Age and skill target for DnD Adventure Club: 8-12+
DnD Adventure Club is geared at kids ages 8 through 12+, though it does say on their site that kids as young as 5 could also enjoy it, which I fully believe. They may need a little help with reading, but the adventures are pretty all-ages friendly.
The quickstart guide simplified and condensed of the core D&D 5e rules into 9 pages that were easy to understand (versus the large and sometimes intimidating full D&D player’s manual). I fully believe that as long as your kid can kind of track their character sheet and knows to ask questions during the game OR you’re willing to help them out, they should be able to pick this up no problem.
The same goes for DM’ing – the quickstart guide also simplified the DM side of D&D, so everything is condensed down to allow either kids or adults who have never played D&D before to pick up running a game quickly too.
The adventures and artwork (which, by the way… I love the art style, especially paired with the brown paper booklet giving a rustic adventure feel) are also age appropriate for 8+, so no worries about trying to find a tabletop RPG adventure for your kids and then running into something unexpectedly too gory, too scary, or inappropriate that you have to improvise around. Everything I saw in the quickstart, sample adventure, and The Trouble with Goblins (adventure #001) is something that I am I OK to run with my own kid.
Kid-friendly setting and pacing in DnD Adventure Club:
The DnD Adventure Club games that I reviewed were the sample adventure in the quickstart guide and The Trouble with Goblins (adventure #001). Both were set in a classic medieval fantasy style world with the player characters helping out the head of a local orphanage, and they were both pretty kid-friendly.
I do want to detail a bit about particularly the quick start adventure because I really like how it walked both the players and the DM through the game mechanics. It gave queues for when to ask for checks and then clearly gave sample dialogue for each type of roll. It also made sure to give multiple examples for skill checks and ability checks to players and the DM could practice the mechanics more than once before going into the first full adventure. So, the starter setting is arranged to introduce you and your kids to the game.
In both adventures, there were also enough breaks and points for RP. One thing I’ve noticed in a lot of kid-focused TTRPGs is that the RP is fairly reduced and focuses quite a bit on the mechanics. This gave specific breaks and queues to leave time for RP, encouraging it rather than leaving it as an extra element.
Your character in DnD Adventure Club:
You have a couple options with your characters in DnD Adventure Club: you can either use the pre-made characters or you can make your own using classic D&D! This gives your kids an opportunity to jump right in with a pre-made option or the freedom to come up with their own characters!
For either, the character sheet is reformatted and simplified versus D&D 5e to make it easier for kids and new players to read and track – I am considering this format for any new ADULT players that I introduce to D&D for the first time since it is much easier to take in all the information at initial glance.
For DnD Adventure Club’s pre-made characters, I love the variety of options given, and there’s an additional pre-made character included with each story to add to your kid’s choices. I really liked the descriptions given on the pre-made characters as well – the back of the sheet includes not only a fun backstory but also detailed explanations like “how to pick a pocket” or easy to understand descriptions of spells so players can feel comfortable with the character’s specific mechanics too.
D&D 5e mechanics modified for kids in DnD Adventure Club:
The basic mechanics in DnD Adventure Club are similar to regular D&D 5e, but they are explained a little more clearly and concisely so it is easier to pick up and keep track of, especially for kids. You still have the D&D 5e abilities, skills, spells, and attacks, but it is parsed down so the mechanics don’t become a barrier to your kids being able to play the game.
Like I said in the character section, I also really liked how the mechanics of each pre-made character were explained on the back of their card. For example, the cleric card explains all 7 of her spells in maybe ⅓ of a booklet page, and the descriptions given are still definitely enough to be able to understand all the spells. The same goes for explaining basics of the rogue, ranger, and barbarian that are provided in these first two booklets. One of my key points when playing any tabletop RPG with kids is that mechanics shouldn’t be a barrier, and DnD Adventure Club satisfies this criteria so well.
Overall impression of DnD Adventure Club:
The material in DnD Adventure is easy to understand and clear, the adventures are kid-friendly, the artwork is on point, and everything is very professionally tied together. DnD Adventure Club is a great way to start your kids out on D&D or with tabletop RPGs in general. It’s also a wonderful introduction to learning how to DM for kids without having to guess at what you want to run or which modules are going to be appropriate.
I really like the monthly subscription model as well – I could definitely see this being used in families, friend groups, or after school programs for some screen-free adventures and teambuilding, and you always have new adventures on the way.
I also had the pleasure to work with the creators of DnD Adventure Club to bring their game to families at Dallas Fan Expo! We introduced kids to D&D for the first time using the quickstart guide and the latest DnD Adventure Club trilogy, and the team was a pleasure to work with!
Where to find DnD Adventure Club:
DnD Adventure Club can be found here on the game’s website.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions, tried out DnD Adventure Club because of this post, or have played the DnD Adventure Club games before!
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