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The Tale of "The Two" or How I introduced my kids to RPGs or My first time GM-ing


Beginner Box

Grand Lodge

Recently picked up the Pathfinder beginner box as my son (10) and my daughter (14) both expressed an interest in RPGs after a few sessions of D&D Adventures at our not-so-local gaming store (about 40 minutes away).
Not wanting to drive each week, I thought about running my own campaign (haven't played in over 20 yrs, NEVER was a GM). I had heard of the beginner box on BGG and went to Paizo's website, watched the video and was hooked!
Last night was our first of what I hope are many, sessions. Both kids are using pregenerated characters. My son (being a Wizard101 fan) is playing as Ezren. My daughter is playing Mesiriel.

Ok, a wizard and a rogue, not the ideal adventuring party, but hey, it will make for some interesting encounters. So, upon starting the adventure, the wizard took an extreme interest in the statue outside of Black Fang's dungeon. Even going so far as hitting it with his quarter staff (I was really hoping for a nat 20 so his quarter staff would break). But eventually I got him back on track. They took care of the first two goblins without too much trouble. (My daughter was rolling 17+ consecutively!). They got the treasure chest opened in the first room with the rogue picking the lock. Took drinks of water from the fountain (nothing happened to the wizard, but the rogue took damage), neither PC knew why that happened. The wizard had some goblin poo on the end of his quarter staff (from poking around in the straw mats in the previous room) so he washed it off in the fountain causing the glow to go away.

Then...they went after the other goblins. Not wanting to discourage them from their decision making I let them go. Unfortunately the encounter didn't go so well. No one made their diplomacy rolls so the goblin king attacked, first knocking out the rogue, then the wizard. It was at this point where I stopped the session (it was close to bed time). Both kids wanted to know what was going to happen next and were very vocal about having to stop at this exact moment (it was awesome! they are so excited to get back into the story next week!)

Overall I'd say the session went better than I had hoped. I managed to keep both kids engaged in the adventure and even pulled a "to be continued...." approach. I have some ideas about how what I can do next week to keep the adventure going.
I did explain to both kids that when a character dies, that is it...game over for that character. If they can't afford to resurrect them, they have to create a new character.
I would say that from a GM stand point, Paizo did a FANTASTIC job of making the GM role much easier than I remember from my days of AD&D (20+ years ago).

My biggest challenge now is not spending $$$ on all the cool maps, and GM books. Once the kids finish this adventure I plan on running them through the Beginner Box bash sessions and from there I am hoping to take them through Hollow's Hope. I also picked up The Brinewall Legacy from my LGS.

I REALLY liked the BB layout of the adventure and hope there are more products like this in the future for those of us who don't have the time to create an adventure on our own. THANK YOU PAIZO!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

nice read
some mentions:
a nat 20 should be a good thing, if you want to break his staff I would have hoped for a natural 1 and saying he hit a bad spot with the wrong part of the staff, and it broke. But you're the GM.

I hope you adjusted encounters for 2 players, not sure if there is something to do this in the beginner box. A wizard and a rogue will have problem I expect, the rogue needs a flanker, the wizard wants to try to stay out of melee, and nobody can absorb much damage.
Perhaps deal more nonlethal damage, and they get captured.

Leading to my next point, do you truly want to introduce your children to the notion of death this way? I'm not sure how mature they are, but try to keep them alife, they are children, it's one of their first games and they have a very suboptimal party :)

Great to hear that there is a new generation of (pen & paper) roleplayers coming.
I hope they could sleep after so much excitement and an open end.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

Wow, that must have been amazing. Can't wait to get my kids hooked. They're 5, 2 and 6 months, so it might be a couple of years before I can run a game for all three of them :)

We have a regular (monthly) game at our house and whenever my kids throw the dice, they roll great results. Kids and karma ey.

Anyway, Thanks for sharing.


I am introducing my kids to Pathfinder through the Beginner Box as well. They are seven and eleven. We have already played the Black Fang adventure, and I can tell you they will have a very hard time surviving with just a rogue and wizard. I would recommend altering the encounters to make them easier for such a group. The addition of another PC would also help immensely, and reduce any changes. Either of the other pre-gens would make the party much more likely to survive. On the occasions when we haven't had additional players, I have played one of the pre-gens myself while GMing. This has also allowed me to make suggestions "in character" if they get stuck or don't know what to do. Since they are new players, this happens from time to time. Good luck!

P.S. - I would let them wake up as prisoners of the goblins and devise someway for them to escape. That will be much more fun than a TPK in their first adventure.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Richard Leonhart wrote:

nice read

some mentions:
a nat 20 should be a good thing, if you want to break his staff I would have hoped for a natural 1 and saying he hit a bad spot with the wrong part of the staff, and it broke. But you're the GM.

I hope you adjusted encounters for 2 players, not sure if there is something to do this in the beginner box. A wizard and a rogue will have problem I expect, the rogue needs a flanker, the wizard wants to try to stay out of melee, and nobody can absorb much damage.
Perhaps deal more nonlethal damage, and they get captured.

Leading to my next point, do you truly want to introduce your children to the notion of death this way? I'm not sure how mature they are, but try to keep them alife, they are children, it's one of their first games and they have a very suboptimal party :)

Great to hear that there is a new generation of (pen & paper) roleplayers coming.
I hope they could sleep after so much excitement and an open end.

I kind of understand why he went with the nat20 breaks the staff... Not to say that it doesn't go directly against the written rules.

Nat 1, you miss, its inanimate, and you still miss, your swing tangles you up in your robes and you fall down,
Nat 20, you hit it like the fist of an angry god, except you don't have a god's fist. You have a wooden staff, not even masterwork quality, this thing looks like someone grabbed a tree branch and stripped the bark. and the statue is constructed of high quality stone.
I see the logic, even if the rules object.


To help your son a bit, you can give Ezren the masterwork staff he should have (Arcane Bond). This will give him +1 to hit in melee and with Hand of the Apprentice.

Congrats on a great first session!

Perhaps you could have Valeros wake them up to start the next session, having just dragged them both to safety. "I saw you coming here, and thought you'd need some help." Then they'd have an appropriate meat shield ;o)

- Niilo


Hy husband recently started GMing my kids (ages 7 and 10) and I. We started with an old D & D module and quickly moved to CoCT. We have a Wizard, a Warlord (from Tome of Secrets) and a Bard -- funny story, I originally intended to play a pop-in/pop-out character, but I got sooooo hooked into this campaign!
To round out the party and help protect the kids, my husband plays an NPC paladin and rogue (having played D & D, I refused to adventure without a rogue in the party :P). I'd say the rogue is icing, but the pally really helps in those tight spots and the extra healing is huge (not to mention that the periodic alignment clashes add RP spice). For kids, I feel like the NPCs really contribute to their experience, and having the extra backup gives them a little more freedom to explore without fearing death. I recommend it!

Re the nat 20 issue: perhaps on hitting so soundly, he would do some damage to the statue, but then a second roll would be in order to see whether the staff is damaged.

Good luck in your campaign, and congrats on helping the kids learn to love gaming! :)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Sounds like a blast, and just a side note: totally have the PCs, captured by the goblins, forced to go retrieve the "dragon toy". Lets them continue on, keeps the "plot" in check, and it's just plain fun, if you ask me.

Which you did not. But I'm nosy. :P

I've been playing quite regularly with my step-daughter, who fell in love with goblins, so I re-did Merisiel's character sheet as a goblin (she named her Gora). My lady-love is playing a female Valeros, who we call Solerav, for obvious reasons, and I re-skinned Kyra as a dwarf cleric named Clara.

Finished the Beginner's Box mission in one evening, then went off and made up a few simple one-shot deals (orc bandits in a lighthouse, troglodyte ambush in the Rusty Dragon, serpentfolk in a theater, akata meteor landing, etc.), and have recently sent them over to an old homebrew city that basically functions as a city full of portals and gates to wherever (like Sigil on an island with an old spaceship in the middle). With the new Distant Worlds book in hand, I'm just about to throw them over into Akiton to fight a shobhad in an arena and track down a witchwyrd who authorized a portal to steal all of Sandpoint's trash, which upset the Seven Tooth goblin tribe and made trouble for the town.

Yeah, the plot's wacky as heck, but who cares, as long as they get to kill and loot stuff, and the wee one can demand pickle pie in-character? :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

Cool story!! I ran this a while back with my friends, I'm now hooked and my wallet hates me!

I would suggest with your kids (because their party is very squishy) waking them up in a goblin prison. They could wake up with a fighter prisoner next to them and bust out. You could let your kids make the decisions but play the fighter as a "mentor", so he could help the rogue flank and protect the wizard.

This way, your party will be less squishy and it would be a fun way to teach your kids new concepts in the game :)

Grand Lodge

Thanks for the comments everyone!
I wish I would have thought about them getting captured by the goblins...honestly it didn't even occur to me. I am going to see how the next couple of sessions go before I try the "GM playing a PC as a NPC/guide" approach. I've read good and bad things about it.

Anyways...on with the story. We had another session last night and I managed to get my wife to play with us as well (unfortunately her character will be popping in and out through the campaign.) I posted a full story session report here: http://paizo.com/forums/dmtz5ev6?Tales-of-The-Two-become-Company-of-the-Thr ee#1

Hope you enjoy it!

Grand Lodge

I just purchased this game to introduce my son and daughter to table top gaming. My son is 13 and my daughter 10. I will be running my own first game shortly :-)

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Be real careful about killing children's characters. It can kill their enthusiasm and keep them from roleplaying again - especially if the one doing the killing is someone they trust.


Don Walker wrote:
Be real careful about killing children's characters. It can kill their enthusiasm and keep them from roleplaying again - especially if the one doing the killing is someone they trust.

Back in the day my younger brother got the D&D 3e Starter Set, or whatever it was called. It came with a mini-adventure and pregenerated level 1 characters. I ran the thing for my younger brother (10 years my junior) and younger sister (9 years my junior). After they reached the treasure at the end, my sister had her character turn on my brother's character, kill him, and take all the loot.

It was very hard to get my brother to play D&D after that. I don't think he ever used that starter set again. It was difficult to get him to play D&D 3.5e with me after that when I did get into D&D myself a few years later. (We did use the grid sheet that came in his starter set though, until I got a vinyl mat.)

So yeah, be careful about killing off characters for children. It can kill the enthusiasm for the game severely.

Sidenote: My brother's wizard also died at level 1 in my 3.5e campaign (only level 1 casualty), but he knew it could happen, sucked it up, and rolled a barbarian that focused on HP and AC, and survived as that guy in our intermittent campaign until he moved away to grad school.


LOL!!!!!! This thread brings me dejavu. I picked up the BB about 3 months back as it was recommend by the owner of a gaming store I was in, looking for a D&D Red Box. A few weeks before my wife was lamenting about the fact that, as a family, we spend too much time apart playing video games and such. I agreed and very quickly came up with the idea of delving into Pen and Paper RPGs. I never got to play when I was younger except for a handful of times but I wished that I could. 15+ years later I got three kids 7, 9, and 11 years old and now I can play :)

Fast forward to now, I've never GMed and have punished my wallet ( good investment though Paizo, love your products) trying to get a leg up on how to run a game. My 2nd son wanted to play a Link character, from Legend of Zelda, and have been trying to build a campaign. I got my oldest playing a summoner with a lizard eidolon with four legs, my daughter is a long bow wielding sorceress (Zelda?), and I cooked up a "Steamstress" class for my wife who owns a fire elemental driven steam pistol. Good times.


I ran that adventure for my 10yr old son and 7yr old daughter. When we got to the goblin king, my son, playing the fighter, wanted to talk to them. My daughter on the other hand, playing the rogue, before my son could even begin to attempt talking with them tells me, "I kill them." She then proceeds to engage them in combat.

I have a tendancy to take it easy on them when it comes to combat. The monsters are very straight foward, not much tactically. I also NPC a healer, so they don't have to worry about that.

Since that day, my son has been pestering me to play again. Think I'm gonna run them through the Shackled City AP.

Grand Lodge

Thanks for the replies all. Reading everyone's stories brings back my early memories of playing D&D. I can't tell you how much fun I am having playing with my kids. Till next time!

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