning to play D&D. "We" included my wife, Hope, and my two daughters, Kristina (11) and Katlyn (15). Obviously there was much whining and complaining about being a nerd and playing a guy's game and I even had to threaten to ground Katlyn from her phone because she didn't want to get her lazy butt off the couch to come play. "What!?!?! That's not fair!, " she says. "I know, but I am your dad and you have to do what I say and I say you have to come kill goblins with me!"
Hope started, chose to play a mage, naming her Nightengaile. I read all the parts to her in the one player adventure, prompting her for decisions along the way. She picked the game up quickly, mostly because I compared everything to WoW, a game we play together from time to time.
"Return my stolen lockbox to me please kind mage!"
"See baby, that guy has an exclamation point over his head! It's a quest like in WoW!" She accepts, decides not to question any goblin survivors and makes off to find the cave. She makes quick work of the goblins inside and is soon off to town to find help for future adventures. I have to keep making Kristina leave the room because she is chomping at the bit to get started. As soon as I finish the last paragraph and commend Hope for her excellent work, Kristina rushes in exclaiming, "my turn! my turn!"
We start building her character sheet, and soon, Moonstar, her sneaky Ninja rogue comes to life. I explain skill checks to her. "Ok, so roll this D20 to see if you can Stealth into the bathroom and scare your Mom. If you can beat your Agility score you succeed" She rolls a 10, adds her modifier and it's 19. She gets up from her chair, sneaks down the hall, and screams "Boo!" at her mom who is talking to Katlyn in the bathroom. "I passed my Stealth check so I was able to sneak up on you and scare you!" I hear Kristina say. She runs back in and blurts out, "you should have seen her jump, what's next?" (Hook)
She handles the first encounter and then decides to question a survivor. Passing both her Heal and Intimidation skill checks, she revives a near dead goblin, scares the crap out of him and forces him to spill the beans. She is the only one of the three with all the information and I commend her on her excellent work. Moonstar makes her way to the cave undetected but unfortunately fails to surprise any of the goblins inside because of a very low initiative roll. Three of the four goblins swarm her, she fends them off taking only minor damage and kills one quickly electing to Bump and Run to put some distance between her and the rest of the motley crew. She moves away and enters the trees near the cave and what happens next nearly makes me cry I was so happy.
"Daddy, can I climb that tree for the rest of my move?"
"It's Dungeon Master Daddy please."
"Whatever, can I?"
"Well you still have two spaces you can go (her speed was 7 and I made her use two to move into the trees which was rough terrain) but that tree is a pretty tough climb. Make an Acrobatic check against your Agility and if you make it, you succeed."
"Ok, it's this big dice right?"
"Yep!" She picks up the D20 and rolls it.
"I rolled 29 with my Acrobatic bonus!"
"Woohoo! You rolled a 20. You critted your check!"
"Wait, what? Is that good?"
"That's awesome! You climbed that tree so well that you still have another space you can go."
"Well can I jump to that other tree then?"
"Sure you little ninja monkey!"
She jumps to another tree, taking her deeper into cover. The other goblin finally shows up and all three peer into the trees, trying to find the intruder. One passes a perception check, sees her and tries to fire an arrow at her. It misses. He decides to make his way into the trees to get to her but the other two want none of that and make their way to the other side of the little copse of trees. Moonstar drops from the tree, right on top of the goblin that shot at her and quickly kills him. He screams out and the two remaining goblins split up, one coming back to investigate, the other continuing around to the other side. Moonstar moves to the edge of the copse and decides to Stealth at the edge of the trees. The goblin walks right up to her and she jumps out, screams "AHA!" (not kidding. she actually says AHA! to me as she jumps out. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing) and she quickly kills the goblin. She sneaks back into the tree line. The last goblin makes his way back around but stops short when he sees his dead friend on the ground near the tree line. He quickly decides he wants nothing more of this ninja assassin and turns around and starts running away. Moonstar takes off after him. Kristina counts out the spaces between the goblin and her rogue, picks up one of her skill cards and I can see the little wheels turning in her head.
"Daddy, er DM Daddy, he is nine spaces away from me right?" I count the spots and confirm.
"Can I move seven and then use this to catch him and attack?" She holds up Deft Strike. I choke back a tear, get up from my seat, hug my beautiful child and say, " Why yes, you certainly can." I text my wife who is in the next room, doing homework: "This is one of the happiest moments of my life!"
Moonstar makes quick work of the last goblin, inspects the cave and decides to come back with more people later. Well, the story decides for her because when I read the part where it says, "you decide that the goblin lair is too much for your alone you decide to come back with more friends" she says, "really? It didn't look like it was too much for me. I'm Ninja!" holding up her little imaginary dagger, squinting her little eyes and staring me down.
Katlyn is next, and she decides to play a sword wielding heroines named Lilith. She defends the wagon, accepts the quest to find the stolen box and quickly finds the cave. A low initiative roll and she finds herself quickly surrounded by three goblins. After taking some damage, she kills one but instead of retreating, she runs past the other two, going deeper into the cave. As she rounds a corner, she nearly crashed into the last goblin, who is drawing an arrow to step around the corner and fire at her. He fumbles and misses. The other two goblins rush her, one hits, the other misses, and she turns and kills one. "I wish I could hit them both at the same time. Can I do that?"
"Not yet honey, but you can later on as your skills grow." She squeals a bit at that, looking ahead to when she gains enough XP to level up and get new skills. (Line!) The goblin behind her fires again and hits and so does the one next to her, slicing her with it's sword. She kills it, and turns toward the last goblin with the bow. He stares at the now bloodied, crazy warrior woman, decides he has had enough and takes off, throwing his bow at her as he does. He leaps a fire trying to get away, not having the time to go around it. Lilith takes off after him, decides to leap the fire as he did, but trips and stumbles threw it. (failed Athletic check) She catches herself on fire, and has to spend her standard action to put herself out. The goblin stops, turns, withdraws his sword and attacks. He hits and as she is still trying to put the fire out, hits her again, critting this time and drops her to one hit point. I can see the tension in Katlyn's face as Lilith is facing death. She asks if she can use a healing surge for her standard action and I say yes. (I found out later from Will that you can't do this but I would have let her even if I had known she couldn't) She heals back up, takes another hit from the goblin and finally, with the fire out, she slashes him with her sword and wins the day. Man, intense!
I finish up the story, and immediately Kristina (she had been watching her big sister, sitting next to me) and Katlyn both said, "when can we play the next part?" (And sinker!) They both wanted to play after dinner but I tell them I have to get prepared for the next adventure and put them off to later in the week.
It was great. I can't wait to DM the next encounter. I am going to run a Cleric for them as an NPC. As my wife and I were sitting on the couch, she looks up at me and smiles seeing the big goofy grin on my face. I look at her and say, "that was awesome. Do you think after they grown up and get married that they will drag their husbands here for Tuesday night D&D with their DM Daddy?"