Ran this for two nephews and my youngest, using modified AFF rules and the entire 1st floor of my house as the play surface, various dinosaurs and superhero figs to represent PCs and monsters. Kids
Ograk the warrior (6yo, Hulk figure), Borg the Borg (4yo, some kind of robot) and Wizardator Maximus (8yo, heavily modded Playmobil knight) woke to find themselves in a bedroom, from which they emerged to explore.
The first thing they did was open the door opposite the dungeon to find themselves faced with a dragon atop a mound of gold. After a brief scuffle in which they found themselves seriously outmatched (partly because Wizardator forgot he could cast spells, partly because: dragon) they fled, slamming the door behind them. Luckily none of them was seriously hurt so they carried on.
Exploring further, they discovered the jail and luckily decided to talk to the elf imprisoned there and so learned of the dangerous pit of doom before anyone could fall into it. They released the elf ad asked him to wait for them in the bedroom. Worried he might accidentally go into the dragon room (because Ograk and Borg got confused about left and right and the poor elf wasn’t really clear, they escorted him back before continuing on.
Returning to the jail room, they decided to head down the hall to the Room of Doom, where they found yet another elf. Thinking to collect a small army of elves and perhaps arm them with weapons found in the dungeon (Wizardator’s idea) they tried to talk…But the elf was CRAZY! He attacked them and did some serious damage before they could put him down.
Next up: the crystal pool, a fountain encrusted with glowing, pulsing crystals in rainbow colours. They were nervous and so passed right through and down the steps to level 2.
The first room they came to was the fopd room, where they rested and ate, regaining hit points. They discussed relocating their base, but decided against it when Borg pointed out there were no beds, but they could always take food to the bedroom. The plan was revived whe they discovered the bedroom on level 2 though (after a long puzzled discussion as to what the bathroom might be for…), though Wizardator had misgivings due to the fact it appeared to have been used recently…
Anyway, they went back to get their elf friend and set up shop on level 2. This despite finding the other beds and worrying that someone might be living here (Ograk suggested bears, but I assured them there was no porridge in the food room). Going down to level 3, they immediately entered the torture chamber, where they found a half-dozen evil dino men! A pitched battle ensued, and I was worried I might get a TPK (thus becoming Worst Uncle Ever) but Wizardator remembered his spells and though it was tough on him a couple of fire spells added to Borg and Ograk’s lucky rolls saved the day. They were pretty beaten up, but decided to press on anyway, vowing to run back to the food room if they met anything else. But the rest of the level is all jails, where they made a pact with the elves to set them free in return for them staying in the bedroom level and occasionally helping them when they needed extra muscle to beat something.
Elves freed, they collected up weapons and torture tools from the torture chamber and headed back for some food before attempting to go deeper. But they were excited now, and looking forward to seeing what was next, so off they went.
But level five is a bit of a bear, and although they finished off the acid spitting dimetrodon monster (surprised it while it was sleeping) and were very happy with the gold haul, they decided to press on wounded and the hook monster nearly took them out in spite of Wizardator’s inspired use of a Wall spell to give them a chance to eat some rations. They did beat it though, and won a magic axe along with the gold.
Heavily wounded, they returned to the food room and we ended the session with them remembering about the dragon and wondering if a few of the elves would come back with them to slay it.
In short, as expected, this is an excellent adventure clearly designed by someone who knows her audience very well. 4 stars for design and balance, one extra star for cool artwork and map illustration for a total 5 out of 5. We already have another session booked to delve deeper!
At the age of nine, my daughter has designed a 15 level dungeon, gotten paid for her work, and received back a playtest report. It doesn’t get any better than that…!