We have been playing Dungeons and Dragons here at Vacaville’s Imagine That every Wednesday. We started with two separate groups, K-2nd graders and 3rd graders and up. This allowed them to get used to the game without distracting each other. Once they got a little more used to the game and were able to decide how much they wanted to continue playing, we combined groups.
Our early elementary group traveled through a land of fairy tale characters. They outsmarted wolves in the forest and tried to find Hansel and Gretel. Although the kids had been turned into gingerbread men, they chased Baba Yaga and her hut from the woods so she couldn’t hurt any other kids. They fell asleep in a field of poppies and woke up in a cave system of gnomes working for the Wicked Witch of the West. After rescuing the Munchkin gnomes, they headed off to rescue Rapunzel from Mother Goethel’s Tower. It was a crazy tower that had a protective bubble around the base and several enemies to deal with inside.
Our older elementary group started out as high school kids meeting at a local restaurant. This restaurant was a favorite for adventurers and students as there is a giant hole in the floor leading to the Halls of the Mad Mage where there is amazing treasure but also many random monsters. While they were eating, a fight broke out between patrons which was interrupted by a troll attack. They helped fight off the troll. The next day, at assembly they learned about some gang fights, some missing students, and reminders about holiday safety. One of their fellow students said they heard about the troll fight and they needed someone to help them. His friend was kidnapped, and he thinks the kidnappers were after him. They found the missing student after investigating both gangs. They learned the kidnapping was in search of a stone that would lead to a huge treasure stolen from the city by a former city leader. A fireball that erupted outside their house led them on a search for a metallic man. They discovered he had the stone and had taken it to a mansion. They investigated the mansion, discovering a huge fight inside. They left before they could get dragged into the fight and followed some leads to a hut where they found a gang of people banging on a door of a broken down hut. They fought off the people, killing the leader and chasing the others away. However, they scared the old woman inside, who turned out to be a powerful magician who hit them with a blast of cold air that could have destroyed them. They decided to head into the forest to train. They met a wandering trader, and after some group negotiations, they decided to attack him. It turned out the trader was a gold dragon. Rather than destroy them, he made them promise to retrieve a treasure from the fire giants within two weeks. If they failed, dragons would hunt them down.
The groups combined at this point, and have been hunting for the fire giants, traveling through different cities to collect weapons to help fight the giants. They have had opportunities to help cities and negotiate help.
The students have been practicing math, empathy, negotiation skills and teamwork in their adventures. We will be continuing to play D&D on Wednesdays throughout the summer from 3-5. Once the museum reopens in June, the club will be open to kids interested in joining. We will have character sheets for students who just want to test it out, and the opportunity to create your own character. We will break up the campaigns with some board games and try out some other RPGs. We hope to see you this summer.