Sunday, 28 January 2018

Dungeons and Dragons - the Lost Mine of Phandelver, Part 1

After over thirty years of GMing all sorts of roleplaying games, for the first time ever I am a Dungeon Master! I bought the Dungeons and Dragons Starter Set, for the 5th edition of D&D, and am really impressed by this initial adventure. I am DMing and my 10 year old daughter and four of her friends are the players. We have had our first adventure session and they loved it!  The following notes contain spoilers about the adventures, so don't read if you intend to play.
After the initial ambush, they surprised me by not really showing any interest in following the trial to Cragmaw Hideout, instead heading straight to Phandalin. They came up with a surprisingly realistic plan to deal with the goblins at Cragmaw Hideout. They would use the reward for delivering the wagon and supplies to hire mercenaries and the mercenaries would storm the goblin hide out for them! This rather well conceived stratagem threatened to derail my plan for the adventure.
Instead though, once they reached Phandalin they seemed to forget about this and after an initial encounter with some Redbrands, three of them went up to Tresander Manor and made a nuisance of themselves. They took the Redbrand's behaviour rather personally. The Redbrand ruffians out the front of the Manor rebuffed them though and the other player decided to head back to the trail and seek the goblin hideout. Eventually the others followed. After being fairly successful at defeating goblins, the three wolves in one of the first chambers came close to eating the adventurers alive! This battle proved to be very intense and exciting for the players.
Gaming fun - got to have snacks!

Looking forward to the next session. Children seem to be a lot more random in their approach than adult players - perhaps they don't have quite the same idea of what is expected of them. But they were surprisingly impressive role players. One of them stood up at one point and acted out his character's haggling with a merchant at a camp outside Phandalin. Great fun and they are very keen to play more.
After years of playing all manner of other RPGs, returning to D&D has made me realise how attractive the setting is. The richness combines with an easy, accessible style which is intriguing and colourful. The game rules make for a great gaming experience - this is a game built for the fun of playing.

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