Castle Death! A Dead Simple RPG for Kids and Parents, Part 3

No actual orks were harmed during the writing of this post

Welcome back to this last post of a short series featuring my son Nico and I playing a simple d6-based RPG I created called Castle Death.  In Part 1, I described the game’s core rule and character creation. In Part 2, we started playing and created new mechanics to complement the game experience. Today we follow Nico’s adventure as he start interacting with the game’s setting more.

The Implied Setting of Castle Death…

…is nonexistent.  I made the title up as I invited my son to play the game. It could have been “The Caves of Xenu”, “The Moon Temple of the Dinosaur God” and even “Lords of the Mecha Dance Hall.” Anything that will pull a 10 y.o. from World of Warcraft to play with his old man/woman is a fine excuse. In fact I think I’ll use one of those next time.

Meet Pit Trap Mac

Chatty: Okay so you’re in a corridor that links the pillared halls of sculptures to rooms deeper in the dungeon. A very strong smell of food and spices permeates the area. There’s a big square hole that takes up the whole corridor ahead. There are doors on both side of the corridor before the pit.

Nico: Do I roll the dice now?

Well not all the time, you actually have to explore and describe what you try to do before stuff happens.

Okay, well then I’ll go see what’s in the hole. Can I roll now?

(Laughing) Sure, roll the D6. (He rolled a 4, meaning a somewhat positive outcome… that gave me an idea).  All right, so you see this smiling face with a goatee staring up from the bottom of the pit. He says “Heeeeey Buddy! How you doin?”

I’m doing fine! What are you doing in the pit?

Oh this? That’s nothing, just a temporary thing while I rest up my sprained ankle. Gee listen amigo, you wouldn’t happen to have some rope hidden in that loot bag of yours right?

No I’m sorry. I don’t. Do I know you?

Know me? Haven’t you heard of me compadre? I’m Mac, legendary adventurer®, slayer of slayables and looter of lootables!

(And thus was Pit Trap Mac created)

Nico: Can I pull him out by leaning low in the hole?

Chatty: Sure, roll for it. (He rolled a 2 or 3). Hmmm, Mac can’t quite  reach your  hand because of his sprained ankle.

“I’m sorry I can’t get you out now, but I could come back once I find some rope?’

Hey, no problem kid, that would be great. After that we could even team up and make this Castle our playground! What are you here for?

I’m looking for this ring…

Get out! So am I. This is so cool, we’ll be best of friends.

(Oh yes, Nico’s not 6 anymore, I’m hamming this up and setting trope bombs here and there)

Great! I’ll be back soon!

Take your time, I could get out myself but you know how it is?

(We added “Mac sits at the bottom of the Pit” to the Table of Truth, see Part 2)

The Slumbering Ogre

Nico: I’m entering the room with the double doors near where Mac is.

Chatty: You enter a gigantic dining hall. A table that can sit at least 20 people stands in the middle. Old tattered tapestries of past wars line the walls. At the far end of the table sits a snoring ogre. The whole table is filled with half-eaten, rotting food. Some of the meats are downright disgusting.

But for an Ork, that must be all fresh and delicious, right?

Of course Nico. Ewwww.

(Laughter) I look around, do I see any ropes? Can I roll for it?

(See how he gets into the spirit of things? I love this)

Chatty: Sure, roll away. (He rolled a 2) Oh no, the Ogre wakes up while you look around. He sees you and shouts “How dare you interrupt my royal nap?”

Nico: I offer some of my fried goblin, as a gift to appease him.

The ogre grumbles and accepts your gift as a post-nap snack.  As he chews contently, he gestures at the whole table and says, between bites ‘help yourself ork”

Oh no thanks, I’m not hungry.

Ohhhhh, Nico, I’m not sure he’s going to appreciate you refusing his offer to share the food of his table. Roll the dice.

I rolled a 1, oh no what’s going to happen, am I dead?

No, no, not yet. But the ogre is VERY angry. He gets up, takes out a knife the size of a Greatsword and points at you. “You wake me up, you feed me my own guards and then you have the gall to refuse my food? Ork, tell me why I shouldn’t kill you on the spot right now”

“What if I performed some sort of a service for you? A quest maybe?”

The Ogre calms down a bit, sits and looks at you with a pondering expression. “Hmmm, that’s a good idea…”

And thus Nico saved the life of his character and we ended the first session of play.

Chatty: Did you like the game?

Nico: Yes, very much.

Do you want to play again soon?

Yes, I wanna know what quest I’ll have to perform for the Ogre King!

Possible Follow up: How I came up with the idea of Castle Death and advice to run it. 


  1. Cadilon says:

    Great idea! I was looking for a nice, easy system for young nieces and nephews and I think this really hits the spot.


  2. Awesome! I look forward to reading the ongoing saga of Bersork and Pit Trap Mac. Thanks for sharing!

  3. bloodangel9 says:

    One of the best things I have read in a long time. This is something I can use for my kids on a dreary weekend. I cant wait to read more.

  4. Cool! I love to see how the games are evolving with your boy 🙂

  5. It sounds a lot like Pokémon jr. Adventure Game. I’m gonna try this with my niece and nephew, I think they will like this.

  6. I’m going to teach this to my kids as a bit of fun. We already play Pathfinder, but I’d like something this light and easy.
    I think I’ll add Class to the Character Sheet. It will give them a +1 to dice rolls to something specific related to that class, and I’ll let the player decide what that is.
    Perhaps, should we will level up and give them a +1 to something else.