Review of Happy Little Treants, a Bob Ross inspired D&D adventure for kids
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Happy Little Treants is a D&D adventure made for younger kids
Happy Little Treants is a D&D adventure that’s made for playing with younger audiences and for young GMs to be able to run as their first adventure. There’s no specific age given for Happy Little Treants, but D&D is typically recommended for ages 8+. However, if kids are able to play D&D already or are maybe playing on a D&D system that’s adjusted for younger kids, it could be played with kids under the age of 8, no problem. There’s lots of challenges and social interactions with one fight at the end, but nothing really scary or mature to worry about needing adjustment.
The Happy Little Treants setting is inspired by Bob Ross
The Happy Little Treants adventure is inspired by Bob Ross and his love of nature and painting, so, naturally, it takes place in the forest! This forest is watched over by a druid named Rosalind (Ros for short) who looks after the woods and asks the group to help resolve some mysterious happenings involving shrinking treants (get it? little treants?).
This forest could also be anywhere, so it’s perfect to run as either a single session or to slot into an existing campaign as your group happens upon a forest that’s already on your map.
Your character in Happy Little Treants
Happy Little Treants can be played with any system, really, but it is also specified as being D&D compatible. There’s no limits on what type of characters or the type of party needed for the adventure, so your player characters can be anything you want per the rules of your chosen system. Within the adventure, your characters will need to be able to make friends, complete checks, and challenge a baddie to complete their mission.
Fun challenges and a great adventure layout in Happy Little Treants
A story set for young GMs
Because Happy Little Treants is made to play with D&D, which has its own set of mechanics, I’m going to focus not so much on gameplay mechanics, but on the mechanics of the layout of the story and what tools are given for players and GMs.
This adventure is well made for young or first time GMs to run and have a clear path for facilitating a game. There’s a solid story that still allows freedom for RP and explanation, suggested skill checks are clearly laid out, and it has a good breakdown of plot hooks, dialog options, and story developments to keep things progressing. It was an easy game to run with my kid while still allowing him to get creative with his interactions with Ros, her animal companions, and the treants.
Activities, items, and challenges
Happy Little Treants is largely social, exploration, and skill based with an encounter at the end with the baddie. For these challenges, there’s fun tables to use for making friends with the treants by singing, dancing, etc and clues to the plot that you can find through searching or asking questions. There’s also some forest friend familiars who help you on your quest and unique items to aid you on your journey (either in this forest or the next).
And… I REALLY want to say more because there were a lot of cool bits to this adventure, but I also don’t want to give away any spoilers!
What did my kid think about Happy Little Treants?
My kid (4yo) had been asking to play D&D since he heard us talking about the D&D movie, so we used a very parsed down d20 D&D-esque system to play Happy Little Treants, and here’s what he had to say (paraphrasing a little for clarity):
I GOT TO PLAY D&D!!
I really liked the little squirrel friend, and the treants were a lot of fun. I’m glad we found the bad guy because we really needed to stop him from hurting the trees.
I think it’s obvious he was ecstatic to try out a D&D story that was intended for a younger kid like him to play! He was engaged through the whole story and zeroed in on the cute critter friends (great idea having animal buddies in a game made for younger kids).
Overall thoughts on Happy Little Treants
This was such a cute adventure and perfect for running with kids! I loved the themes throughout this about enjoying and protecting nature on top of it being an easy game to run with kiddo that he also really liked.
I also wanted to say, having a game inspired by Bob Ross is special in and of itself. A good chunk of my Saturday mornings as an 8-10ish year old were actually spent watching the odd combination of MST3K and The Joy of Painting before our parents got up (we were a weird group of kids, lol). I remember how calming it was listening to his show and feeling like I could go draw without judging myself, even if others did, and that being in nature could be a lot of fun even if you weren’t really specifically doing anything (I liked to just go sit outside a lot too). I’m glad there’s a game that captured a piece of that and reminded me of the kind of impact this had on me.
Find a copy of Happy Little Treants
Happy Little Treants is available on GMs Guild and can be found here!
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