Using a random adventure conjured from the DonJon AD&D Random Dungeon online generator, I set the stage for a new game for some new level 1 PC's for my two kids age 13 and 11.
Each player has an "Active Player Character (APC) that they are role-playing. The 13 year old also has 2 Secondary Player Characters (SPC) that are played like a Henchman, but are equal members of the party and get equal shares and status.
I also added another SPC to the team as well, giving them a total of 5 total characters in the game.
The gameplay starts in a little nowhere barely-a-village where the 3 PC's of the 13 year old are trying to make out a "Help Wanted" poster. These would be "Luna", a female half-elf Fighter/Druid, "Glowra", a female human thief and "Lumina", a female human Magic User.
As they stand there trying to puzzle out the wording of the poster, a half-orc female fighter named Calli steps up behind them and is able to read the poster clearly. It is from the remnants of a formerly well to do family wanting to lay claim to the ancestral hole which just so happens to be built into a hillside. In recent years, the immediate family had disappeared leaving the home open to all manner of creatures that would find such a place as shelter.
The extended family coming in to the area is looking for someone to "Clean House" so to speak and restore to them their ancestral home.
There is contact information and a crude map to the location on the poster. The three "buddies" have been spoiling for a good adventure and the half orc is a fine specimen of a fighter. A quick agreement is made of the four of them to team up and take care of the family's problem. The home is about 10 miles out of town, directly on the South road.
The trio has 3 horses with one of the horses pulling a cart. Luna, the half-elf, being brave and generally optimistic, offers to let the half-orc to ride on the bench of the cart with her. Calli tosses her backpack into the rear of the cart and climbs up to the bench.
Glowra and Lumina ride their horses alongside, both of them not making too much eye contact with the half-orc but are not saying anything out loud about it either. Calli looks as if she could mop up the floor with both of them at the same time.
Not more than a half mile out of the village, they come up behind a bald man with only a single lock of hair growing from his scalp long enough to be tied into a rather long tail. Eventually they catch up to him and ride alongside trying to get his attention. He seems to be meditating even as he is walking.
After a moment, He looks up at Calli, who is closest to him in the cart as she asks him where he is going. He tells her that he is on a mission set to him by his Master and keeps walking. She asks his name and he tells her he is known as Thelonius. He is a monk of the Temple of Truth. Thelonius is a very large man about 6'6" tall and about 185 pounds or so. A very healthy looking person.
Luna suggests to Calli to ask him if he would like a ride, he can sit on the back of the cart where there is room. He agrees to the suggestion and tosses a small rucksack as he easily slides up onto the cart.
Glowra and Lumina hang back on their horses and engage Thelonius as the group makes their way South. They tell him of the adventure they are on if he likes, he is welcome to join them. Thelonius smiles slightly and suggests he would be willing to help them as long as they were on the same path he takes on his own mission.
After about 2 miles of riding at a casual pace, the cart comes to a stop and the group looks ahead at what appears to be a huge lake in the middle of the road they are traveling on.
Stepping down from the cart, Calli uses her sword at the edge of the water to test the depth an see that it is about 2 feet deep nearest to them. Not wanting to risk driving through it for fear that it might drop off further or that they will get stuck in the mud, the group determines to ride around the water to the East. This takes them the better part of an hour, but they finally find their way back to the main road.
As they started out a bit late in the day, the team decides to make camp for the night, still being at least 2 to 3 hours from the location and not wanting to tempt the area wildlife, take a break while still enough light to set up.
During the pitching of tents and securing the perimeter and all the activity of making camp, Glowra walks up to Luna and demands to know why "the orc" has to be a part of the team. How can she be trusted not to slit everyone's throat in the middle of the night and take everything.
Calli overhears this and joins in, promoting things from a heated discussion to an outright argument. Luna wants the help of the half orc but is alarmed at her friend who has never shown such hostility before. She momentarily isn't sure what to do.
Luna spies Thelonius, the monk keeping busy setting up tents and walks over to ask him for his help while the other two are currently breaking the discussion with a staring contest. Perhaps to make that a glaring contest.
Thelonius suggests to Luna that perhaps Glowra feels that her role in the threesome is threatened by the bigger, stronger woman and that if Luna were to establish specific roles for each team member, she would be able to tolerate Calli better.
Luna goes back to the two and tells them her plan to set roles and responsibilities for each, starting with everyone taking a shift on the night watch. Glowra grudgingly goes along with the plan and everything seems settled.
Luna takes the first shift and Calli the second, both of which are un-eventful. Glowra comes out without saying a word in conversation to relieve Calli at watch. Calli goes to her tent to turn in.
After about an hour of sleep, Calli's orc sensitive hearing wakes her up just in time to roll over and see a figure lunging at her from behind. She quickly strikes out with her fist and lands a solid blow on the attacker but feels the cut of a knife slice her at the same time.
Now fully awake and on her feet, Calli can see very well with her infra-vison that the attacker is none other than Glowra, the petty thief. Not having much of a chance to find a weapon to defend herself, Calli strikes out with her fist again just as Glowra dives in with her knife again. The smaller woman cuts Calli again with the knife while Calli tries to move out of the way.
For a third time, Calli tries to grapple with the thief and tries to grab the knife as Glowra comes in again right at her ribs. The big woman is successful in her grab and twists the knife out of the thief's hand. Finding herself suddenly un-armed, Glowra takes off out of the tent and runs right into Luna, nearly bowling her friend over as she makes to escape.
Being small and fast, Glowra is able to avoid Theolnius and Lumina as well. AS she runs into the darkness, Calli runs up behind her and throws the dagger she took and hurls it at Glowra but misses by a mere foot. Glowra is gone into the night.
The rest of the night is un-eventful and the thief doesn't return to camp. Luna and Lumina worry about their friend but are also extremely puzzled over her attack on Calli. Being short a rider, Calli announces that she wants to take Glowra's horse as she was the victor of the sneaky and underhanded attack of the thief. The other two women seem a bit unsure but don't oppose Calli and Thelonius seems not to care.
After packing up the tent and breakfast, the group heads on along the road and not far ahead, they see the road is blocked yet again. This time by a large herd of oxen. Luna, being a druid, decides to cast a spell allowing her to speak with animals and proceeds to ask the lead bull o move the herd from the road. The bull looks at her and slowly lets her know that it takes much time to move a herd and they have been here for much time already. It will not be soon that the herd will move again.
Giving up, the group again detours out of their way, taking almost a half hour detour before getting back to the main road beyond the herd. Once making it back to the road, it is only a few more miles to their destination.
They look upon a large hill with a double door carved into it. They tie the horses and set the one guard dog on alert and proceed cautiously to the main door which is slightly ajar. Calli using her excellent orc vision can see past the doors for about 60 feet into what appears to be a long hallway that continues straight for quite a distance.
Luna lights a torch for the other members of the party, though she and Calli have no real need for it. Moving cautiously down the long hallway, with weapons drawn everyone into their assigned position, Calli leads the way down a side hall to the right with Thelonious behind her, Lumina following ready to cast a spell and Luna bringing up the rear in case of a surprise attack from that direction.
Following several twists and turns in the hallway, Luna wonders aloud what kind of "home" this could possibly be. It looks more like the catacombs and dungeons she has heard so much about. The halls are drafty and the walls damp. Finally, the group comes upon a closed wooden door and Calli pulls on it with no luck. Just as Luna suggests letting Lumina the magic user blast it with a spell, Calli chuckles and asks them to wait so she can try something. She cautiously pushes the door this time and it opens easily, if not a bit noisier than she would have liked.
They enter a large room that is largely devoid except for a pile of rotten meat on the floor. They give the room a quick inspection for about ten minutes, finding an archway on the side of the room they came in and another wooden door directly across and opposite from the one they entered. Luna decides they should check out the other wooden door first.
Calli again tries the door and regardless of pulling or pushing, she can't open it up. It's either locked or stuck. She thinks it feels more stuck than anything else tough. After a few minutes of heavy pulling and pushing at the door, Calli finally gives up and pulls out her war hammer and hits it with such a wallop that it comes unstuck immediately. Although the noise it made has likely caused every creature in the place to know they are here now.
There i a new hallway to the left that turns out to be a dead end and going back the opposite way, find another corridor that takes them to the left. They have to light another torch as they have been wandering for about an hour or so now and the first one is guttering. Following the twists and turns of this hallway, they pass another to the right but continue forward instead. After about 15 minutes, they realize this has returned them to the hallway they first entered the building in.
Deciding to go back the way they just came, they decide to investigate the hall thhey passed before and follow it around turns and corners for about ten minutes before it leads them to another large room. This one having a beaten up old tpaestry hanging on one wall and the walls are vey wet.. Beyond that, nothing.
This seems like a good time to take a break and grab some rest before continuing on with the exploration.