Lost Mines of Phandelver with a 10yr old

My son, who’s just turned 10, has been showing more and more interest in Dungeons and Dragons (much to his mother’s despair). He’s been paying through some basic scenarios with me for a couple of years, starting with a lite homebrew system, then graduating onto full D&D 5e last year. He’s statted up a White Dragonborn Paladin called ‘Kriv’, and progressed him to level 3 so far.

None of his mates are into this kind of game at the moment (football and video games are still 100% of their diet), so he’s been playing solo adventures so far.

He wanted to try a ‘proper’ adventure, though, so tonight I started him on the Lost Mines of Phandelver from the Starter Set.

Seeing as he’s playing by himself, I let him use his L3 Paladin, and gave him two L1 companions that he statted himself: a Hill Dwarf Rogue and a Dragonborn Fighter. I named them Karlsson and Goldencrest respectively. I figured that his increased Hit Points, AC and skill levels (along with spell casting and L3 Lay on Hands) would make the encounters survivable, and the two NPCs would be decent back up.

Otherwise, I’m running it as written.

He took 17 damage in the first encounter, which would have killed a L1 character, but instead reduced him to 15 HP instead.

Things were muddied slightly though by me misreading the stat blocks and giving the Goblins 15 HP instead of 7. I didn’t realise until the end of the second encounter that these Goblins were hard as fucking nails!

By which point, Goldencrest the fighter had rolled a ‘1’ and a ‘2’ on his Death Save rolls and croaked it. I ret-conned this later to ‘revivable with a healing potion’.
So Lost Mines is very ‘meat and potatoes’… There’s nothing overly inspired about it, more a by the numbers exploration of a system, which I guess was the brief. I started listening to The Adventure Zone podcast recently, and I whilst I don’t think my son’s game will play out like that, I’m hoping to focus on the excitement rather than the plodding skill test examples.

We’ve just reached the entrance to Cragmaw cave, so next session will be the exploration of that.

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