Monday, July 7, 2008

Hoija Fullop, Halfling Knight of the Realm

Yes that's right, I taught my five year old son how to play D&D 4th edition. And as reports of other kids playing proved out, he picked it up rather quickly. He totally grokked that he had powers that he could use and the difference between daily, encounter, and at will. He got the concept of using skills to accomplish non-combat goals, and also making character choices to model a type of archetype; he chose diplomacy over intimidate because he wanted to be nice to people and make friends.

Hoija Fullop was a young halfling lad of 10 years who wanted to do good in the land, so he traveled to the King of Manawydan and asked if he could be a knight. The king was unsure about letting a young halfling be a knight, but the young lad was so persuasive (26 diplomacy check) that he gave in and gave him a quest to investigate some strange happenings to the south, farmers were being hurt by monsters and needed someone to protect them. So Hoija traveled to the farmlands to the south, and indeed there was a giant scorpion by one of the farms, trying to attack a man who had taken refuge on a haystack from the beast.

Hoija charged up to the giant bug and dispatched it easily, using his shield to deflect the blows of the giant bug as it tried to grab him, and smiting it with his curved scimitar. The man turned out to be Maelstrom the Wise, a cowardly but friendly wizard (me playing an npc). Maelstrom told him that the vile beast was sent into the land by Clarke the Bad, an evil wizard.

Now this is the point where my son did something different than my normal campaigns, rather than investigating or waiting for the next plot point to appear, he instead grabbed a bunch of the skeleton legos and placed them on the battle mat. "And then the skeletons attack!"

... Ok! We can do it that way too. A bunch of skeletons attack Hoija and Maelstrom. The two of them fight valiantly, but Hoija is getting beaten up pretty bad, mainly because Maelstrom is a bit of a coward and hide far away without using his big blasting spells. But Hoija convinces him to step up and help him and blast all the skeletons back so Hoija can heal (He totally got the concept of healing). And with both of them working together as friends they beat the skeletons. The most powerful of the skeletons though had a dire warning upon his destruction; "Hoija Fullop, Clarke the Bad cannot be stopped, he waits for you in his evil tower protected by the key."

Me: You want to play again?
The Boy: Yes. Next episode will be level two. "The Skeletons at the Campfire."
Me: Ok we'll play that.
The Boy: No! "The Good Skeletons at the Campfire." They're not bad skeletons, they're good.
Me: Ok, that's the adventure we'll have. Now it's bath time, let's wash that face paint off.

I am one proud geek papa.

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