Saturday, May 30, 2009

Labyrinth Lord with Josiah

I'm hoping to get together soon with Nick for some long distance Labyrinth Lord play via voip, but in the mean time today Josiah was interested in another session. Camille couldn't join us due to illness, so it was going to be just one on one. There's a set of challenges with this circumstance, particularly due to the fact that Josiah is only eight years old!

Our session began with Josiah strongly taking charge of his party, insisting upon being the leader at the front of the group in terms of marching order. When another fighter (a more charismatic one) refused to walk behind him, Josiah ordered him back, but the others made threats of leaving Josiah and his two hirelings, and he was forced to back down and realize that he wasn't going to be able to just order everyone around all the time.

There were a number of aspects to the game that became extremely streamlined out of necessity. Map making, for example, would be expecting a little too much at his age. I asked him what he'd like to do about it, and though he said he had absolutely no idea how to begin, he then decided to just go for it. I let him make his map without any guidance (I wasn't going to use it in gameplay in any real way) and it was great to to see him drawing and visualizing monster locations and potential threats.

Traps, riddles, and plot have little place in Josiah's hack and slash world of dungeoneering... So be it! His party encountered a group of seven goblins, who looked a pretty good match for his group of five (and two hirelings). An epic battle took place, where nine more goblins from an adjacent room joined in as reinforcements due to the noise of melee. Refusing to retreat, the party was slowly worn down to just two. He would have stayed, but the cleric (who'd already used up his cure light wounds) decided to make a run for it and Josiah was not about to face the remaining six or so goblins on his own. They dropped just about everything and made a dash for the door, dodging the attacks of opportunity their fleeing afforded. They made it back to town with one hit point each.

Josiah relished the dice rolling, and was astonished at our four time initiative tie. I did all of my rolls in the open, and he seemed glad for this, watching alternately with nervousness and relief as I rolled the goblins' attacks. He enjoyed trading taunts with the goblin leader as well.

He had a lot of fun and wanted to keep playing, but it was getting on the late side. Considering how obsessed he can be with Zelda on his Nintendo 64, it was great to see his imagination at work playing this pencil and paper game!


Don Snabulus said...

This map was brought to you by the letter "E".

That looks as good as my earlier maps...he is off to a good start!

Dan of Earth said...

Awesome stuff, sounds like you had fun!

ladybug said...

I've been a lurker, but am really enjoying your site! It's great you are able to adjust your DM'ing for the situation. You're introducing the electronic age kids to the wonders of D&D..I think I have tear in my eye ;)

ze bulette said...

@Dan - Yep, thanks for making LL!

@Ladybug - Glad you like the blog! I've been tossing around a few ideas for a future blog post about the therapeutic and educational value of rpgs, for kids in particular (not to mention the fun value). One of these days...

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