Friday, October 08, 2010

Rathbone... for kids!

Rathbone is the name of a land I created for a Dungeons and Dragons adventure. It has been around for quite a while, we started in 2E, moved to 3.5E, and am currently running an adult game in 4E, but on the other side of the globe. I've been trying to couple my love of gaming with the interest my very creative daughter has shown in playing the game. In fact she's sat in on some adult games with us to try it out. But I wanted something for her. So tonight we started a new campaign in the land of Rathbone called the Faerie Champions.

We are using the 4E rules (with a few house rules) cause it is simple enough for kids. In fact, it was the one adult (I'll explain the makeup of the group in a sec) who took the most time performing actions. The kids need a bit of help, but once they get started they do come up with creative solutions. And I'm trying to make at least equal time for role playing in this one.

I had a few dads in mind, my idea was father-child pairs. And I wanted to keep the numbers down (sorry Richard). Both of the other kids are around Elyssa's age, one girl and one boy. Both of their dads play in one of my adult games, so one of them is actually familiar with the land of Rathbone. So we have a party of five characters, an ideal number, and I had the adults play characters that will compliment the party, keeping the kids free to play whatever they wanted.

We ended up with two strikers (ranger and sorcerer) and one of each controller (wizard), leader (cleric), and defender(fighter). I made cards for my daughter and the other girl - I highly recommend using power cards. And we spent a lot of time making my daughter's character just the way she wanted - including an orange dragonling familiar (I painted a pseudodragon orange and her mini has one on its shoulder already). I was pretty excited when she solved the problem of where they were by having the dragonling fly above the tree tops to help direct them.

Because I am encouraging role playing, I decided to keep track of role playing experience. I was going to give according to each person's contribution, but thought better of it and gave them all whatever the best result was. I will explain this to them, so that they will be encouraged to do as much acting and problem solving as fighting.

The faerie champions theme gives them each a free minor power - gossamer wings that can't lift much more than their body weight, pixie dust that can be used to gain a turn of veritable invisibility, or the ability to become a small woodland creature (my daughter's half-elf sorcerer can become a chipmunk!). The only other house rule is to only allow the original magic missile.

I had the party come together in a faerie grove, fight a few spiders and talk with some sprites. It was lots of fun. We allotted only an hour and a half for the game - which I think was enough - as the kids tend to lose focus after about an hour. The two girls were off to see the rats we are sitting during the last half hour, we kept having to call them back when it was their turns.

All in all it should be fun, and a great way to spend some time with my girl.

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