Monday 16 December 2013

New Adventure - Yuletide Journey

A new Christmas-themed Hero Kids adventure is now available:

The Yuletide Journey adventure takes place in the days before Rivenshore's annual midwinter Yuletide feast.   But the village has not heard from the festival's annual guest, Odin, who is the protector of the Brecken Vale.   The kids set out on a journey to Odin's home in the northern mountains, and along the way they meet new friends, overcome dangerous challenges, and face fearsome enemies.

•  Adventure with six encounters and two new maps
•  Includes two new elf heroes; Woodswalker and Druid
•  Includes a new monster, the Ettin Brute, as well as the Dire Wolf and Wolf

Here's the link to DriveThruRPG:

Hero Kids - Adventure - Yuletide Journey

Friday 13 December 2013

Playtesting Yuletide Journey with the kids

Just did a playtest of the new Christmas-themed Hero Kids adventure: Yuletide Journey.   Violet took two heroes through the adventure and Dash insisted on coming along. But he's way too young, and wandered off half way through before he did any real damage...

In keeping with the normal polytheistic and pagan setting of Hero Kids, this adventure presents kids with Christmas as a midwinter Yuletide festival, and Santa is taken back to his pagan roots as Odin (who delivers presents for kids who leave out food for Sleipnir, his eight-legged horse).

This adventure is relatively light on combat encounters (there are two), focusing more on role-playing and adventuring.   But it does include two new elf heroes (who will be part of the upcoming Hero Cards III expansion), two new pieces of equipment, and a new monster, the Ettin Brute.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Friday 6 December 2013

Bundle of Holding: Family-Friendly RPGs!

I'm honored to have Hero Kids included in the latest Bundle of Holding - Family-Friendly RPGs - that has just launched.  The bundle features these great games for just USD$4.95:
Hero Kids, Mermaid Adventures, and The Princes' Kingdom

If you pay USD$14.95 (or more), you also get these games:
Project Ninja Panda Taco, School Daze, and Adventures in Oz

10% of the sales go to a couple of worthy international charities; Save the Children and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Bundle of Holding - Family-Friendly RPGs

Thursday 5 December 2013

Christmas-themed adventure coming...

I'm working on a new Christmas-themed Hero Kids adventure, which is the perfect excuse to watch The 13th Warrior (for literally the fiftieth time...).

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Saturday 26 October 2013

Platinum seller, thanks to you!

Thanks to you, Hero Kids is now a Platinum Seller on DriveThruRPG.

This means that it is among the top best-selling RPGs on the site, in the hallowed company of games like Numenera, Fiasco, Pendragon, Eclipse Phase, Legend, Vampire, Legend of the Five Rings, and more...

DriveThruRPG - Platinum Metal Products

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Monday 7 October 2013

New adventure - Fire in Rivenshore!

A new Hero Kids adventure is now available:

The Fire In Rivenshore adventure takes place when a fire breaks out in Rivenshore.   The kids are asked to help battle the blaze and find its source.   After rescuing Roger in the burning tavern and battling looters, the kids discover that a bullied street urchin (Bree) is responsible for the fires.   But do they choose to arrest her or let her go?
•  Adventure with five encounters and seven new maps
•  Includes a full set of Brigands and Bree the Firestarter (both monster and player versions)

Fire in Rivenshore is designed by Brian Benoit from Roving Band of Misfits and mixes a heap of adventuring and role-playing with the combat encounters.   It even comes with a new playable hero, the Firestarter!

Here's the link to DriveThruRPG:

Hero Kids - Adventure - Fire In Rivenshore

This adventure includes a bunch of new maps, including the common-room and upper floor of the tavern, as well as a number of town maps for Rivenshore.   As ever, the new encounter maps from Fire In Rivenshore are modular, so you can mix and match them to create your own adventures.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Hero Kids from out of town?

Meanwhile, behind the scenes our art-elf (actually Eric Quigley!) is beavering away on more heroes for Hero Kids...

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Tuesday 10 September 2013

Sunday 8 September 2013

Great Kid-Friendly RPG = Hero Kids!

Someone possibly called CJ Chand at the Chandland blog has posted an epic review of Hero Kids:

Great Kid-Friendly RPG: Hero Kids

The review is huge, and looks at many aspects of our little engine, so here are some quotes from this extensive review:

"Hero Kids nails its target demographic perfectly."

"Hero Kids is exactly what you would expect it to be: Cartoony, but not overly so, young kids tackling big challenges."

"Both sides roll their pools worth of d6s, and the side with the highest number shown – not the highest sum – wins (with ties going to the attacker).  This means even the really young ones can count the pips on each die and get what’s going on.  No modifiers, no addition. Given the target audience, Justin has designed this well.  It is quick, simple, and fun."

"These (the combat mechanics) are all gentle, yet very 'big-boy', concepts that will help your kiddo transition from Hero Kids to other, more complex RPGs when the time comes."

"Best of all, each adventure comes with full-page 1″ grid maps for that adventure, ready to be printed.  It also comes with character sheets for the various types of bad guys, each with their own cutout pawn."

"I could go into a lot of details, but the best way to put it is this: My son has never done his chores and expectations as quickly – and without prompting – as since we started playing Hero Kids.  He wants to play a new adventure each night."

But it's not all perfect, the reviewer picks up on one of the issues I've talked about in this blog post, that Hero Kids is not suited to traditional advancement techniques (adding modifiers or extra dice):

"On the downside, this system does not leave much in the room for character advancement.  As discussed on the link immediately above, simply adding a +1 modifier significantly affects the success rate, much less adding a die to the dice pool.  That said, while I am not a game designer, I have some ideas for how we can add some character growth that I will bring up in a bit."

My solution to advancement in Hero Kids was the inclusion of Equipment Cards, which the review notes here:

"There are some limitations with character development that do crop up.  Namely, there is no real character development.  There is no leveling.  There is no XP.  There is no ability to change your dice pools, gain modifiers, etc.  (at least not without the Equipment cards, which I’ll try to use as salvation for this limitation in a bit)."

In the end, the discussion about advancement doesn't prevent the reviewer from giving Hero Kids a sensational review:

"Two thumbs up, 5/5, goes to 11… whatever you want, but it’s a must-buy if you’re in the market."

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Monday 19 August 2013

Hero Kids wins Silver ENnie for Best Family Games!

Imma let you finish whatever you're doing, but first I want to thank you all for every single vote that landed Hero Kids a silver ENnie award in the Best Family Game category!

Congratulations to the rest of the ENnie winners:
2013 ENnie award winners

If you're wondering what game won Best Family Game, I'll save you the trouble and tell you here; it was the Doctor Who: Adventures In Time and Space - Eleventh Doctor Edition, which:

1: Costs US$60 dollars (hardcover)
2: Has a great brand
3. Has a 96 page players' book
4: Was (arguably) released outside of the eligibility period, but that's a gripe for another time...

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Monday 12 August 2013

Pet Cards expansion released!

I warned you they were coming!  The Hero Kids Pet Cards are now available on DriveThruRPG.

This expansion for Hero Kids includes ten new pets for your game:

•   Pixie: The pixie's small frame holds powerful magic
•   Hound: The hound fights even more fiercely when hurt
•   Eagle: Eagles attack their targets with swooping attacks
•   Fox: The tiny fox responds to attacks with a vicious bite
•   Bear: The bear's best defense is a strong friend at its back
•   Lynx: This large feline transforms into a fearsome attacker when hurt
•   Pegasus: The pegasus can bite and kick at nearby enemies
•   Dragon: The dragon's flaming breath can burn multiple enemies
•   Wolf: The wolf fights best when working with a friend
•   Owl: The owl's diving attack is dangerous to even the strongest enemy

Get them here:
Hero Kids - Expansion - Pet Cards

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Friday 9 August 2013

Next Week: Pets!

Just a short update to let you know that the next expansion for Hero Kids - Pet Cards - will be released Monday next week, so keep an eye out for this rascally bunch:

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Sunday 28 July 2013

Interview with me about Hero Kids!

Here's an interview with me about Hero Kids and its ENnie award nomination for Best Family Game:

Hero Forge Games - ENnie Interview

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Monday 22 July 2013

Vote for Hero Kids at the ENnie Awards!

Hey all, please take 30 seconds to vote for Hero Kids, which has been nominated for Best Family Game in the ENnies:

2013 ENnie Awards Voting Booth

Voting's dead easy, just follow the link above, select 1 from the dropdown next to Hero Kids (in the Best Family Game category), then hit the big Submit Ballot button.  You don't even have to number each game in the category, but you can if you want!

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Monday 15 July 2013

Hero Kids nominated for Best Family Game ENnie award!

Hero Kids has been nominated for a Best Family Game ENnie award!

Congratulations to the rest of the ENnie nominees (especially all the Best Family Game folks):

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Tuesday 9 July 2013

Equipment Cards expansion released!

When it rains, it pours!   After the new set of heroes a couple of weeks ago, the Hero Kids Equipment Cards are now available on DriveThruRPG.  

This expansion for Hero Kids includes forty-eight pieces of equipment for your game:

•   Armor: Pieces of armor and shields for defense and offense
•   Items: Consumable potions and special items
•   Magic: Wands and staffs for all types of magi
•   Melee: Martial weapons for all fighting styles
•   Miscellaneous: Pendants, charms, and special purpose weapons
•   Ranged: Bows, bows, and more bows, but each unlike the others!
•   Blank: Blank item and equipment cards so you can make your own treasures

Get them here:
Hero Kids - Expansion - Equipment Cards

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Friday 5 July 2013

The people have spoken: Equipment and Items!

Based on your feedback, the next Hero Kids expansion will be Equipment and Items.   This expansion will feature over forty pieces of equipment, including: Armor, Potions, Melee Weapons, Magic Implements, Charms, and Ranged Weapons.

As you can see from this example, I've decided to remove the price from the equipment, so you can hand them out or price them at your absolute discretion:

Items are one-use consumables like potions that can be carried in conjunction with equipment.

They'll be up on DriveThruRPG in the middle of next week.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Tuesday 2 July 2013

What's next?

Now that the new heroes are out, I'd love to know what Hero Kids extras you'd all prefer next:
• Adventure (Fire In Rivenshore), designed by Brian Benoit from Roving Band of Misfits:
• Pets (10 new pets to keep lonely adventurers company, or just for fun)
• Equipment (40 new pieces of equipment and items to reward your little heroes)

Leave a comment below or over on G+.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Saturday 22 June 2013

Review of Hero Kids!

Tim Knight at the awesomely named HeroPress (not to be confused with Hero Forge Games, which is me) has just posted a review of Hero Kids:

Review of Hero Kids by Justin Halliday

I'm only going to bore you a couple of quotes from this lovely review:

"The book is gorgeously illustrated with hero and monster art by Eric Quigley, which has a very 'easy-on-the-eye' smooth cartoony/anime style about it."

"Hero Kids manages to model the core aspects of more adult games in a very simple fashion and looks like the perfect game for young wannabe gamers."

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Friday 21 June 2013

Printer friendly map of the Brecken Vale...

+Nathan Rogers asked for a printable version of the map of the Brecken Vale, which looks like this when it's little:

You can all find a huge version of the map after the jump:

Thursday 20 June 2013

Hero Cards II released!

After what seems like far too long, I've finally released the new set of heroes for Hero Kids.   As ever, these heroes feature the unique art of +Eric Quigley.

• Acrobat: Perform spectacular flips and tumbles to get in and out of trouble
• Alchemist: This bomb thrower is dangerous to enemies and allies
• Brute (Female): The female brute is big enough to take on any enemy
• Healer (Male): Trained in the forests of the Brecken Vale, the healer is a great addition to any group of heroes
• Hunter (Female): On her days off from duties in the palace, this girl practices with her bow
• Knight (Female): The knight's armor makes her almost impossible to stop
• Storm-Mage: The storm-mage can command elemental lightning against his enemies
• Swashbuckler (Female): The swashbuckler's shipboard training focused on fighting multiple enemies
• Swashbuckler (Male): This swashbuckler was born and raised on a pirate ship
• Wolfchild: Abandoned in the forest as an infant, the wolfchild was raised by wolves

Get them here:
Hero Kids - Expansion - Hero Cards II

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Wednesday 5 June 2013

Hero Cards now available in French

The Hero Kids hero cards are now available in French on DriveThruRPG!

Grab them here:

Special thanks to Jean-Marc Tommasi and Thomas Gallecier for the translations.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Sunday 2 June 2013

Short review of Hero Kids...

From DriveThruRPG:

"Hero Kids is a great way to bring your youngsters into RPGs.   This was supposed to be for my six year old, but the whole family (including my wife!) was able to jump right in!   The game took less then an hour to play, so it kept everyone's attention and was over before they became distracted.   Very easy rulesets that are expandable for different age groups (up to around 10 y/o) and for different sizes of groups.
Definitely, worth the purchase and great chance for family RPG fun!"


Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Friday 31 May 2013

Working on equipment...

So the plan for the next Hero Kids expansion is for 10 new heroes, 5 all-new pets, and a bunch of new equipment for your games.   One thing I'm considering for the equipment is including a price on them so that you can include treasure and shops in your games:

Feedback always welcomed...

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Sunday 19 May 2013

Working on Pets...

I'm currently working on pets to include with the new set of heroes, and they're raised some questions and quandaries!   Simply put, pets can work like extra heroes (with all of the usual actions and abilities) or they can work as an extension of the hero that they 'belong' to.

Here's an example pet that would be an extension of the hero it belongs to:

The reason for the difference between pets with full sets of actions and those that are extensions of their heroes is to do with the 'action economy'.   If the heroes of some players have pets and others don't have pets, then the players whose heroes do have pets will have much more stuff (more actions) they can do on their turn than the other players.   This will make the other players sad.   Which makes me sad.

However, if solo kids are playing with pets, then they would probably prefer to have a full set of actions for both their heroes and their pets...


Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Saturday 18 May 2013

Uber-Discount Bundle Available!

Don't tell anyone, by there's a special temporary Hero Kids bundle up on DriveThruRPG. This bundle includes all the PDFs: Hero Kids core rules and introductory adventure, six normal adventures, and the one premium adventure.

The price is a rock bottom $9.99, which is a massive 67% discount over the full price for all of these!

Grab it here (while it lasts):

Hero Kids - Uber-Discount Bundle!

Wednesday 24 April 2013

New heroes, progress continues apace...

Here's the Storm-Mage Hero Card.   Hopefully his bonus ability isn't too powerful!

The Acrobat, Swashbucklers, Alchemist, and Wolf-Child need some thought...

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Thursday 18 April 2013

New Adventure - Glade of the Unicorn

A new Hero Kids adventure is now available:

The Glade of the Unicorn adventure takes place on one of the kids' routine patrols into the Darkenwold Woods.   During their patrol they rescue a unicorn from a pack of marauding goblins.   The unicorn has been mortally wounded in the attack, so the kids must quest deeper into the forest to find a cure.
•  Adventure with nine encounters and nine new maps
•  Includes seven monsters: Wolf, dire wolf, and a full set of goblins

Here's the link to DriveThruRPG:

Hero Kids - Adventure - Glade of the Unicorn

This is an even bigger adventure, coming in at 35 pages, making it just short of Maze of the Minotaur!

As ever, the new encounter maps from Glade of the Unicorn are modular, so you can mix and match them to create your own adventures.

Sunday 7 April 2013

Almost final Alchemist...

Here's the almost final version of the new Alchemist hero:

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Monday 1 April 2013

Another Hero WIP: Alchemist

This is the work-in-progress sketch of the new Alchemist:

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Friday 22 March 2013

Hero Kids review at Roving Band of Misfits

Several moons ago, while listening to a Dice of Doom podcast, I came across this comment by Benoit from Roving Band of Misfits:

"I love Paul's idea of assigning dice to 3 key abilities for a 'rules light, kid friendly' RPG.   Super quick, easy, and understandable. I may try this with my kids."

I figured I'd save Benoit the trouble and just send him a copy of Hero Kids instead!   Luckily, Benoit has taken the challenge, played Hero Kids with his family, and posted a comprehensive review of the game on his site:

Hero Kids the new RPG for kids

Quotes?   These are quotes:

"The game is smooth, simple, fun, and definitely geared towards kids.   But that doesn’t mean 'dumbed down.'   It just means 'not overly complicated.'"

"I had a chance to sit down with my kids and wife last week to play a couple of sessions, and we had a blast.   We used the adventure that comes with the base RPG (Basement O’ Rats)"

"Each character also has some special attacks or benefits that are situational, but if you’re playing with younger kids, they’re completely optional. My two youngest (3 and 5) played just with their dice pools, and had a blast.   My wife and oldest daughter (12), on the other hand were able to use the special options on their character sheets, which made the game more interesting for them.   The game did not break from either ignoring or using the special abilities on the character sheets."

"Most of the monsters that come with the modules are 'minions' (one hit and they’re dead), with the bigger bosses having 3 hit points.   This makes the combats go quickly.   This is an advantage not to be underestimated when playing with kids."

"Finally, the production values of this game are top notch.   Each character is fully illustrated in a kid-friendly cartoony style, and many of the statistics on the character sheets (stats, skills, and inventory) are symbols so that even the younger non-reading kids can understand their character sheet."

"Every adventure module comes with print out maps and monster standees included.   And bonus: the maps are all interchangeable!   The entrances and exits to cave maps are all in the same place, so pieces of the 'Basement O’ Rats' maps can be used with map pieces from 'The Lost Village' adventure, which are interchangeable with the 'Minotaur Maze' map pieces."

"All in all, I highly recommend this game.   It is a great introduction to RPGs for kids, and the simple smooth mechanics guarantee that it will also be a staple on your gaming table for a long time to come."


Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Tuesday 19 March 2013

New hero WIP: Wolfchild

This is the work-in-progress sketch of the new Wolfchild:

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Friday 15 March 2013

New heroes in progress: Swashbuckler

I've narrowed down the options for the new heroes to these:

1. Wolfchild (androgynous) (like Princess Mononokee)
2. Hunter (female) (like Merida from Brave)
3. Brute (female)
4. Healer (male) (Druidic?)
5. Knight (female) (like a young Brienne of Tarth)
6. Swashbuckler (male)
7. Swashbuckler (female)
8. Storm-Mage (male)
9. ???
10. ???

And here's a preview of Eric Quigley's first sketch of one of the new scallywags:

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Vote for new heroes and pets!

Okay people, I'm starting work with +Eric Quigley on a new set of ten heroes for Hero Kids, and I want your feedback.   I'm also thinking of including a selection of five pets, because they keep coming up in requests.

Here's some ideas I've got so far, so feel free to add more suggestions and let me know your favorites so I can compile a final list.

Rough thoughts for new heroes:
1. Wolfchild
2. Elf (boy)
3. Elf (girl)
4. Fairy/Pixie
5. Acrobat
6. Brute (female)
7. Knight (female)
8. Princess (Merida)
9. Swashbuckler (pirate)
10. Mouseling?
11. Cat-person?

The pets would be something like:
1. Miniature dragon
2. Wolf
3. Dog
4. Sabretooth
5. Eagle
6. Lynx/Ocelot
7. Griffon

Drop me a comment below with your feedback.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Saturday 23 February 2013

More Hero Kids Questions Answered

KevinTMC on was about to play his first session of Hero Kids, and he asked for clarification of some of the game's rules.   It strikes me that the clarification I provided there would also be useful here:

"1) Split attacks: Is a player allowed to use both attacks against the same enemy?"
Splitting your attacks is against 'multiple' targets ("Split your melee dice you attack multiple adjacent targets (at least 1 dice each"), which means that the attacks should be against more than one target.   Perhaps this would be clearer if it specified 'separate' adjacent targets, instead of 'multiple'.   Either way, the intention of the attack is for separate targets to be attacked, especially when combined with the Teamwork special ability for the male and female Warriors.

"2) Combat Roll: As I understand it, any character can take an extra move on their turn, in place of an Action.   So if the Rogue chooses this Special Action for her Action phase, that's simply a different way of doing the exact same thing... except that the Rogue can also move through enemies with this Action.   Correct?   (And the Rogue still can't move through enemies in her regular Movement phase, right?)"
Correct. By using the special action ("Combat Roll: Move up to 4 squares, including through enemies.") as her main action, a rogue can move through enemies.   After that she can still have another move action.

"3) Healer: If I'm reading it right, a party with a Healer will automatically fully heal itself a the end of each encounter, unless the GM feels that they are in a tremendous hurry, yes?   (This makes Rest irrelevant whenever the party contains a Healer, of course.)"
Yes, this is correct.   If they have time, they can heal up to full by using the Healer's Healing Touch ability between combat encounters.   But in more constrained circumstances, you could rule that they don't have time to heal the additional damage.

"Also, should the Herbs icon on the Healer's card be presumed to represent enough herbs to replenish a potion after each encounter...or just once during the adventure?"
I've hedged here a little bit.   As written, the herbs are enough to replenish a potion after each encounter, which implies that given enough time the healer should be able to replenish all used potions between encounters.   Alternatively, replenishing a potion could use up the herbs, which would change the wording to "Once per adventure" instead of "After an encounter".   I've tended to err on the side of being more generous and 'forgiving', so I've used the RAW interpretation.   The herbs in the inventory are also a trigger for creative role-playing.

"4) In the Glossary under "Hit" it mentions "either highest dice for normal play or the sum of all dice for advanced play".   This refers to advanced rules that appear (or are to appear) in further supplements, I presume?"
My fault.   In early playtesting there was an alternate set of advanced rules which switched the dice mechanic to cumulative dice and broke the game.   So I removed it.   Unfortunately I was not careful enough!   Thanks for pointing it out, I'll fix it in the next release.

"(I bought the Ultimate PDF Collection, but that doesn't contain the latest couple adventures/supplements.)"
The increasingly poorly named 'Ultimate PDF Collection'.   :-)   I'll be re-jigging the bundles once I've released the next couple of adventures (another normal one - Glade of the Unicorn - and another 'premium' adventure).

"5) I can easily imagine two or three children at the table all wanting to be, say, the female Hunter.   Is it a big problem to allow this sort of thing? How about number of players...the scenarios seem to envision from one to four players, but does it still work okay with five or six?"
Players are free to double up on the heroes.   I've heard of a player who as 7-year old triplets (!!!) who all play healers.   Imagine that!

The scenarios are designed for up to four players.   They will work with more if you add more monsters but the maps will be too crowded.   If you have more than four players, then I recommend that you use a dry-erase map and draw bigger versions of each of the encounter maps as you go.

"6) Should I have the players decide who's entering the room first, second, etc. before starting an encounter, so I know how to place the heroes on the map?   Or, with this age group, is it better for the GM to just put them down at the starting position in no particular order?"
This can have some mechanical implications, so allow the players to choose their heroes starting position and initiative order amongst themselves if they want.

"I also have one quibble.   The game is nicely laid-out, well-edited, quite professional-looking...but you're killing me with the "a dice"/"one dice" business.   The singular of dice is "die"! (Or is this just one of the quirks of non-American English that I'm not aware of?   Apologies if it's entirely proper and customary where you are.)"
My fault. I'm gonna give myself a good dressing down. :-)

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Monday 11 February 2013

New Adventure - Curse of the Shadow Walkers

A new Hero Kids adventure is now available:

The Curse of the Shadow Walkers adventure finds the kids spending a day off at a swimming hole to the north of Rivenshore.   On the way home they help a young girl to bring her runaway cart under control.   She begs the heroes to help her mum and dad fight off a pack of hungry wolves, but could there be more to these attacks?
•  Adventure with five encounters and twelve new maps
•  Includes three monsters: Werewolf, wolf, and giant spider

Here's the link to DriveThruRPG:

Hero Kids - Adventure - Curse of the Shadow Walkers

This is another big adventure, coming in at 32 pages, like The Lost Village adventure!

I mentioned this last time, but don't forget that most of the encounter maps in Hero Kids are modular, so you can mix and match them to create your own adventures.

Friday 18 January 2013

Hero Kids review on Wired GeekDad

My sophisticated analytics graphs tell me that something happened yesterday.   That something is an awesome review of Hero Kids over on Wired's equally awesome GeekDad site:

My Kids' First Role-Playing Adventure: A Hero Kids Review

The review, which is by +Ryan Carlson, takes a good look at Hero Kids, so here's a few quotes:

"As soon as I had read through the beautiful 20-page PDF I knew without a doubt that my daughters (ages 4 and 6) could easily understand the basics of the game."

"Amongst the four base classes for Hero Kids, there are male and female versions of each class (although there was no female thief), each allowing for a variety of play styles and specialties."

Correction: There are ten heroes in Hero Kids, four girls and five boys.   Wait, that doesn't add up to ten!   It doesn't add up because the Rogue's gender is ambiguous.

Pop quiz, boy or girl:

"The character sketches of each pre-generated character are age-appropriate, and made it really easy for my kids to identify with the characters.   My 4-year-old daughter instantly snatched up the Rapunzel look-alike with her long hair whip-attack..."

"I will admit that there are times I barely have time to prep for my regular role-playing campaign, and to have half a dozen pre-written adventures available for Hero Kids is fantastic."

"The quality of the maps and the provided figurines is as high quality as I find in mainstream pre-written adventures."

"In conclusion, Hero Kids hits the mark in both quality and ease of use for parents that have been looking for a new family-time activity.   A great start for young role-players that are ready to take their first steps into a life long story fueled by their own imaginations."

How 'bout that!

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Solid design elements in Hero Kids

+Peter Schweighofer has taken a great look at the underlying design, mechanics, and presentation of Hero Kids.   Check it out:

Schweig's Gaming Journal: Solid Design Elements in Hero Kids

Here are a few quotes:

"The very basic system in Hero Kids offers a simple yet intuitive means of resolving conflicts kids can understand without all the complexities of other roleplaying game systems."

"The character sheet summarizes all relevant information for players using easy-to-remember icons and quick summaries of combat actions.   The use of icons for stats, gear, and skills makes room for the concise summaries of what they can do in terms of a general attack, special actions, and bonus abilities."

"The landscape layout makes the rules easy to view on a notebook or tablet device."

"An entire page offers “Hints & Tips” for running the game with kids, useful both from a general gaming perspective and specifically geared toward rule elements in Hero Kids.   Another page covers special considerations for gaming with kids, including pitfalls regarding violence, language, religion, and morality."

"On the preceding page sections entitled “Pint-Sized Heroes” and “Big-Sized Problems” help demonstrate the kinds of adventures kids and their heroes might undertake.   The setting is tailored specifically to kids, including playing heroes who are kids facing reasonable challenges."

"These visually based encounters on a gridded play area help younger gamers make the transition from more traditional board games to the more freeform roleplaying games."

"Although Hero Kids still requires a knowledgeable adult to run the game with young players, it remains completely focused on being a roleplaying game for kids without being diluted by any other agenda of simulating an old-school, retro-clone or promoting a particularly ground-breaking campaign setting.   It’s a well-developed game (as are its several adventure supplements) with appealing layout and practical utility in running games for kids."

Thanks to Peter for taking to time to write up this analysis of Hero Kids!

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG