Sunday 8 January 2012

Kids D&D - Rescue the Queen

This is the third session of Kids D&D I have run, all using Jimm Johnson's excellent Kid's D&D rules and character sheets. A perfect complexity for this age group.

The royal family happens to be incredibly unlucky. In session 1, my two children (girl 7 and boy nearly 5) had to rescue the Princess from a cave complex. You can read about it here. In session 2, now with cousins (boy 11, girl 9 and boy 7), the King was rescued. You can read about it here.

Now as a Christmas special, and at the request of my children and the cousins - I ran Rescue the Queen.

The Queen has disappeared. She was last seen in the royal kitchens and the room has been sealed. The brave adventurers have been asked to investigate.

DM notes.

All the players stayed at 2nd level - even if they changed characters. All 2nd level characters have 12hp. My daughter wanted to be a wizard not the warrior princess this time. I just allowed a straight swap - easier that way. In the end everyone changed - even if all they changed was the name. My son played Double Smash the Knight, which was quite appropriate because Jimm Johnson's rules allow knights two attacks per round, so he could roll 2d20 each attack.

In the end I didn't make a map, not enough time, I devised a fairly linear adventure. For this age group I don't think it played any worse.

I didn't have any miniatures for the monsters, so I decided to educate them into the use of imagination, rather then gaming mat, reserving the gaming mat only for key rooms. I found web images (suitable for this age group - I hope) of the monsters they had to fight.

All monsters using Labyrinth Lord Rules or my B/X.

Session lasted about 2 hours - the kids rated it as one of the best activities over Christmas, and I won lots of brownie points from the other adults for taking the kids off their hands for that length of time! Huzzah.

I decided in advance the adventure would end on a 'To be Continued' note - yes, yes, railroading - but I think for this age group I can be forgiven.

Here's the adventure...

Rescue the Queen Part 1

The Queen has disappeared. She was last seen in the kitchen.

One other person is missing – the castle wizard ‘Quentin the Quintessential.’ or Wizard Q as he is usually known.

In the kitchen her crown is lying over a spot in the floor. Searching (dwarves automatically find secret doors) is a big secret trap door. This leads to the garbage chute of the castle. 

Some servants think a dragon lives under the castle “Ahhhhh!” Castle guards spin around and say “Ahhhhh!” [got one laugh and a few strange looks]

Leads to a sloping tunnel.

1 Carrion Crawler

AC 7
HD 3+1 (18 hp)
Attack 8 tentacles or 1 bite
Damage paralysis or 1d4

Sloping Tunnel ends in a lantern in a nook in the wall directly ahead. In front of a lantern is a trap door. Save or fall. Each person must make a save in marching order. If one succeeds all behind automatically succeed.

Fallers disappear. Will take 2hp damage each. Land into deep water but sloping so can walk up to 3 feet height (so won’t drown even in armor).

Those above may discover a secret door in the wall just before the trap. Ladder leading down to a ledge above the water.

Fallen into a sewer. Single ledge along one side. [If you have seen Flushed Away - one of the best Kids movies ever - imagine the sewer Rodney falls into]

In the sewer is a small box on wheels, with handles for pushing it, and is floating in the water. Damaged. It has writing on the side. ‘Magic Potion Box. Property of Wizard Q’ Hands off!’

There are buttons down one side and empty flasks, with corks and a hold to put the flasks in.

The selections are

1. Healing

2. Water Breathing

3. Levitating

4. Super Strength
5. Invisibility
6. Protection from Dragon Breath

It works as many times as there are characters (shuddering and shaking each time) and then brakes apart.

[The kids loved this - a choice of presents and a gift - what's not to like. Reminded me of how gaining magic treasure is part of what makes D&D so great and so addictive].

Rats & Snakes
Swarming along the ledge and in the water are giant rats as big as a puppy. Trouble is the sewer is a dead end here and the rats have no where to go and they are frightened.

12 rats
AC 7
2hp each
Bite save or 4 damage

[My daughter used her speak with animals spell to good effect]

Followed by 1 giant Python which is chasing the rats.

AC 6
HD 5 (22)
Attack 2 (bite / constrict)
Damage 1d4 / 2d8

This snake just wants to eat!

Passage leads into a maze

A minotaur lives in the maze [who would have thought!]. 

AC 6
HD 6 HP 32
Attacks 2 or 1
Damage 1d6

Secret door at the conclusion of the maze leads to a large armoury. Inside is Wizard Q.
He was with the Queen when she investigated the rumours of a dragon living under the castle. He designed the maze and placed the minotaur inside it.

He gives each party member one magic item of their choice.

The item might be in the room somewhere e.g. Pool in the room might need water breathing potion to be used, high shelf for levitating potion. 
He won’t travel with them.

[The kids loved once again getting a magic item. I allowed quite a lot of freedom - they chose the type of item - shield, axe, wand, chain mail, bow - and I statted the item. Shield + 1 with protection from dragons (1/2 to 1/4 damage from dragon breath), Bow +1 with 10 +3 arrows, chain mail +1 (like Bilbo) with invisibility once per day, magic wand giving 2 extra spells per day up to third level - she chose two lightning bolts, axe +2 that always returns if thrown)].

Long long tunnel opening into a big cave (hole in the roof with rain coming in)

Dragon, it looks asleep. In a large cavern. There is a hole at one end in the roof and rain is coming down. Not like this pic. He starts to laugh like Jabba the Hut (should have played it from my phone)

AC -1
HD 10 HP 44
Attack 2claws / 1bite
Damage 1d8 / 4d8
Breath as per HP

He has captured the Queen (chained like Princess Leia - I didn't go into details)

[Party got initiative and did some damage, especially with lightning bolt. It breathed on my daughter but she had taken the protection from dragon breath potion she had chosen.]

Will fly away with Queen if injured.

[The dragon flew away carrying the Queen in his claw, saying 'Find me if you dare at the Lonely Mountain.]

The END of Part 1. TO BE CONTINUED next time the cousins return, where I have promised more of the dragon and horse riding.


  1. JP,
    this was a really entertaining read. i just finished running the Pathfinder Beginner Box adventure with my 8 yr. old son. It has a similar open-ending with the dragon flying away to fight another day. the PF mechanics made it a little clunky for me to run, but i wanted to give it a spin and the kids really like the card board punch out figures and cavern map. I've tried some simplified rules in the past, like Dungeon Squad, but i'd like to find some middle ground that has some flo.

  2. I am hoping to graduate the kids to B/X (stats, classes etc) after the next adventure!