Saturday, November 27, 2010

Homebrew D&D for Kids

UPDATE: A few people have asked for a PDF of my rules for kids:


(Scroll down the page for a PDF of the Kid's Character Sheet.)


Having nothing better to do the Friday after Thanksgiving, I whipped up a quick dungeon and house-ruled a kid-friendly version of basic D&D. Fun was had by all as knights, wizards, elves, and dwarves braved the strange caverns to rescue the enchanted sword of the faerie queen.

Below are some photos from the session, as well as my new house-rules for kids, a kid-friendly character sheet, the map of the dungeon, and even the encounter key!


CHARACTER CLASSES FOR KIDS' D&D
There are four character classes to choose from in Kids' D&D: knight, wizard, elf, and dwarf. The knight and wizard class titles may be changed to “warrior princess” or “enchantress” respectively if the player so desires.

KNIGHT

Special Ability: In combat a knight gets 2 attacks every round.

Starting Equipment: Plate mail, shield, sword, torch.

Armor Class: 2






WIZARD

Special Ability: Each day, a wizard can use his staff to cast two spells per level of experience. At 1st level a wizard gets two 1st level spells, at 2nd level he gets two 2nd level spells, and so on.

Starting Equipment: Staff, dagger, torch.

Armor Class: 9
ELF

Special Ability: Each day, an elf can use his wand to cast one spell per level of experience.  At 1st level an elf gets one 1st level spell, at 2nd level he gets one 2nd level spell, and so on.

Starting Equipment: Chain mail, bow and arrows, magic wand, torch.

Armor Class: 5
DWARF

Special Ability: When searching, a dwarf will automatically find any secret door in the area (i.e. less than 40' away).

Starting Equipment: Plate mail, shield. axe, torch.

Armor Class: 2




CHARACTER CREATION
There are no ability scores in Kids' D&D. To create a character, choose one of the four character classes, name the character, and draw a picture of the character (not necessarily in that order). Then, on the character record sheet, note the character's level (1), hit points (roll d6), armor class (2, 5, or 9), and saving throw (15). In the appropriate space, note the character's special abilities and equipment, then fill in the “TO HIT” ARMOR CLASS table at the bottom of the record sheet. The character needs a 10 to hit AC 9, an 11 to hit AC 8, a 12 to hit AC 7, and so on.

For a printable PDF of the Kids' D&D character sheet, CLICK HERE.

INITIAL HIT POINTS AND SAVING THROW
At 1st level all characters roll 1d6 for hit points, with an additional d6 each time a character gains an experience level. All characters begin with a saving throw of 15, which improves by two each time the character gains an experience level.

EXPERIENCE POINTS AND LEVEL ADVANCEMENT
Experience points are gained at a rate of 100 x.p. per HD of monster defeated and 1 x.p. per g.p. value of treasure found. After each adventure, earned x.p. should be divided evenly among the surviving characters. An experience level is gained when a character accrues experience points equal to his current level x 1000. Thus, a 1st level character would need to earn 1000 experience points to achieve 2nd level. A 2nd level character would need an additoinal 2000 experience points (for a total of 3000) to reach 3rd level.


LEVEL ADVANCEMENT TABLE
Character's LevelExperience Points Needed
10
21,000
33,000
46,000
510,000

SEARCHING, LISTENING, AND OPENING DOORS
A roll of a 1 or 2 on d6 will indicate success when a character attempts any of the following actions: listening at a door, opening a stuck door, searching for hidden items or secret doors. (NOTE: If the searching character is a dwarf he will automatically find any secret doors in the immediate area. For every failed attempt to open a stuck door, the DM should make a secret check for wandering monsters.)



MOVEMENT
When miniatures are used, the movement rate for all characters is 3 squares (i.e. 15') per round on a 1” grid or other playing surface where 1” = 5 feet. The movement rate in squares per round for monsters is equal to their base move rate divided by 3. For example, a goblin with a base move rate of 6” would move 2 squares, or 10' per round; a giant ant with a move rate of 18” would move 6 squares, or 30' per round.


SPELLS FOR WIZARDS AND ELVES
Spells for wizards and elves are drawn from the spell lists of both clerics and magic-users. The DM may limit available spells to a few per spell level, based upon their understandability and ease of use by new or young players.


RECOMMENDED SPELL LISTS BY LEVEL
1

cure light wounds

light

sleep

magic missile
2

find traps

invisibility

speak with animal

web

3

fireball

fly

lightning bolt

remove curse
4

charm monster

neutralize poison

polymorph

wizard eye

5


hold monster

telekinesis

teleport

wall of stone





MAP OF THE DUNGEON

ENCOUNTER KEY
  1. 2 giant ants and a cauldron that produces a magical face in the smoke that rises from within. Once per day the face says, "Ask me three yea or nay questions."

  2. 5 giant rats. In one corner is a barrel of cider. On top of the barrel is a coiled 50' rope and a bottle labeled "cure for poison." Leaning against the barrel is a sack full of apples, and a sack with 250 silver coins.

  3. A golden living statue wearing a gold key on a chain about its neck. He will give the key to anyone who asks for it nicely. The key unlocks the door to room #4. In the corner of the room is a burning brazier. Anyone who approaches it and says, "Use your power, O magic brazier," will be affected by its power. Roll d6: 1). heal 1d6 damage, 2.) turns character into a small animal, 3.) character loses all hair, 4.) character's skin turns color, 5.) character falls asleep for 10 min., 6.) a pouch containing 20 g.p. appears.

  4. The door to this room is locked. Inside are 4 goblins, and an owl bear chained to the back wall. There is also a giant centipede hiding in a crack in the north wall.

  5. The secret passage leads to the treasure pit. The treasure consists of the faerie queens sword, 2 bags of gold (100 coins each), and a chest containing 200 silver pieces and 10 ruby gems (worth 20 g.p. each).

28 comments:

  1. Thank you, Rob. You just made my day!

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  2. This is a wonderful distillation. Thanks for sharing, looks like a great time was had!

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  3. Absolutely cool! Thanks for sharing, Jimm!

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  4. This is awesome! And they look like they are having a blast.

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  5. Thanks everybody! I really appreciate the kind words!

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  6. Thanks for the PDF, Jimm! This is great stuff. Thank you for sharing! :D

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  7. Excellent! You should put this in a pdf for download. Could you add a Finder class, who is a bit faster (or good at hiding), good at listening, opening doors, and better at finding secret doors than you average human. Maybe even call them a Halfling. :) Give them AC 7, leather armor and some light equipment, dagger, short sword, sling?

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  8. Jimm, this is not only good for kids, but I myself would love to play this with some casual friends! Excellent work.

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  9. I was going to say -- D&D for Kids? There's some great stuff in here I'm using in my next game with guys in their 30s and 40s. :)

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  10. This is awesome and you should feel awesome for it :3

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  11. That is a wonderful approach. Gives me all sorts of ideas of how to adapt it to my own kids.

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  12. This is great. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. I can't believe I missed this. Jimm - This is PURE GOLD!

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  14. Love this! Much like I was talking about Sunday at the Skull Mountain game. I'm looking for a quick start game for teens, so something between this and S&W/OD&D. Short games. Conclusions. Whet the appetite then get 'em back for longer adventures. Anything to compete with Xbox :-)

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  15. Thank you very much for this!

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  16. I really like your system and the pics are very cool as well. However, I feel that abilities are an important aspect of characterization and it's a shame to lose them.

    Maybe to simplify the system, ability scores can be reduced with ability modifiers and a simple point buy system can be introduced. Also, the six abilities can be reduced to three - brawn, brain and beauty for example (to represent physical, intellectual and social capacities).

    In any case, great post and great blog over all, I'll be sure to follow it :)

    Uri K.
    DNDkids

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  17. I played your rules today (and blogged about it).

    Great stuff - thanks.

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  18. Another game report on my blog today using your rules.

    I have made dwarves - 'Always Succeed' their saving throw, as their special ability.

    Automatically finding secret doors, was frustrating my dwarf player, when he compared his special ability to the other players.

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  19. Jimm, its ok if we translate it to portuguese? (all credits will be given)

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  20. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Hi Jimm,

    here is Guilherme from Brazil. I want tell about Kids & Dragons with you. Could u send me ur personal e-mail, please? Thanks a lot.

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  22. I was running through all my DIY psychobabble the other day, rule-sets based on esoteric conditions, etc. and I thought... You know, someday I'm going to have kids and I will want to share with them the RPG experience in a manner which suits THEIR needs and cognitive capabilities. And I concluded that my own maximalist way of doing things just won't cut it. So, thank you for providing this post.

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  23. Thank you for this, this is brilliant!

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