For the past two days, I've been playing D&D with Mathijs, my 6-year old son. Here's his character sheet for Tohmas, the fighter:
We're using the Basic set (the original "red box"), because that's the only version of D&D available in Dutch. And it’s probably my favorite version of D&D, aside from my own house-ruled variant. We have played through the choose-your-adventure-style solo adventure in the Players Manual, and now we’re playing M1 Blizzard Pass, another solo adventure. Basically, I act as DM and read him all entries, after which I give Mathijs the options he can choose from. Sometimes I try to get him to roleplay by acting out the part of NPCs instead of just reading the text, but so far Mathijs doesn’t respond to that yet.
Mathijs is a cautious player: if given the option, he often flees from a fight after being wounded. But he’s adventurous as well: when fleeing he often takes an exit leading to a part of the dungeon he hasn’t explored yet.
I’m impressed with the way the solo modules teach new players the ways of old school dungeon crawling, especially the adventure in the Players Manual. Plenty of options involve listening, peaking around corners, and other ways to find out what dangers lie ahead. It also enables the player to leave the dungeon when he’s had enough, and to come back another time fully healed. Mathijs’ fighter Tohmas made several forays into the cave before he was finally killed by a blade trap.
After finishing Blizzard Pass I’ll try to round up some players to join us in a group adventure. We still have to kill Bargle!