Monday, July 21, 2014

First Quest, or the family that slays together, stays together

Lily played her first game of Dungeons & Dragons on Saturday. Role-playing games have been a big part of my life since I was her age, and they were something that I wanted to share with her. I didn't want to be the jerk parent who forces his kids into his favorite activities whether they like them or not, but it was something that I thought we could enjoy together. So I approached Lily, and boy, was she enthused!

Me: Do you know what Role playing Games are?
Lily: No.
Me: They're games where you pretend to be someone else.
Lily: Like playing House?
Me: Um, I suppose.

She was initially reluctant, because she thought I was talking about Double Dragon.  Once I explained a little more, she agreed to give it a shot. She said she wanted to play a ninja, so I gave her the rogue character, which she customized to her liking. She grew more enthusiastic as the date drew near, even asking for her good art supplies so she could make a character sketch.

I asked her to think of a reason that she would be traveling into town, and she suggested that her crown had been stolen, and she had heard it was in town, so she was on her way to retrieve it. I thought that was a pretty decent motivation.

Also on the team we had:
  • Tim: Nedstark Orcstomper: He played the dwarven cleric pregen mostly as written, aside from giving him an outrageous accent. Tim is my best friend from way back, and the guy who introduced me to role-playing when we were kids. He lives up in New Hampshire, but I'm really glad he could be here for Lily's first game.
  • Dave: Bob the Fighter, the fighter. Dave is another long time friend. He was the DM from my second edition days.
  • Jen: Hagatha the Wizard:  Not my wife Jen, but my friend Jen. She's a lifelong geek who has somehow never previously picked up a twenty-sided die. But she was saying "I cast...magic missile!" before the night was through. 
Dave and Tim also did character sketches, but they were not as awesome as Lily's.

We played the first part of the adventure in the boxed set. Our team got really lucky, and they played extremely well. I don't think that anyone took a hit until the third or fourth fight. I was surprised at how well Lily did. She played better than some adults with whom I've played. She was certainly better than I was at her age, I think in part because she's been exposed to a lot of the game concepts through video games and such. She stayed focused and used her characters skills to sneak around and scout. She even mastered the art of passing notes to her fellow players.

I like your cloak, classic majishon. Very fashionable. And yes, I am a ninja.

I think I should have helped Jen prepare a little more, because she was lost in the way new players can get and didn't know what to do. Sleep is still a devastating spell at low levels, and that gave them some early victories (to the point that Dave called her character "Sleepspell"), but she had used all of her magic by the time we got to the final encounter, so she was forced to spam cantrips for the final fight.

It was heavier on combat than I would have liked, but not so much that it ruined the adventure for me or anything. The more I read 5th edition, the more I like it. I was also happy with how well Lily did. I would take her with my to play with my grown up friends.  She was losing interest near the end, but I think that was a function of "Blahblahblah, flavor text, and this room has SIX goblins in it! Roll for initiative!" sameness of the encounters.

Tim has gone back home, but Lily has expressed interest in continuing to adventure, to see if Kairi can find her missing crown. If she does, I'll be sure to post about it here.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, and I forgot to mention that our "heroes" captured some of the goblins after the initial ambush, forced them to take them to the cave, and then *executed* them, presumably after making them dig their own graves.