Hero Kids: Getting your kids into RPGs and gaming

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At 5 years old, my boy is showing interest in the “toy soldiers that Daddy paints”, that infest the kitchen shelves. Sure, I’ve let him drybrush a few Space Marines, but beyond that, I’m loathe to ram my interests down his neck, and happy to let him choose his own adventure. However, once we started messing about with minis and rolling dice, his interest was piqued, so I thought it’d be a good idea to try out a simple RPG or board game, and take it from there.

We’ve played Snakes & Ladders and Ludo, so he understands rolling dice to move x number of squares, with 1 or 2 more if he fancies cheating. So I just needed to go with something where I can be the GM, and I can slowly introduce ability tests and problem solving. After being bombarded with a million cool suggestions on the CH Facebook group, I checked out rpgKids and Monster Slayers: The Heroes of Hesiod.¬† Before finally plumping for Hero Kids, as it looked cool, and has loads of expansions for extra scope

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One trip to DriveThruRPG¬†where you can buy the PDFs and I was ready to start the prep. I scavenged some rats, bats and other assorted beasts from the Citadel monster swarm, but can you use card printouts, found a Frodo mini for our young hero, then gave them a quick lick of paint. Praise the Omnissiah for the printer and laminating machine at work, to make everything durable and wipe clean, incase of snot, tears and spilled drinks. A bag of Haribo for wound tokens & rewards, and we’re good to go

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As soon as child v2.0 was having her afternoon nap, and the threat of a Godzilla stomp or table flip was reduced, we grabbed some dice and headed to the tavern in Rivenshore, which is nestled in The Brecken Vale, for a spot of lunch, only to be interrupted by the screams of the innkeeper’s wife. Basement O Rats was the encounter we chose, and our intrepid hero steps up to the plate to find out where Roger (the innkeeper’s son) has been taken.

The game is really easy to pick up, roll off to see who goes first, move a number and squares, and attack any rats adjacent to you. Combat is a simple roll off, where the attacker needs to equal or beat the dice roll of the defender. If you find the rats are chipping wounds off the hero too quickly, a case of “Let the wookie win” comes in handy in the form of potions to restore health, or holding some rats back.

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There are a couple of obstacles to be overcome as you move through the encounter, which you can handle with a straight-forward ability test, but I found it we enjoyed it more using imagination, asking how he could get up a 10ft high ledge, “chop it down with my sword?” but then came up with “chop holes in the wall with my sword, so I can climb up”.

The game was a resounding success, as he wanted to play again straight away, and asked what other monsters he could fight. I didn’t even get to tell the story the second time around, as he’d remembered it all and reeled it off as he progressed through it. I’ve already got my eye on Maze Of The Minotaur for the next encounter, as I get to paint up old Pitbeef himself. I would recommend this game to anyone wanting to introduce their kids to gaming, as we had great fun playing together, and it’s hopefully the start of many afternoons of rolling dice

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About Chris

Husband, father, procrastinator and record label mug. Living in Nottingham, but originally from Milford Haven. Back in the hobby after a decade of self-enforced exile, thanks to my fellow Corehammer punks. Sharp-minded, cynical, bitter and taken for granted. A true Iron Warrior

2 thoughts on “Hero Kids: Getting your kids into RPGs and gaming

  1. This sounds great. My 2 yr old is probably a bit too young but he definitely has an interest in my toy soldiers. As we live in Notts I quite Irene take him to warhamner world for lunch and he lives looking at the gaming boards and displays.

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