We played our first game on Saturday and they loved it. Actually Erin loved it too. She did end up playing a character.
Kai isn’t quite 4 yet, but he did a really good job anyway. He had a skill that let him deal a wound to anyone who damaged him with a melee attack, which was super-useful against the swarms of 1-health rats. The first few times I wounded him he got really sad and started to pout until I reminded him of this ability and then he would get a sly grin and say “I zap him! HAHAHA!”
About midway through attacking the rats, Kira tried to talk to one. I did my best to sort of encourage that behavior, but these rats weren’t really sapient, plus they had just been beating on them for the last couple rooms, so I just had it hiss at her and not understand. Hopefully not too railroadey of me.
They did not end up going the optional way. They discussed it, but they passed their check showing them where the rat tracks led. They talked about splitting up even, but eventually decided to keep after the rats. Kira did talk about heading back down in to the caverns at some point though, so they may end up there again, who knows?
My favorite moment was actually at the very end, where they rescued Roger from the stinking rat hole and I described his dirty clothes and terrible smell and said the thing about him giving them a hug. Kai immediately responded with “I give him my gold!” I said “what? you want to give him your gold?” He said “yeah, because he needs to buy some new clothes. I was thinking about others before myself.” So I told him Roger was so grateful that his mom refilled all the healing potions for the whole party. That kid has a kind heart.