Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So here we are

50 Episodes in the can folks...Yikes.

Here is a request I promised an answer to, a while ago. How to play Descent with young kids.

Well, here goes. I play DnD like with the goal of adding in enough elements to play the true game at some point.

First observation. My son hated the idea of monsters spawning "out of nowhere". I guess he felt like he'd kill a bunch of skeletons then why would more pop out. I can't blame him it is a frustrating feeling. The second thing he did not like was Me vs. Him. Also he really could not handle all four characters. And I worried about his attention level.

Now the good news: At the age of 8, he was totally able to comprehend the tracking of his one hero card. The weapons cards, boosts to his fatigue, counting his wounds, etc...100%. Tactic wise he still just wants to run and charge the monster but who doesn't?

Ok, so what did I do. Ok, We build the map together. He loves that part. I then look up a dungeon including the big bad monster. I use the money and the character beginning rules. No issue. I keep all the monsters handy, and put some more treasure in the dungeon. This gets him all excited and boosts the character strength. He plays just one guy.

Then that's it, I narrate a short scene from the get go. "The wizard in the town wants you to find his magic stone and bring it back to him. You will have to beat the Giant to do it." First one: "You enter the room and hear the sound of dripping water. There are two doors, what do you want to do?" Of course, there are two treasure piles in the room. So where does he want to do. TREASURE. Hey he is a boy after all.

"As you approach the treasure....A spider drops down from the ceiling" He jumps with glee. And the battle rages on per normal dice rules.

That is it, that is the whole game. If he squishes the spider easy. I boost the level of the monster right on the card. Just like a DM does.

What happens? Well, it for one amazing keeps his attention for waaaay longer than I thought. When I played this with his two cousins, who are not gamers by trade, they loved it and wanted to play for hours.

By narrating the monsters in, and not playing with a hand of overlord cards, they get the used to the feel of monsters popping in but don't quite feel like I am playing against them. As a matter of fact I mention I am NOT against them, I am just the storyteller. This helps too.

It really is that easy. As a matter of fact don't worry that the monsters will kill them without overlord cards, the monsters are easy to squish.

Next I intend to use some overlord cards to "help me". And we can ease into using them.

That's it, easy as pie.



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