Chatty’s Bedtime Campaign: Bend it like Nico!

Oh yeah, he was expecting it tonight. As soon as teeth were brushed and pyjamas were worn (i.e. an old T-shirt of mine… Enjoy every second of the time when your kids hero worship you, it won’t last), my little 6 year old Laser Knight was ready to continue his adventures.

Chatty: Okay so you blasted the forest away, gave all the wood to the Lumberjacks, built the animals and birds a big farm and were made a local hero.

Nico: That’s right! Now ask me some questions again daddy!

Okay, so you have a cleared up Forest of stumps, a Village and a Mountainside filled with Caves, what do you explore?

Hmmm. Let’s go look in the forest!

Chapter 3: The Forest Friend!

Okay, well as you search the stumps, you notice a pair of tracks made by round little feet…. between those tracks you also see a furrow in the ground, like if someone/something was dragged behind (Chatty: Narrative steering attempt).

Ohhh, that must be Sandshrew! He has a tail and that furrow must be his tail! (Chatty: Nico 1, Narrative Steering 0). I follow the tracks!

Wow, you’re good! As you progress deeper in the forest of stumps, you notice something yellow, hiding and trembling behind a large stump. It’s Sandshrew, he seems scared of you.

“Don’t be scared, I’m a friend!”

“If your a friend, why did you destroy the whole forest?”‘

“I did it so I could see who was stealing my dad!”

“Ahhh, good reason then… are you Nico the Knight-Prince?”

“I am! My daddy was stolen by Polywrath”

“Oh, that bad Monster, I bet he told you that I knew where he was huh?”

“He did, he left a message!”

“Well then I can help you get there before the end of the day for sure, but first I need your help. During the storm, my favorite yellow ball was blown away into the village. I’m too scared of Humans to go and get it back. Can you do it for me please?”

“Of course!”

Chapter 4: Who broke wind?

I go talk to the lumberjacks daddy! (Man, I want this little man in my campaign now! He actually cares about NPCs!)

Okay, well they tell you that they didn’t see the ball. You should go talk to thier children who play all day long in the village square.

What’s a village square?

It’s like a big park in the middle of a village, usually between a church and a market.

Ahhh okay! I go there then.

As you come up the square, you see a large group of children play with a big yellow ball. They seem to be having a lot of fun!

I go talk to them, ask them if the ball fell from the sky?

They tell you that it did fall from the sky earlier today during a scary storm and that it was the bestest ball ever!

“Maybe it belongs to someone else that misses it?”

“That may be so, but we’re having so much fun with it”

“I’d really like to take it back to it’s owner”

As Nico says this, a large kid, a bit like Billy in Toy Story, comes to him and says “you want this ball? How about we play for it?”

Hmm, okay?

This boy’s name is Biff, he’s the strongest kid in the village. While others are a bit afraid of him, he’s not all that bad. He proposes that you both kick the ball real hard and whoever kicks it the farthest keeps the ball, do you agree?


Okay, well Biff goes first and kicks it from one side of the square up to the other side, right up to the church’s steps. All the kids cheer real loud and Biff looks satisfied. Your turn.

Okay. Hmmm. I don’t know if I should use my armour’s power to create wind to push the ball further or just use me? (He phrased it like that in French, it’s grammatically incorrect but oh so ‘right’)

Well it depends, do you feel like you are stronger than Biff?

No I’m not, I’ll use my wind powers then.

Well then, you kick the ball really far and it goes across the square, over the church, past the street, over a home and into the pool of someone! All kids break out in a huge cheer! The ball is yours.

Yay! I go pick up the ball and return it to Sandshrew.

Okay, Sandshrew is real happy and is ready to tell you where Polywrath’s cave is. He tells you that you have to count your Age up and your Age right to know which Cave entrance to use…


The caves are arranged like an apartment building, the caves are arranged in a Grid…

Ah so I count up for 6 and then toward the right for 6?

That’s it! You’re smart! You see a ladder going up to that cave.

I climb it.

A sign says: Welcome to Polywrath’s Super Secret Cave.


All right Nico time for bed!


All right all right. One more scene.

Chapter 5: The Not so Unfriendly Cave

You enter the Cave and see a smaller, less scary version of Polywrath.

Oh! That must be a Polywag, he’s an unevolved version of Polywrath!

Is he now? Cool! Well Polywag can’t let you pass because he’s a guard and he tells you that you must have your daddy’s crown to go in!

Do I have the crown on me daddy?

Hmmm, I don’t think so, you told me you took your armour and sword only when you left (Ohhh! Chatty pulls an Evil GM on his own son! That’s cold!)

Oh yeah, I remember. Well then I give him one of my spare sword diamonds! That one can blast light beams that blind people and can stun them for a long time!

Post Game aside: After the story, Nico explained to me that his diamonds have limited ammo and that he carries a lot of them to recharge/replace them when they run out.

Polliwag says “You’re giving me this gift? For real?”

“Of course!”

“Wow! That’s so nice of you… you can come in, I’ll go play with my diamond now! If you ever need help, just call me!”


We’re done for the night Nico, good night.

Good Night Daddy. Are you going to tell your Internet friends about this story?

Do you want me too?

Yes! I hope they like it too.

I’m sure they will.

Good Night.

Credits: Nicolas Menard (Story), Nintendo (Image)


  1. You should check out Faerys Tale Deluxe… starting age is pegged at 8-10ish, I think… sounds like he might be able to give it a crack. ;)


    Ben.s last blog post..My Spawn of Dajobas

  2. @Nico: Oui, be sure that all of us are enjoying A LOT the story you and dad are building! Keep it up!

    Chatty, you really are amazing. Not only are you among the few persons worth reading all over the RPG/D&D net, but also you find the time to surpass all expectations by doing something extraordinaire. You make me wish I had kids to share a story with them!

    The gaming panorama here (in Portugal) is really depressing. Few people playing, almost no stores to gather and play, and few people willing to discuss anything gaming-related… So, coming each day to your blog and read all your Gencon reports, ideas, suggestions et al…
    Allow me to say merci beaucoup! ;)

  3. I’m loving this series of “game logs”. As roleplayers get old and have his own children, for sure this kind of “RPG for children” will get more commom.

    Last year I played with a nephew of mine (6 years old), using “The Warlock of Firetop Mountain” as the adventure. The “character sheet” was a picture of his adventurer we both draw together before the adventure. I read aloud the text in the book and showed him the ilustrations (when they weren’t too gory). The combat system was drawing a card and whoever draws the higher number won… it was very funny :).

    Best regards,

    Carlos de la Cruzs last blog post..La Revelación de los Templarios

  4. No offense, but I almost took you off my Google Reader. No particular reason, I just needed to do some serious weeding.

    Thank God I didn’t. As a gamer and the father of a seven-year-old, I have to say this is one of the most “worth-my-time-reading” posts ever. I am so stealing this idea to use with my kid. Please, keep us informed.

    After reading Wil Wheaton’s tales of woe when he introduced his stepkids to D&D, I have been reluctant to introduce my most beloved hobby to the ones I love most.

    It was great to read of someone who has had such a positive experience.

    Robos last blog post..Photodump from The Insomnia Monologues

  5. Another great story Chatty, thanks for sharing. Now I have to DM my kid again just to keep up ;)

    Seriously, it’s a great way to ease a kid into the world of role play. Kids role play naturally, but usually without any kind of crunch to facilitate dispute solving (the whole “I shot you”, “no you didn’t” debate from my youth). Something like a bedtime story is great!

    Kids will definitely surprise you with what they come up with. I know mine did. (I don’t know if you read my son’s adventure or not…if not, please do ;))

    Toms last blog post..Alignment Part 4 – Dictators and Despots

  6. @Ben: I will definitively check it out!

    @Psygnnosed: Bon Dia, welcome to the blog and merci beaucoup!

    I have looked for years to find a way to connect my oldest son to my favorite hobby so we could both enjoy it. My 5 year old daughter is also clamoring for it… So maybe Season 2 of this campaign will be Rorie’s quest.

    I’ll have to find extra time or record the sessions… I’ll find something. This is just fantastic!

    @Carlos de La Cruz: Buenos Dias amigo. I’m actually am working furiously in the background of this Epic campaign to design combat rules if and when a conflict comes up. Nah, I’ll just go Rock Paper Cisors.

    That being said, I’m not sure Nico will fight at all. I’ve been teaching non stop that while violence is all around us, we as decent humans must cull our impulses to do so and run away or talk our way out of it. He also aced his kindergarden social conflict resolution Program called ‘Toward the Pacific’ (A French pun as pacifism and the Pacific Ocean are spelled the same way).

    But he still a boy and I hear him throw lightning bolt and blowing stuff up when he plays alone.

    @Robo: I’m glad that you chose to stick around, although it’s your right entirely. My overly prosaic style is NOT for everyone and you’re more than welcome to skim the title and 1st paragraph and move on!

    Not like I could force you anyway =)… I’m just saying my feelings won’t be hurt… do drop me a line at if you have feedback to share with me!

    I’M also happy that this series is inspiring you to do the same… you’ll be in perpetual astounding of the things a child will say and it will make you a better DM…. at 10 minutes a day, it’s like a DMing gym!

    Lose those rails in 10 minutes a day!


    @Tom: I did read it, continue doing so… We might talk about making something more permanent out of it all later.

  7. @Chatty: Sounds good. Just let me know. We might be able to help out a lot of other parents out there. :)

    Toms last blog post..Alignment Part 4 – Dictators and Despots

  8. Indeed, the level of violence was kept at a “80′s TV cartoon” level, so if he won, the foe was just stunned or flew… but when the foes were animated armors, they were utterly destroyed ;).

    Indeed, when he lost, we simply put scratchs and bruises in the image of the adventurer we had drawn before the game. So it really there wasn’t a possibility of “losing a fight”, as he eventually obtained a good card, but my nephew think there was the danger of losing the fight and reacted well.

    And after the game, he doesn’t seem more eagerly to resolve his problems with a trusty sword anyway ;)))).

    Best regards,

    Carlos de la Cruzs last blog post..La Revelación de los Templarios

  9. I don’t know that I’ve ever commented here, so I thought I’d de-lurk and let you know that this is absolutely fantastic! Your son seems extremely clever (I love that he resorted to bribery rather than fighting) and this will probably be one of those cherished memories when he grows up.

    The fact that he wants you to share it with us is great too. Please let him know that we (I’m talking for me and my wife) think he’s brilliant!

    JFargos last blog post..Home Security

  10. This should be in the Featured section of RPG Bloggers, if not I would have missed another episode of Nico’s adventure!

    I never thought that I would get so much fun reading adventures played by 6 years olds than reading story hours (is that a sign?).

    Keep it up!

    Questing GMs last blog post..Tiny Adventures TPK!

  11. @JFargo: I will tell him. I must say I’m exceedingly proud of my little man, he surprises me constantly with his wise insights and concern for others. No matter how far I go in life, my kids will still leave me in the dust…

    Rorie will likely be more ‘Action’ oriented as she has yet to have the ‘Pacifism’ training and is more likely to deal with matters the direct way… I’m not sure when I’ll start doing this… I’ll wait for her to clamour for it as I want her to have a bit more maturity to tackle this…

    Plus I want to work on her pre-reading skills while Nico has his dealt with by 1st grade.

    I’m so glad I chose to put my career on slowdown to see them grow up! It’s worth every dollar I ‘lost’.

    @Questing: It now is! Thanks!

  12. What a delightful little kid…reminds me of my younger brother…he’s wanted to get into D&D since I first started, but me mum’s one of those folks that believe all those Jack Chick stereotypes…just gotta give it a few more years…

    Reverend Mikes last blog post..Flash Friday: ZOMBIE CANCER! KER-PLOWEEE!!!

  13. Dear Philippe,
    I’m happy to see your freeform campaign is going so well! Greetings and props to Nico, he sure is awesome. Kids have such a nice, fresh and no-holds-barred perspective on things, it’s great.


    Norbert G. Matauschs last blog post..Die, ragdoll, die!

  14. Ok. I’m about to make a stupid personal commend. Be advised!

    I’ve still to learn sometimes in our grown-up campaigns I have to let win the fun over everything else.

    Gomezs last blog post..[D&D 4E] [Monsters] Rotten Carcass

  15. Hooray for Nico!! :)

  16. Fantastic. I showed the post to my wife who immediately took over the computer and wouldn’t let me finish reading till she had finished it and it’s predecessor.

    My 3 year old daughter loves to play D&D with the my group and especially loves the miniatures. I had an experience similar to yours and Nico’s sitting around the kitchen table one sunday morning. A map of an outdoor market and some of my daughters minis became an hour of some of my favorite D&D memories. I would never have guessed that buying produce and helping a farmer with his cart could make a good story, but it was wonderful.

    I hope you keep up your story/game with Nico and props on giving up work to spend time with the kids.


  17. This series is absolutely adorable. And boooooo on you for pulling an Evil GM on your own offspring. So rude!! ;-)

    Geek’s Dream Girls last blog post..Moradin’s Lass… is Dead.

  18. Absolutely fantastic stuff! One of the more inspiring things I’ve read in a long while. Definitely going to kick this along with my brood.

    Thankyou for blogging about this Chatty. Indebted.