I have certainly enjoyed sharing D&D with my son over the last 3 years. As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, it was him and his sister asking me what D&D was about just over 3 years ago that got me back into it.
I brushed off the old basic set and B1-9 In Search of Adventure, and they and my wife rolled up characters and headed off to clear out the nearby castle for Clifton Caldwell, a local businessman who fancied living in a castle and bought it, went to move in and discovered it was full of creatures who didn’t recognise his ownership…
After a few sessions, we had the ground floor cleared out, and dungeon crawling was palling, so I created a bit of a mystery story where women were disappearing and they had to go round Threshold trying to piece together clues. During which adventure (run at an extremely desultory pace) it became clear that my wife and daughter’s hearts really weren’t into it, so those poor women are still unaccounted for…
However, my son was hooked. He is dyslexic, and up until that point really didn’t read or write for pleasure. But like me he was much more keen on running the story than playing in it, so he started creating his own world and running sessions for his friends. This entailed hours reading the PHB, DMG and MM – he is almost certainly more familiar with 5e than I am – and writing up his modules, both long-hand and now on the laptop he has for schoolwork.
He asked for Tomb of Annihiliation for Christmas 2017 and received Waterdeep: Dragon Heist for Christmas last year. He also has Xanathar and the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, and makes copious use of my books – so between us we share most of the 5e books. We also have been sharing Tomb of Annihilation, Volo and Waterdeep of an evening – he still likes to have us read for him so when it’s my turn, I have been reading through these (I think my wife is currently on the 4th time through Harry Potter).
He is also one of the two original players remaining from my campaign which started two years ago, although he has probably gone through the most characters. His very first character – a bard with Intelligence 6 called Sergi – is still with us, though incorporeal and unable to communicate with the rest of the party except via charades. His second character, a dwarf paladin who had been badly burned by orcs, lasted about 3 sessions before my son decided Horace’s hatred of orcs was so great that he charged into a roomful of orcs with insufficient backup and paid the ultimate price.
His third character, a druid called Aestas whose favourite wild shape was a bear, made the mistake of getting in range of a frost salamander which he had trapped with Entangle, which meant both that the salamander was able to kill him, and then that the Entangle disappeared as a result so it was almost a TPK. Gulp!
So now he’s onto character 4, Malcolme Powder (named by his mother – that’s the side of D&D she enjoys), a Rogue who comes from a family who has created a form of powdered soup as travelling rations, and who keeps trying to persuade everyone he meets to try it.
It’s been really enjoyable working with him over the past couple of years as he has developed his GMing style, helping him with ideas for adventures in his first campaign, discussing how to make Tomb of Annihilation actually work and be interesting (neither of us really find hexcrawls satisfying, so he had trouble with the first few levels until they were up to Omu), and talking over what worked and what didn’t from my sessions. He is also my rulesmaster.
I’ve had so much fun with D&D over the years, it’s nice to have passed it on and see how much he is getting from it too.