D&D For Thirteen

First session of the school D&D club today and I had thirteen players turn up, two of whom had played before and zero DMs (except me). It was a blast!

I gave them a classic Basic D&D character sheet and asked them to write their name at the top and then name their character. I explained what roleplaying is about – taking on a role in an imaginary world and making decisions as that character – and then told them the scenario.

“You are all villagers from a small hamlet in a rural area. Some creatures have raided the village and stolen several of the children in the night. As you awoke in the morning, you all agreed to pursue the creatures – whose tracks lead off into the dark forest. You have two hands – what do you grab as you rush out of the door?”

They each chose something they could carry, either in two hands or two things for one hand each. It was an interesting set of choices, hastily decided. One grabbed a lantern, a couple grabbed shields, most grabbed a weapon. One chose a pencil case and a pencil… which they later used to stab a Goblin in the face!

Into the forest, they followed the tracks. They discovered an opening before a cave on a hilly rise in the forest. The clearing before the cave opening was wide and they could see a small camp fire just outside the entrance. Two creatures which I described but they guessed were Goblins could be seen, lazily guarding the entrance. From there, I asked the magic question:

“What do you want to do?”

It was a high-paced and crazy session with cautious sneaking, then a mad rush at the cave mouth, and five Goblins in total were slain. At the end, they are standing outside the cave entrance and have decided that next time they intend to enter and search for the children. Looting the Goblins, they found some useful gear and feel a little more confident.

At the end, we decided to discover a bit more about each character, so we rolled the six characteristics. Next time, I’ll ask them to choose a character class and we’ll roll Hit Points too. But we didn’t need any of that tonight. We were playing 1981 Basic D&D – “as seen on Stranger Things” – and they loved it!

I realised that the best way to learn was to simply start playing. To give them the basic idea of what roleplaying really is all about. The rules will come as we need them.

Game on!


    • It was properly fun for me to run, despite being chaotic and noisy. And, yeah, that prompt occurred to me on the fly but it worked pretty well for the scenario I had outlined. The idea was to avoid nitpicking over gear and get to the play… I am dropping gear stuff into the hands of the Goblins, stashes in the caves, that kind of thing.

      Liked by 2 people

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