Imagination and Role Playing Games
RPGs don’t need to be complicated. They don’t need to come out of a book or follow complex rules. They just have to be fun.
This Dungeons & Dragons adventure was created by my son who was six years old at the time. He ran the adventure as game master and playing it with him made me realize for the first time how a simplified role playing game could make every aspect of it accessible, including being game master.
In the adventure, our party (I was a warrior, my other son was a wizard), entered a cave. Why? I don’t know. It didn’t really matter at the time, that’s just how the story started. “You see a cave.” “Ok, we go in.”
Inside the cave we saw a tall pillar about ten feet ground and covered in torches that wound up in a spiral to the ceiling. The torches cast a magical light that got brighter the further it went from the torches, so that the edges of the room were bright while the center where the column stood was quite dim. We tried taking a torch down and its fire went out. We put it back on the column and heard a loud crack.
The column started cracking and collapsed revealing a white dragon inside who promptly attacked us (FYI, all dragons with a color in their name – white, green, blue, etc – are evil). We fought and destroyed it, then while investigating the inside of the column, we found a hole in the floor under the dragon.
For some reason, ants the size of footballs came pouring out of the hole and attacked us. I killed one with my axe but the others flew at us. They attacked by jumping into the air and flying towards us at high speed, but they were such lousy shots that everyone of them missed us and carried on to slam into the walls of the chamber where they splatted and died. Every one of them. It was quite funny at the time.
Inside the hole we found a treasure horde full of gold and one book. The wizard read the cover and found that it said “How to Train You Dragon” (my son was reading the series at the time). We read a bit and learned how to greet a dragon and let it know we were friendly.
Then we investigated the cave and found a secret door at the back. Through the secret door we found a smaller room with an altar. On the altar was a baby gold dragon tied up (also FYI, all dragons with a metal in their name – gold, silver, copper, etc – are good). We released it and used the book to make friends.
That was the end of the adventure but the plan was that the gold dragon would follow us around on future adventures. Whether he would be helpful or a hindrance was unclear but he was clearly our friend.
I have to admit that I was astonished at how easily my young son had thought up a truly creative and odd adventure then led us through it. When he didn’t know an answer (like what die to roll when the dragon bit my warrior), he just made something up. It worked out perfectly and we all had fun.