Friday, October 11, 2013

A Shattered Bridge

So I posted something a while ago about delving into dungeons.

My sons have been exploring the hobby of role playing with 4th edition D&D (which is a good game naysayers, just go away!) and so far it has been hit or miss. The concept of role playing games is something that is an exercise in active thought in my humble opinion. Board games and war games don't require the same mental insertion that rpgs do. You have to become the character, you have to actively try to see the world the character is in, and you have try to work out the decisions the character would make based off these ideas. I think this is the essence of why role playing is fun but also why it can be so alien to some people. I think it teaches a lot of things to the players and one of those valuable skills it teaches is empathy. That aside, everyone loves to chop up monsters with an axe!

I've been writing short "delves" for them to play in. Three to five room dungeons with some monsters and traps and treasure and sometimes hidden treasure. I try to set them in interesting places or interesting events. I've made one a timed run (a terrible magic storm that would blast them to pieces) but usually they just get to explore the area as they wish. Last night it was a bridge that was broken in the middle with two toll houses that could be explored and beyond it a statue in a ruined neighborhood.

The "gotcha!" moment was the young white dragon that would pounce upon the party as it crossed the broken gap in the bridge. It was suitably dramatic and I had written the dragon to flee after taking only a small amount of damage. It was looking for an easy meal, not a fight.

The dragon caused suitable panic in my party when it crashed even to the point that one character rappelled down into the ravine to avoid being a target. The dragon did some great hurt but they perceived and drove it away.

I think they are starting to get the idea of how role playing works and how the game is meant to be played. I also think they are enjoying it more than originally. I know I am, it is really nice to be a father and have your children play the games you love :)

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