So, my 8-year-old son has been 'inventing' games with his old-school green army men that feel very deeply gameified
Bazooka guys deal splash damage, Bayonet soldiers deal 50% HP, but can't reduce health lower than one, the tanks dont take small arms damage but are weak to the helicopter, which is a special ultimate single use power you only earn after X damage dealt...
He also very much enjoys World of Warcraft (more so the character creation, and material-gathering, but he's quite good at following his mother on quests as well), HOTS, Overwatch, Torchlight, and Minecraft - and those elements frequently seep into his invented mechanics. Earlier tonight, the Tan army men were building a summoning portal, so they could teleport Darth Vader to the battlefield to assist in crushing the Greens, but the Greens brought a SUPERTANK, which in turn had to be dismantled peice by peice before it could reach the summon circle. It's fantastic to watch.. less so to play because the rules are all internal to his mind, which is where we feel D&D would help shore up some of the 'rules', but still allow that creativity to exist.
Which brings us to my wifes amazing idea: We deeply gameified parents wanted to encourage him to try his hand at DMing a small-scale adventure for us
Unfortunetly, aside from very much enjoying the AqInc shows, both stage and C-Team, neither of us have any experience with actually playing D&D, nor have any idea of a place to start him off either.
Is there an especially simplified version that would lend itself to future depth to cut our teeth with? We feel like he would 'need' minis and maps to feel like it was more than just story-telling - whats a good source to get started on those supplies?
Also coming to mind were the Neverwinter(?) PC games - Is there a Dungeon Master mode were he could DM the adventure, but let the machine handle the details, while my Wife and I tackle the partys perspective?
Hell.. are his 2 parents enough of a 'party' to even adventure with, or do we need to find.. say.. an equally nerdy uncle and a random sassy vagrant to join us?