Calfgrit10 asked me a couple times this weekend if I we could play some Dungeons & Dragons. Since both boys were pretty good all weekend, I finally agreed Sunday evening.
CG10 wanted to take a whole team on the adventure: 5 characters run by himself, plus a 6th run by CG7. He went through my miniatures collection and pulled out his team, and his little brother picked out a warrior, also. But after putting some thought into it, I determined that I really just didn’t have enough time to pull together and run an adventure for a whole bunch of characters. And I didn’t think it would be a good idea to let one novice 10-year-old try to run multiple characters. So I limited them to one character each, but I created their fighters at 3rd level, (so they could survive some monster encounters as just two).
CG7 told me he wanted to adventure in a volcano, with lava, and fight a dragon. So, I quickly threw together a very small dungeon set in a volcano with lava and a dragon:
A dragon had stolen the king’s crown, and taken it back to its volcano lair. The king hired CG10 and CG7 to go after the dragon and retrieve the crown. The king would reward them if they could accomplish the quest.
I wrote some monster stats on note cards for reference, but I was going to create the dungeon completely on the fly, based on how well they were doing and how much time we had left before bed time. Unfortunately, I had not adjusted the clock in my office/game room for the fall back to Standard Time, so I ended up shortening the game session by an hour. This meant we only played through three encounters for the adventure.
The adventurer pair rode their horses to the volcano, and found the cave entrance to the dungeon guarded by a pair of hobgoblins. CG10 played daring and reckless, going right up to the guards and attacking them. CG7 played cautious and sneaky, choosing to approach from behind after CG10’s fighter got into the fight. The first fight ended quickly, but the noise attracted the attention of other hobgoblins inside the cave. These five more hobgoblins rushed out to find out what was going on, and both boys’ fighters jumped to attack them.
In the fight, CG10’s character was seriously wounded, (from multiple hits), and CG7’s character was only lightly wounded, (from one hit). Some of the hobgoblins retreated and escaped from the attack. Both adventurers decided to pull back from the cave and go make camp. They needed to bandage up and rest to recover their hit points before any more monster encounters.
After a night’s rest, for which they fully healed, the boys went back to the cave entrance. There were no guards outside this time. So they lit a torch and went into the volcano dungeon. They found another guard post, with two hobgoblins, (who had retreated from the previous day’s fight). The fight went easy. CG10 slew the two hobgoblins while CG7 hung back being safe.
Then they moved deeper into the dungeon, CG10 leading the way. Down the tunnel they came to a large cavern with a lava stream down the middle, and a lava pool off to the side. CG10 saw a treasure chest in the far corner of the room, past the lava stream, and he immediately moved forward toward it. CG7 still hung back, just outside the room — he secretly told me that his intention was to run in and take the treasure if CG10 got into a fight with a monster.
As CG10 got to the middle of the room, a winged, snake-like dragon emerged from the pool of lava behind him. The dragon breathed fire, damaging CG10. And then the fight was on. But CG7 continued to stay out of the room, safe from the dragon.
CG10 put up a good fight. He considered retreat when he was down to 4 hit points, (probably one hit away from being killed). But when his turn came around again, he threw the thought of retreat out of his mind and continued attacking the dragon, all by himself. He severely wounded the dragon, and forced it to retreat back down into the lava pool. Then CG7 rushed into the cavern and jumped over the lava stream to reach the treasure chest before his brother.
In the chest was a large pile of gold and silver coins, with the king’s jeweled crown on top. CG7 grabbed the crown as CG10 caught up. CG10 scooped up some coins as CG7 jumped back over the lava stream to get back out of the cavern with the quest goal.
But the dragon came back up out of the lava pool, saying they will not leave with the crown. The dragon breathed fire on CG7, damaging him, and CG7 halted his dash out because he didn’t want to get close to the dragon. CG10 then held the treasure he had scooped out of the chest over the lava stream. He threatened to drop the coins into the lava unless the dragon let them leave.
The dragon, having only 2 hit points left, and not wanting to loose all his treasure, decided it could let them go away with just the crown. So it told CG10 to put the coins back into the chest and leave. CG10 honored the bargain, put the coins back into the chest, and then jumped back over the lava stream to follow CG7 out the tunnel.
The adventurers left the dungeon, got their horses, and rode back to their king. The king was so happy to get his crown back that he rewarded them 2,000 gold pieces. He was so proud of their bravery in taking the quest that he knighted them and held a feast in their honor. And there was great rejoicing.
Both boys told me they really had fun, and they both wanted to hold onto their character sheets and keep them in their rooms. It all went pretty well, especially considering how quickly I threw it all together in about 20 minutes.
The game table:
Negotiating with the dragon:
The dragon’s stats:
CG10’s character sheet:
CG7’s character sheet:
Notice that CG7 drew the crown on his sheet, completely on his own idea.