Tazar Junior

Bandits and Trading posts

The Hook

Being that the kids are 8 and 11, i simplified the hook and just narrated that they were hired by the king to go out to the green belt and make the area livable again for human settlements and to start one when it is.

So when they go to Oleg’s trading post, they met Oleg and Svetlana, who asked if they were here to defeat the bandits, to which they immediately said… “Uh… Maybe.”
At another table were the two NPCs, Frederico and Gaston. they joined the conversation and indicated that they had been recruited to make the area inhabitable and they woudl be willing to take care of the bandit problem. the kids said, “I thought that was our job, Dad.” I pointed out that it was and they had papers to prove it. the kids showed their papers, and the NPCs showed theirs and they decided to join forces. I start using the charismatic and talkative Frederico character to nudge the players to certain interactions if the kids are not picking up on subtle things in the game. I use Gaston to stand in the front and absorb attacks or to shoot his giant composite bow at bad guya so that the kids can have some breathing room to figure out combats.

The kids set up a very simple ambush, where they wait for the bansits to come and when they knock on the gate, they will start raining down arrows and musket bullets from the towers. this works surprizingly well. one of the bandits almost gets away, but is shot off of his horse by a well placed arrow.

The kids go through the bandits gear while Oleg tells them that they can stay and eat for free whenever they want and that he will buy any items form them at market value for a time.
This is where the kids show a different priority than some gming gorups. the first thing they divide up is the bandits’ trail rationsthen the horses. THEN they sell off the other stuff and start making orders with Oleg for other supplies. After some initial resistance by Rica, there is an order made to buy a lot of bullet making equipment for Manny. She originally thought it was a lot of money to spend on ammunition, but softened her stance when she saw that the gun was very damaging and was told that bullets are very hard to find, not like the arrows and crossbow bolts that are found on almost every foe.
So they made that order and are now waiting for the next session to decide what to do next.

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A new Adventure Starts
Kingmaker for Kids

So here we are two years later and the kids have been wanting to play again.
so i started them up in a parallel game of Kingmaker that i will run in synch with the grown up game that runs on tuesdays.

Rica (now 11) chose to make a Witch, which she named “Callie”, and Clark (now 8) made a Gunslinger (of course) named “Manny”. Rica took a few days to figure out what she wanted to play and weighed out the differences between Witch and Alchemist and finally settled on Witch , taking a pltypus as her familiar and named it “Perry.”
Clark needed no research other than to see that there was a legal class called gunslinger and he was done researching. he looked over some of the rules and saw his gun choices and started with a musket
Since there are only two of them, i made up two NPCs, a Bard Named Frederico, and a Fighter named Gaston. they will meet them once the adventure begins.

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Luigi Gets His Gun

Injured Return

So the party went back to the Keep to rest and heal. They used the apartment key they found on the evil priest to stay there for free. And then they searched for the cache indicated on the map and found a lot of money and jewels. After they got their feet under them, they went out to talk to Harrison.

Magic Gun Time

So they show Harrison some of the loot and talk to him about some of the fights they had and about the evil priests that they killed and he agrees to make the gun for Luigi, and a staff of Hold Person for Daisy (She asked for something to freeze her enemies). Luigi asks if the gun will be magic. Harrison indicates that it’s expensive to make magic items, but if Luigi Had another magic weapon, he could take it apart and and use the “magic parts” to make a magic gun for him. Luigi Asks,
“You mean like my Tooth Sword?”
“Well Certainly, a sword like that would work.” Harrison replies
“Can I give it to you right now?” Clark Mimes drawing the sword and handing it over."
So they give him the +1 Acid sword and the next day Harrison has for them the promised Gun, and a Staff of Hold person for Daisy. He tells her that the staff is nice now, but will be nicer when she gets to be a “bigger” cleric and can re-charge it herself.

The party is anxious to try out their new gear so they head back out to the caves of Chaos. I have them level up first. Luigi gets the Cleave feat, Daisy gets another spell (and takes swimming and climbing)

Rats

They get back to the caves of Chaos and back to the kobold lair. They decide to look into a room that they passed up earlier and find it to be a garbage dump room filled with giant rats, one of them bigger than the others and wearing a gold necklace. The party charges in to dispose of the rats, Luigi immediately draws his gun and shots the big rat at the back to death in one shot. Then he swaps out to his dragon slaying sword (they’re not dragons… but it’s still a magic sword). He and thest of the party make short work of the rats, (especially with Luigi’s new Cleave feat) avoid being diseased by the bites, and claim the treasure.

Kobold Leader

They find the last room with a big kobold and four guards (they were concubines in the module, i modified for the PG crowd). Luigi pulls out his gun and kills the lead kobold in one shot. For a moment I wonder if the gun was too much, but remember that it was doing more damage as a sword, and is really no more powerful than a magic longbow… and he really enjoys having it, so I move on. It takes them a couple rounds to finish the 4 “guards.” They find a key to a chest and a key to the store room. They loot the chest and go outside to figure out which cave to attack next.

BREE YARK

They choose cave “A” the Goblin cave.

Entryway

Entering the cave, they meet 6 wandering goblins who shout “Bree-Yark” and engage. Daisy is emboldenend by her new extra hit points and attack bonus and starts heading into melee with regularity at this point, occasionally using Channel Energy to heal the crowd, selectiviely not healing injured enemies. Luigi recognises that their isn’t a clear leader type, so leaves his gun in its holster and moves up and uses cleave to take the goblins down 2 per round.

Guard Room 1

They find a room with six more Goblins, who all shout “Bree-Yark” and throw spears. The party makes quick work and make their way off with a barrel of spears. They see that the unused exit from the room leads to an up staircase. They remember Harrison’s warning about higher levels and decide to leave that for later.

Guard Room 2

They find yet another guard room, with yet another 6 goblins. This time two of the goblins pic up a bag and start pushing it through a panel in the wall. Mr. Bananas chases them (at cost of attacks of opportunity and tries to stop them from what they are doing amidst shouts of “Bree Yark.” The Party Starts yelling “Bree-Yark” back at them, but the goblins are too busy getting killed to formulate a response.

Ogre Surprise

Those familiar with the module, know that the two goblins shoving a bag in a panel were giving a bag of coins to an Ogre in an Adjacent cave to come help them in a fight. So shortly after they’ve dealt with the last goblin, the Ogre shows up with an intimidating “Bree-Yark!” Daisy tries to talk to him and ask him why he is attacking. The Ogre indicates that the Goblins paid him and points to the heavy coin Bag. The ogre swings at them and the fight is on.
Mr. Bananas is nearly killed twice, and Luigi is taken down quite a bit, but they manage to finsih off the Ogre and get his sack of gold.

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Wish Lists: An Interlude

Ok, so today, I’m sick as a dog but the kids want to play. I tell them that they have a lot of money from their adventure and that they should look through the equipment lists and put together wish lists of things that they want to get their characters or the party. I allow them to also look at magic items less than 300GP value. (so some potions and some wands).
So rica puts together a long list of things the party needs and that she’s like to see the characters have, Things like; more rations, oil, a new rope for Luigi, Holy water, and several other things that seem well thought out.

Clark’s wish list read like this:

GUN!

I told them that we wouldn’t be able to play today and that I’d need to figure out a new story for them since we finished the one from the Beginner Box.
I also told Clark that Guns were not around, but he seems determined to either find one or make one.

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Session 2: "After Dinner"

So after dinner, the kids are begging to get back to the game. My wife sighs and rolls her eyes and waves us off, taking consolation in the fact that I’m spending time with the kids and they are apparently learning math and vocabulary.

Obelisk and Graffiti

The party walks into a room with a large obelisk (which I explain as a pillar or tower) at one end and some chalk graffiti on one wall reading something to the tune of “there is a dragon that breathes acid at the end of this dungeon.” Rica has Daisy examine the glyphs on the obelisk (she likes examining glyphs) and discovers that the only glyph repeated on all four sides of the obelisk is a glyph for water. Through a little bit of coaching and use of detect magic (it sould be noted that detect magic allws identification of magic items in Beginner box rules), they figure out that something will happen if one of the characters touches all four of the water glyphs in series. Still nervous from the last magical trap, what followed next was their first occurrance of a common RPG trope, of “Someone needs to touch it, but it won’t be me.” Daisy instructed Mr. Bananas to touch the glyphs (their first occurance so far of the “Have the NPC do it” trope).
After doing so, Mr. Bananas touched the glyphs, he told them that he felt like he scould swim better now and felt like he could breathe water. When they heard that, they all raced to touch the glyphs and found that only one person could have the effect at a time and that it only lasts about 10 minutes. So after some discussion, Clark reluctantly agreed that Daisy could have the effect before they went into the next room (which had visible water in it).

Island in a cave

Walking in, the party could see a big subterranian pond, with an island in one corner of the cave and a pile of shiny stuff on it. Clark immediately had Luigi swim for the island, wo managed to make his rolls well and get across with little problem. Daisy, on the other hand kept failing her (now boosted) swim rolls and spent much of this section under water trying to get back to the top.
When Luigi got to the island a ReefClaw sprang up and attacked him. CLark rolled really well during this combat, and had Mario fly over and use magic missiles to help him, so Luigi managed to only have minor injuries in this fight. Afterwards they found a lot of treasure, including a +1 dragon bane sword, which they all agreed that Luigi should use. I made the appropriate changes to his character sheet and we moved on.

Arguing Goblins

They make their way to the next cave where four goblins are arguing with heach other, and a fifth goblin wearing a crown sitting on a throne is holding his ears. Clark has Luigi Draw his sword and start walking in. The goblin king says “Me King Fatmouth, Who you?” they answer and Rica has Daisy successfully use Diplomacy to talk to them rather than start a fight. King fatmouth tells them that they are arguing about the whereabouts of a toy dragon. Rica has Daisy whip out the one they found and the goblins are happy. The goblins promise the party free passage through this portion of the caves and warn them that there is a lot of danger further in, that nobody returns (you know, the standard dungeon warning.) He also tells them that Black fang has some soft scales on his belly that should be easier to stab.

Walking dead

The next room requires climbing a 30 foot wall to enter. the party fails several climb checks a couple by rolling 1s, so I have the rope break a couple times, so now luigi has a 25’ foot rope and a couple of 12’ ropes. But finally they get up there and the skeletons attack. Rica is johnny on the spot using channel energy to hurt the skeletons and heal the party While Luigi, Mario, and Mr. Bananas use swords and magic to help finish them off. I was impressed that clark is now getting the hang of when to ask mario for a ray of frost, vs asking for a burning hands spell, especially when he originally just wanted Mario to throw rocks.

Black Fang’s lair

They climb some steps and make it to the cave area where Black fang lives. it has an open roof, which is how he gets in and out, apparently. Black fang immediately opens the fight with a line of acid breath hitting Luigo and Mario. Luigi’s magic ruby absorbs much of the damage, and his save minimizes the rest. Mario, saves, but is still knowcked out (he’s a 1st level wizard after all). Rica has Daisy move to stabilize and treat Mario and Mr. Bananas tumble into the room to “backstab” (flank). Clark has Luigi step right up with his Dragon bane sword and swing for the soft belly Scales (gaining +2 to hit) This was a very close fight. Daisy barely woke Mario before Luigi went down. Mario hid down the stairs (with 0 HP) while she used Cure light wounds on Luigi. When he got up, Luigi drank his cure light wounds potion, and Mr. Bananas kept flanking to try to let Luigi hit easier. At one point Rica wighed out the pros and cons of using a channel energy group heal, knowing that it would also heal the dragon, but with three party members at 1 HP or less she decided that it was a good trade off. It worked out since Luigi managed a critical hit with his Dragon Bane sword right after that, finishing him off)

So they gathered the treasure from the dragon’s hoard and went back to town to collect their reward.

While there, they meet a smith that is willing to make a magic sword if they bring him the Dragon’s biggest tooth and some magic armor if they bring back enough scales. Luigi (with Mario)fetches these items while Daisy is shopping for the party. He finds that the goblins and King Fatmouth have laid claim to the carcass. After a couple failed attempts at diplomacy, it turns into a fight. Luigi and Mario win, but only just. Mario is unconcious and Luigi is at 1 hit point. Daisy eventually wonders why it is taking so long and goes to find them camping near the magic fountain, trying to become well enough to journey back. she heals them up and they collect the pieces they need from the dragon carcass.
Luigi gets a Dragon tooth sword +1 Acidic, and Daisy gets +1 scale mail with 5 energy resistance (acid).

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Session 1: "Before Dinner"

So I spent quite a while making sure to explain the characters to the kids. I told them that we would use the characters as-is for the first adventure, but that I would let them remake their own for any further adventures.
Clark was playing the Boxed Fighter, and Rica the Boxed Cleric, with only the aforementioned name changes. We decided to use Mario Brothers Chess set game pieces to represent the party where possible.
To round out the party and plant NPCs that could help them in tough spots and dead ends, I made the Boxed Rogue into a Monkey that would Be Daisy’s pet (represented by a ‘Toad’ chess piece) and the Boxed wizard into a Pseudo-Dragon (Actually represented by a pewter mini- an owl) that would be Luigi’s pet. Clark immediately named the Wizard Pseudo-dragon Mario. Rica originally named the monkey “Banana Mushroom,” I assume influenced by the chess piece, after mis calling it several times on my part later during play, she decided to keep one of my mis-speaks and chang ethe Monkey’s name to Mr. Bananas.

So I started to run the Beginner box adventure “Lair of Black Fang” for them. Being 5 and 8, I had to stop several times and explain some words to them, but was happy that their vocabularies were improving. (a point that I would use to help my wife become more comfortable with her kids "becoming giant D&D nerds- the other being the strengthening of math skills).

Once things got rolling, here is how the encounters went:

Cave opening

Rica had Daisy examine the statue at the cave entrance, while Clark was intrigued by the ‘mossy curtain’ that covered the opening. Daisy discovered that the statue had some of its features dissolved when luigi was ambushed at the hanging moss by two goblins.
They made short work of the goblins, but needed a lot of hand holding through their first combat.

When they went in they saw a chest and a couple of straw mats. it was locked. Clark declared that Luigi would use his key. I told him he didn’t have one. He claimed that he did. I showed him on his sheet that he didn’t. (This was either his first attempt at storytelling or his first attempt at cheating his inventory… a tradition that many gamers keep throughout their gaming carreers). Rica asked if Mr. Bananas had a key (I think misremembering how the rogue skills worked), and I told her about how he didn’t but he could try to pick the lock. He failed.
The kids seemed stuck so I had them roll Perception to find the key hidden in on of the straw mats. they didn’t. I intervened and had Mario find it for them.
They took the treasure and I guided them through the idea of always checking tresure for magic and trying to identify said magic, and they gave the potio of Cure light wounds to Luigi and kept the rest on a party treasure list.

Magic Fountain

The next room had a fountain with a lot of runes and glyphs. I had to explain what those were and what the difference was. Clark was eager to drink have Luigi from the fountain, as his earlier dive into his inventory revealed him to have a Flagon, which he was itching to use (after I explained what a flagon was). Rica had Daisy try to read the runes and succeeded in a Knowledge religeon check to find that this fountain was a tribute to Desna and that she would favor those that give a donation to the fountain. Not wanting to dive too deeply into game religeon vs real religeon, I explained Desna as a sort of Genie. Rica immediately corrected me, telling me that Desna is a Goddess that Clerics can worship. I paused. She really had read the players’ book and retained much of it. So we continued, they threw coins into the fountain and drank from it all gaining various binuses for the next combat or the remainder of the dungeon, depending.

Magic Ruby

They made their way into the next room with a dais flanked by two statues. On the dais was a glowing red gem. They had their characters rush the gem and set off a fire spray trap. They both saved (in one case because of the bonus from the fountain.). They noticed that their short pets were unhurt by the fire, as it went over their heads, so they started crawing up to the dais. I told them that the flame trap repeated every 5 seconds that they were in the room. Clark counted off on his fingers 1..2..3 and then pantomimed snatching something. I took that as a good indication that he understood and wanted to time a grab between flame bursts. (As an aside, this would start Clark’s pattern of pantomiming some of his actions to me.) then they crawled out of the room, Luigi carrying the magic gemstone. THey identified that the stone would absorbe the first 10 points of enegy damage the holder takes in a day.

Giant Spider

They walked up to the next room, now wary of traps. I described that the room was filled with lots of little spiders and spider webs, but also webs the size of robes and humanoid bones on the gorund. They tried to walk through avoiding the webs, but the hidden giant spider jumped down from ceiling surprizing most of them. Clark pantomimed drawing his sword from his back and swinging it, and I had them roll initiative. They had little trouble with this combat as the spider kept missing. When they were done they faound the corpse of a goblin with some treasure, including a wooden toy dragon. My wife came home from work during this combat, so when the looting was over, we ended the session for dinner and family time.

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Session 0, AKA "we got the box"
And it begins...

The Beginner box came in the mail Thursday and the kids actually spent much of the day reading the players book (the “heroes’ guide”) and reading up on the pre- made characters.

Rica decided she wanted to play the lady cleric, but wasn’t sure if she liked the name they gave her. Clark wanted to play the fighter and asked if they could change the names. I said ‘Yes,’ and he decided immediately to name it Luigi. (For those who don’t know, my son is fixated on Luigi from the Mario brothers. Possibly to an unhealthy level. Certainly to a hilarious level.) When Rica heard that, she decided to name her cleric, “Daisy.”

I showed them where the parts of the books that pertained to each of their characters was and sent them to reading. It was amazing. They were both super focused on the task of reading up to play. A type of focus normally reserved for watching ‘Phineas and Ferb’ or a disney movie.
This prompted the first of many times that I would be proud at how anxious my kids were to play D&D with their Dad. This also prompted the first instance of what would become a recurring theme of my wife declaring. “I hate you.” for encouraging the kids to be gamers.

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