My six-year-old has been playing World of Warcraft here and there for the past year. She’s just learning to read and comprehend movement and fight mechanics. She loves her druid and all of the animals she can turn in to and recently started a worgen that she got to level five all on her own this morning by questing rather than only killing mobs like she has been. It’s certainly been interesting watching her learn how to do new things in the game. She may be new, but she’s become a hero of Azeroth.
In effort to help her better understand health, attacks, and numbers in general, I came up with an idea that mixes a little bit of Warcraft with a little bit of Dungeons and Dragons. With my Player’s Handbook in tow, I created a tabletop game for our family to play together and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
While she and her step-mom beat up bad folks in Azeroth, I dipped into my creative side and drew up a few maps. I based them off of the scenes of a roleplay session that my wife and I were planning. It was going to be a series of battles to draw an end to a story arch, but she suggested that we roll the results out tabletop style and thus the idea of what I’ve dubbed ‘Dungeons and Azeroth’ was born!
With the maps drawn up and colored in, I started on the rules. My aim was to keep them as simple as possible, something my daughter could easily understand and also something that wouldn’t take up a lot of time trying to figure out. (If you’ve ever played a D&D campaign, you know what I’m talking about.)
Using the Player’s Handbook, I turned Warcraft classes to what I thought they would be in D&D. Warriors became barbarians, mages became sorcerers, warlocks became wizards, and hunters became rangers. With the new classes in mind, I made all of the heroes and villains level five and rolled out their health points accordingly.
I gave each character the base attack listed for their class in the handbook. For hit, I rolled 1d4 and added two points to the outcome. Attacks made against a character had to meet that character’s hit total to land the strike. Rolls to hit were done with 1d20.
For attacks, I gave each character three: a small attack that can be used every round, a medium attack that can be used once every two rounds, and a big attack that can be used once every three rounds. I rolled 1d6 to determine how much each attack hit for. I also gave every character a heal (1d4+2) despite whether their class could actually heal or not. Never go into battle without potions and bandages!
For character sheets, I cut construction paper into squares. Pink squares were for the heroes and yellow squares were for villains. I made small squares for the map. Blue squares were heroes, red were villains, and orange were obstructions.
The three of us had a great time playing! My kid opted to be a villain during one of the maps, which was a lot of fun once she learned that this villain had clones and all of the clones could teleport. My mage and my wife’s rogue are definitely hurting after that battle.
As for the roleplay side of things, my wife and I took notes for each attack and made them fit with moves that would have been made had we been writing it out in-game. We have a story completely made up by chance and are both looking forward to the stories our characters will have to tell during our next roleplay session. (Someone threw a chair at one point. I know my wife’s blood knight is looking forward to bringing that up at dinner back in Silvermoon.)