Friday 11 December 2015

A Whole Lotta Heroes...

The time for complaining is over, 'cos I've finished coloring all of the Hero Kids heroes for the ArcKnight Flat Plastic Miniatures Kickstarter campaign.  

And... here they are:

If you happen to want to see all of them at once (including three extras):

Here's the link to DriveThruRPG:

DriveThruRPG - Hero Forge Games

Thursday 3 December 2015

Colored heroes for Flat Plastic Miniatures...

Ever feel like you've bitten off more than you can chew?  I decided to personally do the coloring for the Hero Kids heroes for the Flat Plastic Miniatures Kickstarter.  This is 20 of the 62 minis I'm coloring.  It's actually quite therapeutic...

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Free Hero Kids Christmas Adventure

While I've been busy with behind the scenes Hero Kids work for the Flat Plastic Miniatures kickstarter project, Brian Benoit has put together a FREE Christmas-themed adventure for his Hero Kids-compatible Adventures in Bayhaven series:

Adventures in Bayhaven - Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Wednesday 28 October 2015

Hero Kids Review Roundup...

It's about time I posted some of the Hero Kids reviews that have been popping up around the Internets:

Tribality: Games Change Lives: Hero Kids RPG for Ages 4-10
"Hero Kids is an elegant system with straight-forward mechanics that kids from 4-10 can grasp.  The game uses 6-sided dice and a few characteristics that are represented visually: Melee, Ranged, Magic, and Defense.  So if you have a youngster you want to introduce to roleplaying games earlier than age 10, do yourself a favor and pick up everything Hero Kids.  You won’t regret it."

Review(ish) Session Report: Hero Kids – Escape from the Ghost Pirates
"Lately I’ve been trying to get my closest family interested in role-playing games.  Hitherto without any real significant success.  During our last session of Hero Kids, however, something extraordinary happened."

"I described the (ship from Escape From the Ghost Pirates) where the characters now found themselves in: heavy cannons, cannon balls, some rope and lots of crates and barrels.  This is the moment something clicked in the mind of my players and they suddenly began to actively interact with their surroundings.  They began to search the ship, discovering things and, most importantly taking advantage of it for both role-playing and for combat.  They discovered that everything is allowed and that there are practically no set boundaries in role-playing games.  "

"I recommend
Hero Kids for all adults that would like to introduce kids to fantasy gaming generally, and fantasy role-playing games specifically, but skip Basement O’ Rats.  Go straight to any of the other adventures in the Hero Kids-line and you should be set."

My Hero Kids and Their First RPG Session
"I recently introduced my board game loving boys, Josh (11 years old) and Evan (9 years old), to role-playing games.  It was a fantastic experience that I wanted to describe in my blog.

Hero Kids has several great aspects that I thought would appeal to my boys. First there is VERY little math.  For most actions instead of doing addition or subtraction you roll dice and take the highest number.  REALLY simple.  If you are better at something you roll more dice.  I also thought that Hero Kids was very intuitive to pick up but still has a surprising amount of flexibility.  I felt that I could EASILY modify the system to play superheroes, science fiction stars, cartoon characters, or anything my boys might want to play.  When I asked the boys they decided that they wanted to play heroes like Zelda.  That means epic high fantasy… easy."

...The next room featured a puzzle with a miner caught in a sinkhole.  In the first room they had collected a rope.  Even though it took some prompting by Don they eventually figured it out and saved the miner.  It was a nice little problem to resolve.

Overall I know the session went really well.  How do I know?  After the session Evan asked about the village where the characters live and the underground river that they saw in the mine.  He asked if they could investigate these next time."

Hero Kids First Session
"Today, my Hero Kids players met during Club time and managed to do the following:
•   Started the adventure in a tavern
•   Accepted a call for help
•   Went into a basement and defeated a group of rats
Three cliches in one session, it's awesome. Nothing is a cliche to these kids because it's all new to them."

So far, so good! We had quite a few eager watchers during the last part of the game as students came in from break-time. I'm almost disappointed I'm on leave for the next few weeks so that we can't carry on with
Hero Kids right away."

Hero Kids: An RPG for Little Role Players
"Like any good fantasy setting, Hero Kids starts in the local tavern with an introductory adventure called Basement o’ Rats, which asks our wee heroes to venture into the tavern basement to save their buddy Roger (of course he has the name Roger) from rats the size of those giant stuffed teddy bears they sell at Costco.  The adventure was a smash hit and my daughter immediately asked if we could run it again."

Hero Kids is great fun. She loves it and I love the time with her."

Here's the link to DriveThruRPG:

DriveThruRPG - Hero Forge Games

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Draft Hero Kids Compatibility License...

I've been working on an open license for Hero Kids compatible products and a compatibility logo to go along with the license.  The license is based on the O.L.D./N.E.W. license by Russ Morrissey.

Here's the current draft of the license.  Any problems?

Acceptance of Terms
By displaying the Hero Kids Compatibility Logo on your product or associated materials, you accept and agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this license agreement.

Royalty Free License
Third-party publishers are free to create and sell content for Hero Kids.  You can create sourcebooks, adventures, resources, expansions, and use the Hero Kids Compatibility Logo to indicate compatibility with Hero Kids.  You can also make or sell electronic applications.  The license is free, and you do not need to ask permission or submit an application to use it.  If you make a product that is compatible with Hero Kids, in addition to ensuring you do not infringe any intellectual property, you must acknowledge the Hero Kids trademark, only use the Hero Kids Compatibility Logo, and ensure your product does not copy the Hero Kids trade dress or include any Hero Kids trademarks in your product's title.

Hero Kids Trademark
If you produce a product, web page, or app compatible with Hero Kids, you should include the following text somewhere visible - at the bottom of your web page or on the credits page of your book (in at least the same font size as your own copyright notice):
Hero Kids is a trademark of Justin Halliday and is used with permission.  No challenge is intended.

Hero Kids Compatibility Logo
You can't use the Hero Kids logo on your product.  However, you can use the Hero Kids Compatibility Logo.  The logo must be smaller than the title of your own product.

Trade Dress
Ensure your product's trade dress is visually distinct from official Hero Kids products produced by Hero Forge Games (Justin Halliday). Additionally, don't include any Hero Kids trademarks in your product title.

Monday 24 August 2015

Adventure play order?

You'd be surprised (or not) how often I get asked about the order that the Hero Kids adventures should be played in.  I've never stipulated an order for the adventures, and they're designed to be as stand-alone as possible so that you can pick and choose which one to play based on your time and player's capabilities.  Having said that, this rough order might give you some ideas:

•  Basement O Rats (Easy)
•  Curse of the Shadow Walkers (Normal)
•  Escape From the Ghost Pirates (Normal)
•  Wizard's Tower (Normal)
•  Fire In Rivenshore (Normal)
•  Yuletide Journey (Normal)
•  Mines of Martek (Hard)
•  Tomb of the Lost King (Hard)
•  The Lost Village (Hard)
•  Glade of the Unicorn (Hard)
•  Maze of the Minotaur (Hard)

Mines of Martek and Tomb of the Lost King could probably go earlier if you tweak their difficulty a little bit.

Hero Kids dad Michael Henry has other ways of connecting the adventures into a campaign:

"Zimarim the Grim is an evil wizard that has attacked and all but destroyed the town of Willowsdell. He did so by several long-forgotten magical attacks. During these attacks, a hero by the name of Barnabus Longwillow left Willowsdell in search of the one laying siege to the town and a way to undo the magical destruction happening all around him. He happens upon a pool of water in a cave beneath a mountain on the far side of the bay. Thinking that this was the source of the magical attacks on his town, he took out his Great Bow and fired upon the water spirit within. The spirit turned him into a giant rat and laid a spell on him that trapped him in the caves where he found the pool."

Hero Kids Campaign - Campaign Overview

Tuesday 18 August 2015

New Adventure - Wizard's Tower

A new and somewhat light-hearted Hero Kids adventure is now available on DriveThruRPG:

The Wizard's Tower adventure takes the heroes from Rivenshore to the wizard's tower on the eastern peninsula that encloses Brecken Bay.  The wizard, Mortain, has gotten himself into trouble and needs the kids' help!

•  Adventure with five encounters and six new maps
•  Includes five monsters: Froglings, water beast, rickety construct, and the fearsome helm knight!

Here's the link to DriveThruRPG:

Hero Kids - Fantasy Adventure - Wizard's Tower

Thursday 13 August 2015

Map of the Wizard's Tower

Here's another composite map from the upcoming Wizard's Tower adventure.

This map shows the four levels of the titular tower.  Starting at the bottom, the rough-hewn basement has an ancient well to catch intruders who fall through the trapped floor above.  The stuffy and dusty ground floor level has a circular fountain in the center, and walls lined with stacked barrels.  The level above is the Wizard's laboratory, currently overrun by crazed automata.  Finally, the top level is the Wizard's living quarters, where he is held captive by his crazed servants.

This new adventure – Wizard's Tower – will be out on Monday.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Putting together Fire In Rivenshore maps

Attentive Hero Kids dad Angus Graham asked me a bunch of questions about the various maps included in the Fire In Rivenshore adventure, which prompted me to throw together this composite showing how the maps fit together.

On the left are the three levels of the Block and Tackle inn.  On the right are the various ground level maps of Rivenshore, including the ground floor of the inn, the stables at the rear of the inn and a watchtower, the market area, and the town square.

I'm here to help... :-)

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Friday 10 July 2015

Playtesting a new Hero Kids adventure...

It's school holidays here in Australia, and Violet and I finally got a chance to playtest the new Hero Kids adventure, 'Wizard's Tower'.  Unfortunately, Dashy's been sick all day, so I took one hero to play along with Violet.

Once we reached the actual tower, Violet and I got smashed by the rickety constructs.  My rogue (Sera) was KO'd and Violet's healer (Hera) was cornered by the crazed automatons.  Violet's quick thinking saved when she healed my character and got me back in the fight, and together we managed to reduce the enemies to splinters!

All in all, the adventure looks good, but I might tweak those constructs to make them slightly more rickety... :-)

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Wednesday 8 July 2015

Hero Cards in Brazilian Portuguese!?!

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

Grab them here: Hero Kids - Supplement - Hero Cards - Brazilian Portuguese

Special thanks to Rafael Borghi for the translations.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Sunday 21 June 2015

Epic Hero Kids Campaign...

I wish my Hero Kids campaign was this epic!

Michael Henry has been running an epic Hero Kids campaign for his kids and their neighbors, which he's been documenting over on his blog:

"I've decided that I'd like to share some of our best moments from our campaign (and some of the moments from our non-campaign adventures, too). We have played Hero Kids for at least 40-50 hours at this point (not including all my prep time, which I also love) and have had a dozen or so "memory-maker" moments. As a dad, these are why I play games with my boys, coach my boys' teams, and vehemently protect my free time to spend with them. Their joy gives me joy."

Michael's worked to expand the individual adventures into a long campaign, which you can read about in his posts here:

Our Epic Hero Kids Campaign


Wednesday 10 June 2015

Hero Cards in Italiano!

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

Grab them here: Hero Kids - Supplement - Hero Cards - Italian

Special thanks to Marco Montanari for the translations.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Saturday 23 May 2015

Advanced Combat in Hero Kids...

Following the recent update to the Hero Kids core rules, my nemesis Robert McGovern pointed out that many of the game terms covered in the Glossary weren't well covered in the main text.  Instead of trying to cram those explanations into the main text, I've added a whole new Advanced Combat section to the game.  Below you can find the text of that section, for comment and discussion before I update the rules again.

Once you and your players have conquered a few encounters, you’ll likely be ready to explore the characters’ special actions and the further scope of Hero Kids’ combat system.  The depth of the system is encompassed in the unique actions and abilities of the heroes and monsters that allow them to interact with each other and the world around them, shaping combat and creating advantageous situations.

Additional Attack Effects

Some attacks have additional effects that trigger regardless of the success of the attack, indicated with ‘also’ in the attack description.  In this example, the swashbuckler’s attack moves the target back and the character moves into their square:
Melee attack at an adjacent target using 1 fewer dice; the target is also pushed back and you move into its square.

Alternate Attack Effects

While additional attack effects happen in addition to damage (remember, all attacks deal 1 damage), some attacks effects instead of dealing damage.  For example, the mancer can attack with 1 extra die, but the target is moved without taking damage:
Magic attack at a target up to 4 squares away with 1 extra die; if the attack his it deals no damage but you can push or pull the target up to 4 squares.

Attacking Engaged Targets

To encourage players to coordinate their characters’ actions, many characters gain benefits their targets are engaged. Engaged targets have an enemy adjacent to them, or have been the target of any attack since the attackers last turn.  Some characters have special attacks only usable against engaged targets while others, such as warriors, automatically gain benefits through their Teamwork bonus ability:
When a target is engaged, your attacks against that target gain 1 extra die.

Combining Effects

Combining multiple attack effects is a great way to maximize the effectiveness of characters, especially in the face of difficult enemies.  This involves finding synergies in actions and bonuses.
For example, a warrior with two adjacent enemies could split their melee dice to attack both:
Split your melee dice to make melee attacks at multiple adjacent targets.
However, if both of those targets are engaged, then each of those attacks gains 1 extra die:
When a target is engaged, your attacks against that target gain 1 extra die.
As you can see, combining these actions and abilities effectively doubles the attack strength of the warrior.

Improvising Actions

Players often come up with unexpected ways of dealing with enemies and obstacles, whether it’s swinging through the rigging of a ghostly pirate ship, distracting an enemy with a well thrown chicken drumstick, or fashioning a tripwire with a length of rope.  This creative improvisation by players should be encouraged and rewarded.

Knocked Down, Prone, Get Up

When characters are knocked out (KO’d) or get knocked down, they become prone, which means they are lying down on the ground.  When characters are prone, they cannot perform their normal actions, and melee attacks against them gain 1 extra die.  To stand up, prone characters need to get up, which costs 2 squares of their movement.

Line of Sight and Cover

Ranged attacks require line of sight to the target, which means that there cannot be any solid walls between the attacker and the target.  However, targets can gain cover from objects or obstacles that partially block line of sight.  For example, low crates or walls can provide cover without totally blocking line of sight.  When a target has cover from their attacker, that target gains 1 extra armor die.

Moving Around

Moving around during combat is relatively straightforward, but there are a few areas for clarification.  Characters:
•  can normally move 4 squares
•  can move diagonally
•  may be able to move farther or less far
•  can move through their allies
•  cannot move through enemies
•  must end their movement in an empty square
•  cannot move diagonally around corners
•  require extra movement squares to pass obstacles

Ongoing Effects and Conditions

In addition to simply damaging or moving their targets, many characters (especially those capable of magic) can alter the battlefield, or hamper their enemies.  The warlock’s Freezing Strike bonus ability locks enemies in place:
When you roll a 6 on an attack die, your target cannot move during their next turn.
While the stonemaster’s Wall of Stone action allows him to raise stone walls that block enemies or provide cover to the stonemaster and his allies:
Create an obstacle or impassable wall for each die in your magic pool on empty squares up to 4 squares away.

Pushing and Pulling

Some attacks have alternate or additional effects that allow the attacker to move the target by pushing them further away or pulling them closer.  When pushing or pulling, the target must move in a straight line, cannot move through characters, can move through obstacles if they can pay the extra movement costs, and must end up in an unoccupied space:
Ranged attack at a target up to 6 squares away (but not adjacent); if the attack hits the target takes no damage but is pulled to an empty square closer to you.

Splitting Attacks

Some characters can split their attack dice, which lets them attack multiple targets with one action, such as warriors with their Whirlwind Attack:
Split your melee dice to make melee attacks at multiple adjacent targets.
Warriors normally have 2 dice for their melee attacks, allowing them to attack one target with 2 dice, or to use their Whirlwind Attack to strike two targets with 1 die each.  However, if a warrior gained 1 extra melee die, such as through a piece of equipment or an item, then they could attack up to three adjacent enemies (or even direct 2 dice against one target and 1 die against another).

Sunday 17 May 2015

Hero Kids Updates Live...

Previous Hero Kids purchasers should by now have received an email about the updates to almost all of the game's PDFs which are available from DriveThruRPG.

Here's the changelog:

•  Updated all hero and monster cards with filled artwork and for consistency in special actions and bonus abilities
•  Improved Ability Test examples in core rules
•  Updated Glossary in core rules
•  Updated Skills section in core rules to add dark vision
•  Added rules for Equipment and Items to core rules
•  Added extra monsters from print edition to the core rules PDF
•  Added printing authorization to core rules and expansion PDFs
•  Changed definition of Engaged to include 'targeted by an attack or with another adjacent enemy'
•  Updated artwork for giant rat and king rat in Basement O' Rats and core rules

This has been a pretty major piece of work to update all of the artwork and PDF files, so errors could well have slipped through. Don't hesitate to let me know if you see anything that needs to be fixed.

If you didn't get the email, you can get the updated PDFs by logging in to DriveThruRPG and downloading all of the updates through the My Library page.

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG

Monday 20 April 2015

Hero Kids Space Heroes II

This expansion for Hero Kids includes ten more space heroes for use with the space adventures. As with the first set of Space Heroes, these heroes are 100% compatible with all other Hero Kids adventures:

Goliath - The goliath communicates with his fists and hurled rocks
Infernal Binder - This infernal's magic can direct the actions of her enemies
Felinian - The felinian fights tooth and claw for her allies
Trapper - The alien trapper uses his net to capture wild creatures - and foes
Fire Binder - The simian binder manifests nadic energy into fiery attacks
Blade Master - The reptilian's double-ion blade can cut twice as deep
Ionight - The ion knight wields a matching set of sword and shield
Insectoid - The insectoid has chitinous armor and a piercing sonic shriek
Hunter - This tiny hunter is renowned for the accuracy of his sling shots
Wild Binder - This pandian is barely in control of her nadic magic

Check out this Hero Kids space expansion and the rest of Hero Kids at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Kids - Space Expansion - Hero Cards - Set II at DriveThruRPG

Sunday 19 April 2015

Big Hero Kids Update Coming...

People of the Hero Kids world, I'm currently in the middle of a big refresh of the Hero Kids assets.

I decided after doing the Space Adventures cards, that the heroes and monsters look better with a light fill to make them pop from the background parchment, like this:

As usual, I decided that while I was in the process of updating all of the Hero Cards and Monster Cards, I'd also take a look at all of their powers to ensure they're all consistent.  And then I also wanted to take a look at a few pieces of artwork from the original that weren't great...

Anyway, this is a long way of saying that this update has taken too long, but it's close to done... :-)

Thursday 22 January 2015

Adventures in Bayhaven - Caravan to Rivenshore...

I mentioned last week that Brian Benoit was planning a series of Hero Kids adventures, and (as if by magic), the first of his adventures is out:

Adventures in Bayhaven - Caravan to Rivenshore

Wednesday 14 January 2015

More Hero Kids adventures coming!

Brian Benoit, long-time friend of Hero Kids and designer of Yuletide Journey and Fire In Rivenshore adventures, is embarking on a yearlong project to release 24 new Hero Kids adventures!

To launch his campaign, he's running a location design competition for the town of Bayhaven.  You can read all about the adventures and the competition on Brian's blog:

Bayhaven: A Hero Kids Contest!

Check out Hero Kids and its adventures at DriveThruRPG:

Hero Forge Games at DriveThruRPG