Jun 23

Legend of Dragons, Chapter 6, Part 1


  • Larry Elmore artImprovising D&D
  • Fighting Fantasy RPG
  • Prepared Adventures


As roleplaying returns on Saturday, my thoughts also turn to the Legend of Dragons campaign I run for the boys. My time is limited, but I still want to develop the boys’ love of roleplaying with our Basic Dungeons & Dragons game.


My aim is to adopt my low-prep approach to D&D. This is not as easy as it might be, because of the nature of the game. Improvising monsters in D&D is not as simple as it is for HeroQuest. Thus, it can be tricky finding the time to prepare the small quests suitable for the boys.


However, I have found help in the form of Fighting Fantasy, by Steve Jackson. This novel-sized paperback was published by Puffin in 1984. It is a simple RPG, based around the Fighting Fantasy series of books popular at the time. In the back of this book are two dungeons I can run for the boys.


These two adventures work really well for me. Firstly, the Fighting Fantasy rules are very simple, making it easy for me to translate them into D&D as we play. The book has full-page line drawings for most of the rooms, which will help fire the boys’ imagination. Considering the boys usually only manage a couple of rooms before growing bored, these two adventures could carry us all the way through the summer.


Of course, a little more prep is needed before we can play. I must check my notes on monsters to ensure I can improvise a suitable challenge for the boys. Also, I need suitable floorplans ready to lay out the dungeon. Mostly, this will be a mix of square, rectangular and circular rooms. Exact dimensions are not necessary, just a range of options to hand.


In comparison to writing an entire dungeon, these steps are relatively simple. We may not be ready to play D&D for this weekend, but it will happen soon. Introducing the boys to roleplaying is very satisfying, and we have not even reached The Keep on the Borderlands yet.


Happy Gaming



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