Monday, May 29, 2017

My son's first D&D game

My first adventure
Last weekend Ivan, my 6 years old son, asked me if he could play with me what I had played the previous weekend with his cousin Mat. "I want to explore a labyrinth too!" he said. Of course I obliged and brought out the 1983 D&D Players Manual to run the solo adventure. I printed a character sheet for him and then he rolled some 3d6 for the stats. He added the numbers (with little a help) and wrote down the results. Since he wanted a miniature, I took out a box with some 3.x era plastic ones and he spend some time choosing one. He finally selected an orc raider. "Now you have to give it a name and write it down on the character sheet. What's his name?" I asked him. "It's Monster, his name is Monster." he said. OK, it was character after all.


I let him choose a d20 and a d6 from the die coffer and let him know one was to roll attacks and the other to roll for damage. "How many lives does Monster has?" he asked. "Well, he has only one." I replied. "Only one!?" he complained and looked a bit dismayed. "But he has 8 hit points!" I added quickly and that seemed to be alright for him so we carried on. 

Dungeon entrance
Monster was ready to investigate a labyrinth that was near the town where he lived. I showed him the Elmore drawing of the entrance. "This is the way of the dungeon. Do you dare to explore it?" I asked him in a theatrical voice. "YES!" he said excitedly.

I described him the room with the statue and three exits, and then gave him three choices (listen carefully, explore the room or go through one of the exits). He decided to go down one of the exits...and found two goblins! Combat unfolded with various hits and misses, near tears when Monster got hit and loud cheers when Monster hit the goblins, until he decided to flee back to town. "Because his health bar was too low." he explained. 

Monster didn't find any treasure on his first foray into the dungeon, but he was alive to go adventuring another day! 
Drawing my first dungeon!
After that he decided that he wanted to run and adventure for me. So, while he drew his dungeon and chose miniatures to populate it, I rolled my character. Then I chose a miniature, named it Marshal and was ready to play. The first room of his labyrinth also had a statue in the center and several exits. I stopped to listen and he told me I could hear a conversation in hushed tones. When I decided to investigate, two statues (that weren't there in the initial room description!) lowered their swords blocking the passage, and a couple of orcs appeared and attacked! I was lucky to defeat both of them. I asked him if they had any treasure on them but there was none, so I took their weapons and went back to town to heal and sell the loot. 

Soon I was ready for another delve into his dungeon. This time I found a room with a "yeti monkey and a dread guard guarding a big chest" that attacked immediately. I lost initiative and the monkey went first. He rolled a natural 20 and grabbed a d10+d4 for damage! 

He TPK'd me on his first game as a DM. I couldn't be more proud.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Playing D&D with my nephew

The first time I played D&D with my nephew Mat was more than a year ago. You can read about that here. After that, we played again on a couple more occasions but I forgot to blog about them and I don't remember when they were. Then we played again last weekend.

D&D next generetion
Let's do some recap...

Session I (14/11/15)

At the end of our first session his group, composed by a fighter, an archer and a magic-user, saved their village from the attack of a necromancer and his skeletal minions. It was a bitter victory because the magic-user died, so they were to go into a quest to revive him. 

Session II (??/??/??)

The session begun at a near town where the local cleric revived the magic-user, but in exchange asked the group to retrieve a holy relic from the ruins of a nearby abbey. The group searched the ruins and found a flight of stairs going down. Mat decided that the group would go downstairs to explore, so I took out a sewer's battle mat from Dragon magazine. Since I wanted to introduce the concept of resource management, I told Mat to write down that each of his guys carried three torches and, as he explored,  I would ask him to cross one out from time to time. He quickly realized he needed to leave some for the way back to the surface or be forced to navigate the place in total darkness.

WoG Cultists
The group set forward to explore a series of abandoned rooms, corridors and sewer tunnels. First they fought and killed a giant rat that thought they were an easy meal. Then some black tentacles with purple suckers emerged from the stagnant water and tried to grab them. Finally they found a couple of identically clad cultists. While one hold them off blocking the walkway, the other fell back to their lair. After defeating the first cultist, Mat came with the brilliant idea of having one of his guys to pose as the dead cultist! 

At that point I asked him to check his torches and he realized he had about half left. He had to decide to press forward or go back. After pondering the situation for a moment Mat decided to stay. The fake cultist moved to find the lair while the rest followed a bit far behind. He managed to trick the remaining cultist into opening the door and they stormed the place. With the last cultist defeated they searched the room and found, not after the thief narrowly avoided a poison needle trap, the relic along with some treasure. 

With that they made their way back to the surface with the risk of running out of light sources.

Session III (??/??/??)

Old School
I decided to start this session by rolling stats for the characters and make character sheets for them. I used the 1983 D&D Basic Rules and ran the adventure that comes in the Dungeon Masters rulebook. This was a huge step for Mat since we haven't used any sheet or stats for the party. We used just a d20 to roll the attacks and saves, and to roll damage a d4, d6 and d8  for the magic-user, thief, and fighter respectively. He was really excited about it, because the game took a whole new dimension for him.

I ran the adventure almost 'as is'. In the combat with the carrion crawler, the thief got paralyzed and Mat kept asking if he was dead, but I wouldn't tell until the end of the combat. After the thief recovered, the group went to check the entrance to the ruins and found it was guarded by some kobolds, which Mat renamed as 'dog-men'. The kobolds, sorry, dog-men, were defeated without much effort and their bodies looted. He's a quick learner.

The group then went to explore inside the castle ruins. I was glad to see that Mat remembered the light sources drill from previous sessions. While exploring a bedchamber some zombies emerged from the closet and the cleric attempted to turn them but failed. By that time he had to go so we left the battle for next time.

Session IV (20/05/17)

Last weekend we picked up where we left last time, so we just rolled initiative! The group didn't have much trouble getting past the zombies. After the combat Mat asked 'Where's the treasure?'. 'If there's any treasure, you have to find it.' I replied. 'This is not like a tablet or cell phone game where the gold coins are floating on mid-air.You have to search, you have to tell me you search, otherwise I'll assume you do nothing.' I added. He chew on my words for a bit before he decided to search the place where the zombies came from. He was delighted to found some treasure there (I didn't put it there, it was in the adventure).

After that they came to a room full of crates and boxes with a lonely large box in the center. Mat sent the thief to open the large crate, only to be surprised by another zombie! The cleric failed the turn check again, so the fighter closed in to end the threat.

Exploring further they encountered more dog-men (kobolds) and Mat wanted them to follow him. I secretly made a reaction roll (uncertain). 'They look hesitant. What do you do?' I asked him. 'The fighter will put down his sword and shield, and motion them to come closer.' he said. 'The  kobolds look at each other and slowly get near you.' I told him. Being an evil DM, I was planning to surprise the party (hey, the strongest member have put down his weapons!) when Mat said 'I give them some meat!' That did it. 'They eat the meat hungrily. You now have a group of five kobold following you!'. Looking forward to play again!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

OSR Encounter Contest - The curse of Vagrot the Blue

Today I sent my submission to the OSR Encounter Contest, 

"Since he settled, some time ago, in the ruins of an abandoned abbey atop a nearby forested hill, Vagrot the Ogre-Mage has extracted a weekly tribute from the village of Galdorum under the threat of razing the place to the ground. "

You can get the PDF here or in the Downloads section.

Friday, May 19, 2017

OSR Encounter Contest

The Gaming and BS RPG Podcast  and Hobbs & Friends of the OSR crews are organizing the 'OSR Encounter Contest'. Check it out!

My entry to the contest will be available soon in the Downloads section.

Monday, May 08, 2017

Xaxum Lano

After the death of Fonso the Remarkable by a gelatinous cube, I rolled another character for the Dwimmermars game. I hope it lasts more than a couple of sessions!

She's Xaxum Lano, a young Tellurian tomb robber that, having heard the news about the doors of Mount Dwimmer had opened again, decided to explore the place in search of any rich treasures of yore that might replenish her depleted finances.

Raised and trained by DontoYuul, leader of the Plunderers, after her parents death, the skinny little girl proved to be very useful and profitable since she could fit through places that other didn't. Along the way she had to endure many things, both physically and emotionally, and though being a pretty face, she's short-tempered and got a sharp tongue. She recently left the gang with a promise of revenge, after learning that Donto was responsible for raid where her parents died.

S 9, I 7, W 12, D 16, C 10, Ch 6