Age range: 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.
The quickstart guide simplified and condensed all the rules into 9 pages that were easy to understand (versus the large and sometimes intimidating D&D player’s manual). I fully believe that as long as your kid can kind of read their character sheet and knows to ask questions during the game, they should be able to pick this up no problem.
Same for DM’ing – the quickstart guide also simplified the DM side of the game and condensed all the material down to allow either kids or adults who have never played DnD before to pick up the game quickly.
The adventures and artwork (which, by the way… 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 DnD 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) would be something that I would not mind running with kids.
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.
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.
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.
You have a couple options with your characters: you can either use the pre-made characters or you can make your own using classic D&D!
For either, the character sheet is reformatted and simplified versus D&D 5e to make it easier to read and track, and 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 for the first time.
For the pre-made characters, I love the options given, and it looks like each month, there’s an additional pre-made character included with each new story. 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.
The basic mechanics 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. You still have abilities, skills, spells, and attacks, but it is parsed down enough that kids can quickly pick it up.
Also, like I said in the character section, I really liked how the mechanics of each pre-made character were explained on the back of their card. The cleric card explains all 7 of her spells in maybe ⅓ of a booklet page, and the information is definitely enough to be able to understand all the spells. Same goes for explaining basics of the rogue, ranger, and barbarian that are provided in these first two booklets.
The material is easy to understand and clear, the adventures are age appropriate, the artwork is on point, and everything is very professionally tied together. I think DnD Adventure Club is a great way to start your kids out and to learn how to DM for kids without having to guess at what you want to run or which modules are going to be appropriate.
I am also ecstatic that there is a monthly DnD subscription available for specifically kids – I could definitely see this being used in families, friend groups, or after school programs for some screen-free adventures and teambuilding.
Where to find and purchase a copy:
DnD Adventure Club can be found here.
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!