Friday, March 22, 2019

Teaching D&D to Matthias and Stephanie

I wanted to play a game with my family on the weekends the kids are home from their dad's. Since Anna plays Wardancer in our Shadowrun game I thought it would be fun to continue some Shadowrun at home, so as not to switch rulesets on her, but the overly complicated character generation of SR was daunting when I sat down with Matthias, my 14yo stepson. So, taking a feather from the cap of Dungeon Craft, I had he and Stephanie (my wife) roll up super-fast characters.

Choose ability scores on a net +7, don't worry about the scores, they're never used anyway. Just assign the modifiers. (This is based on the pregen characters from the box set of D&D5E, where all premades have a net +7 modifier score)

Pick an occupation from a random list. Stephanie picked conman, Matthias picked warrior.

I assigned them equipment, a leather shirt and a short sword. I put them on the road, the warrior became a city guard, the conman his prisoner for breaking the law.

Boom. Character creation done, playing, in less than 10 minutes.

I set them up with a common situation, on the road to the next city that actually has a jail, they come upon a coach beset with bandits. The bandits are just finishing up, and when they see a city guard they take off, a young woman over their shoulder.

Matt and Stephanie go to see what is going on, and find a man with his head bleeding. Matt tries to offer aid, but the man yells that they took  his daughter! go find them!

Stephanie asks to be cut free so she can help, the guard says no. He pulls her through the brush until they hear arguing, the woman is berating the men. Matt tries to sneak up and watch, Stephanie bursts through the brush and falls to the ground, hollering that she is being chased and needs someone to help her.

The bandits distracted, the woman takes off. One bandit chases, the other advances on Stephanie. Matt steps out and knocks the man out with a headbutt.

Stephanie scoots over and cuts herself free. She says they have to go after the woman. Matt insists that they have to go to the city. She tackles him and tries to tie him to a tree, but he breaks free. She runs off into the forest, but instead of trying to follow the woman, backtracks to the road.

Matt gets hopelessly turned around and lost for several hours.

Stephanie finds the man on the road, and wants to rob him. She has the sword of the bandit. The man pulls a small knife and attacks, she rolls max damage and kills him dead.

She rifles through the carriage, taking some nice clothing and a signet ring, and heads back to town, a new ploy brewing.

Matt is lost for hours, finds a stream, follows it, is attacked by a boar, barely manages to kill it, eats, climbs a tree, finds the direction back to his town, and returns.

Stephanie gets a room at the Inn, Matt has to explain to his guard captain how he lost a prisoner.

The next day, Stephanie heads out, back on the road, to the city.

Matt takes a leisure start, sleeps in, has mead for breakfast, grabs his horse and then heads back out to the woods to see if he can find the woman. He gets hopelessly lost again, this time wandering into the village of cannibal goblins. He is attacked, has his legs badly cut up by goblin daggers, tied, and thrown into a hut. He manages to break the terrible ropes of the goblins, smashes through the side of the hut Koolaid Man style, grabs his horse and takes off before the goblins can get him again.

Stephanie makes it to the city, dressed and disguised in men's clothes, passing as a man, and shows the signet around until she finds someone who recognizes it and gives her directions to the estate. She shows up there, bearing the terrible news of the death of the master, offering to watch the house while they go look for the daughter, which is shot down, but she is offered a pallet in the barn to sleep on. She manages to convince the stable boy to steal borrow her some things from the house to sell, and kidnap him and go with her on her adventure.

Matt makes it back to the road, and decides to see what he can find in the city. He is almost dead, and it shows when he gets to the city. The guards direct him to the temple district, and he wanders into the temple of Pelor, the Sun God. The priest is empathetic, but asks him if he is a follower of Pelor. When he says no, they name a healing sum greater than he has, but tell him if he enters into service of Pelor they will heal him and give him a place to belong (he will become a cleric of Pelor).


After testing out the super-fast character creation process, I love it. two characters, less than 10 minutes, straight into play. All skill checks were just ability checks, with target numbers reasonable and made up in my head. This for sure won't work for Shadowrun, where you are expected to be an expert in your field from the beginning. But for D&D, works great.

Props to Professor Dungeon Master from Dungeon Craft on his simplified rules. Watch his videos for some great content. Like, Share, Subscribe.

Happy gaming!


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