Gaming friends: We’ve had several parents approach us and ask us for help in providing Dungeons & Dragons gaming fun for their young gamers.
Before Covid spiked this fall, we had a solution: We were going to start a Twin Cities Club Heroes, a group dedicated to gaming and teaching, with the latter focused on turning beginning D&D players (parents and kids!) into Game Masters.
That’s still the plan – we’re just on hold until we can do so safely. But that certainly doesn’t help the original issue – helping parents provide some gaming fun. So let’s do that now!
I’m going to provide you with a simple way to create an adventure and you’re more than welcome to use this as either a game to play with your young gamers or take what we started and turn it into an even better story/adventure.
A couple of quick tips in creating an adventure:
* Keep it simple. Your brain will want to expand, expand, expand but trust us, the more you narrow it down, the better it will be and the easier it will be to “run,” or lead as the game master;
* Make it magical. The more magic, the better. By the way, some new to D&D view “magic” as just nasty creatures that want to harm your player-characters. Hardly! In our book, magic is something un-natural that will delight and probably surprise. (OK yeah, sometimes it’s a bit hungry and wants to chew on some fingers … but you get the idea!)
* Give it a personality. This is where the magic happens – providing a person, creature or even an object with a personality is when the fun really starts! Examples to follow.
To start the adventure – especially if you’re not a creative person - go to Google, type “fantasy” into your search and then click on the images button. This will fire up your imagination as you see all these terrific visuals! We did this and came up with three photos, which in essence serve as the content of our adventure.
Let’s call this adventure, “Magic Mushrooms.”
The first photo that grabbed our attention is a picture of a child walking on a snowy road with a reindeer. This will serve as the main storyline of the adventure. Remember keep it simple: The player(s) will be tasked to complete an assignment given to them by their king. They are to take a magical reindeer, who has wandered away from his home, back to its castle. (Maybe a guy with a white beard and a jolly demeanor lives there?)
But remember we have two other key elements to every piece of this adventure: magic and personality.
So the reindeer will be magical – he’ll be able to talk, to fly once a day and cast a few simple spells: fog cloud, mage hand, etc. Spells that can help the players out of tough situations.
And the reindeer will have a personality: We see him as an Eeyore with antlers. Gloomy. (“They’re not very good antlers but I’m kind of attached to them …”) Distrustful. Lazy.
Again keeping it simple, the adventure will be guiding the reindeer down this snowy road, back to its castle. Along the way a couple of fun things happen.
The first one relates to the second picture that grabbed our attention: some interesting looking mushrooms. Keeping things magical, we’ll say the mushrooms are indeed magical. If they are consumed – by the PCs or the reindeer – one of four conditions will occur: On a roll of 1 using a d4, the person turns into a baby form of itself; 2) On a roll of 2 using a d4, the person turns huge, double or even tripling its size; 3) On a roll of 3, the person or creature begins hovering over the ground, not really flying but not walking either; 4) on a roll of 4, the person or creature turns green, begins hopping around and has a sudden hunger for flies. All conditions last 1d4 hours. Use the reindeer to call attention to the mushrooms and probably consume at least one of them, all the while being distrustful of how they'll taste.
The second fun – and magical! – event happens later on the walk, perhaps even the next day. This relates to the third and final picture: a cute, orange kitten sitting next to a pond, with a reflection showing its true self.
Sometime during the walk down the road, the players will encounter this little kitten, which will nuzzle up to the PCs and then, the reindeer. Being his distrustful self, Eyeore the reindeer will demand the players leave the kitten behind.
We’re guessing you know what’s coming: The kitten – at that time a huge lion – ate magic mushrooms and turned into a kitten. At some point during the walk down the road with the players and Eyeore, the mushrooms wear off and poof!, you have a crazy situation. Hungry lion, scared reindeer that could try to fly away, and some seriously surprised players.
And a fun role-playing session!
Hope that helps, fellow parents. If you have other ideas to add to this adventure, leave them in the comments section for your fellow gamers. Thanks!