I was a little stressed out leading up to getting started yesterday; I haven’t run a D&D game in several months, and running a game for the kids can always be a challenge. On top of that, I didn't have as much prepared as I would have liked, and knew I would be winging some of the session. We started with character generation. We had five characters fully done up within an hour and a half. Microlite characters are pretty straightforward, of course, and most of the time was taken up buying supplies.
I explained it in an earlier post, but I’ll recap here. PCs start basically as level-0 townsfolk with three stats: Strength, Dexterity, and Mind. Stats are calculated using 12d6, dropping the three lowest rolls, and assembling three scores with what remains and assigning as the player sees fit. Ability modifiers are calculated by taking the score, minus ten, and divided by 2, rounded down. They all get 12 HP plus a Strength bonus. They all rolled on my Character (Family) Background Generator, which gave us the children of a barber, a forester, a farmer, an arrowsmith, and explorers. There are no levels. Character improvement happens through acquiring items in-game, training with NPCs, and success with certain tasks in the field. I’m still ironing out some of the details, but I have plenty of time and some good ideas, I think.
Regardless, things got off to a start with some combat. I’ve learned that with the kids, they need some action to start things off. So I explained the situation, plopped down a battle map, and we got to rolling dice.
They nearly died.
It was fantastic.
So, having successfully fended off the bokoblin attack and defended their fellow villagers and the refugees, they set off to help the town by acquiring more weapons and armor. They upgraded their “weapons” (really just hunting tools) by having the town blacksmith do a little work on some of the swords that were dropped by the bokoblins from the attack in town.
They have a general map of the area (which belongs to the daughter of the explorers), and they were faced with a few options. First, Lon Lon Ranch is some five or six miles from Kakariko Village, and there was some concern if the ranch would be okay. Also, Ordon Village, some twenty miles to the south, could also be in need of assistance. Finally, there was an area on the map clearly marked “Ruins” to the Northwest (the remains of the original Hyrule Castle, perhaps…?). They eventually settled on heading to the Ranch.
A random encounter happened first. Currently, as it is always dark and Hyrule is crawling with monsters, I’m rolling for every mile travelled. I roll 2d6, and if either face pops up a 1, bam, random encounter. Snake Eyes would be the discovery of something fairly major.
They came across a ruined tower, though it still had a second floor at least. It also had a pair of bokoblins guarding the entrance. An ambush took the guards out and they set up to move in. My father-in-law directed their movements, and they made quick progress with good cover, and the encounter with another four or five bokoblins inside didn’t last very long.
They did, however, fail to investigate upstairs. Not sure why, as bokoblins were coming at them from upstairs, but I wasn’t about to remind them. The tower’s not going anywhere, and whatever was up there will still be there, right? Maybe? Who knows.
They made it the rest of the way to Lon Lon Ranch, where they met Malon and her father Talon. Malon is the twelve year old girl who really runs the Ranch, and Talon does what he can to help out. When they come up, she is armed with a shortbow and certainly not thrilled to have strangers, but is willing to let them stay the night in the barn if they help out repairing the ranch.
Oh, and there’s a cave nearby where all these monsters seem to keep coming from, and little Malon just hasn’t been able to get over there and clear it out. Could you guys investigate?
In they went. Numerous encounters with Deku Baba plants later (the little bastards kept popping back up out of the ground after they killed them, wonder why...) and they were face to face with some robed evil dudes creating bokoblins in some kind of foul ritual involving rupees. The robed guys went down fairly quickly, but not before one of them toasted our heroes pretty good with a fireball attack of some sort.
Of course, the two youngest adventurers took the bait of the evil-looking daggers dropped by the robed fellows. And as they were trying to leave the dungeon, fighting their way through the Deku Baba plants that had grown back, one of the plants grabbed the boy as he tried to stab it with said evil dagger and chewed him up good. The rest of the group took the plants out and hauled the boy out, but he would need a few days to recover, and that only with the aid of some famous Lon-Lon Milk. Needless to say, they’re not really sure what to do with those daggers now…
Overall, a good first session for the campaign, I think. If there’s anything that’s going to kill the kids, though, it’s greed. They all suffer from “Gimme Gimme” syndrome; they all want the shiniest new thing to show up, and it’s always a competition amongst all of them to see who can get it. They were going after fallen rupees in the middle of combat. Seriously. It nearly killed a couple of them on a couple of occasions. Once that nonsense started, any thoughts of taking it easy on them vanished. Not that I was fudging any die rolls (everything gets rolled right out in front of God and everyone), but I certainly wasn’t going to bring my B-game as far as tactics with the monsters was concerned. After all, they had been warned before the game started that their characters were fragile and could easily be killed if they weren't careful...
The kids had a good time, though. There was certainly some frustrations from every seat at the table at some point, be it from a string of poor die rolls or lamenting bad decisions, but all their characters (barely) survived to see another session, so we’ll continue on!