Emma and I finally sat down and played RPGKids using the figure she painted. We were both very excited, and as I reread the rules I realized that it'd probably be more fun if she controlled 2 (at least until my son is ready to join her!). I grabbed a dwarf from my Warhammer Fantasy starter set, to which she immediately replied "Um, Dad? Can I have a painted one?" Find a dad who was more proud at that moment!

As I started digging around my various games hoping for a figure, I found my mostly-painted copy of Super Dungeon Explore. The proportions were a bit off, but it had a selection of painted girls for her, so she allowed it. Looking through the box, I decided to just use the entire thing for our game since it had game boards, treasure chests, and enemies.

As soon as I started the "storytelling" (roleplaying) part of it and tried to get her involved, she immediately claimed she didn't want to do that. 5 years old and already too cool for Daddy! I decided to handle both sides of the storytelling, asking her for names and yes/no answers as I gave her figures a voice.

Since she doesn't understand cliches yet I started with a farmer asking them for help. Some giant lizards with swords (kobolds) had stolen his chest full of money and took it to an old house at the top of the hill. Wonder Girl and Super Woman (her names, I swear!) reluctantly agreed and up the hill they trudged.

Ready to roll in her princess dress.
When she arrived I tried to really get her imagination involved, telling her how old and dirty the house was. I could see her apprehension lessening as she realized I was really going to be weird with this. She decided to open the door and look inside, only to be met by two very ugly lizards who yelled at them to go away. Wondergirl wanted to walk up to the chest but the lizards were quicker and ran up to them trying to push them out of the house. Emma quickly picked up the rules, wacking the lizards and even using medicine when Super Woman got an owie.

When the lizards were finally knocked out, she proudly walked her girls up to the treasure with a huge smile on her face. Her favorite part was obviously succeeding with an attack, which is just done with 2 opposing dice rolls - higher number wins. She was pretty lost at first, but once she gave my guy an owie she got pretty bloodthirsty, focusing her attacks on one at a time until he went down.

This was the most expressiveness I've had while DMing, and it was pretty exhausting to detail everything that happened since even walking forward should sound exciting to a 5 year old. Satisfied that I'd finally played an RPG with my girl, I was prepared for her to be done. Awesomeness prevailed as she looked at me and said "That was fun, let's do another story!" So back they went to the village of The Hunting Place to give the farmer his gold.

As soon as they got there, the sheriff ran up to them and told them about a mean bear that was scaring everyone. Emma knew the drill already and immediately agreed to go get him. When they reached the cave I asked her if she wanted to try sneaking in, which I handled with another opposed die roll. I tried to explain that she could get a bonus since I was sleeping, but it didn't click so we just rolled. She succeeded, walked forward 5 squares, and let loose with their attacks. The cave was a bit too dark because only Super Woman managed to hit him, and right in the butt!

Ranged attacks smanged attacks, they weren't running!

When they finally got the bear down, I had him run away deep in to his cave and asked what she wanted to do. She grabbed her girls and marched them forward exclaiming "We're gonna follow him so we can get him!" Not wanting to feed my daughter's bloodlust, I decided to have the bear run too fast for them, so they turned around and headed back to The Hunting Place.

She wanted another story, but this time she wanted to pick the board. She saw one with an old arcade cabinet sitting in the rocks and told me she wanted the bad guys to steal her video game so they had to go get it. How could I argue with quality storytelling? So when the girls were playing video games those two lizards came back and stole the video game while they were playing it! Emma took that offense pretty hard, and her girls were ready to go kick some butt.

When they got to the house (which corrected with "No Dad, it's a cave!"), she told me that her girls were now named Magic Girl and Bow & Arrow. I decided to split the lizards to see what she'd do. With the video game right in front of her, she told me she wanted to use her magic staff to fly up and get it. Indulging her imagination (even though she didn't have a +1 Quarterstaff of Flight!) I told her that only Magic Girl could use it - what would B&A do?

"What do you do?" The classic beginning to every D&D combat.

"Well she has shoes made of actual fairies like in the movie _______ (some Barbie movie, I think), so she can fly too." I rolled with it, willing to let her try to circumvent combat with a clever solution. "Ok, but first we need to beat these bad guys for stealing our game!" THAT'S my girl! This was were Emma became like every other player in my games, and she trounced my lizards without taking any damage. She then flew up, grabbed the game, and away she went to The Hunting Place.

"Another one, Dad!" she exclaimed. I was getting worn out - maintaining a high level of enthusiasm for such a simple game was more draining than I'd imagined, but she grabbed a board, I grabbed a large troll, and off we went for story #4. This time a troll stole all the food in The Hunting Place while they were gone. Emma then informed me that he also stole her princess ring because he wanted to be a king., and set that on the board as well. She tried sneaking in while he was loudly munching on food, but unfortunately they knocked over some potatoes and made him really mad.

Don't you love realistic props?

Since MG and B&A could shoot from 5 and 8 squares respectively I decided to try teaching her the art of kiting (attacking at a distance that the enemy can't match). The troll could only move 3 squares, so they ran all around the room trying to get away from him, picking up the ring and food while he bellowed after them for taking his stuff.

The bigger they are...
She was ready for our final story, so I decided to make it a special one. A big, wingless dragon had stolen all the frozen cookie dough (egg-free, of course) from the town. This is a treat that we are almost required to have on hand for my wife and kids, so I knew this would mean business for her.

Hello. My name is Magic Girl. You stole my cookie dough - prepare to be knocked out!

Emma was really enjoying this sneaking thing, so when they reached the cave she successfully snuck in, grabbed the big chest of cookie dough, and again succeeded at sneaking, getting out of the cave and far away as a very angry dragon started roaring about someone taking his dessert.

And then eat it!

This was so much fun! I got to see her use her imagination and slowly open up in to being comfortable interacting with the story. She didn't just fight, she became invested in the situations and tried to problem-solve her way through them. When we were done and she enjoyed the fruits of her, she smiled and told me how fun it was and asked when we'd do it again. What else could I do but smile and say "Soon"?

See you tomorrow!

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