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New member, Dad to 2 boys who want to learn D&D

Terhali

30-50 feral hogs
Validated User
Don't get discouraged about starting up with 4e instead of 5e. There's not so much to track during the early levels. It will work best if you have a battlemat or some graph paper for fights. Update the monsters as Snoof recommended. If neither of your players is interested in a healer, instead of a Cleric give them an NPC Warlord who provides healing and gives the PCs extra attacks with powers like Commander's Strike (in the PHB) and Direct the Strike. This NPC won't distract you, the DM, from running the opposition in a fight because it's so low-maintenance. Don't worry about the details and have fun with your boys. And welcome to the forums!
 

OldeEnglishD

Registered User
Validated User
So we actually started rolling characters for 5E tonight. My oldest wants to be a Dwarf Fighter and my youngest an Elvish Wizard. We got about half the sheets filled out (hopefully correctly, there is a lot to read!). I did watch some really good videos on how to create a character so I wasn't starting from absolute scratch. The boys seemed to enjoy it and actually ended up with pretty good stats!
 

mitchw

Viral Marketing Shill?
Validated User
So we actually started rolling characters for 5E tonight. My oldest wants to be a Dwarf Fighter and my youngest an Elvish Wizard. We got about half the sheets filled out (hopefully correctly, there is a lot to read!). I did watch some really good videos on how to create a character so I wasn't starting from absolute scratch. The boys seemed to enjoy it and actually ended up with pretty good stats!
You might find something close in these to compare them to...

http://media.wizards.com/2015/downloads/dnd/CharacterSheets1-10.zip

http://media.wizards.com/downloads/dnd/StarterSet_Charactersv2.pdf
 

g33k

Registered User
Validated User
Hello,

I am the dad to 2 boys (14 and 9) who have decided they want to learn how to play D&D. I played when I was younger (last played 35 years ago), and so I told them we would get some books and try it out together. I went on e-bay and found a fair deal on 4e PHB, MM, DMG, and 2 other books. The books should be here by the weekend and I already have dice, etc. My question is is 4e a good place to start them at? I will be DM'ing to start as I have some limited experience. I have heard 4e is fairly user friendly, and it was much less expensive to get the books for than 5e. I know if they want to play with school groups, etc. that they may need to get 5e books but for now am hoping this is a good way to give them exposure to RPGs. I am sure I will be using this site as a resource for a lot of questions (I have already started reading a lot of threads).

Regards,
OED
Hello, and welcome!

In addition to the (excellent) resources already pointed out, I'll note the D&D "Starter Set" might suit you very well. It's a good value at US$20MSRP, but on sale as I write this for US$10-$12 at several sites online.
 

Mankcam

Registered User
Validated User
D&D 5E feels like a much more simplier game, its pretty good for both new players and also those returning to the hobby.

I agree with the recommendation of grabbing the D&D 5E Starter Kit and running with that, its not a big outlay to get the kids into the hobby. It's in a box, kids love game boxes, it can sit nicely on their shelf. Then grab the D&D 5E Basic Rules pdf for yourself (from WotC site, and it is free !!!)

That pretty much covers you.

I think you may find opponent conversion from the 4E Monster Manual to be cumbersome, so the D&D 5E Monster Manual will be handy to have up your sleeve at some stage.

(At a later date you will likely want to get the 5E Players Handbook and 5E Dungeon Masters Guide, but put them on the back burner for a while.
Eventually those 5E PHB, DMG, and MM will be sitting nicely in your shelf! :cool:)
 
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Mankcam

Registered User
Validated User
One tip with kids - when recording the core ability stats on the character sheets, put the ability stat value in the small box, and the ability modifier in the larger box (and write it larger - if using a digital sheet it automatically prints that box larger).
Given how often Ability Checks are made, you want to make it easy to see what bonus or penalty to apply to those core ability D20 rolls.

The sessions run so much smoother if they can glance and quickly see STR +2 or WIS -1, etc.

Actually it often works better with all players when recording like this, and it certainly makes it very easy for new players to see their Ability mods when you do it this way
 
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Mankcam

Registered User
Validated User
I love reading about parents introducing their kids to the hobby. I've had great fun using the Black Hack with my kids 9 and 7.
I've been running Sharp Swords & Sinister Spells for my kids (13yrs old and 11yrs old), it works well, its got alot of influences from The Black Hack. Both of these games are great.

However more recently I have been running Knave ( by Ben Milton). It's about as simple as it gets, yet also allows for alot of freedom.
Still D20 based, it's a roll over TN system, No Classes, you just build characters how you want, and level up in what Abilities you want to be good at.
No Skills Lists, it's just core Abilities; very clean.

Essientially it's the bare basics of Dungeons & Dragons.
I've found it to be the perfect D&D intro system, and I can easily use my D&D resources with it.
My kids will keep going with it for a while, and it's an easy transition from there to D&D 5E if they want to make that jump later on.

However I'm just as happy, if not happier, running Knave than I am D&D 5E. The simplicity is refreshing (which is saying something, considering D&D 5E is pretty simple).
 
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g33k

Registered User
Validated User
When I intro'ed my 1st kid to RPG's at age 7, I talked over character-concept with my daughter then I did the "heavy lifting" of character-creation; my wife insisted that my Inner Munchkin come out and build equally for the concept and for MAKSIMUMM SIRVIVIBLITY !!!1! (no tragic early death for HER poor baby's 1st PC, no sireee!!) We used Ars Magica with the full rule-set, no shortcuts or simplifications.

My wife sat beside her for the first session or so, helping orient her to the character-sheet -- where to find her "Abilities" &c &c &c.

That was... um... 20 years ago, I guess. My how time flies!
 

Mordrid

Oddity
Validated User
Congrats on re-entering the hobby and introducing it to your kids. All my children outside of the two still in diapers game. It is a wonderful family activity.

I personally run games for my kids based on Siege Engine but I have used 4E before. I find it rather easy for older children to understand, but those under 10 might get a bit overwhelmed. I would recommend having copies of their character sheets with you as you DM so you can reference and offer assistance as needed for the 9 yr old. Good luck and again, welcome back to the hobby.
 
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