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.

About  Troy E. Taylor

Troy's happiest when up to his elbows in plaster molds and craft paint, creating terrain and detailing minis for his home game. A career journalist and Werecabbages freelancer, he also claims mastery of his kettle grill, from which he serves up pizza to his wife and three children.

9 Responses to Troy’s Crock Pot: D&D for Breakfast

  1. that was a much more family friendly AM gaming session than I’m used to. I do such things twice a year, both during the same weekend of the student nationals, and both Saturday and Sunday morning, it’s usually a quiet affair as most of the participants are recovering from the night before.

  2. @Paul Thornton – Are they recovering hit points or sobriety? :)

  3. On the Sunday a bit of both, but Saturday morning is all about the failed save versus toxins.

  4. Yesyesyesyesyes. But you left out the important detail: Where you got that nifty glass that looks like a coke can with the top cut off.

    Source please.

  5. Oh, and made my first casting using those castle molds you hooked me on last night. The mix was wrong, the pour was sloppy and the demold too soon, but even so the results just made me want to do some more.

  6. @Roxysteve – They were a gift ordered through LighterSide.com. But I don’t know if you can still get them there. Try a search for “coke can glass” through Amazon or cocacola-store.

  7. I’ve had great luck running one shot horror games in the wee hours of the morning (1-3amish) when people are tired but want to game.

    The quiet of the night combined with the general mystique of late hours makes for a good game session most times.

    The best impromptu session I ever did have was years ago when I was stuck at friends house along with my significant other over a weekend due to the mother of all blizzards.

    I set up the game, (A northern hinterlands fantasy adventure) right next to their picture window, which over looked the drifting snow and blanketed woods beyond.

    The picturesque setting, leaden sky, and dull winter natural lighting effect gave the game a perfect mood and set the scene better then any I’ve run since.

  8. @Silveressa – Thanks for sharing. You’ve quite a way with words. Gaming on a snowed-in day! But incorporating the weather with the game itself is really cool.

  9. I’ll have to try this method in its entirety. I have GMed for my kids (13, 11, 8) but we usually wait till the younger two are asleep. This only gives us two hours or so to game, and it feels very unsatisfying for the amount of prep it needs – which involves creating characters with complete newbies and teaching them the basics of the game.

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