I have already sung the praises the of the Basic Fantasy Role-playing game. This free RPG is a retro-clone that lends itself to teaching beginners how rpgs work. So, I decided it was the perfect rule set to use to introduce my nine year old daughter, Sydney to RPGs.
The first order of business was for her to roll up a character. We got the dice rolling tray down, she chose some dice and started the process. I had her use the "roll three die six and re-roll ones" method of rolling abilities. There is something about kids and dice luck and she rolled very well. Her worst roll was a 10 and her best was 17. She had rolled it in Wisdom and I told her she could switch any two rolls. This way she would be excited whatever she creates. Her criteria were simple. She wanted to cast spells and wear armor. That made it an easy choice. She would create a cleric.
The creation of the character was pretty quick. The character sheet I printed included the page numbers for each section so it took about 15 minutes. During the time she was creating her cleric, Lusha, I made a party of NPCs to travel with her. The stalwart dwarf fighter, Griff, halfling thief, Perri and magic user, Rags. Now they just needed a task.
Their first assignment was the standard "giant rats in the warehouse" task. A local merchant complained that his entire stock of apples was in danger because of giant rats in his warehouse. He would gladly offer 5 gold each for the party to clear the rats for him. my daughter, speaking for the party, agreed that giant rats were indeed "icky" and should not be allowed to eat the apples. The combat took about 20 minutes mainly because this was Sydney's first experience with a D20 style game. Soon the warehouse was free of large vermin and the party had acquired both a small amount of gold and a little bit of experience.
Now I just had to wait to see if she really enjoyed herself. I didn't have to wait long. The next day she asked when we could play again! Now I just needed an adventure.
I have painted miniature to represent this party. I have linked pictures of them below: