I've played a lot of games with my kids. Most of them are, well, dumb. Old Maid and Candy Land® are both interesting for 4-year-olds, but not so much for 34-year-olds. I wanted to design a game that parents and kids could play together and everyone could be engaged and have fun.
I also wanted to get my kids interested in fantasy role playing games, which I love. But where I've grown up with all the archetypes -- fighters, wizards, levels, treasure, dragons, dungeons, and so on -- kids have no basis for any of that. What we needed was a game with straightforward rules that could introduce these concepts smoothly, one at a time.
For 2-5 players ages 4+, including at least one adult
Average game time: 30-40 minutes for one map level
Heroes & Treasure™ is a fantasy role-playing game system played on a game board. One person acts as the Quest Master, who controls the action, and the others take on the roles of characters in the world.
You choose the characters you play and move your pieces through the tiles that form the game map. On the way you’ll encounter monsters, locked doors, special items, magic weapons, and much more. You’ll wince as your party’s fighter takes a powerful hit from an animated skeleton, and you’ll cheer as your wizard freezes a goblin in its tracks.
As you meet your goals on map after map of the campaign, your characters will gain new abilities, magic items, and more. But as you grow stronger, the challenges you face become ever more dangerous. Can your group survive long enough to save the kingdom?
Are you ready?
It’s time for the adventures to begin.
Heroes & Treasure introduces young kids, or really anyone, to the core concepts of fantasy role-playing games. An adult acts as Quest Master, running the players through an extended campaign designed to add these concepts slowly, introducing new ones with each level.
There are four character classes (Fighter, Rogue, Cleric, and Wizard), each with its own special abilities. The combat system, which uses health counters and custom dice, is simplified so players of any age will find it easy to understand. A single die roll incorporates to-hit, damage, and critical hits. Characters improve automatically as they move through the campaign setting, which allows the campaign to introduce new concepts alongside new character abilities.
The campaign levels are arranged from a set of map tiles. The players move their characters physically around the dungeons, which combines the familiarity of board games with the imagination used in a traditional RPG.
Up to four kids can play together with a grownup (or fair-minded teen) running the game, but it could be played with only one child and that grownup. Or it works well as a lighter game for a group of grownups. My wife has never played an RPG before, and she'd leave the room if I pulled out a D20 and started talking about armor classes. But she can play Heroes & Treasure.
Heroes & Treasure includes a full ten-level campaign. The campaign teaches basic problem solving, cooperation and debate, all while exercising kids' imaginations. Everyone progresses together as a team. There's no winner and no loser, though we've discovered that older siblings sometimes cackle a bit when others take damage... we're working on it.
And when the campaign has been won and the story has reached its end, the distinct character classes mean you can replay it again and again. You can run your child and their friend through it one weekend as Fighter and Cleric, the next weekend with their older brother as Cleric and Rogue, and the next with just one player controlling all four characters at once! Monsters have multiple difficulty levels, so the challenge level adjusts as the party members change.
And best of all, because Heroes & Treasure is a game system, you can make your own maps and challenges, make new monsters, invent new weapons and spells, or even define new classes! Keep in touch with us on Facebook to find out about upcoming expansions and new campaigns.
For more details, the draft rule book is available for download at the Heroes & Treasure Download Page.
I'm very excited to be working with Xin Ye, the illustrator for the popular Erfworld webcomic. I think the quality of her art speaks for itself, and her clean style is perfectly suited for a game that can be played by children.
Xin has graciously agreed to do some custom artwork for people as part of a few limited-subscription pledges. You can get a custom sketch of anyone of your choice, a personalized character you can use to play Heroes & Treasure, or you can even have your likeness featured right in the box cover art!
Here it is in photo form:
The game system consists of:
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Risks and challenges
As a Kickstarter customer, I've always been most worried about funding a game that's just someone's cool idea, where they might not know how to follow through. So I've made sure we're way past that point.
I have the full component set designed and specified.
I've made a number of prototypes and tested them with kids, teens, and adults.
All game-critical art assets are already complete.
I have two backup manufacturing quotes, including safety and toxicity testing on the printed materials.
I found a quality-control inspector to evaluate the boxed game right at the factory.
I've found a fulfillment house to do the shipping and handling.
I'm using a customs broker to be sure nothing holds up the shipment.
Of course, there are still risks. I wouldn't want to have to find a replacement for Xin if something went wrong... which is why most of her work is already done.
Manufacturing is in China, and there could be a quality issue that takes some time to resolve, given the distances. Shipping from China (by boat) can sometimes take several weeks longer than expected to clear customs.
Otherwise, I think I've done what I can to mitigate risk. Please contact me or leave a comment if there's anything you're concerned about that's not covered here.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (35 days)