Earlier this week, Griffin and Maggie created a four-level dungeon on my dry erase hex tiles. They were so excited about it that they wanted me to play in it, so Griffin volunteered to be the game master. It was his first time running a game and his first original adventure. When I asked what it was called, he replied, “The Dungeon of Doom.”
It was remarkably fun playing this game with the kids. Griffin was creative and clever, and I found myself not just playing with my children, but getting into the game. See below for a few pictures of the wild map. Beneath the pictures are some highlights from the session, written mostly for other tabletop gamers.
- In one of our first encounters, we needed to use serious tactics just to survive. Ten enemy soldiers nearly surrounded us, but we were able to retreat into a narrow passageway where we could defend ourselves more easily. The passage was filled with water, though, which slowed everybody down and made for treacherous footing. As we continued retreating, we eventually discovered a trap behind us (some sort of “laser-like” forcefield) which made us hold our ground, duking it out in the muck.
- There were numerous traps, illusions, and original magic items. A favorite item of mine was the “rock of heating” that becomes hot enough to start fires if it is in contact with organic matter. If it touches metal, however, it instantly cools into an inert, black rock. We’re currently using a helmet from one of our foes to keep it safely cool.
- The dungeon included some “realistic” touches, like beds for the soldiers and barrels of preserved food (the soldiers lived on a balanced diet of “grain, meat, and vegetables.”
- Griffin responded creatively to our ideas and questions. For example, we used the barrel of meat to lure a flesh-dissolving-slime monster closer to the lava pit for immolation.
- Griffin was on top of the logistics, too, making sure that Maggie (playing an archer/scout named “Moon”) marked off her arrows every time she fired one.
- We were playing the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game (powered by GURPS) which is more mathematically complex than straight Dungeons and Dragons. Griffin is completely on top of the math, easily managing damage resistance, injury types, armor divisors on bodkin point arrows, damage thresholds, negative hit points, and other fiddly bits. He also has a good grasp of the odds on a 3d6 bell curve.