Sarah was out of town for a wedding. The kids had been asking for another D&D game. We hadn’t played in ages, not since last summer. So, yes, totally, let’s play D&D! But let’s do it properly. We needed more players. I invited over some friends of theirs so that we could potentially have five players, but if the youngest two—Maggie and her friend, Olive—lost interest, they could entertain each other. Five kids while solo parenting… I was asking for it.
We had a great time. Maggie and Olive only played for a bit, but Griffin, Murray, and Miles invested a couple of hours into it. In the year and a half since our first game, the kids have developed quite a bit. Some observations and highlights:
- Griffin is far more adept at arithmetic now, and loves doing it. He gets mad if I do any of the math during the game, wanting to calculate everybody’s hit points and bonuses and all of that.
- Griffin is also better at reading and writing, though not quite as good as Murray, who is a year older. They loved writing things down and, when possible, reading things aloud. When they came to the ruins of a village, they could not have been more excited to read this scrawled note posted by the main road:
Plant monsters and zombies
- They acted like all they wanted to do was fight monsters, but in reality they tended to get a little bored during combat. They were most engaged when they were debating their plans and making decisions as a group.
- They loved deciding whether to travel on the road or through the wilderness. Although crossing the wilderness was more direct, they elected to follow the road because they thought (correctly) that it would be less dangerous.
- When they passed through a civilized town, they debated what kind of meal to have, and spent some time figuring out how much treasure they had and whether they could afford a fancy meal. They eventually elected to splurge on a princely feast.
- This led to them being followed by a pickpocket. Much joy as they spotted him and then ambushed him, leading eventually to the moral quandary of what to do with their criminal prisoner. After some debate, they elected to “scare him” and then let him go, telling him not to try to steal from people anymore.
- Honestly, my impression was that I could mostly dispense with the adventure plot, and simply give them opportunities to go shopping, explore the map, etc. I think they just loved getting to make the kinds of decisions that adults usually make for them. (Plus rolling dice, of course—lots of dice!)