Wil Wheaton teaches his son to slay dragons

Wil Wheaton is leading a kitchen-table game of Dungeons and Dragons with his teenaged son and some of his son's friends, and documenting the campaign in his blog. This is absolutely charming, a heartwarming tale of our proud geek heritage being passed down through the generations.

D&D was the first thing to capture my attention as thoroughly as reading had. I remember just falling head over heels for it -- the miniatures, the painting, the storytelling, the dice, the paraphernalia, the social circle. It was all I could think about for years. I haunted the downtown D&D stores like The Four Horsemen and Mr Gameway's Arc (which had a full-scale replica of the bridge of the Enterprise on the top level!), and hoarded graph-paper like it was going out of style. Reading this brings it all back to me.

As John Rogers notes, "They are, in the end, about a father sitting down at a kitchen table, for hours, teaching and telling stories with his son."

He looked up at Nolan and their other friend. "If I get behind her, I can get out of reach of her claws, and I do all kinds of cool stuff when I'm flanking someone."

Yeah, this kid is really into being a rogue.

They agreed that he could go for it. I decided that this was incredibly difficult: DC 20.

"Make an athletics check," I said. Then, "are you sure you want to do this?"

But the die was out of his hand. It rolled across the table in front of him and landed at the edge of the map: 19.

"What's your athletics bonus?" I said.

"Plus 1," he said.

"Well, I can't believe you pulled it off, but you did it."

"YES!" He said, with a major fist pump.

"Let's see if the Dragon hits you, as you leap away," I said. She rolled a four.

"As you crouch down to leap away, she looks down at you and snorts contemptuously. She slashes at you with her left claw, but when it snaps closed, you've already lept through her grasp! You lock your hands around the neck of this statue, and spin around it, tucking your feet in and avoiding the wyrmling's bite. You let go of the statue, somersault in the air, and land on your feet behind her."

"That was so cool," Nolan said.

His friend and I both nodded. I realized that I was having a lot of fun visualizing the action in my head, and describing it to them all as evocatively as possible.

and so the campaign begins... (Part I)

and so the campaign begins... (Part II)

and so the campaign begins... (Part III)

and so the campaign begins... (Part IV)

a few thoughts and lessons learned from behind the dm screen

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