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What sort of monster goes best with pastries, jam and a bowl of steaming oatmeal?

Well, as it turns out, there’s room for …

  • Lizardfolk lurking under a bridge over a dry gully.
  • Brain-eating zombies on the wrong side of a stuck portcullis.
  • An evil cleric masterminding something nefarious in a defiled underground chapel.

… right beside the short glasses of chilled orange juice.

With Momma Bear out of town and the three gnomes-in-training under my care, I served up a dungeon alongside a Continental breakfast on a recent Saturday morning.

The impromptu game was the result of the youngest’s most vocal desire to see his 3rd level thief in action — “When are we going to play D&D again, Dad?” — and my own growing love and rediscovery of the Basic rules (which I’ve chronicled in an article here).

Soon after breakfast had been devoured and the table cleared, the three kids pulled out their character sheets, grabbed minis for the PC’s, and started dividing up the dice between them.

Here’s the best part: It was a no-prep game.

The Three Spires — the go-to dungeon complex outside of Steffenhold — the main city in my homebrew campaign — served as the setting.

I pulled out a dungeon map from the Ruins of Greyhawk campaign guide, and propped open a book containing random monster generator charts — and within seconds of rolling the d100 on the charts we were making our way through monster-infested hallways.

So, what’s the upshot of all this?

  • THAC0 is now a confirmed part of my kids’ vocabulary.
  • The first child still gets great glee from “I kill it with my dagger!”
  • The middle child is trying to figure out which attacks are best: surer, less damaging shots with his bow, or less certain, but more powerful swings with the sword.
  • And my eldest is coping with managing a modest spell list.

As for me, I enjoyed the no-prep aspects of the game. Certainly, I’m book-marking the random monster generator for future use in all my games. The dice did a great job of dressing the dungeon and I had great fun running on the fly.

More impressive was how far the Breakfast Club adventured. Within a couple of hours, they had pretty much cleared a dungeon level. The evil cleric and his minions didn’t stand a chance.

Best of all, there was still plenty of the day left to go outside and make our own adventures.

So how about it, gentle readers? I’d love to hear from any of you if you’ve had great fun adventuring in the A.M., or any other time that was unusual for your group. Please share those experiences in the comments section below.