Skip to main content

This past week my youngest daughter, Little Rodan, asked me if I would run a Dungeons & Dragons campaign for her.  I was a little surprised, because I have been running a GURPS campaign for her on and off for a while now, but she had kind of gotten bored with it.  So I dug out my old 2nd Ed AD&D books and we made up a character.

I had done the same for her older sister Gamera Rose when she had been that age.  That game had been challenging because Gamera wanted to play a Magic User.  That probably won't mean anything to a non-gamer, but First-Level Mages in AD&D only get four hit points and can only use one spell -- per day -- and that one they have to choose in advance.  The reasoning was that as they advance in levels, Mages eventually become hellaciously powerful, and so the rules have them start out relatively weak in order to balance things out.  (At least, that's how things worked in Old School D&D; I don't know how things have changed in the current incarnation).  

This is irritating enough in a regular game in which the Mage is playing with three or more other player characters of different character classes who can cover for her until she advances in rank; but in the cases of my daughters's games, there was only one player.  In Gamera's game I introduced an NPC fighter to help keep her from getting killed by the first kobold or cranky housecat she encountered.  (Yes, I know, DNPCs are the Devil, but in single-player games they are a necessary evil.

Fortunately, Rodan wanted to be a Fighter, which is a good choice for a single-player campaign.  A multi-class character would be more versatile, but I figured for her first D&D game I would keep things simpler.  She made her character an Elf Ranger and named him (yes, she decided her character would be a boy) Lionheart.

In her first game, she encountered a hungry wolf, but instead of fighting it gave the wolf the rabbit she had just killed for dinner and it left her alone.  I hadn't expected her to find a non-violent resolution for that encounter, but I was pleased that she did so.  She also fought a small group of kobolds, (my favorite nuisance monster) and a belligerent bullywug.  She wound up getting the most XP in that session for the encounter where she didn't fight.

In the second session I let her go shopping in a village and buy some more equipment.  She also bought a cat.  Pets are tricky to handle in games because it's so easy for the player (and the DM) to forget about them, but so far Rodan has been good about taking care of the cat and being aware of it.

I had her investigate an old abandoned tavern on the outside of the village reported to be haunted which was actually being used as a hideout for a group of goblins.  Then, because she had asked when she'd get the chance to actually go down into the dungeon, I let her discover a secret door in the tavern's cellar leading to a small complex of rooms with a handful of monsters.  I did a quick web-search for Random Dungeon Generators, not for the dungeon itself, but to call up a pool of 1st-Level threats to populate it with.

One of the threats I pulled out of the Random Dungeon was a 1st Level Drow fighter.  Building off that and the Giant Spider I also lifted, I decided that a Drow Priestess had stashed some magical stuff in this mini-dungeon some time ago and left a few guardians to protect it.  Rodan successfully defeated all the guardians and took the treasure, which means that without knowing it, she has gained a deadly enemy.  I love it when the plots write themselves.

The first couple sessions were a little rocky, because I had forgotten a lot of things about how AD&D plays.  I've gotten so used to how things work in GURPS that I had to look up things like Initiative and Saving Throws.  And I have to admit, I fudged some of the dice rolls.  Yes, many gamers will regard that as blasphemous, but since Rodan's character is the only one in this campaign, I feel justified in giving her a li'l plot protection.

One of the fun parts about gaming with Rodan, is that her mother often kibbitzes the game and offers her advice.  My wife and I played D&D together in high school, and so she has plenty of experience to offer Rodan.

Rodan has also expressed interest in joining a Party of Adventurers.  I'm a little more ambivalent about that, since it will mean more work for me:  not only will I have to make up these other characters, I'll also have to keep track of them and roll for them during combat.  I know from experience running solo games with my wife that fighting myself gets boring pretty quickly.  But on the other hand, joining a band of other Adventurers will allow Rodan's character to face more formidable monsters and to advance in levels more quickly.

I'll have to come up with something good for our next game.

Originally posted to quarkstomper on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 05:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  How old are the kids?? The son's of a couple of (15+ / 0-)

    people in our group were introduced when they were around 12 years old.  Another co-player has been introducing his daughter to gaming (at the daughter's instigation) since she could talk.  She's now 8.  I've been playing on and off for little over 30 years now and the last 14 with a single core group.  The DM can fudge anything they like, it's their 'house'!!

    •  Gamera and Rodan (10+ / 0-)

      Our oldest is in college; our youngest is in 4th grade.  These days Gamera is more into doing online RP's and she doesn't do the tabletop gaming any more.

      Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

      by quarkstomper on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:21:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  occurs to me that perhaps Little Rodan (8+ / 0-)

        might invite a friend or two to join that Party -- upon approval of the DM, of course.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:46:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I am playing with my daughter, but she is only in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest

        second grade -- so it is more of a challenge.  I would have waited a few more years but she kept asking -- and she is not playing solo.

        In the last battle she took out the goblin spell caster by charging on her battle pony (she is a 3.5 edition druid) and managed to save the party at least two times.  I actually fudged the dice to keep the caster alive for plot purposes.  She had a great time.

        I do worry about the idea of teaching her that fighting is okay, but she has seen us play enough times that she probably already learned that "lesson" long ago.

      •  Keep the table top alive. . . (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        if you can. There is nothing like face to face D&D or GURPS for that matter.

        I was a lifelong friend of E Gary Gygax. He was like a goofy kid when it was time to play right up until he died. Never lose that.

        My wife and daughter have a once a week campaign with some friends and now my five year old son is joining in. He drifts in and out as things spark his interest and so I have him run some NPCs to 'help' me with the DMing.

        I run a good deal of role playing with splashes of action.

        Some of the best times of my life have been gathered around a table somewhere adorned with pencils, paper and dice with friends all about solving a dilemma with wit and wile.

        I stop and think on Gary sometimes and how he taught a few generations how to play.

        Tip your hat to the master. . .

        "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." ~ James Danforth Quayle

        by Loraxe on Thu May 01, 2014 at 04:54:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Does the NPC wear a red shirt? (13+ / 0-)

    I remember buying the first D&D books when they came out. We all thought it was a great idea but thin, so we started making things up.

    Then the expansions like Blackmoor really made a difference.

    I don't think I still have my original books. Too many moves since then, and three moves is as good as one fire.

    Good for you giving extra XP for the non-violent solution.

    •  Not a Red Shirt, But... (10+ / 0-)

      We referred to Gamera's NPC Buddy as the "meat shield" because one of his functions was to take damage that would otherwise have wiped out Gamera's four HP.

      Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

      by quarkstomper on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 06:27:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's often what fighter companions are for (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Also seriously stick with 2nd edition, if you must upgrade go to revised. 3rd completely about faced on THAC0 and AC which made getting started hell after years of AC -4 being a good total. Overall magi haven't been improved but they've added other classes and prestige classes that are better for survival but honestly I could never beat my stock Half-Elf Chaotic Neutral Ranger for the fit to my play style. 3 3.5 and 4 just aren't the same, and I was never a huge D&D fan (I started with Palladium's Megaverse age 8 playing Robotech and progressed to Star Wars d6 and Shadowrun).

        I wish I had stocks in aluminium these days. All that foil would be a great investment opportunity.

        by Ceri Cat on Thu May 01, 2014 at 12:34:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  RPG helped my daughter to deal with bullies (36+ / 0-)

    My daughter is autistic, as am I.  When she was 9, she made some friends in the neighborhood.  She wanted to stop riding the special ed bus and ride their bus.  My husband and I were very happy to support her in this.  

    We were less happy when some kids on the bus found out that she was deathly afraid of bugs, and started bringing plastic spiders to throw at her...because they enjoyed watching her have a panic attack/meltdown.  

    She got blamed for causing a disturbance and they were threatening to send her back to the special ed bus.   We complained about the bullies, but got told, "Boys will be boys".  We talked to teachers, the bus driver, the principal, the transportation department.  I was frantic, I knew it would be demoralizing for her to have to go back to the other bus.  We talked to her about ignoring the bullies, but it had no effect.

    We happened to be playing Star Wars D20 at the time and her character was a young padawan named Rachel.  I said to her, at my wits' end, rather flippantly, "What would Rachel do if she were on the bus?"  

    My daughter answered, "She would use the Force.  She would put up a shield around her so that the bullies couldn't bother her.  She would know that the bugs weren't real."  

    "Sweetie", I told her. "When you are on that bus, you ARE Rachel.  You stay Rachel until you get off the bus, ok?"

    "OK, Mom".

    And that was that.  She was able to ride the neighborhood school bus from then on.  Those boys didn't stop being jerks, but eventually they left her alone.  She's 21 now, she rides the city bus all over town.  I don't know if she thinks about Rachel these days, but she loves LARPing and fursuiting, she goes to large cons and has a great time.


  •  Started ours on DND (14+ / 0-)

    They loved the setting.  Then my youngest discovered the problem with the D20 system:  with only one die, it's really easy to roll crappy for a long time.  He'll still play, but only Shadowrun, not DnD.  

    Unexpectedly, my oldest chose to play an assassin as her first character.  An odd choice for a little girl who was ten at the time.  But honestly, she plays the character more heartlessly than I probably could.  It works, in a weird way, even if ol' dad, laboring to make a child-friendly campaign, feels a little bothered.

    They both find it really silly that people used to think that stuff was evil when I was a kid.

    Good for you for teaching then a new level of pretend.

    •  Thanks for your first comment, jackdabastard! (6+ / 0-)

      Good for you for including your children in your game. That's just awesome.

      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
      ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      Shop Kos Katalogue ❧ Help Okiciyap at Cheyenne River reservation.

      by belinda ridgewood on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:49:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well I am hoping to start a NWoD campaign (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FloridaSNMOM, ER Doc

      (Genius: The Transgression, to be specific) which uses a dice pool and success system (an 8, 9, or 10 is a success and if you get a 10 you get another roll on that die).  Instead of modifiers to your roll the modifiers add a number of dice to your pool.  For example, shooting a gun is dexterity + firearms so if you have two "dots" in dexterity and three in firearms that is five dice.  If you have a Glock, you add 2 dice (as the "damage" rating of that gun is 2) and if the bad guy is medium range (say 30 feet) you subtract two.  So in such a case you roll 5 dice and end up with a 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9.  That is two "successes" so that shot deals two points of lethal damage.  Oh, and critical failures can only happen if you roll a 1 on the single die roll you get if  your dice pool is reduced to zero or less for that attempt unlike in d20 where any natural 1 is a critical failure no matter how high your skill is.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:03:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why not (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest

        Just grab the whole WoD system and have modifiable difficulty levels on the rolls?

        I absolutely love the classic WoD system for modelling reality.  I thought of mixing it with DnD.   I've been thinking of it for years, but I keep coming up against the fact that you just don't end up with superhuman attributes in DnD the way you do in WoD.  So you'd cap out earlier, like when you're a WoD mortal or ghoul, and doing the truly epic stuff  like killing twenty orcs with one fighter would be a problem.  You could add in attribute boosters, like magical cyberware, but I wasn't sure what that would do to the feel of the game.  I did toy for a little while with the idea of tattooed-on runes that bumped your stats.  I may come back to it eventually.

        A friend of mine swears that 3rd ed. DnD is better (we're using 2nd), and I guess it is, but you still have that 5% critical failure rate, even so.  I just haven't come up with a solution I like yet.

        •  I have the main NWoD core book plus the (0+ / 0-)

          Genius the Transgression pdf so I do have a list of all the modifiers.  Oh, and you will probably have to replace "9mm Glock" with "Disintegrator Ray" or "Heat Ray" (well, at least until a mere mortal so much as touches it in which case it will probably grow legs like a spider and try to kill everyone it sees).

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:39:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Is your daughter the assassin.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest

      ...named Arya by any chance?

      I don't know what's been trickling down, but it hasn't been pleasant---N. Pelosi

      by Russycle on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:57:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing better than old school tabletop gaming (9+ / 0-)

    A friend of mine is a writer for several RPG systems including Star Wars (when it was owned by Wizards. He has a bot aged 10 who has been playing Star Wars minis since he was 4 and now his daughter who is 7 has started playing in their games as well.

    I miss my AD&D and Runequest gaming sessions.

  •  OK, so ... have y'all watched "Tabletop" together (6+ / 0-)

    Yeah, I know -- but Wil Wheaton often has interesting guests, and the games always look like fun.

    LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

    by BlackSheep1 on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 08:49:24 PM PDT

  •  I ran a campaign years ago... (7+ / 0-)

    ...and wanted to see how the players reacted to some characters I was building for a story, so I brought 'em in as NPCs.

    When the time came for them to depart, the players decided they were too interesting to allow to leave alone, and insisted on following them...forcing me to completely rework the campaign I'd planned.

    But at least the characters I introduced seemed well received., hopefully someday I'll write that bloody story. :)

    •  "Where do you Get Your Ideas?" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, RiveroftheWest

      More than once I have mined games I've run for story ideas.  Back when I lived in Darkest Iowa I had a long-running TEENAGERS FROM OUTER SPACE campaign, and I converted a few plots from that game into stories I submitted to the comic book NINJA HIGH SCHOOL.

      Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

      by quarkstomper on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:50:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So much fun (6+ / 0-)

    My son and my nephew (then 10 and 20) have had a ball both with D&D and the Star Wars Role Playing Game as well.  Alas, we can't get any of my son's friends to join and the nephew is heading off to grad school.  Too bad, that Star Wars campaign had the makings of a good novel.

    It really is a great game for sharing with kids.

  •  The DM's job is to make sure the players have fun. (11+ / 0-)
    And I have to admit, I fudged some of the dice rolls.  Yes, many gamers will regard that as blasphemous, but since Rodan's character is the only one in this campaign, I feel justified in giving her a li'l plot protection.
    I always fudge some things with newbies.

    For experienced gamers, there's usually a thrill in the danger of potentially losing a character that keeps people on their toes and makes them think things through more deeply. It makes the situations more intense and the rewards sweeter.

    For a newbie who is still becoming acquainted with the rules it's more often than not simply frustrating. You can die so easily because of things you didn't know about, weren't prepared for, or simply couldn't remember among the roughly one billion things that you need to know. And low levels can be brutal. And being a single PC can be mega-brutal.

    Sounds like she had fun. That means you're a good DM, no matter what anyone else thinks of your methods.

    •  Plot Comes First (5+ / 0-)

      I often fudged the numbers.
      There was always an encounter or two in the campaign that had an overall predetermined outcome. I made sure it went the way I wanted to forward the plot. This was not always in the PC's favor I might add.
      They never knew.

      "Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful." Edward Gibbon

      by Mxwll on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:11:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Great story! Thanks. (4+ / 0-)

    My dad introduced my brother & me to chess at a young age (I seem to recall about...5? 6?).

    My brother in particular has a family reputation as being the most aggressive player — which he ascribes to playing against plenty of computerized chess programs.

    Stop the FCC from killing the Internet! E-mail them. Call them. Tell the President & your congressmen to help save Internet freedom!

    by Brown Thrasher on Mon Apr 28, 2014 at 10:19:21 PM PDT

  •  We played Magic: the Gathering at our house... (4+ / 0-)

        We started when my oldest was 14, and some of his friends were playing. He'd grown tired of losing to me in chess, and said, "Gee, Dad, I wish we could play something I can beat you at." I looked the game over a little and said, "Okay punk, we'll see about that!" He always was better than me. We started in 1995, when Ice Age was new. The cards were hard to find in Minnesota at the time, but I was traveling between several rural hospitals at the time, and learned where lots of card shops were.
         We played for 8-9 years, along with a couple of his friends, and played local and regional tournaments. I was one of the creepy old dudes playing. We went to GenCon when he was 156 or so. His sister, 4 years younger, played just a little, but mostly liked to collect pretty cards and never got into it when she got older. His brother, 9 years younger, did start when he was 10 or so, and also got to be pretty good. He won a Junior Super Series qualifying tournament when he was twelve, (beat a smart-ass 16-year-old in the finals!) and that brought us to Nationals. We traveled to a number of tournaments in the next few years, but quit when the older brother started medical school and the younger got busier with sports. It was a good time, though!

    -7.25, -6.26

    We are men of action; lies do not become us.

    by ER Doc on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:02:05 AM PDT

    •  I managed to collect a couple thousand (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quarkstomper, ER Doc, RiveroftheWest

      M:TG cards while living in Minnesota, although, of course, I lived in Roseville (which had a hobby shop right across from Har-Mar) and Minneapolis, so not quite the same experience.

      The last time the Republicans were this radical, they were working to elect former slaves to Congress. What a difference a century and a half makes!

      by jayjaybear on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:52:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was the early years, 1995 or so, when they (3+ / 0-)

        were hard to come by. Wizards of the Coast finally had to crank up production with the 4th Edition and later sets, so the demand could be met, or they would never have been able to hold widespread sealed deck and booster draft competitions. Booster drafts are now a specialized area; there are many pro players who specialize in the Limited environment.

        -7.25, -6.26

        We are men of action; lies do not become us.

        by ER Doc on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:08:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some thoughts (7+ / 0-)

    NPC druid - might be handy to have a little bit of support for Rodan's fighter

    Also, as a plot twist, the Druid might identify Rodan's kitty as being a special animal.

    Perhaps a quest to unlock kitty's potential - night vision, some levels in hide

    Lots of fun ways to go!

    If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

    by cultjake on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:35:01 AM PDT

  •  I need to get my daughter into D&D (5+ / 0-)

    But I'd have to get the books again, ours got lost years ago. I'd also need to print out a char sheet large enough for her to use, but I bet I could do that at the library (she has low vision issues). We do have dice however, we got those when we were studying statistics this past year, and so that we'd have a set of dice just in case :).

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:35:15 AM PDT

    •  I still have the dice from my original box set (6+ / 0-)

      That would make them some 30+ years old.

      "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

      by Jaxpagan on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:53:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, my mom tossed those (4+ / 0-)

        long ago, and my original boxed sets, unfortunately. She got mad at me when I moved out when I turned 18 and dumped everything I didn't move with me, even though I'd packed it up and put it in the crawl space for storage until I had room for it. I started playing D&D when I was 12, so that was almost 32 years ago.

        "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

        by FloridaSNMOM on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:56:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well keep in mind that aside from special (5+ / 0-)

      casino d6's there aren't really any fair dice.  In fact, the Chessex brand are actually the worst when it comes to fairness.  The ones by gamescience are a bit better though you have to paint all the numbers on yourself and then repaint them every so often.  Here is one test on the matter.

      If we had a d20 that rolled perfectly, each face would come up 500 times. But of course randomness isn’t perfect and we’d expect some deviation: over the course of 10,000 rolls we’d expect, with 85% confidence, that each face would be within about 33 of 500 — so anywhere from 467 to 533 is within the bounds of randomness. (At 95% confidence the margin of error is 45). Neither die falls within these bounds.

      The Chessex d20 had a standard deviation of 78.04, and the GameScience d20 had a standard deviation of 60.89.

      While neither die rolled true, it’s certain that the Chessex die rolled less true, with a greater degree of deviation from the expected range across more of the dice faces. Interestingly, the GameScience die actually rolled very close to true except for the number 14 which rolled vastly less often than it should have, farther off than any face of the Chessex d20. Applying the results to a Chi Squared test also confirms that neither die is rolling randomly (even if you ignore the 14/7 on the GameScience die).

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:22:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Shame to hear about the books ... :( (5+ / 0-)

      But there are great web resources: either plain vanilla 3.5 D&D (; OR the alternative that I now hugely prefer, Pathfinder (, by Paizo ( which is based on 3.5 but (my 2 cents) is better balanced and more playable. It also has play-by-post forums (

      Best wishes for getting back into it!

      UNDELETE my socialist f*ckstick Markos!

      by T J Lewis on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:57:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for sharing your experience (8+ / 0-)

    You have captured why I have such fond memories of my time playing D&D.  There truly is something magical about the game that is lost in all of the scripted adventure games played on PC's and consoles today.  Even amongst the great series like The Elderscrolls games.

    This comment really jumped out at me:

    In her first game, she encountered a hungry wolf, but instead of fighting it gave the wolf the rabbit she had just killed for dinner and it left her alone.  I hadn't expected her to find a non-violent resolution for that encounter, but I was pleased that she did so
    D&D allows for a degree creativity and ingenuity that just can't be matched in other games.  It is a wonderful activity in terms of strengthening all sorts of mental disciplines and social interactions.  Something that seems to be lost upon most younger people today.

    Well done on introducing your children to the game.  Hopefully it continues to make a comeback and a Renaissance.  

    "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

    by blackhand on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 06:43:46 AM PDT

    •  Oh it has. Not only is there the fanmade (4+ / 0-)

      NWoD game Genius the Transgression (which uses a success system with a dice pool rather than a single d20 roll) but because they screwed up 4e D&D there is Pathfinder which is basically 3.75e with the names and a few other things changed.

      *See my post above for how the World of Darkness Storyteller system works.

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:26:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  D&D will always be around (5+ / 0-)

      It has a huge following in my area by people of all ages, and there are game/book stores that host open gaming sessions.   Even first and second ed. AD&D are still highly regarded even by the younger crowd, and the rulebooks are prized items that sell for good money in decent condition.

      As far as non-violent resolutions--yes.  As a DM, I always gave out XP for 'creative' resolutions to situations, and never for indiscriminate killing.

      Col. Brandt: "What do you think we'll do when we lose the war?" Capt. Kiesel: "Prepare for the next one." --from "Cross of Iron"

      by ConservatismSuxx on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:37:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My son learned to read so he could be a gamemaster (5+ / 0-)

      My youngest son has dyslexia, and when he turned 13, he couldn't read. My husband bought him four comic books about superheros.  Somewhere in those books, he found a reference to DnD and asked me if he could get the dungeon master's guide.  We bought it for him - along with a bunch of dice of different 'values' and the DM screen and hex paper so the players would be able to measure how far their characters could walk or run during a turn, and a bunch of other stuff I don't remember now.  He stayed with that book for a week or two, then invited four friends to play with him and his dad.  They played every weekend - because we had to forbid playing on school nights - Sunday through Thursday night. They still play, every week.

      My youngest son is 47 now.  I think he'll be playing DnD until he dies at the ripe old age of 104.

      "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill, 1806 - 1873

      by Terry S on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:54:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your son reminds me of a friend in high school (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I am pretty sure that he had dyslexia or a similar condition that made reading difficult, but he sure enjoyed being the Dungeon Master.  I remember one weekend he and I were playing this one game module (he was DM) and kept referring to these Elven guards as "Swanson Guards".  Finally at the end, I read the module, which as the player is verboten since you would see all the secrets, and discovered that the "Swanson" guards were actually "Siswa" guards.  I guess he must have had Swanson TV dinners on the brain.

        Despite 25 odd years passing, I still remember that evening playing that game as one of the more enjoyable times I had playing.

        "It's not surveillance, it's data collection to keep you safe"

        by blackhand on Thu May 01, 2014 at 06:29:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Go with the classic Doc-Savage trope (4+ / 0-)

    Your daughter's character is the protagonist, the rest of the adventuring party are sidekicks.

    Heck, if her Charisma is decent, 2nd edition D&D handles that neatly with henchmen.  They're always weaker than the character, and if you have a 10ish or higher charisma you can actually attract enough to make up a decent party.

    So they can handle support stuff, like healing her, or the one encounter a day when the wizard's spell saves the day or the rogue's skill list is helpful.  Scouting is also actually easier when all the people scouting and being scouted are can just report what the party thief finds...or report screams and she gets to rescue the scout....

    A party of a fighter a level or two higher than the classic cleric+mage+thief should not be too much trouble for you as a GM.  2nd edition clerics are weak fighters with mostly healing/support spells that are cast out of combat and 2nd edition wizards at low levels, as you mentioned, toss darts or flasks of oil at weak opponents until it is time to use their one or two spells a day.   Even as they get more powerful you can emphasize spells that help the fighter (eg, Haste, Enlarge Person) while having a few rounds of boom when the dice start going poorly.

    Think of the wizard and cleric as insurance against bad don't have to softball the bad hits when they provide a safety net.  Think of the thief as a more traditional who scouts, who gets into trouble and who provides a nice flanking buddy for the main Hero (in a way the thief is insurance against your daughter rolling badly on to-hit a proper backstab position the thief will do decent damage..but only when working with your daughter's fighter, the character will be fairly weak by itself.

    Use the cleric in combat mainly as a wall to keep stuff away from the wizard.  2nd ed Clerics have decent durability but are weak on offense. They can keep a threat distracted until the Hero comes and helps, and you really don't have to do much die rolling.  In a pinch just damage both Cleric and Cleric's Opponent a little bit each round until Hero comes to finish things off.

    •  NPC Buddies (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, RiveroftheWest

      In the solo games I've run with my wife, I always give her a cast of "NPC Buddies" to help her out, cover her back, discuss plot points, or (in the games with my wife, anyway), provide romantic foils.  

      GMPC's (Game Master's Player Characters) have a bad reputation because many GM's lack the self-control to keep their pet NPC's from hogging the limelight; but as long as the GM remembers that the Player is the Star and the NPC is the Sidekick, it can be kept in balance.

      Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

      by quarkstomper on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:56:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  AD&D 3.5 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    themeliorist, quarkstomper, ER Doc

    I still have my old 2nd edition books and a couple of add-ons from the 1st actually.  But I've converted everything over to 3.5 d20 system, and it is awesome.  It can be more complicated, but has more options.

    My step-son still plays in some online forum; my campaign was too boring for him.  LOL

    We're all just monkeys burning in hell.

    by smokeymonkey on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:27:23 AM PDT

  •  I remember first being introduced to AD&D (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, ER Doc

    by some neighbor kids when I was in 3rd grade.  They were slightly older, and I was hooked from then on.  They played 1st ed. AD&D, and after they moved away, I got into Frank Mentzer's D&D system (the 'BECMI' rules) to play with my friends from school.  

    In high school, it was 2nd edition.  I DM'ed a Ravenloft campaign, and to this day I believe that it is the best D&D campaign world ever created by TSR.  

    Even in the Marines, I was playing D&D, but after I got out and started college, I kind of lost track of the game.

    As far as an NPC to accompany your daughter, it has to be a Cleric, no doubt about it.  They can fight and cast spells, and heal wounds.  They have the highest hp rolls next to a fighter (1d8 next to a fighter's 1d10).

    My favorite character was always a fighter, with a two handed sword.  When I was a DM, I would oftentimes recycle old character sheets as NPC's, or create NPC's that later would be used as actual PC's, as I would see fit for the game/campaign.

    Col. Brandt: "What do you think we'll do when we lose the war?" Capt. Kiesel: "Prepare for the next one." --from "Cross of Iron"

    by ConservatismSuxx on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:30:36 AM PDT

  •  Nice Diary and good on you bringing the clan (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    themeliorist, quarkstomper, ER Doc

    into the fold! I have been gaming for years (decades really) and it is supposed to be FUN. So whatever you need to do to make it FUN for HER is just one of your jobs as DM. We have always said in our games that the DM is the 'decider of the universe'. You created that universe (or purchased it for a tidy sum) and you own it so what ever you need to do, do it. So glad she showed her creativity and used non force to get the wolf to leave her alone. My suggestion, reward that creativity. It sounds like you did, but anytime she thinks outside the box and comes up with a work around, reward it! Love that you gave her an NPC friend. In the newer versions you need at least 4-5 people playing and the DM, but the players have more options at lower levels. My friend works for 'used to be Wizards' and is usually our DM we have played all the versions at one point and Star Wars, Amber, Super Heros, etc. The games would all make awesome novels I always thought. Thinking about bringing my clan into the fold (husband was converted upon marriage and is the only significant other to be 'allowed' to play, seems that SO's can cause issues when they go south and quit. Have a blast and make it fun!!!
    Peace and Blessings!

    “When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you.” ` Steph Guthrie

    by Penny GC on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:58:52 AM PDT

  •  My kids will not play D&D if I have anything (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest, ColoTim

    to say about it. Granted, this is mostly my own prejudice.

    See, I just don't like class-based systems. You can't really customize the package, and there's a lot of image stuff that goes along with each class. I like being able to make my character the way I want him or her, including the things that make sense for my concept and excluding the things that don't. Shadowrun and Dresden Files have templates, that give you a good set of skills for various character concepts, but you're free to modify those however you like. FATE is entirely story-based, which can be a little dizzying with all the possibilities, but allows for so much for narrative freedom.

    I must say that DMing for your daughter is awfully adorable. Maybe you could have a combined session with your friends' kids?

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:28:49 AM PDT

    •  Classy vs. Classless (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ConservatismSuxx, RiveroftheWest

      GURPS is usually my system of choice largely because of its versatility.  I'm not entirely sure why she lost interest in the GURPS campaign I was running for her, but she wanted to try something different.  And perhaps at this stage she'll enjoy playing hack 'n' slash in a rigidly-defined class better.  As she grows older and more experienced, I'm sure she will come to appreciate having more character options

      Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

      by quarkstomper on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:45:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's a reason for (A)D&D classes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        At that's to keep characters from getting too powerful, too quickly.  I tried very hard to maintain the gritty, medieval, human element of the game in my campaigns--much to the chagrin of the players, who actually wanted their characters to be somewhat like superheroes (and who wouldn't?).  And character classes went a long way toward keeping such aspirations in check.

        I tried to minimize hack-and-slash, too, and avoided running extended dungeon adventures like the plague, in favor of other settings (wilderness, urban, or a mixture of everything) that fostered role-playing.  I wasn't always successful, but we always had fun!

        Col. Brandt: "What do you think we'll do when we lose the war?" Capt. Kiesel: "Prepare for the next one." --from "Cross of Iron"

        by ConservatismSuxx on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:23:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I prefer GURPS too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest

        But I'm not really against classes.  GURPS tends to be pretty classed in practice; for example if someone decides to be a mage they tend to have to sink enough points into it that it's their major focus.  But I do like the other bits of customization you can do, and also that their combat system isn't just "roll to hit, roll for damage."  

  •  We're playing a 4th Edition campaign (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, ER Doc

    Started in 2009, and we just hit level 25 (campaign is designed to go up through 30th).   4th edition seems better balanced at higher levels than 3rd or 3.5 were.  Not sure if we'll try 5th Edition or not, but 4th runs pretty smoothly.

    Miss Aji? She blogs here now.
    I’m a feminist because the message is still "don’t get raped" not "don’t rape."

    by Avilyn on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:39:35 AM PDT

  •  Kudos to you for keeping D&D alive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, ER Doc

    with a new generation!

    I play a D&D 2nd edition game once a week at lunch here at work.  There's only 4 of us, but it is fun.  We take turns being DM, but as you can imagine, devoting only one hour per week makes for some verrry long games!

    We will be taking a break from D&D to play the board game "Diplomacy" for a while.

  •  I smell a cheesy Godzilla movie fan... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, CinderMcDonald

    :-D  Rodan and Gamera?  Awesome.  Forgive me if this is too intrusive a question, but did you actually give your younglings those names for real?  If so, sweeeet.

    Way to go on introducing her to a hobby that involves her creativity!  There isn't enough of that kind of encouragement going on as I'd like in this world.  <3

    If we acknowledge our fears, then we must also acknowledge the consequences of our actions when we react to those fears. Hate is based on fear, fear comes from a lack of understanding. When you understand, it is more difficult to hate.

    by TheProgressiveAlien on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:57:55 PM PDT

    •  Not Really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When we were expecting our first, my wife suggested "Gamera" as a name, (we were watching MST3K at the time), but I vetoed it.  "It'll give her a complex," I said; "The other kid will call her 'Turtle Meat'"  So we named her something else.  But I took to referring to our Daughter as Gamera when I mention her online

      Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

      by quarkstomper on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 04:30:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  D&D and MST3K (0+ / 0-)

        ...You must be my long, lost brother.
        My wife & I introduced D&D pretty early to all 3 of my daughters (from previous marriages).  The oldest, now 27, has brought her friends into the fold and insisted we run a weekly game.
        The middle child, 26 and just married, is vying to start up a new game.
        The youngest is a bit buried in college, but has begun to make noises about revisiting the Champions superhero RPG.

        Personally, the wife & I are solidly 3.5... but mostly just because we understand it the best.  I see no reason to relearn a system for 4.0 or Pathfinder.

        In the meantime... I'm hoping that WotC or Paizo will respond to some new art submissions... I haven't sent them anything in some years and I think it's time to try again.

        Feel free to peruse my work here:

        Adventure party on!

        Never trust anyone who considers "bleeding heart" to be an insult.

        by jayfrenchstudios on Thu May 01, 2014 at 02:58:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary. I started with my son when he was 7 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest

    (or so) We played it very loose.

    It's been a couple of years, but he is interested again, and is his older sister.

    I figure that eventually the kids will learn the real rules, then dismiss half of them like we did.

    I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in this song.

    by mungley on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 07:35:29 AM PDT

  •  If she wants to join a party, have her take (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest

    on some more responsibility.  Create some characters that have already picked skill sets and attitudes and have her diversify her RP'ing with different attitudes for different characters.  Don't let the opportunity where your wonderfully imaginative daughter wants more reward and not have her take on more responsibility.  It's a good life lesson IMO.  

    But, I digress; good on YOU!!

    And tell your daughter to kick some Drow butt!!

    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 09:56:07 AM PDT

  •  I prefer GURPs myself (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest

    Although the rules are a bit daunting in number and complexity.

    I had a great time with D&D in high school though.  Every Friday we'd have 15-20 kids over to our house and play till 3:00 am.  I don't know how my parents put up with it.

  •  It is a Highly Effective Method of Birth Control (3+ / 0-)

    Just kidding.

    I founded my high school's wargaming club.

    Then again, I did not get none in high school, and it was the swinging 70s.

    6/24/05: Charlie the Tuna Creator Dies En lieu of flowers, please bring mayonnaise, chopped celery and paprika.

    by LunkHead on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:11:46 PM PDT

  •  I recommend the Microlite20 system (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, Terry S, RiveroftheWest

    ... for kids and adults.  The core rules are free and can be expressed on a few printed pages (vs. scores of expensive books) while managing to capture what was best about 70's and 80's era roleplaying.

    I've been running a campaign on that system for a few years with my daughters (now 8 and 12) and their friends.  They are on an epic quest to obtain all the ingredients for a potion needed to cure a deadly plague that has swept across the land.  Last week, in pursuit of one ingredient, they successfully planned and executed a raid on a lizardman fort in the middle of a lake in a swamp.  <sniff> It makes a papa proud...

    Full-scale militarization of our society will have to proceed slowly so as not to disturb your consumer haze... -= Austin Cline

    by suburi on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 12:20:17 PM PDT

  •  There's a Ready Solution to Your Problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quarkstomper, RiveroftheWest

    Doesn't Rodan have friends? (Possibly her buddies Gamera and Godzilla?) Why run a multi-player game where YOU (the DM) have to run the other PCs? Get actual PEOPLE to do it. The resulting social interaction is half the fun of D&D.

    •  Maybe When She's a Bit Older (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      When her big sister was in junior high and high school, we had some of her friends join our gaming group; but Gamera lost interest in the tabletop games towards the end of high school, and my wife got involved with craft fairs that ate up our weekends so that we no longer had time for our public games.

      Rodan is just now starting to do social stuff with friends, and so if she gets really into D&D, we might see if we can organize a new gaming group.  We'll see how things go.

      Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at

      by quarkstomper on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 03:07:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NPC (3+ / 0-)

    You could save yourself the trouble of rolling for the NPCs during combat and just use a d4. Odd they hit and even they miss or vice versa.

  •  Introducing my youngest to D&D (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wait -- what?  Who, exactly, cares?  What a waste of electrons!  

  •  Oh the love of gaming... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My husband has been playing D&D and AD&D for years.  Even now he gets together with a few friends every so often to embark on yet another tabletop adventure.

    My gaming is primarily limited to World of Warcraft.  It has many of the same features of the AD&D games and even uses many of the same rules and RNG concepts in its internal programming.  Its a great way to experience gaming without having to make everything from scratch.

    Playing WoW can also be rather educational.  Solo questing involves skills ranging from knowing how to navigate using a map to problem solving how to best survive an encounter.  Group play adds in all those wonderfully abstract skills business people love - working with a team, knowing your role and how it interacts with others, knowing how to be polite, how to pay attention to yourself, your environment and others around you all at the same time, knowing how to create a plan to achieve a specific goal and then getting the entire team to follow through on that plan, and general organization and problem solving.

    Great stuff, especially if parents are careful about whom they let their kid play with.  Just like in the real world, there are jerks and idiots in WoW.  There are also people like me and my friends, most of whom are over the age of 35 and do this for a bit of relaxing fun after a hard day of work. :)

  •  never be afraind to fudge some dice rolls (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It is the DMs job to intercede in the name of gaming enjoyability against the cruel forces of randomly generated numbers :)

    New Plan: Obamacare Old Plan: Nobodycares

    by groupw on Thu May 01, 2014 at 07:26:33 AM PDT

  •  so glad that there are still (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    parents who will GM for their kids and kids that want to play! A good game of D&D is far better than sitting in front of the video screen pushing buttons! Kudos to you!

  •  D&D (0+ / 0-)

    I just started my boys(11&12) and they love it!!

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site