Writing, Family and More
Ever since my oldest was able to roll dice and work simple arithmetic, I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons with the kids. Sadly, I haven’t done this as much as I want because it is very easy to say it takes too much time to prepare or because of a myriad of other reasons. Excuses really.
Last night, only three of the kids were home. The boys were both begging to play and they convinced Guenevere that she should play as well. As a result, I threw together a simple story, a couple of encounters and we were off to the races, so to speak.
I struggle with creating balanced encounters. Part of the problem is probably my inexperience. Also though, they are changing their characters. They are not always the same level and they don’t think about party composition. So, for instance, Gabriel was using “Finn the Human” – a human fighter of 3rd level. Grayson made his new “Magnes” character – a dragonborn ranger of 1st level. Guenevere used a new elven bard “Drusilia” and I used “Merla the Proud”, a 2nd level, lazy halfling wizard who has a habit of eating too much and falling asleep on watch.
The story aside, I had planned out four encounters:
These weren’t going to be situations with huge advantages for either side in terms of terrain or situation. I expected the skeleton encounter to be easy, the magmin slightly more difficult (but avoidable). The last two encounters I expected would be very tough.
As it turns out, we had a moderately hard time with the skeletons and were nearly obliterated by the optional encounter of the magmin (Drusilia and Magnes were both knocked unconscious, Finn was down to three hit points and Merla was not able to hit anything (which is not uncommon)). Even though the situation didn’t really call for the ability to take a rest, I allowed it in order to make us able to survive another encounter.
I called it a night there and decided I would run the last two encounters this morning. I read up on my encounter building and realized that the ghoul encounter was going to be very tough indeed, so I dropped one of the zombies. I also decided that the grick encounter could wait.
Even so, we saw Drusilia fall in the first two rounds and Magnes was down to a few hit points as well.
The important part of the whole experience though was getting the opportunity to play with these kids. Guenevere’s been working with the twins to make characters, so I’ll have to work together a story line that is age appropriate for them. They are excited to join in though and sat through the encounter this morning.