The players are the Apprentices (ages 11 & 13) and Lady Blacksteel (who also plays in the Necessary Evil campaign). The Apprentices are new to tabletop RPGs though they have seen them played for years now. They have played videogame RPG's and some City of Heroes MMORPG so the idea of levels and classes is familiar to them. The Mrs. played in my 3rd ed campaign for most of a year as well so she is still fairly new but has played enough to know the basics.
Now I had originally tried to start up a game for the Apprentices back in Nov & Dec of last year using D&D 4th edition but I didn't like the way that went. In short I saw way too much of "My powers represent all that I can do" syndrome and I don't want my newbie RP'ers thinking inside the box like that. So I spent some time thinking about it and dug into the old-school movement and decided to go red book basic. We had a test run in December and it went well so I've been working on campaign ideas (as seen on this blog) and with some extended off-time for all it was time to get things started.
(and yes this is just starting with the boys and Lady Blacksteel, but as it continues I expect I may be able to talk some of the other players into joining in as a second group in the same world.)
So we begin in the city of Dragonport, ruled by Lord Sutherland III. His grandfather, the original Lord Sutherland, came to the city about 100 years ago and with some companions defeated the great red dragon which had ruled the area for centuries. (The opening round of this battle can be seen on the cover of the 78 Basic set, with Rogahn and Zelligar doing the honors). The surviving companions divided the treasure and went their separate ways after this, with Sutherland taking over the city, Helmos the Blue settling down in the city (becoming known as a great sage who still lives in his tower today), and Rogahn and Zelligar heading off to the north to establish their own domain.
This area features a good harbor and good natural defenses and has been inhabited for many years. It is said that there was a city here before the time of men, and that it was destroyed before the dragon ever arrived. During the time of the dragon many cults were formed to try and achieve enough power to defeat the beast and they often met in the tunnels beneath the city, leading to many opportunities for exploration without even leaving the city walls.
During the rule of the first Lord Sutherland, the sorceror Zenopus came to the city, built a tower, and began investigating the ruins and the tunnels beneath the city. You can read more here but this is the dungeon from the Holmes basic book and it is where we begin.