DaveTheGame and I attended a D&D event at the Westminster Public Library on Saturday afternoon and had a blast teaching 4e to new (and returning) players.
The wife of one of Dave’s players is a librarian and she set up the D&D event at the library. If it went well, there were plans to continue it on a monthly basis.
Dave and I were recruited to help, either with DMing if there were enough for multiple tables or just helping newbies during the game. (I was secretly hoping I didn’t have to run – I really prefer DMing for people I know since I’m still really new at it.) We only had enough players for two tables, so Dave and I didn’t have to run.
We ended up with mostly late teens to adults, except for one 10 year old boy who came in armed with an old school D&D character sheet for his human thief. Turns out he plays D&D with his Dad as his DM. (His character sheet even said “DungeonMaster: Dad“ It was just too freakin’ cute.)
TheMainEvent from Critical-Hits sold him on playing a shifter rogue, one of the pre-generated characters we’d printed up. It was clear Little Rogue was going to be a handful from the start. He was full of questions. TheMainEvent was very patient with him before the delve started, explaining where to find everything on his character sheet and how it was different from the edition of D&D he was used to playing.
I chatted with Mom & Dad. They had been instructed by Little Rogue NOT to play. (He’s at that age where parents should be kept at a distance when in public. Gosh, parents are SO embarrassing!!)
They admitted he was 10 (the library listed the event for ages 12+), and said they told him up front he’d have to keep up or they wouldn’t let him come back. They asked me some questions about D&D, where to get the new books, minis, etc. I also gave them a sticky note with the URL for ChattyDM and told them about his awesome posts about gaming with kids.
TheMainEvent ran Coppernight Hold from Dungeon Delve. Since I wasn’t DMing, I sat by Little Rogue and helped him run his character. On his first turn, he tried to push a kobold down a pit (and came pretty close to doing it). On his next turns, he wanted to throw rocks at the kobolds. We tried to explain that he had two daggers and powers that worked really well for stabbing, but he wanted to chuck rocks, so chuck rocks he did.
When the first minion was slain, everyone was shocked about the one-shot kill. TheMainEvent explained that they were minions and Little Rogue piped up: “Minions? Minions are usually controlled by something BIG! That’s not good for 1st level!“
Our paladin rushed into the heat of battle and did some serious asskicking, as defenders sometimes do. Again, Little Rogue pipes up, “He’s not sharing the battlefield!“
We finally manage to convince Little Rogue that he’d get to roll significantly more dice if he used his daggers. Once he hit with a Sly Flourish sneak attack, he was done with rock-throwing. He also proceeded to call it “Sky” Flourish for the rest of the delve, which was so cute that we didn’t bother to correct him. (Note: He did throw his daggers later in the delve. Methinks he’d be happier with a crossbow sniper rogue.)
When the first room was cleared, Little Rogue had a bright idea. He wanted to roll a big rock down into the pit and squish some of the creatures in the room below. He did so, and TheMainEvent described what happened. Little Rogue piped up, “I get experience for that, right?“
After the first encounter, the couple who were playing the paladin and wizard had to go, so I replaced the wizard and Little Rogue’s Dad stepped in to play the paladin (with much protesting from Little Rogue until Mom pointed out that he wouldn’t be able to play the game at home unless his Dad learned how to play too).
Little Rogue ran into one encounter and found himself surrounded by kobolds and quickly knocked unconscious. (His reaction: “COME ONNNNN!!!“) The bard gave him some healing, but he didn’t want to stand up right away.
Little Rogue: “I want to pretend I’m dead and then use Deft Strike!”
DM: “He’ll realize you’re not dead when you start attacking.”
Rogue: “Oh……… yeah.”
The final encounter was tough. The little white dragon breathed all over nearly the entire party. I think every member of the party – except my wizzy, who stayed farrrrrrr away! – was unconscious at one point or another. We finally got down to just one kobold, who dropped his weapons and pleaded for mercy.
Little Rogue’s Dad was the paladin and insisted we tie up the kobold and take him prisoner, but Little Rogue was screaming, “FINISH HIM!!! FINISH HIM!!!” Such bloodlust! It was adorable and disturbing and disturbingly adorable.
All in all, both tables had a great time and we got to introduce 4e to folks who either hadn’t ever played D&D before or who hadn’t played D&D in years and years.
My favorite quote of the afternoon came from my buddy Little Rogue:
“Hey Dad, I like this edition a lot more
than the one we have at home…
and Christmas is coming soon!”
Another successful convert to 4e. We’re indoctrinating the children! Mwah ha ha.
(P.S. The last three sentences were totally tongue in cheek. Seriously, I could care less what system you play as long as you’re having fun doing it. Long live RPGs, no matter what the system! And long live kids like Little Rogue and parents who are cool enough to get their kids involved in gaming. Woot!)