It is natural for us to share things with our friends and family when we find something we enjoy. And if you have played Dungeons & Dragons, you are likely eager to share it with your offspring.
On another note, it could also be that your kids have started asking about Dungeons & Dragons as a hobby, and now they are interested to learn more and try it out. If you have no idea what this is, or you are looking forward to learning this game so you can join your kids, you are in the right place.
This article covers everything you need to know about D&D for kids, from the benefits, the rules, and how to carry out the game successfully with your children.
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Playing D&D with kids isn’t just about having fun because tabletop RPG games help kids learn and develop crucial skills that they can use as they grow, such as:
- Crucial Thinking
Apart from the abovementioned skills, kids will also learn new skills such as working with people of different ages, backgrounds, and education levels in a safe environment.
Similarly, kids will learn how to run their games as Dungeon Masters, which can be an excellent opportunity for kids to improve their leadership skills. Letting a child run the game as a DM (Dungeon Master) or GM (Game Master) teaches them how to run a group, take note of scenarios, write a cohesive story, master the arts of improvising while being flexible at the same time.
Even when a player participates as a story player, they still learn and develop these skills altogether. On top of that, kids will also learn mathematics, science, language, arts, history, and more.
Is it Possible to Run D&D for Kids?
At this point, you might be wondering:
“How is it possible to complete D&D for kids when the game takes so long?”
On average, a D&D game would last anywhere between 4 to 6 hours while others last over 10 hours. This is why it is crucial to prepare ahead, such as coming up with a set of rules while still having fun.
Prepare the Adventure Ahead
When preparing a D&D experience with your kids, it is crucial to keep the following key points in mind:
Set up the Theme
Depending on how old your kids are or what kind of characters they’re currently into should be the theme of the D&D game you will be playing. Remember, not every child wants to be adventurers fighting off dragons or orcs. But if they’re OK with the basic rules for Dungeons & Dragons, then you can forget about making an entirely new theme.
Take it Easy on Your First Attempt
As mentioned earlier, the average D&D game would last anywhere between 4 to 6 hours. But the game can also be as short as an hour to over 10 hours. But it boils down to how long the DM would want the game to last.
If your kids have never played any RPG games before, you’ll want to start with a simple one-shot adventure instead of going full-blown D&D campaign for adults.
Some kids can easily catch up with the system and can play the game for at least an hour or two, making it a lot easier for most adults when playing D&D with kids.
Depending on your kid’s capability should be how long you should make the adventure last.
Use Pre-Made Characters to Make it Easy
To save you the hassle, D&D has its pre-made characters that you can use right away.
Unfortunately, not all kids would understand how a character’s race or traits could affect various situations in the game. Your kid may not even know what a halfling rogue looks like or how a bard can use its weapon to aid its allies.
This is where you can use the characters your kids have been into lately– this could be characters from Paw Patrol or Transformers or just about anything your kids fancy. Because most of these characters already have their traits and backstory, you can save the hassle of coming up with one.
Come up with a Basic Rules
You also have to set some basic rules and discuss what to do and what not to do during various scenarios, like when engaged in combat. Should you take turns fighting, or can everyone attack simultaneously?
On a similar note, you can take inspiration from video games your some of the games your kids are familiar with.
Start with the Basics and Expand
It’s nice to start with the basics and expand the game’s complexity as you progress or when various situations come up. This is especially true when your kids are new to RPG and D&D.
But note that you can also go full-blown with the rules and basics if you think your kid can comprehend the specifics. It depends on how well-versed your kids are in RPG games or D&D at the end of the day.
Set the Ground Rules
Setting up the ground rules is very important when playing D&D with your kids. Establishing ground rules for D&D etiquette and manners is crucial not only because it keeps the game in order but also to teach your kids how to follow the rules.
Coming up with some ground rules also makes it so that everyone will have a good experience at the table. In this section, we will be talking about the ground rules you could use while running D&D for kids.
Don’t Distract the DM (Dungeon Master)
Let the kids know that the DM or the Dungeon Master should never be distracted when talking.
The DM will be responsible for just about everything from coming up with a plot, answering questions, and deciding what to do with the situation. Set a rule where kids should not interfere when the DM is talking.
It is also crucial for the DM to make the story fun and engage. This way, kids won’t interfere with the DM as they would rather listen to the progressing story.
Take Turns when Talking
RPG Games like D&D take turns. Inform your kids about this principle and make sure everyone has a chance to show their creativity and witty decisions.
This teaches your kids to learn how to wait and gives them the chance to develop self-confidence and self-esteem.
Come up with a Gesture to Hush Everyone on the Table
Kids can sometimes forget about some of the rules above and talk on top of each other. When things get out of hand, it would be helpful to hush everyone at the table with a hand signal.
Come up with a gesture that they will follow when the DM calls it. Getting everyone’s attention when things get a little too excited will help make a smooth D&D experience.
Don’t Hold the Dice Unless Making a Roll
If you’re playing D&D with kids and use dice to decide the outcome of various situations, it’s crucial to tell everyone that the dice should stay on the table or in the dice tray (if you have one).
Doing so keeps the kids from getting distracted and ensures that the progression of the game will go smoothly.
Respect Everyone at the Table
Regardless of who your kids will be playing (may it be cousins or neighbors), it is important to tell everyone that they have to respect each other when playing. Not only does this help develop your child’s social skills in-game and when they are outside the game.
Having these guidelines set ahead will definitely help make your D&D experience a lot better. Note that your experience may not go as smooth at first, but it still depends on how engaged your kids are in the game.
Comfort levels of the kids are also something you need to focus on as some children may have different backgrounds and comfort levels with various situations and topics. So, as the DM, it is part of the things you need to be very mindful of.
Make the Game Experience Fun
Even though kids have the natural ability to be creative when playing, they are also likely to lack the patience to focus on things. Because of this, the DM must make the story as engaging as possible.
But exactly how can you make everything fun? Here are some ideas for how to make your D&D experience fun with kids.
Don’t Focus on the Rules
Even though D&D follows a set of rules to be played correctly, doing so can be a stressful experience for kids, especially when they aren’t well-versed when it comes to things such as agility, strength, hit points, and others.
To make your D&D experience fun with your kids, you can play by following what your kids are comfortable with or what seems like the most fun.
Be Creative with Items and Abilities
It is also better to sometimes come up with your items rather than explaining to your kids how the Blade of Medusa differs from the Blade of Avernus. In most cases, making your interesting magical items can sometimes be what makes the game fun.
Allow the Kids to Solve Problems on their Own
On a similar note, it is also helpful to come up with a puzzle that your child can handle. There are various ways of doing puzzles when playing D&D with your adult friends, and even though it’s just natural to make each puzzle as intriguing, it is also essential to make sure that this can be solved.
Playing D&D with kids can be a struggle for most parents, but puzzles sometimes help the kid focus more on the game. Know what kind of puzzles your kids love and have them play them to carry out various situations when playing D&D to make it more engaging.
A rule of thumb when playing D&D is to have fun. Even though it’s crucial to follow the game’s rules to play the game as intended, enjoying the experience while still learning is still more important.
As stated, you can play the game as you see fit, especially when playing D&D with kids. But it is also essential to teach them the system bit by bit until they play future D&D games as intended.
D&D for Kids: Module Recommendations
At this point, it is evident that D&D for kids is more inclined towards doing impromptu than actually following the D&D rules and guidelines. However, not everyone is good at doing impromptu acts.
If you don’t feel confident about making your adventures, it is easier to follow pre-built D&D modules tailored to kids. You will find plenty of these online and vary significantly in length, theme, accessibility, and more.
To help you out, here are some of the good ones you should try:
Written by: Cameron Wright | Party Level: 1 | Duration 1-2 hours
The story goes when the Goddess Shar of the trickster domain created a cursed amulet and purposely placed it in a nearby cavern so curious adventurers will be able to find and take it with them.
Even though it’s a “cursed” amulet, its effects aren’t all bad. You see, whoever touches the amulet will gain incredible good and bad luck in various situations. Apart from that, the Goddess Shar can also communicate with whoever is cursed by the amulet to perform tasks just to be entertained.
Depending on how entertained Goddess Shar will be how she punishes or rewards the cursed individual. The story of this module starts when a woman named Lucy, who is a sister of Harrison, decides to steal the amulet that was just sitting in the cavern.
After realizing the effects of the amulet, both Lucy and Harrison wanted to get rid of the amulet with the help of the players. By returning the amulet to the shrine inside the cavern, everyone hopes to lift the curse.
The Cursed Amulet comes with a map of the cavern with stats of the creatures you will find there inside.
Written by: Cameron Wright | Party Level: 3 | Duration N/A
The Wizard Bonbon and the Castle of Sucre is somewhat similar to the Hansel and Gretel story– only that the ending doesn’t end like how the latter ended, as the story depends on how the players will make it.
In Wizard Bonbon and the Castle of Sucre, the castle is a tale that parents tell their children when they misbehave. It is essentially a legendary story that many believe to be a myth because it is all about a place where all your sweets and candies go if children don’t behave well. Even though nobody has ever lived to call the story false, the magical tale lived and has been around for hundreds of years.
In a castle far away from civilization, you will find the great Wizard Bonbon, who lives in the most beautiful castle in the land. The beautiful castle is so beautiful and sweet, so sweet that the bricks are made of caramel. It sits on a hill overlooking a gorgeous garden where Bonbon’s children would typically play.
Apart from the caramel bricks, the garden is also filled with various types of delicious sweets and treats that range from gummies for grass and dark chocolate for trees. Even the bushes and rocks are made of sweets such as cotton candies, toffee, marshmallows, and more. Moreover, a sea of syrup can be seen around the castle as far as the eyes can see.
It comes with a map and detailed descriptions that will help the players better understand what the map looks like.
It has been known that whenever a child misbehaves, parents will place all the candies on a silver plate and call out a phrase that would take the plate away only to find it reappear at the Castle of Sucre. The parents then call out another phrase to bring the candies back when a child finally behaves well.
This magic has been around and has been passed down from generation to generation until one day when all this magic just stopped after a bright pink and blue wave of energy spread across the land. Everyone became sad and desperate to satisfy their sweet teeth that the King Sigmund called out the adventurers (the players) to depart on a quest to find and lift the curse by any means necessary.
Written by: Cameron Wright | Party Level: 2 | Duration 1-2 hours
For weeks you have been traveling through the swamps, and along the way, you have come across a Human Cleric of Bahamut who calls herself Jessi. You’ve found out as well that you are traveling towards the same destination.
Since it is always safer to travel in numbers, you have decided to tag her along to keep yourselves company as you traverse the murky swamps. Stopping anywhere in the swamp just isn’t a solution, as it’s also a place for ogres to ambush travelers.
One night, a band of ogres attacked you while you were asleep, but thanks to Jessi, she had rescued you to live another day. Obviously, Jessi is a friend you can trust.
After a few days of traveling across the murky swamps, you now smell just as worse as the ogres that attacked you a few days back. Fortunately, you and Jessi have come across an old stone temple surrounded by iron gates.
Looking closely and around the temple, you don’t see any other building connected to it, nor do you see any other building anywhere close. To ensure that the temple is safe, Jessi offered to check the temple ahead while you make camp.
A few hours in since you parted, and Jessi still hasn’t come back. Expecting that Jessi had found clerics inside the temple, you checked up on her after making camp. The game comes with a map to better understand what the temple looks like inside.
There was no sign of Jessi but there were clerics who seem to be petrified. Worried about Jessi, you continued to explore a little bit deeper into the temple until you discovered Jessi, who has also turned into stone herself.
This is where the adventure starts.
Written by: Cameron Wright | Party Level: 3 | Duration 1-2 hours
The Trial of Fire is an adventure where players will have to fight their way atop a volcano called The Crimson Peak. The minions and the servants of the Lord of Flames Kossuth bear fire elemental damage and attacks.
Over the years, Kossuth has been harassing the locals near Crimson Peak. Thanks to the adventurers that vowed to the people to free the land from the Lord of Flames Kossuth, the community surrounding the volcano will finally live peacefully. That is if the adventures prove themselves worthy of the challenges along the way.
To get atop the volcano, the adventures will have to first go through a trial of fire and destruction. There is a path that leads towards the base of a volcano, but travelers will have to go through the tornado of flames.
These trials were forged with magic by the Lord of Flame Kossuth, so getting atop the volcano will surely be a struggle. Sitting atop the peak is where you will see large obsidian platforms with black spires that reach around 100 feet tall.
The game also comes with a map of the peak and exciting stats that the players could use to their advantage.
Before you reach the Kossuth, you must first defeat his elites called “Champions,” who pledged their life to protect and serve the Lord of Flames. Together with the harsh environment of large chunks of obsidian that hurl towards your party as your adventure will surely be challenging.
Written by: Cameron Wright | Party Level: 3-5 | Duration N/A
In the continent of Alorae, guilds composed of adventurers of various origins have been trying to prove their worth to become the most prestigious guilds.
But among these guilds, the Monster Hunter Guild is at the top, so high up that if you get into the guild, you are bound for greatness. But if excellence isn’t what you’re after, you are also bound to make a hefty amount of gold. No matter what you are after, getting in the guild means you are set for the rest of your life– or at least until you live through the day you will retire.
Like every guild in Alorae, the guild started small. It gained its fame some 250 years ago when the pioneering 30 members successfully killed seven giant purple worms that have been causing problems in the capital city of Abison. These 30 brave warriors were known as the Heroes of Abison. Unfortunately, only 7 of the 30 lived through the fight.
The day the capital city of Abison was saved was also when bards started to sing their story all across Alorae. What was once a band of misfits and thieves became a guild of legend on that very day.
Your group of adventurers will start in a small village of Havale, located far from civilization, where the sweet smell of spruce trees fills the air as the rays of the sun warm your skin. There is a casual chat between local traders and carts being wheeled around the village. But even though the town may seem simple, the outskirts are not exceptionally safe as people have been known never to come back if they wander too far off the trading routes leading out of town.
Five years ago, the discovery of platinum deposits attracted people to get their share of profits from the mining operations or even aimed to start their own. Many mining companies have established there, but the most dominant mining company is called Morlin’s Mining Corporation.
To gain the favor of Havale, the Gnomish mining company protected the village by hiring guards to protect the town and the mines. All of your friends are working for this company for years now, and even though the work is hard, it pays well, nonetheless.
Today, the population of The Neverending Mountains located just outside of town has grown from a small 200 to over 5000 people. Together with the growing population, the new Monster Hunter Guild was constructed.
The increase of food supply being sent to the town has also attracted dangerous creatures, which opened an opportunity for you and your party to get famous and wealthy. Since the guild offers a lucrative salary, your party decided to train every day for two years.
Two years later and the guild has finally opened its doors to newbies. The day is here and you all are ready to join the guild.
Written by: Cameron Wright | Party Level: 1-3 | Duration N/A
Even though small, the town of Goldcrest is home to about 500 people of mixed races that range from humans, gnomes, elves, dwarves, and orcs. Apart from the tournament that happens once a year, people worldwide also stay for the delicious food of the Crooked Nose Inn and the scenic forest view surrounding the town.
Wanting to prove something, you and your party are looking forward to participating in Goldcrest’s Tournament of Heroes. The top prize is lucrative to people looking to live a good life ahead.
A total of six games will be played, and only three will be crowned as winners of the tournament. A series of fireworks launch in the sky as a signal to officially start the tournament, followed by explosive applause. You will compete in the annual Goldcrest Tournament of Heroes. What are you going to do?
Or the more appropriate question is, “Is it just tournaments?”
Later on, you will find an explorer who will lead you to a Dragon’s Tomb known to hold treasures of immeasurable value. With the training you have acquired over the years, you are more than ready to deal with whatever is guarding the treasure.
Written by: Christopher Walz and Emmet Byrne | Party Level: 1 | Duration 1-2 hours
The story starts when the halfling girl, Massie Littlefoot, turning 12 years old, is headed to wizarding school in Waterdeep the following year.
For the Massie to get to wizarding school, her parents decided to rent The Soggy Duck inn in the town of Lenimere, where they will be living. Lenimere is located just south of Waterdeep along the Trade Way. Despite being quiet, Lenimere is a fishing town and a getaway for the wealthy residents of Waterdavians.
You and the rest of the party are invited to Massie’s party. Everything was fine at first. The guests, you and your party, and Massie were enjoying the food and performances when suddenly, the cake was stolen by Clonker, an Ogre who lives near Lenimere.
With no one to call for help, Massie asks you and your friends to get her cake back before everyone has to go home. After all, what good is a birthday without a cake?
The journey then starts, but the characters will meet a pair of fairies that will remind them not every villain is what they seem. There will also be goblins along the way who would want to impress Clonker by bringing him children.
So, would you be able to bring the cake back home?
Written by: Leonardo Benucci | Party Level: 0 | Duration 2-5 hours
First Adventure is a level 0 game that gives the players (specifically designed for kids) the chance to grow their main character and develop a backstory. Unlike other D&D games for kids on our list, this can be played for as long as five hours or as short as two hours.
The First adventure is also designed to be played with a group of children who promise to keep a promise made to their dying mother. The group of adventurers was asked to journey to an old, abandoned mine that holds a gateway to the Faerie Realm.
The kids were just too young at the time when they attempted to find the gateway. But 17 years later, they tried again as adults. Will they be able to find the gateway to the Faerie Realm?
The story isn’t like your regular D&D for kids playthrough where all the participating individuals are gathered in a place to either save an individual or defeat the boss that enslaves their town.
First Adventure is structured to have two acts, a prologue and an epilogue. Moreover, it is also structured to have two post-credit scenes. Yes, just like the ones you see at the end of the movies.
The kids will also be assigned two separate character sheets. These two character sheets are not two different characters from First Act and Second Act. Instead, the first set of character sheets is for the First Act, which talks more about the childhood phase of the characters, while the second character sheet was for the Second Act when the same children decided to go back to the abandoned mine 17 years later as adults.
The transition between acts is intended to surprise the players, so the DM is required to only require the Second Act to the children at the end of the First Act. Because of the transition, it is crucial to note possible wounds that the children had suffered during the First Act as this plays a vital role through to the Second Act.
Apart from the two separate acts of First Adventure, there are also other standout features that will make the gameplay experience more immersive.
You see, it also comes with two separate MP3 soundtracks that can be played throughout the two Acts as well as 12 full-page illustrations of the adventure locations, 12 custom character sheets, 12 full-page character art pieces covering all six children from First Act, and another for the Second Act as adult characters. There is yet another Kid class if you wish to play your own custom kid character to top it all off.
Overall, the handouts, the music, innovative kid class, as well as plenty of suggestions for the DM make First Adventure an adventure worth tying out with your kids.
What Age is Appropriate for Dungeons and Dragons
There are no official statements out there that state the required age for kids to play D&D.
However, kids as young as 8 years old are already into D&D as seen in the 2020 D&D Player Community demographics. Kids between 8 – 12 years old composed 12% of the D&D Player Community as opposed to only 11% of adult D&D players aged 40 years old and over.
Is D&D Kid Friendly?
Tabletop RPGs like D&D are great for kids as these types of games help children learn and develop some of the most crucial skills into their adulthood, such as:
- Crucial Thinking
Is D&D Difficult to Learn?
No, D&D isn’t difficult to learn. Once you get the idea of how the game is played, you will play with friends for hours on end.
Note that the learning curve can be a challenge to some, but as long as you refer to a few reference books by your side, you should be grinding your way to becoming proficient in playing the game.
However, it is also worth noting that Dungeons and Dragons becoming a master in D&D and becoming extremely proficient will take you a lot of time. As you play more D&D games, you will start to learn and understand how the system works and will be able to use all resources in the most efficient ways.
Some would rather play the game, while some are born witty and better off playing as DMs to provide players the best D&D experience.
Why were Dungeons and Dragons Banned?
At various times in the game’s history, especially during the game’s early years, Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) has received negative praise publicly for alleged promotion of negative acts such as murder, pornography, suicide, witchcraft, and even Satanism.
The fear of spreading these has caused a moral panic among many people of the society. Moreover, D&D has also been accused of portraying racism in some of its monsters, specifically, orcs and drow elves. All these were then fixed in the 5th edition supplemental rulebooks.
There were instances where D&D is banned, specifically by Wisconsin’s Waupun Prison and by the Idaho State Correctional Institution for “promoting gang-related activity” and as part of its blanket ban on RPGs, respectively. Additionally, D&D has also been criticized by some on religious grounds.
However, it was reported by The New York Times that the moral panic over D&D subsided in 2016.
Try Out D&D for Kids Now
The above-mentioned D&D games were just a few of the many more you would find online, to be precise. The list of D&D adventure games in this article was just among the titles we know your kids would love.
Now, even if you don’t have kids of your own, these are still worth checking out if you are planning on starting or joining a local D&D for kids program. By introducing kids to the wonderful world of D&D, they will be able to polish and develop skills they will surely make use of as they grow older.
So, which among the adventures are you most interested about? Share it in the comments section below!