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Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG $5.99
Average Rating:4.9 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
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Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
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Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Thomas C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/20/2014 02:10:56
I played a couple of games of this with my 5 year old daughter (very short attention span) while on holiday.

I was very rusty and but the game mechanics are really straight forward and scalable. She absolutely loved it.

We played "Basement of Rats" a number of times (which did get a little tiresome on the 4th repeat, but she was still going strong), and then moved on to "Curse of the Shadow Walkers" which was more involved and much more fun to GM. My daughter liked this even more.

I am going to print out "Glade of the Unicorn" and give that one a go.

A hugely enjoyable game.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Agust B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/16/2014 15:36:16
Fantastic intro for kids in to the world of RPGs. My two kids (4, 7) had no trouble picking up the mechanics and surprised me with their creativity. The 4 year old didn't get strategy stuff but got a solid handle on the fighting mechanic very quickly. The 7 year old easily grasped mechanics and was starting to get a grip on strategy by the end of our first session playing Basement o Rats. Buy it if you have kids and you're even remotely interested in playing RPGs.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Loren N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/23/2014 09:36:54
Purchased this one afternoon. After 10 minutes of printing and another 20 of cutting and taping, we were playing!

I've been trying to find ways to start introducing role playing elements to a 4-year-old. Hero Kids did the trick! Things I like:
- simple dice rolls and comparison of results
- the character and baddie images are very nice
- the maps are wonderful: our players love revealing new locations as we play
- plenty of open hooks for us to add rules or options as our players learn
- more than just combat: characters have other interesting items to achieve their goals with

"I want to use my bag of gold to distract the pirates!" - 4-year-old first-time role-player getting clever

I'm so proud to have successfully introduced role-playing to such a young gamer, this will certainly change his life.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Jeffrey S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/17/2014 09:39:40
I have 2 boys, age almost 7 and almost 10.

This game exceeded my expectations on awesomeness for kids in this range. The drawings, maps, and adventures are perfect.

Half (or more) of the fun for them is looking at the pictures and discussing the characters details and pretending to be one or the other. The actual game -- while perfect for them -- wasn't even the thing they were most interested in. As a result, just the first *map* of the Rats in the Basement adventure took us around an hour to finish, from printout, character selection, discussion of the game world, etc. In other words, you should expect to get much more than "30 minutes" of fun and play out of a single adventure.

Thanks!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Roger D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/08/2014 20:04:01
Great. My kids really love this and ask for new adventures every weekend.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Jordan S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2014 12:14:23
I briefly skimmed the rules and ran my kids and wife through the introductory adventure. My son (8) and wife really seemed to enjoy it. My daughter (4) had a hard time focusing on the game and kept wandering off. I did find the adventure to be a little encounter heavy. I would like to have seen a little more opportunity for role playing and character/setting development. Hopefully some of the other adventures will have more such opportunities.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Sandra R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/21/2014 16:49:05
As much fun for Mom and Dad as it is for the kids. We thoroughly enjoyed our first adventure. The game mechanics are just right for both our 7 year and and 10 year old to understand. We had an epic night! Great introduction to RPG gaming.

Now I want to try using it with my students! Should make for some very interesting classes.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Michel K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/07/2014 14:30:06
Ich spiele mit meinen Jungs 4 und 6 Hero Kids, sie lieben es. Zuerst das Basteln und Bemalen der Figuren und danach das Abenteuer selber top für uns passt es . en

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by John H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/23/2013 08:51:34
My kids absolutely love this game. We played the Basement of Rats adventure a few weeks ago and the ask me to play 2-3 times per week. I just logged back into DriveThruRPG to buy one of the premium adventures and figured I'd drop a review. Great work!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Benjamin N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2013 19:04:56
Thanks to this game tomorrow will be my first time running a PnP game for my five year old, words can not express how excited we are! The rules look easy enough but still fun, and the over all concept of the game is just fantastic.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Chris M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/08/2013 12:39:04
This was fun. I played it with my 5 year old daughter who immediatly wanted to play the girl with the hiar and the tiar on the cover. So she did. She had a great moment when she wanted to push a stack of barrels shown on the map onto a couple of rats she was going to have to fight. She hit one and missed the other.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Chris C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/30/2013 15:42:55
** Excerpt from my review of Hero Kids on my blog (http://cjchand.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/great-kid-friendly--
rpg-hero-kids/)
** Apologies for any formatting issues and the missing pictures

**********

tl;dr

Hero Kids nails its target demographic perfectly
It is a highly-produced, well thought-out indie product (what’s not to love about supporting indie devs?)
There are several pre-baked adventures that are very well written and produced (which is highly-valued when your kids want to play a new adventure each night)
It’s currently $15 for the core ruleset and all the adventures. If you are at all interested, just buy it, already.
Despite all of the praise above, there are some chinks in the armor – but none that keep me from wholeheartedly recommending Hero Kids
Hero Kids Review: The Adult Version

Hero Kids is exactly what you would expect it to be: Cartoony, but not overly so, young kids tackling big challenges. Kids, say around 4–10, which is the suggested age range for the game. They go on large adventures, tackle many foes pulled from the normal RPG bestiary (skeletons, giant rats, giant spiders, werewolves, etc), but in a way that’s not overly scary or gruesome. Think Saturday morning cartoon-style, not Heavy Metal or anime.

Game Mechanics

The game runs on a pretty simple mechanic: The attacker will have a pool of dice (anywhere from 1–3, depending on the character’s build) and the defender will have the same (again, 1–3, depending). Both sides roll their pool’s worth of d6’s, 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.

Speaking of design, Justin obviously put alot of thought into the mechanic. You can read more on his blog about how he arrived at the final product.

Of course, there are also character abilities that can be active (“Split your dice to attack multiple targets”) and passive (“Gain 1 extra dice to attack a target that an ally attacked since your last turn”, which suits the Rogue quite well).

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.

Intro to RPG Combat Tactics

Battles are fought on a standard grid, so this does give our wee players some introduction to combat tactics. There are terrain penalties (though few, in order to keep the game moving), cover bonuses (at DM’s discretion), and penalties for (or outright denial of) certain attacks depending on the range to the target.

The aforementioned character abilities (think: skills or feats) gives the player a chance to engage some simplistic tactics and teamwork.

There are also Ability Checks, based on the character’s dice pool. For example, moving a large boulder might call for an Ability Check against strength, represented by the Melee dice pool, in this case. Again, it’s about the highest number – not the sum – to determine success.

These 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.

A quick aside: Justin has also authored “Heroes Against Darkness” (AKA: HAD). HAD is a “retro-clone” of sorts, even though it implements some of the more recent D&D mechanics. It is available for the very agreeable price of FREE(!), and just like Hero Kids, is extremely highly-polished and ready-to-go… unlike alot of other free RPG rulesets. HAD leans more towards streamlined combat, which is right up my alley. If you are looking for something to graduate your little one to once they have outgrown Hero Kids, you could definitely do worse than HAD.

Hero Kids: Adventures

To continue with a recurring thread, the published Adventures for Hero Kids are very well produced. Each adventure:

States the typical time to complete (usually 30–60 minutes, which is great for pint-sized attention spans)
States the difficulty
Employs clearly boxed-in text to clue the GM on what to read to the players
Has blocks for each encounter explaining:
An overview of the encounter itself
The tactics of the monsters in the encounter
As you can imagine, the story lines are pretty simple, but what can you expect to flesh out in under an hour. They definitely lean more towards an “intro-combat-next room-more combat-boss-conclusion” style, again, which suits the target audience. There are a couple of the adventures that call for a bit more role play, but any GM worth their salt can (and will) tweak the target material to what the group wants.

MONSTERS

Part of the adventures is – of course – the bad guys. Inside, you’ll find pre-scaled amounts and types of baddies for each encounter, depending on the number of players. Very handy for when your kid grabs you immediately after you walk in the door and says, “Can we play the next adventure right now, please?” Having this info already at-hand makes it simple to give the adventure a quick skim and jump right in. There’s even Hit Point boxes for each of the monsters so you have a convenient place to track their damage (though many only take one hit to KO).

MAPS AND PAWNS

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.

Player Characters

Speaking of character sheets, the core rulebook comes with a variety of the classic classes: Fighter, Mage (called Warlock), Healers, Rangers, etc – in both boy and girl designs. Of course, there are blank character sheets you can use to craft your own character, too.

In the case of Hero Kids, there is no “rolling” your character’s stats. Rather, you have 4 “dice” to allocate to the 4 types of core abilities:

Melee
Ranged
Magic
Armor
Ranged and Magic each cost 2 “dice” for the first die in their respective dice pools, but melee and armor are straight 1:1. This means if you opt for a non-Fighter that you will have to go either Ranged or Magic, as going with both would leave zero dice in your armor dice pool. That leaves the offensive combos as:

Melee
Melee + Ranged
Melee + Magic
Magic
Ranged
That, along with the fact that your Special Action and Bonus Ability are not limited to a skills/feats list, gives your child plenty of opportunity for creating a character that is uniquely their own. Of course, you’ll have to temper these a bit. Having a Bonus Ability like “All of your damage is healed at the end of your turn” would not make for a challenging dungeon romp.

LEVELING? WE DON’T NEED NO STINKIN’ LEVELING?

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).

So, if your player is on the older end of the 4–10 range, they likely are familiar with XP, leveling, and characters getting more powerful as they engage in new adventures. From Pokémon to Clash of Clans, kids have been exposed to this in many different ways. Leveling is a core part – at least for me – of the RPG experience. It is one of the more rewarding parts and one of the big motivators. Who doesn’t want to grow to be an all-powerful bad ass that smites foes with impunity?

A (HALF-BAKED) IDEA FOR THE LEVELING ISSUE

As you can read in this blog post, this shortcoming isn’t lost on the author. With so few “knobs” to play with, it is a challenging issue.

I have not playtested this yet, but I did have the following thought:

Getting treasure (e.g.: GP) is another common trope of RPGs, yet it’s not in Hero Kids
Taking that gold to town to buy new/better stuff is also another worn out mechanic… but, we still use it because it works :)
So, what if we awarded GP based on encounters?
Players could then use that gold to buy stuff – namely items from the Equipment pack – to pimp out their character
Many of the Equipment cards work similar to improved skills and/or equipment that would be obtained in a “big-boy” RPG. For example, one shield adds one die to your armor dice pool, at the expense of –2 movement.

What I am totally lost on is how to work the “economy” of such a system. Again, I’m not a game designer :) But, it’s something that I plan to play around with and see how it works. I’ll keep the super powerful equipment from the store until I get the numbers right.

OK, but what does your kid think of it?

Oh, yeah. I did but this for my son – definitely not for me. Totally selfless act, I can assure you.

I could go into alot 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.

I couldn’t keep up, so I diverted his attention into making a character. Here’s the drawing he did last night of the Elf (sort-of) Ranger he’s working on:

Zach's Elf

(Not sure why his arms are so stiff, but…) I’ve never seen him take to a project before with the level of interest as this character.

He is asking, however, for info on how he levels his character up – which leads back to the previous section. I suspect this will be a stumbling block for the older kids that are familiar with the leveling concept. We’ll see how my cockamamie GP scheme works out.

Also, despite the fact that he’ll be 9 in December, Zach isn’t really one for scary stuff or blood and guts. This works well with the characters in Hero Kids, as they are drawn appropriately for the age group. I just wonder if other kids his age – some of which have played games like Halo – might be turned off by the art. Again, those kids would likely be candidates to transition to HAD or the Pathfinder Beginner Box.

Parting Thoughts

Again, despite any negatives you’ve read above, if you’re even remotely interested in this type of game for your kids, I say you’ve wasted time reading my ramblings when you could have just downloaded the PDFs and started playing already. My nitpicking is minor and is only because when a product is this close to perfection, you want to see it get there.

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

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Clint E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/02/2013 20:46:09
Perfect introduction to role playing for little ones. We've been playing every afternoon for a week straight. My 7 and 5 YO kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. I'll never forget how my 5 YO daughter's face lit up when I started talking in character as the Rat King. She really got into it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Rick D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2013 21:20:35
So, I read a few reviews and then dove right in and bought the bundle. WITHOUT QUESTION, the best money I have spent in sometime!! My son (7) and I just had the funnest hour+ together on our first adventure. The quest was supposed to be 30 minutes, but as GM I dragged it out because he was sooooo engaged and having so much fun. He was cheering, laughing, and could barely sit down, anticipating what was coming next. He was asking questions and keeping me on my toes as he went further into the Basement of Rats. What a great game!!! And it only took a pencil and paper. No batteries, no chargers, nothing. Just his imagination and a well designed RPG. The only thing it needs next is miniatures!! And keep those adventures coming because we may blow through these sooner than expected..Thanks Hero Forge!!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
Publisher: Hero Forge Games
by Ben T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/02/2013 06:48:36
Hero Kids is a great way to bring your youngsters into RPGs. This was suppose 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!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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