Following the earlier post on HeroQuest, here I report my first real game of D&D with my son, now eight. It was massive fun.
The rules are the classic, 1st edition D&D, those from the Red Box.
The first causal game, just to explain how the system works, was a bit hit and miss. My son generated a Fighter which the named "The Viking". Armed with an axe and a shield, the Viking single-handedly assaulted a dungeon butchering the goblin guard, which was fun.
Scared by the commotion, the other goblins started barricading the only access door, but the Viking started happily axing the entrance, bent to bloodshed.
As terrified as the goblins were, they had enough presence to shoot him with their bows through the gaps of the door, and wounding him, then they ran to call their boss, an orc.
The Viking paid no heed to his wounds: he charged through the door at the orc but, lamentably, missed him and was dispatched with a single blow. Thus endeth the story of the murderous Viking.
That wasn't fun, but it taught my son the value of assessing the power of an enemy and never underestimating a wound.
For the second game, I forced him to reroll a new character, which he named the Avenging Viking. He was, of course, the Viking's son.
The rolls were abysmal, since this Fighter has Str 8, Con 10, Int 7 and Wis 6. On the plus, he was nimble (Dex 13) and had decent outlooks (Chr 12).
The Avenging Viking (AV) was smarter than his late father. He killed the goblin guard but, being armed with a sword, had no means of bashing the barricaded door open, so the first day he left the goblins alone.
On the second day, the AV returned but failed to catch the goblin guard by surprise. He killed it but found the main door barricaded again.
On the third day again the AV assauled the dungeon: this time the goblin guard sounded the alarm and all the denizens of the dungeon ran out to face their besieger. The AV ran away, and the monsters decided not to pursue him since they had no love for the light of day. Realizing he lacked a ranged weapon, the AV returned to the village and sold the dead goblins' gear and his remaining money to buy a short bow and ten arrows.
On the fifth day, the AV looked for a backdoor but only found the den of a wormlike monster, which he managed to wound but not to kill. Then he assaulted again the main entrance, alarmed the monsters, ran away, exchanged volleys of arrows with them until they decided to pursue him. Luckily for him, the AV managed to distance them. That night, at the village, he learned that the creature he had found was a Carrion Crawler, a dangerous monster better left alone because he could paralyze victims with his tentacles.
On the sixth day, the AV manufactured himself a spear, which he used to attack the Carrion Crawler while keeping out of reach. The worm retreated into its hole, but the AV wisely decided not to crawl into it and follow suit. Again he disturbed the monsters, was chased, and eventually returned home with a couple of arrows sticking off his back. That night, the elders suggested that it was dangerous to go alone, and the AV should look for an adventuring companion at the tavern. This is where the AV met Banedon the Cleric, who wanted to fight evil monsters in the name of the Gods.
On the sixth day, the AV and Banedon approached the dungeon and were able to sneak on the goblin guard. Then they set up an ambush: while Banedon distracted the monsters, the AV would hide and attack their rear. Everything seemed to go well, when the AV fell on the orc and plunged his sword into its black heart, avenging the death of his father. But then the remaining two goblins decided to fight like cornered beasts: one killed Banedon and the other wounded badly the AV. Just before the killing blow that would have ended the Fighter's life, Banedon's warhammer shone of a divine light, distracting the goblins and allowing the AV to escape (yes, GM intervention, that's ok I guess, the player needs encouragement). The AV made his way back to the village, grieving his friend's death at the hands of the goblins.
This time the AV took a few days to heal from his wounds. Again, he looked at the tavern for a companion but only found a magician girl named Ghiscar, who was very keen to join him. At first the AV would not hear her pleas - he didn't like girl adventurers, thank you - but at last he was convinced by the lack of other options.
Three days later, the AV and Ghiscar made their way to the dungeon and found it abandoned: the surviving goblins had left, taking with them all the food and valuables they could. Exploring the ruins, the two adventurers avoided a pit trap and found a secret door that the orc might have known, but the goblins didn't. In a secret room they found a chest which they pried open: it contained, among other treasures, the axe of the Viking and a red sword. Overjoyed, the AV felt closure for his quest for vengeance. The heavy chest leaned on a door, also locked, as if the orc had tried to block it. The AV insisted on opening it but Ghiscar would not hear any of it (she was a lot more sensible than the AV and Banedon, it turns out).
Instead they explored the rest of the dungeon. In the main room they found human bones, which could have belonged to Banedon: they gave them a burial. In a side corridor, they discovered an entrance that led to the den of the Carrion Crawler, which they attacked from behind. Among bones and dirt they found many valuable gems, and returned to the village significantly richer than before. But most of all, the AV had avenged his father, retrieved his axe and a red sword which looked very much magical...