Alright, so it was about 3 in the afternoon and I'd been playing Ponies with my 5 year old daughter for about 30 minutes. My eight year old daughter wanted my attention, too, but didn't want to play Ponies with her sister. I was experiencing Pony fatigue but wanted to continue to have some fun daddy/daughter time. The answer, Dungeons & Dragons & Daughters.
I ran up stairs and got my battle map, wet erase markers and minis. As I drew out a simple dungeon the girls dug through the mini's box looking for good guys. My five year old picked out a lion she named Sara and my eight year old a heavily armoured archer she named Angelina. The set up: bad guys stole the princess and they have her holed up in their lair. I quickly specked out their characters: hit bonus, damage dice, range, move, skill, defense and hit points. Our inagrual game of DNDND commenced!
The girls knew they were after the princess and could see the whole map. They logicaly concluded it must be in the big room in the back. Even at this young age they were ready to torpedo my master plan, but I was prepared. As they brashly blew by the corridor they were supposed to go down on their way to the big boss I ambushed them with a goblin archer. They quickly decended on the gobin archer and thrashed him thuroughly.
A quick learner Angelina decided to not pass by any rooms unexplored and took off into the room on the right. There she was rewarded with a potion of healing she would need later.
Sara, though, undetered by my meager ambush proceed right into the pool that held a statue filled with shiny treasure. As she stepped into the pool a vicious otyugh suprised her. Angelina raced to her side as Sara fought for her life. Angelina, however, was intercepted by a goblin axe fighter from an uncleared room. Sara discovered the oty would not come out of his water and retreated to help Angelina. Imagine that, withdrawal from a fight where you are out gunned, divided and on shaky ground.
Together Angelina and Sara quickly dispatched the goblin axe fighter and returned to explore the hallway of rooms were the potion was found. The discovered three rooms each with a coffin holding a zombie. The zombies sprang forth as the girls hacked them up and used their movement and minor actions to shut doors to isolate the zombies one-on-one. Sun-tzu has nothing on these girls.
As any good gamer would they back tracked to search for treasure in the rooms they cleared out. Making their skill checks to find more healing potions, a strength potion and magic armor. And like any group of gamers they had a tense moment dividing up the spoils equitably. The age old debate of, "I saw it first!", versus, "I need it more!". The treasure squared away they pressed ahead.
Two goblins and three zombies in the bag and loaded with magic items they eagerly anticipated the next encounter with confidence. Leaving the oty's pool undisturbed, though Sara was stilling eyeing the statue filled with gold and jewlery, they opted for the unknown danger over the known otyugh. In the last room to be explored before ousting the oty and the big boss they found a howling hag guarded by a duregar. Important note, at this point I had instituted opportunity attacks to challenge the young players. In the small room they found it a challenge dealing with the opportunity attacks the archer gave up to the duregar and the area attacks of the hag. After much confusion and trial and error they got spaced out appropriately and took out the evil duo. Sara went down, though; not winning the prior debate over magic armour. Then the moral dilema arose. Pick a new mini, she was eye the blue trident guy she would name Riki, or take a potion of full health and play out the adventure with Sara. In the end Sara won out, chugged the potion and on they pressed.
Not quite learned of the value of staying together, Angelina prodded the oty's pool while Sara poked her head in the big boss room just to look around. With a success on her skill check, no I'm not sure how lions pick locks and disarm traps, she found to her great elation a black dragon! Enough information for now she returned to Angelina's side to defeat the otyugh. Trying to get the hang of opportunity attacks, threatening reach and the oty's water limitation made for a harrowing encounter, but in the end the heroins bested the beast and retrieved the treasure. Armed with more magic and gold and fancy jewlry they cautiously approached the dragon's liar.
The girls decided they would only go in if they could hold hands. So hand-in-hand they kicked down the door and challenged the dragon. Getting the reach and opportunity attack and ranged weapon thing down they drew the dragon into the hall. Sara fought him toe-to-toe as Angelina thorned him from out of range. With a handful of hit points left the dragon felled Sara and closed on Angelina. For every attack Angelina got the dragon got two attacks and an opportunity attack. Back and forth. Back and forth for three tense rounds somehow the dice favored the over matched archer and with 15 hit points left she drove an arrow threw the beastial brain of the black beast, dropping him in his tracks he toppled into the filth of the otyugh pool.
What did I learn from DNDND?
1. Even a 5 year old has sense enough to retreat when over matched.
2. Reach and opportunity attacks make for fun and challenging encounters.
3. Rolling a natural 20 is one of the best parts of the game.
4. Scenarios that use battle field movement are a blast.
5. I will never believe it again when an adult player tells me the encounter was too tacticaly difficult to solve.
What do you think of DNDND?!