I’m a nerd. A huge nerd, actually.
I started playing roleplaying games when I was 9, and I’m still doing so despite fast approaching the big four oh. Not as much as before, mainly due to time constraints. It’s hard trying to balance time between work, time with the kids, time with the significant other and time for games and hobbies. I’ve tried to come up with some RPG system that would be simple enough that my kids at 10 and 6 would be able to understand them. Heck, I’ve even tried to create a system myself, from scratch. But nothing has really fit the bill well enough…
Until I found a game about a month ago…
I came over a game called Hero Kids, spesifically aimed at kids from 4 to 10. I read through the rules and immediately thought “Hey, this might actually work!” And so I printed out the character sheets and the initial adventure called “Basement o’ Rats”.
I gathered together a few dice, and some glass beads in red and blue to use as health and potion markers, and then off we went.
The first game I played with just my youngest one, age 6. He’s pretty easy to distract so I was rather curious about how it would turn out. It went beyond my wildest expectations: He was very focused and extremely eager to see what would come next. He was a little confused about how many dice to roll when, but this was easily remedied by me constantly reminding him of it.
The game was a huge success, and he was so proud of having defeated the rat king.
And then came the two weeks before christmas, with loads of things to do and too little time to play. It wasn’t until after christmas eve that we had the time to try again, this time with both boys.
We ran the same adventure since my oldest hadn’t tried it, but I changed around a few details and read a few other descriptions. Huge success once more!
I’ve now printed out another adventure, “Mines of Martek”, and have just finished my prep-work.
The first thing to do was to cut out the stands for the enemies in the adventure. I first print them out, then glue them to a slightly stiff cardboard. I then give them a quick wash of watercolor, just to add a little life.
I then cut them out and glude them together into stands. I use red cardboard for enemies and green for player characters, just so I can sort them apart quicker. I’ve also noticed that they tend to fall over rather easily, so I’ve started using my hotglue gun to glue a clear glass bead into the stands for more stability. It also feels better to the touch to have a tiny bit more heft than pure paper.
Each enemy also has a character sheet with all the stats on them. Just as I did with the character sheets, I cut them out and laminated them. In hidsight I should probably have colored them first for that extra “Oomph”, but whatever… Perhaps another time.
I’ve also printed out the “Equipment” expansion and started laminating them as well. This game is so simple that it doesn’t really have a way for the characters to progress and be more powerful, but this can be somewhat mitigated by giving out equiment and items as reward, thus boosting the characters that way. And having them laminated maskes it that much easier to just hand over and not worry about it being torn to pieces or getting wet.
I’ve printed out the maps in full size (A4 / Letter) and trimmed away the edges. That way they fit flust into each other and I can simply place them on the table, edge to edge and you get a complete map. But that’s not all…
I’ve also gome over the maps with my trusty ProMarker set and added some color to the details, like brown for woodwork and blue for water. Makes for a more interesting and lively map, and doesn’t really take that long to do.
The adventure itself I’ve printed out with two pages to a sheet of paper, then cut out and stapled into a little book. Quick way to flip through it, doesn’t take much space, and saves on the ink too.
So, now everything is ready for another dungeondelve, this one a little longer and harder than the last one. I also intend to ramp up the description and roleplaying aspect a bit, as well as giving them more options for what they might want to do. It’s an ongoing process, but I’m going to slooooowly turn them more and more away from pure combat and rollplaying to more storydriven things and roleplaying. It’ll take time, but I’m patient.
I’m hoping to play this tomorrow or sunday, perhaps even invite one of the kid’s friends over to join them. The more the merrier. ^_^
PS: Something weird's happening to the images.
Check out the exact same blogpost over at Stange Realities to see the images properly.