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Dungeon - A game for Age 4+
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TOPIC: Dungeon - A game for Age 4+
#8856
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
A few weeks ago I have started to allow my son (4 years, 8 month) to use our MasterMaze. Since then he want to play 'Dungeon' on a nearly daily basis. So if you wonder - what game is Dungeon - here are the basic rules and what you need.
You start off course with the great DF products. Yes, yes - I still sometimes cringe when I see my son handle it - but so far I haven't had any real damage done to it. In principle any set is fine. But best work the Cavern Set with the Cavern Passages. Also great are long passages the Ogre Den. But best of all the Trap Sets - the moat with the log, the corner traps and the rolling ball.
In addition to this you need a D20 - I use some extra big ones. Best are not the marbled one my wife loves but clear colour, well readable. Then you need treasure. The treasure set is great - but I nearly lost one small piece today when my daughter (2 years) took it while I was already at work. Even some shiny paper is doing well. I bought a glass full of 'gems' from Ikea (glass stones - ca. 100 for 90 pence).
And off course you need monsters. I started with some monsters which I only put some coating on - but best are some D&D minis.

So what are the rules ??

Daddy starts by building up the dungeon. This includes traps, monsters, treasure. With the Ogre Den and some passages you can have a small dungeon in < 5 minutes. There is also one entrance where you start. The pictures I show here are done on a weekend. I can't manage this when I'm asked already before breakfast ... But this is good training to build up for my 'real' group.

The player (my son) then choses the route he takes. Every challenge is a roll with the D20. A closed portculli, a trap, a chasm, a monster. A roll higher 10 is success, a roll below is failure. Philip doesn't know all numbers up to 20 yet a few like 6/9 still cause problems - but he is learning them while playing and gets better every game.

Monsters are allowed to hit back. But either you have a cleric with you - who heals the hero - or they never really kill - they only do damage.

Sometimes roles are reversed and Daddy plays the heros.

Special rules for/by 4 year olds. The favourite hero is the wearbear - but it can be any other one - apart of Daddies 5 Ettercaps he bought for his last game. They are always monsters.
Treasure is the normal goal - but be prepared to go collecting torch holders ...
Rules can change. My son knows that a natural 20 is special. Was really bad when the Wearbear and another strong monster had to kill the last remaining lizardmen. As it was time for bed he ruled the last monster could only be killed with a nat. 20. Frustrating if 3 times 19 in a row isn't even denting the lizardman and it takes 50+ attempts to get him down.

Below is a weekend layout.
Thod
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#8857
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
And here is Philip with Laura and a simpler layout.
Thod
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#8858
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
hmm - where did the attachment go ... Seems resolution was too high ...
Thod
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#8859
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
The treasure. The shield is DF, the 'gold' Legoland and the gems are Ikea.

Traps are important. And the rock ideally balls down the heros.

The final encounter - all 5 ettercaps are down.
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#8860
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
That is very cool. I picked up some cheap (.25 - .50 cents each) D&D clickies at GenCon last month so I could play a dungeon game with my 2 1/2 year old son. I haven't taken them out of the bag yet as we're still playing with the large foam dice I also got for him at GC.

These things are great--there's a four sider, an eight sider, and two large six-siders. The 4 & 8's have regular #s on them and the 6-siders have a different animal printed on each face along with a corresponding #.

We've been using them to help him learn how to count, add, and multiply.

I'm going to try out your home rules and play the dungeon game with him this weekend! How very exciting! Thanks for sharing this.

-Dante
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#8861
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Wow a great way to teach your kids the numbers from 1 to 20 :D
And when it starts to become boring and he gets to know all numbers, you can change to a D100 system :) :)
skubein
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#8862
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Yep! Time to break out the Zocchihedron! ;-}~

I actually met Lou Zocchi at GenCon this year. I went to his "How to open your own gaming company" seminar. Should have been called "How to open your own gaming store" since that's what the focus was. He's a funny speaker but offers a ton of excellent advice.

You know, once the kid reaches a certain level of understanding the numbers, you could start giving +1 or -1 for character size / creature size. It would be a good way to teach adding and subtracting.
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"Thus it is willed where everything may be
simply if it is willed."

Dante's Inferno Canto III (77-80)
 
#8863
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
Here are some bits to add in regard of 'games'. I started a while ago (when Philip already could count) with a backgammon game and a d6. I was rolling the die - he had to tell me the number. A correct guess - and he got a white stone - a wrong one and I got a black one. The 3 was always right - it was his age at that time. What puzzled me was the 1 - he would get it right if asked in English (the number of Thomas the Tank engine) but would struggle in German.
He speaks both languages - German parents - but living in the UK. A while later I changed from d6 to d10. This tells you they learn numbers - and what they mean - differently than an adult might think.

What also works good is just rolling for 'treasure'. The higher number wins. It gives a feeling for high and low. Don't take for granted because they can count that they know what a number means. I was suprised that my mother in law played for half an hour with the d20 with him. The first time ever I have seen her 'gaming'. She refused to play 'Dungeon' - but this was at least close.

And they can always suprise you. Philip has already designed his first complete 'adventure' on his own. Build up in play-do - with entrance, traps, etc. I will post some pictures once I have them on the other PC.

Thod
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#8864
Dungeon - A game for Age 4+ 8 Years, 10 Months ago  
I Have Posted this Before, but When my Daughter (Now Seven), Got out of Kindergarten She Could Not Read at All, Hated Reading, (Did not Even Like Us to Read to her), Then we Started Playing Zombies (By Twilight Creations Inc)... But we Had to use an Abreviated Version of the Rules because She Could Not Use the Cards... Then We Started Playing Munckin, and She really wanted to play with us, but since it was all Cards and Reading She Could'nt really Play... She Got Mad and Started Playing anyway, And in the Space of like Two Weeks Just Started Reading Like Crazy... We Also Started Playing a PC Version of Hero Quest about the Same time... Now She Loves to Read (And Play Munchkin)... And I Really have to Say that Her Grasp of Basic Gaming Concept, Numbers And Even the Begining of Her Reading Career all Hail From Gaming at an Early Age... I Highly Encourage it!

Post Script- She Loves Zombie Movies too, but that is another Thread on Another Board...<Smirk>...
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