Wednesday, 30 December 2015

My review of Yuletide Journey for Hero Kids and free stuff for you

A couple of days ago Connor, Mommy, and I played the Hero Kids adventure, "Yuletide Journey". Overall, it went well, although there were a couple of bumps along the way. One big omission was in the NPC Elven characters.  There is an encounter where the Heroes compete against three Elven "Fledglings": an archer with a bow, a fighter with a sword, and a Magic user with a large spellbook.  The group are quickly joined by a child Elf of unspecified abilities and equipement. However, the adventure only includes a card and standee for an Elven Arher with a bow and an Elven Druid with a Staff.

Now technically none of the encounters actually needed full stats or standees for the three Elven competitors, but this is a game for young children - EVERY scene is an opportunity to place and play with miniatures on the table, needed or not! :-)  Luckily, I had previously purchased all the Hero Kids expansions, and had an Elven character with two wooden swords. Another Human Hero Kid stood in place of the unspecified child Elf.  It worked, but wasn't ideal - ESPECIALLY later in the adventure when the Elven child tags along and the party gets attacked by wolves.  The lack of any stats for this NPC were handwaved by simply using the stand-in Hero's stats for the combat encounter, but ideally I wouldn't need to compensate for an unfortunate defeciency.

On the plus side, the encounters with Odin and Sleipnir were highly engaging and greatly enjoyed by both mother and child, with no one under the age of 40 noticing the lack of stats or standees for either of them.  Eh, what are you gonna do?  Kids aren't consistent!  While, there is room for improvement in this adventure, I would still recommend it as a fun holiday-themed adventure.  If you're running it though, give it a full read through and be prepared to wing it and fill in the blanks occasionally.

My next adventure will actually by a non-Hero Kids one for a different, kid-friendly roleplaying game.  Full disclosure: the author graciously comped me a copy, although I didn't promise a biased review either.  I am looking forward to it, as the theme of the game is different and I'm curious to how Connor reacts to a different set of rules.  I'll post a play report once we've run through it.

Free non-combat equipment cards.
One thing I have been thinking about in Hero Kids is equipment. I've bought the official Equipment Cards expansion and the third party Armory 1 from Aegis Studios both sets of equipment are really good and add a lot to the game.  I've used them several times as extra rewards in the published adventures I've run, as well as in a couple of ad-hoc adventures I've made up.  I have a bunch of ideas on the the distinctions between Items, Equipment, and Inventory items (note the lower case "item"), but I'm saving those ideas for a future post where I'll also talk about a way of making use of those bags of gold some Heroes carry around.  In the meantime, I've made some equipment cards a Hero Kid can use outside of combat.  Download them for free here: Non-Combat Equipment Cards. Hopefully, inventive GMs will be able to use them to come up with encounters where they can assist with various Ability Tests.