Thursday, August 18, 2011

Seeking Advice: Original Dragonlance Modules for the Nephews' First Real D&D Long-term/Campaign Type Experience?

Here's the deal:  I have 2 nephews, age 6 and 7.  I'm thinking they're just about the right age for some sort of regular D&D gaming.  I've played a couple random one-offs with each of them, to give them the flavor, where I made it up as I went along, and they rolled dice to do certain things, and we all had a good time. They played Jedi, of course.  :)

Much as I'd like to introduce them to what we all love, the old school sandbox style of play, I think they're too young.  I'd like to give them some sort of story, like a series of TV shows that builds to a season finale.  I'd like to make it as fun as I can for them.  Most likely playing with us would be my brother, who I've gamed with forever.  He can help guide the kids towards the obvious best ideas and actions, thus ensuring a good time.  It seems that Dragonlance may fit the bill, despite it being the doom to old school gaming by some. 

I've never actually run any of the modules, although back in the day I made up a variation on them which my players enjoyed, based on the Chronicles book series, adapted for their characters who were trapped in the DL universe.  I have most of the modules, just missing a few, which I could acquire easily I'm sure. 

Honestly, what I like about it is the railroad-y story aspect, though it goes against all I'd like to play in now.  I think the kids would like it.  I think it would give enough guidance and direction to help ensure they have fun all along the way, especially if they know they are building towards something big, one module at a time.  I think the aspect of having what looks like a big huge season finale type thing would get them more into it. Plus, its a simple story, which I know I can dumb down to make it age appropriate if needed without losing the best parts of it. 

What do you guys think?  Anyone have any experience with either the DL series, or with introducing kids of this age to a long term game?



  1. I've only had a single one-shot of D&D with my son. He was six at the time and not quite ready for that sort of structure. We've done a lot of free-form cowboys & indians (actually Jedi & Sith) play, though.

    Honestly, something fast and loose is Exactly the way I would play it. The more spontaneous, the better. I'd do the whole thing on the fly and leave maximum room for their imaginations.

    At that age, I suspect your main challenge is going to be convincing them to accept the role of the DM. They're likely to want as much control as you'll give them, which is why I think a DL Railroad may not be the best approach.

    You might want to experiment a little with both approaches and see which one they take to.

    Just my opinion, though. :)

  2. having played with my own nephew and his friends (about the same age when we started) i would advise to stay away from modules.

    once kids understand they can do ANYTHING they want they deeply enjoy that freedom.

    you might have to nudge them a bit in the beginning (having your brother as a player will help), but after a few sessions they will surprise you. just don't expect some form of coherent campaign.

    all they will need are a few juicy fat "plot"hooks (=signs that point towards baddies). if you ask kids, monsters and treasure is what rpgs are about. story...? killing a big bad monster is enough story for them. (same goes for some older players ;))


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