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Subject: Blooding a New Generation of AT Gamers rss

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Today was a landmark day.

Today was the day that an old warrior would unpack a treasure, collected on a quest long ago, no longer would it lay dormant.

Today was a day that a father would unwrap his old copy of Hero Quest and share it for the first time with his wife and 3 boys.

Today was a day to remember! (dammit I need to learn how to add background music).

The Back Story

My boys are 7, 5 and 4. I am currently on holidays and this week we have watched the 1st two movies from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The excitement and fascination they displayed whilst watching those films told me it was time they rolled some dice and explored a dungeon.

The Players

Isaac - He likes the idea of being good in battle, so he chose the Barbarian. His name - DJ.

Alex - He has pretty much fallen in love with the concept of Elves and Legolas so he chose the Elf. His name - AKT (his initials).

Patty & Riley - Riley chose the squat little dwarf. Nothing to do with Gimli from the movies here, I think he just liked the look of the axe. His name - Gimli (ok that was my influence).

Dad - Of course I played the Evil Wizard. I've pretty much done that all my life with friends so that was cool. Besides I could use my voice and creativity to help the game come alive for the boys.

What did I learn here - I haven't immersed my boys in the world of fantasy enough. I mean DJ and AKT - shake I have failed....

The Adventure of a Life Time

We played The Trial, as you would when starting out. The boys got used to the move and chose an action system pretty quickly. I would throw in suggestions from time to time such as not peeking around a corner with little movement left because they would be exposed to monsters if they couldn't attack them. Patty caught on and helped me with these sort of things but it will take the boys a little while to understand it themselves.

They loved the exploration feel of the game and they generally stayed together but Alex at one point got brave and went it alone. He almost entered Verag's Room on his own at one point, which would have been interesting but decided at the last minute to continue down the passageway.

I brought the game to life whenever possible, adding detail in my descriptions of the rooms. If there were 2 of the same monster in a room and 1 was killed and would put on an 'Orcish' kind of voice and yell, "Hey you killed my sister", or something similar before attacking the hero that had killed the last figure. The boys cracked up laughing every time. cool

The Highlights

Alex is becoming a real comedian without even realizing it. He had the honour of opening the 1st door to a room, which contained 2 Chaos Warriors and a Fimir.

d10-1 I asked Alex, "You have just enough movement to reach the Chaos Warrior. Do you want to go in and fight him?"

He replied, "Nah I'm ok, Isaac can fight them if he wants." laugh

d10-2 Later in the game Isaac had taken a pasting at the hands of an Orc, losing 3 Body in 1 attack (bringing him down to 2 Body).

Alex had immediately told Isaac that he could use his Healing Potion if he could reach him.

Isaac barely escaped with his life and made his way through several rooms to reach Alex.

The only problem was that Alex had lost 3 Body at the hands of a combined Orc and Goblin attack in the meantime.

I asked Alex, "Would you like to give Isaac's Barbarian your healing potion to heal him? He might give you 20 gold pieces perhaps?"

Alex replied, "Nah I'm ok I think I'll keep it." laugh

Patty and I rolled around the floor laughing our heads off. Self preservation is strong in this one.

For the record he did end up giving it to Isaac. So noble.

d10-3 As the party made their way towards the burial chamber of Fellmarg, she had the honour of first reaching the Mummy Guardian of Fellmarg's Chamber. She chose to back away and wait for support. So I attacked her and managed to inflict 4 Body in damage!!!

She learnt a valuable Hero Quest lesson - Attack is usually the best policy. Unfortunately the stinking Gimli also held a Healing Potion, so I couldn't kill him/her.

d10-4 Riley lost interest in about 15 minutes but it was great fun to watch him line up his kills and roll the battle dice with hope in his eyes.

The Final Battle

Like a well planned movie script, it just so happened that they left the room containing Verag (the Gargoyle and objective of the scenario) till last.

By this stage they were weakened significantly but they had been lucky enough to find both Healing Potions in the Treasure Deck so the Barbarian and Dwarf were back to 5 and 6 health respectively.

Alex was down to 3 Body though and he had used both fireball based spells in reaching this point. Atill his bravery finely came through and he stormed the door and cast his final spell - Courage. Armed with his 4 attack dice he made short work of 1 Chaos Warrior but he was still vulnerable.

Isaac charged in next and headed for the glory of killing Verag. The stoney faced git put up no defence whatsoever and Issac let out a triumphant cry before doing a victory dance of sorts (he could be a weird role player in years to come - but then again, weren't we all?).

That left Riley and Mum to cover Alex's back. Gimli charged in and with classic Dwarven efficiency he cut the last Chaos Warrior down at the knees.

The battle was won, the Trial was passed, but they had hurt just enough to keep the action exciting.

A Touching Moment

As I looked at my boys faces, I was transported back some 18 years to my own youth on a sunny day in my small 3 bedroom house. For one glorious instant two generations shared a special moment, I knew exactly how they were feeling.

The moment got even more emotional when I quietly realised that the moment was different in one aspect only. I never got to play this or any other game with my Dad because my parents had divorced when I was 7, due to alcoholism.

I'm proud to have played this game with my boys.

To the Gift Shop

So after a little trash talking about how they had kicked Dad's butt, the boys went to the shops to spend their treasure. They had been damn lucky too finding the best 3 treasure cards in the deck.

Isaac had 170 Gold to spend and he picked up a Helmet (he really hadn't liked coping that hiding from the Orc).

Alex only had 25 Gold but he didn't care, he had spells!

Riley had loaded up the best and had 250 Gold and he wanted a big Broadsword so he could roll 3 dice in attack like his oldest brother.

The Kill Count

Let's face it. When your under 10 it's all about how good you were in battle. To the stats -

Isaac (Barbarian)

Gargoyle (Verag)
Chaos Warrior
2 Orcs
2 Goblins
Skeleton
Zombie

Alex (Elf)


2 Chaos Warriors
Fimir
Mummy
Orc
2 Goblins

Riley/Patty

2 Chaos Warriors
2 Fimirs
Mummy
2 Skeletons
2 Goblins
Zombie

An impressive haul for the fearless Gimli/Riley

The Quest Rolls On

Be sure to catch up with the adventures of Gimli, DJ and AKT as they will be sure to nag me stupid every day till we play Hero Quest again.

Ah bless em'.

Links

Adventure #2 - The Thomson Boys Save Sir Ragnar

Adventure #3 The Thomson Boys - Gimli's Comedic Sense of Timing

Adventure #4 The Thomson Boys Learn HeroQuest Strategy

Adventure #5 The Thomson Boys - When Heroes Turn to Cowards

Adventure #6 The Thomson Boys - Dark Days

Adventure #7 The Thomson Boys - Tanks for the Memories

Adventure #8 - The Thomson Boys - Tricks and Traps

Adventure #9 - The Thomson Boys - A Dwarf goes Mining

Adventure #10 - The Thomson Boys - A Dwarf, an Elf and a Barbarian walk into a Magic Castle...

Adventure #11 - The Thomson Boys - A Dwarven King Departs...

Adventure #12 - The Thomson Boys - Tombstones and Trinkets

Adventure #13 - The Thomson Boys - A Sword to Far?

Adventure #14 - The Thomson Boys - A Light at the End of the Tunnel...(Staaay awaaay from the Liiight)

Links

I have now added all of these sessions to a Geeklist to have them in one place. You can find these and many other Session Reports here :-

Narrative Tales - Legacies and Other Campaigns
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Bill Allen
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Thanks for that - a great story!

I have 3 boys (7,5,3) and already love playing games with the two eldest (their current favourite of my games is RoboRally [which surpirsed me]). As I am sadly deficient in HeroQuest, I can only hope for a similar result when they get introduced to Descent: Journeys in the Dark!
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CanCon, BunnyCon...BorderCon!!!
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Thanks Bill.

Yeah I think I may need to look at Heroscape for the next few years and Descent for their teens.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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Wonderful write up, I am really impressed with how well they did at such a young age, makes me wish my old man had been a gamer - I think your boys are very very lucky to have such a great dad!
Heroscape rocks, I think it is a great game for your boys - they did so well at HeroQuest. I am waiting on getting Descent , but I think you have a good part of there gaming life mapped out.

How old is old enough to go to GenCon?
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Thanks Tom.

To be fair, our boys aren't super human, there was a fair bit of suggestion and hand holding through this play, but they are patient and listen so that helps.

I also played nice and didn't 'gang up' on one player with my monsters like the GM is really supposed to.

That will come next scenario. devil
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Jon Y.
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Neil Thomson wrote:

As I looked at my boys faces, I was transported back some 18 years to my own youth on a sunny day in my small 3 bedroom house. For one glorious instant two generations shared a special moment, I knew exactly how they were feeling.


Really great report - thanks for sharing. I am most definitely looking forward to share games like this with a younger generation when I eventually do have kids.

For me, games like these have great nostalgic value, but then sometimes you play them again when you're older but you cant quite recapture that feeling - playing them with your kids though, that's the way to make a game like this really fun again.

Great stuff.
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Steven Kimball
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Neil, I look forward to a similar experience once I have kids and they're old enough. But seriously, what did your wife think of the whole thing? Did she actually have fun or was it just some quality family time doing a "boy" thing, which she's willing to do since all 3 are boys?

SoccerGeeks F.C. wrote:
My boys are 7, 5 and 4. I am currently on holidays and this week we have watched the 1st two movies from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The excitement and fascination they displayed whilst watching those films told me it was time they rolled some dice and explored a dungeon.

Were your kids ever freaked out by some of the nasty-looking Uruk-Hai or have problems staying captivated by the film? I can't imagine pulling much away from a film like that except the sweet combat moves during the battle scenes...reminds me of watching Star Wars as a kid growing up--I had no clue what the storyline involved, the quality of the acting, nor the incredibly realistic special effects for that time period...but my brother and I could sure accurately reenact every single sequence of the lightsaber duels from the movies!
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Acoriano3 wrote:
Neil, I look forward to a similar experience once I have kids and they're old enough. But seriously, what did your wife think of the whole thing? Did she actually have fun or was it just some quality family time doing a "boy" thing, which she's willing to do since all 3 are boys?


Yeah I realised after hitting submit that I hadn't commented on Patty's enjoyment. I'm one of the lucky ones as I was playing Blood Bowl with her before we got married so this game wasn't a stretch at all. She has grown to enjoy games (and themes) like this but not love them necessarily.

Having said that she loves spending time as a family and she enjoyed the boys reactions as a parent. That's the exciting part really.

SoccerGeeks F.C. wrote:
My boys are 7, 5 and 4. I am currently on holidays and this week we have watched the 1st two movies from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The excitement and fascination they displayed whilst watching those films told me it was time they rolled some dice and explored a dungeon.


Acoriano3 wrote:
Were your kids ever freaked out by some of the nasty-looking Uruk-Hai or have problems staying captivated by the film? I can't imagine pulling much away from a film like that except the sweet combat moves during the battle scenes...reminds me of watching Star Wars as a kid growing up--I had no clue what the storyline involved, the quality of the acting, nor the incredibly realistic special effects for that time period...but my brother and I could sure accurately reenact every single sequence of the lightsaber duels from the movies!


Riley (4 year old) was wondering of to his Lego box within 20 minutes of the start - to be exepected really. Isaac and Alex loved just about every minute (which even surprised me a little). They weren't scared at all - they thought the Uruk-Hai were "cool". You are right though, it is the battles that they retell and get excited about days later.

In those slow moments I was talking to them, filling them in on why things were happening, so they could better understand it.

They scenes with Gollum, in the Two Towers, when Sam wants to get rid of Gollum and Frodo takes pity are very powerful. I was talking to the boys about how Frodo could see good in Gollum even though he looks and acts like a monster sometimes. Did they learn anything? Who knows, but I like to point those things out.

Scariest moment was for Riley (4 year old) when Frodo goes down (under Water) into the bog and Sam only just pulls him back, in the Two Towers. He just freaked out and was yelling at the T.V. for someone to save him.

He had a little scare at a friend's swimming pool a few weeks back and this scene must have brought that fear back to him. I felt like a crappy parent for a few seconds before giving him a hug and saying 'That's why people need to learn how to swim'.
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Steven Kimball
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SoccerGeeks F.C. wrote:
I felt like a crappy parent for a few seconds before giving him a hug and saying 'That's why people need to learn how to swim'.

Nice save! cool

Be sure to fill us in on "The Rescue of Sir Ragnar".
 
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Athena Jackson
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I love this!
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hench critter
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A big thumbs up for this whole series of reports. Can't wait when my girlfriends children are big enough for games.

I could feel you and your children's enthusiasm so well written.
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