Well, as promised (and I consider it my son promising me that we'd play "that D&D game" again), we played that D&D game again last night. Now, keep in mind that "that D&D game" to a 5 year old boy and a 2 year old girl can mean anything from rolling dice and having our minis fight each other, to laying out dungeon tiles and seeing how cool they look. Last night we did all of that, and a little more. This post will focus on the "little more" portion. Let me explain...
Approximately 12 seconds after I walked into our house, after racing home from work yesterday evening, with a huge grin on his face, my son asked me:
"Daddy, do you remember what I asked you this morning?"
Approximately 12 pico seconds later, I replied:
"Yes! Yes, I do."
I then 1-upped him by adding:
"I also have another surprise for our game tonight. Do you remember that cool Battlemat that is rolled up in a tube, standing in the corner of the room? Well we're gonna use that too. And you get to draw whatever kind of dungeon you want on it. Cool?"
"Cool!" he said.
We both smiled wide and rushed off to the den/office to gather up some dice, minis, tiles, and the mat and markers. My daughter saw the flurry of 2 little boys (me included) rushing past her with all of this cool stuff and said "can I play?"
"Yes! Yes, of course you can."
So we set it all up in the kitchen. Seriously is there really any more iconic a table to play D&D on, especially when your a kid, than the kitchen table? Nope. I unrolled the mat first to let it relax the rolled edges, and got out the markers. I figured for their first use of the map, we'd stick with the hex side. If they're gonna hose it up somehow, I'd prefer it not to be on the square grid. Still, I had to have a little pre-game discussion about how these are the only markers that we can use to write on the mat. Additionally, no pens, no pencils, no crayons, and especially "no permanent markers!....got it?!?!?"
Once the formalities were done, I gave them free reign to draw whatever they wanted on the mat, while I got the rest of the stuff out. A few minutes later, when I looked back at how they were coming along, I was blown away. Check out what I saw through my "back in '81" glasses as a minimalist redesign of B2 The Keep on the Borderlands:
Here's Bobby's take on the Castellan Keep:
And Anna's version of the Caves of Chaos:
Here's a little clip of them explaining some of their awesome designs:
Now look, I know that I'm just being a proud Daddy, and that this really is just two kids doodling and having fun, but I really was surprised to see what they decided to draw.
His multiple rooms, along with room numbers, and some of the items and dudes he put in them, is freakin cool. OK, so a couple of the numbers are written backwards (he did write some of them upside down, so that is an excuse of sorts), but check out that top-hat-wearing, armless, snarling creature he put in the main room. Yikes! I wonder what it's stat block looks like...
When I asked him about that dude he explained "It's a guy walkin'. He's trying to get this way, but he doesn't know which way he's goin'." I should have asked him to make a Dungeoneering check, eh? Or just keep the old school flavor they had going there have the guy just poke around a bit with a 10' pole. That always works, right?
Now, Anna's design was bit more...organic. She kinda got on a theme there and ran with it. I called them "caves" - she corrected me, stating "dat's ovals." Okie-dokie.
Anyway, we populated the dungeons and I let them just explore a bit, roll some dice, and attack stuff. It would have been cool to actually run them through these things, in real encounters and such, but for this session, we kept it reaaaaal simple. Little sister doesn't have the patience no the time to play the way Bobby and I do. She's got appointments to keep, and things to do, ya'know?
Here's a couple shots of them duking it out:
Bobby's pre-battle "intimidate" attempt:
Anna rolls "to hit":
It was a fatal strike! What was he, a minion?
Ah well, fatalities aside, fun was had by all. But mostly by me, and I never even rolled a single polyhedron!