As I wrote in my intro to this blog, my kids are more or less responsible for my current obsession with Dungeons & Dragons. I blame them for all the money I’ve spent on hardcover campaign books, pencils, and dice!
But seriously, I don’t blame them at all. It’s been a blast showing them how to play the game, and watching them snag a rulebook and study spells or look for special skills for their favorite classes or find some Legendary magical item to add to their Magic Wish List for their current D&D character.
I’ve never been more proud of my role as a nerdy dad than when I saw my 13-year-old on the front porch swing with his nose stuck in the Players Handbook. Or when my 10-year-old has to choose between the Monster Manual and the DMs Guide for night-time reading.
So while I’m not claiming to be any sort of expert with my less-than-one-year experience playing, I’d like to share what I’ve learned about playing D&D with kids.
The party moves from the “training grounds” of Phandalin and Thundertree and encounter danger head-on in this wild and crazy adventure from the always-reliable M.T. Black! For details, see my spoilerific Adventure Report.
The “Phandelvers” (or so I’m calling them!) finally move away from the “Starter Set” neighborhood of Phandalin and Thundertree and end up getting tasked with saving the city of Neverwinter from certain disaster in this DMs Guild one-shot from M.T. Black!
Session 12: The Secret of Skyhold Tower (9/15/18)
In the smoking ruins of Thundertree, the druid Reidoth begs the party to locate the Crystal Ball of Farseeing for him so he can help protect the party’s newly save town of Phandalin. He know they can find info in the city of Neverwinter, just a days’ ride away. He promises rewards for the Crystal Ball, and of course the party agrees. They also agree to drop off the recaptured Glasstaff with the Lords Alliance in the city. All in a day’s work…
Thanks to the Internet, you have access to over four decades of information related to Dungeons & Dragons. There’s a lot of stuff out there, and it’s hard to know just where to start your research. That’s where I, the D&D Dad, can help. I’ve been there myself, cluelessly clicking through site after site, trying to find the quality content that didn’t make my head want to explode.
In this week’s blog entry, I’m going to narrow things down for you by sharing the online resources that helped me learn D&D quickly.
Session 1: The Driftwood Tavern, Neverwinter and the Cragmaw Hideout (9/23/17)
Gundren Rockseeker, a dwarven miner, meets with his old friend Zaxbinaxby the Silverthorn (a dragonborn wizard, aka Dad) and new acquaintances Emally (a human bard, aka Mitch) and Darius Falone(a half-elf paladin, aka Drew) to get them to bring a wagonload of supplies to Barthen’s Provisions in Phandalin. Payment is 10 GP each. Emally introduced herself to Darius by trying to pick his pocket, but Darius caught the little urchin.
Gundren leaves to head to Phandalin with his friend Sildar Hallwinter, and the trio leave a day later. After three days of travel, they meet fellow adventurer Eileria Fangorn (wood elf ranger, aka Elizabeth) when they turn off the High Road from Neverwinter and begin traveling east on the Triboar Trail toward Phandalin.
After half a day on the Triboar Trail, they find two dead horses, which must have belonged to Gundren and Sildar. Then goblins ambush them, just as they recover an empty map case from Gundren’s horse. They defeat the goblins, avoid two traps, and enter the hideout! They fight goblins and find an unarmed and barely conscious Sildar, but no sign of Gundren!
Neptune Stormbringer (firbolg/genasi druid, aka Drew), Revali (aaracokra ranger, aka Mitch), Rurik (hill dwarf bard, aka Robinson), and Kirby (high elf cleric, aka Caleb) – occasionally assisted by Cloud Serpent and Sir Puggle III – are old friends, chatting with Brottor the bartender in the Gambling Golem tavern in the village of Longsaddle.
Kirby talks about his time in jail and how he’s friends with dragons; Revali notes that he’d never hurt birds; Rurik reminds everyone he’s still searching for his father, and Neptune brags about how long he can hold his breath and how fascinated he is with cataloging monsters.
Their chat is interrupted when Sqwelch the goblin bursts into the bar, crying for help and promising big rewards. Of course the party agrees to help, and they leave town, heading west into the Starmetal Hills, following Skwelch to the tower of the mad mage Hugo Harpell in the Neverwinter Wood. On the way they fight off a wild boar and meet an odd fellow who had crossed the mad mage and was cursed as a result.
Session 1: Bugbears and Sleeping Goblins (7/26/18)
The party — Caelynn Amastacia the Elven Sorcerer, Ermenir Kahilda the Elven Wizard, H.H. Horns the Minotaur Barbarian, Mavthos the Tiefling Warlock, and Torner Fireforge the Dwarf Fighter — meet on the road from Triboar on their way to the tiny village of Melton. They’ve heard rumors of many goblin attacks in the past few months, all of them near Melton, and this band of old friends decide to gather forces and become adventurers.
But Frida Greatheart, the constable of Melton, blocks their way into town, and won’t let them through the gates. Mavthos tries using his Charisma, while the others try to get Frida to let them in, though she seems strangely determined to deny the possibility of any kind of goblin attacks in or near her village. At last the party convince her to let them in, and they head right for the one and only tavern in town, The Weary Knight.
Spoiler Alert! Don’t read this report if you haven’t played Troll Trouble!
Session 1, 7/12/18: Ravendale and Burt the “Troll”
Lifelong friends and first-time adventurers Kendalthe Elven Cleric (Mitch), Mavthosthe Tiefling Warlock (Drew), and ZaldoWiggletoe the Stout Halfling Monk (Dad) meet up at the Broken Plow in Ravendale for their first quest.
They find the town (about 80 miles west of Amphail) and its surrounding lands suffering from what appears to be a long drought. They meet Roanna Redmane at the tavern, and her daughter Shalia is missing after attempting to bring supplies to the beleaguered village. The heroes take up the challenge and head for Stonebottom Bridge, home to what could be an evil troll. They find a wrecked wagon, a captive horse, and an ogre named Burt eating the other horse. Gross.
In this adventure for Level 1 players, we had two completely new players to show the ropes, along with one player who’d played just a few times, and my now-seasoned players Drew and Mitch. For details, see my spoilerific Adventure Report.
Once again, we had a great time. I’m noticing a trend with these M.T. Black adventures.
This was our second M.T. Black adventure in a row, and it did not disappoint! We followed up Tower of the Mad Mage with this coastal adventure for level 2 players, and the story has a fascinating sense of history to it (see my spoilerific Adventure Report for details). This one took us about four and a half hours to complete.