On a rainy day six years ago I invented a role-playing game to entertain my four year old daughter. Four years and a lot of fine tuning later I published it as a book, called Amazing Tales - a role-playing game for kids aged four and up to play with their parents. This year I published the first supplement for Amazing Tales 'The Quest for the Dragon Crown', and now, with your help, I want to do more.
The plan is to write three more campaigns for Amazing Tales, and to combine them all into The Big Book of Amazing Tales. What will they be?
- Captain Cadava's Treasure - An adventure on Pirate Seas
- The Kryptid Conundrum - An adventure Beyond the Stars
- A Dream of Trees - An adventure in the Deep Dark Wood
And of course I'll include The Quest for the Dragon Crown
How big will the Big Book of Amazing Tales be? Like the core book it will be a full colour, 8"*10" hardback book. Depending on stretch goals it will be between 200 and 250 pages. Making it more than twice as big the core book.
Each campaign will run to around 50 pages and depending on your family's playstyle will last for between four and ten sessions. The adventures will be fully illustrated, with handouts and activities to bring the adventures alive at the table as you play them.
Extra content for parents and teachers
As well as the adventures the Big Book of Amazing Tales will include two special chapters:
Developing kids with Amazing Tales
Advice from child therapist Lilly Smith on using role-playing games to help kids develop, particularly those with additional needs.
"Role Playing Games can be used to great effect to encourage the development of a wide range of skills – from higher level thinking, social problem solving and impulse control, to maths, writing and fine motor skills. The best part is that kids love it, are fully engaged, and often report that it feels like fun, not work or therapy.
However, playing Amazing Tales therapeutically is different from playing ‘just for fun’ - Some of the changes ideas will change the feel of your game, by making it slower or including potentially negative experiences. Playing therapeutically is a fundamentally different task, and one I'm looking forward to introducing to you."
Amazing Tales in the classroom
Teacher, game designer and celebrated podcaster Baz Stevens gives you the lowdown on using Amazing Tales in the classroom. Here's what he says about it... "
I love to use the lessons I've learned from gaming in my classroom. I believe in the power of imagination, especially when it is directed towards problem solving, empathising and co-operation. When i use RPGs in my lessons, I see young people do and say incredible things with no limitations on their ambitions. Amazing Tales has long been my most requested book from my lending shelf. The kids can't get enough of this story engine, and I'm always being encouraged to incorporate the game into our learning week. You really can run an RPG for 30 children. It's awesome. Let me tell you how."
What Makes an Amazing Adventure?
Big adventures for small players: Amazing Tales adventures throw the heroes into big stories with big consequences. Save the Kingdom, change the world kind of stories.
Adventures packed with awesome: Will the Pirate adventure have the heroes swinging from the rigging, exchanging broadsides with rival pirates and fending off sea-monsters? Of course it will. Amazing Tales adventures are written to make sure every session is packed with awesome.
Adventures that become real: Each adventure will feature activities for kids to do outside the main game. The Quest for the Dragon Crown features a puzzle to cut out and solve and a dragon crown to cut out and make. The adventures in the Big Book of Amazing Tales will all feature plenty of this kind of interactivity.
Adventures with room to grow: If the main track through the adventure is an awesome rollercoaster ride, there's always going to be plenty of room to step off and explore the world. Amazing Tales adventures provide plenty of scope for parent and player to invent their own plots.
Rescue City is a city where disaster is a daily challenge, held off by the heroes in the police, fire and medical services. Specially written to provide a non-violent setting for Amazing Tales Rescue City already exists, but... it hasn't got any illustrations. If we hit this stretch goal we'll illustrate Rescue City and add it to the Big Book of Amazing Tales
Being a time agent is a big responsibility, protecting the timeline from accidents, sun spot activity and time bandits is a hard job! But your trusty time machine will take you from dinosaurs to Future City and everywhere in between. History is in your hands! Time Mission Critical will be written by Josh Fox and Becky Annison of Black Armada.
Kids love superheroes. Grown up ones like Batman and Superman, and junior ones like the PJ Masks. Together with your kids make up heroes, villains and sidekicks and set out on awesome adventures. Universe: Superheroes will be written by Martin Lloyd.
Show me some artwork!
The Big Book of Amazing Tales will be illustrated by Ayu Marquez. Ayu's fantastic, colourful and creative work is a great fit for Amazing Tales and I can't wait to produce more work with her like the pieces below.
You can see more of Ayu's work in her portfolio
Tell me about the rewards!
- Pledge €25 and you get a coupon to order a hardback copy of the Big Book of Amazing Tales from DriveThruRPG at cost price plus a PDF copy.
- Pledge €30 and you get coupons to order Amazing Tales & The Big Book of Amazing Tales at cost price from DriveThruRPG, plus PDF copies of both books.
- Pledge €15 and you get a PDF copy of The Big Book of Amazing Tales.
- Pledge €20 and you get a PDF copy of the Big Book of Amazing Tales and a PDF copy of Amazing Tales
- Add €5 to your pledge and I'll send you a personalised, signed book-plate with a message of your choice to place in your book (If you want two, pledge an extra €10)
- Check the sidebar for chances to have a likeness of your child included in the art
Coupons for DriveThruRPG allow you to order books from them at cost price. For the Big Book of Amazing Tales the price is likely to be $18 + shipping for standard quality, and $28 + shipping for premium quality. For the Amazing Tales core book the cost is $9.13 (standard) or $13.27 (premium)
What's the difference between premium and standard printing? Read about it here.
Who will make these Amazing Adventures?
It takes a team to make a book, and here's mine...
Martin Lloyd, author: That's me. I'll be writing the adventures. I've been playing role-playing games for around 30 years. Before I wrote Amazing Tales and became a game designer I'd been a copy-writer, art-director, website producer, project manager, communications manager and environmental trouble maker.
Ayu Marquez, illustrator: Ayu always loved to hear stories about fantastic worlds during her childhood. Now that little Ayu grew up she can turn all those fantastic worlds and characters into reality using what she loves the most, her illustrations
Christopher Walz, editor: Christopher fell in love with roleplaying games before he could read, flipping through his brother's "monster books." Now he is a father to his own goblin and editor and writer at Cubicle 7 Entertainment, where he is honoured to help craft many amazing worlds. He hopes to bring families together over the gaming table, where only the extent of your imagination matters.
Mo Holkar, proof reader:Mo Holkar is a UK game designer who is a partner in Freeform Games LLP and who has written for projects such as Lovecraftesque, Cthulhu Dark, and Flotsam. He also copyedits, including recently working on Bite Me! In his spare time he writes larps, some of which can be found at his website holkar.net
Lilly Smith, occupational therapist: Lilly is a children’s therapist who has recently been drawn into the world of role-playing games as a way of working on skills in therapy sessions. She uses Amazing Tales and other RPGs to help kids explore and develop in areas that are tricky for them in a playful, relationship-based and immersive way.
Baz Stevens, king of dungeons, and teacher: "My name is Baz, but most of the day I go by the name of Mr Stevens. I teach at an English primary school, for ages 6-11. That means I cover the whole range of subjects, from maths and English; to art, computing and history. In my spare time I'm a fervent tabletop RPG enthusiast. I've been playing, writing and recording about games since way back."
Josh and Becky Annison, Black Armada: Becky Annison and Josh Fox both got into roleplaying at age 10, coincidentally. We grew up playing Dungeons and Dragons and now we play Amazing Tales with our kids. In our spare time we design award-winning games about monsters, werewolves and space ships (most of which you might prefer to play without your kids), which you can find at blackarmada.com
Tell me about timelines
The Big Book of Amazing Tales: Of the four campaigns that will make up the Big Book of Amazing Tales one is complete, two are ready for play-test, and one is in the process of being drafted. When the kickstarter ends playtesting and illustration will start for all the campaigns.
Playtesting is organised through the Amazing Tales facebook group and the Amazing Tales email list. If you'd like to be involved join those groups and wait for the announcements. The Quest for the Dragon Crown was tested by 8 different families, plus my own. The new campaigns will get a similar level of testing.
Each campaign will be released to all backers as soon as it is completed, which means you'll get the Quest for the Dragon Crown as soon as the campaign wraps up few days after the campaign closes. When everything is finished we'll put out the final, consolidated 'Big Book of Amazing Tales', including all the stretch goals.
Getting the illustration perfect is the thing that always takes the time, but we're confident of delivering the PDF of the Big Book of Amazing Tales during June 2020.
Coupons and copies for the Amazing Tales core game will go out a few days after the campaign closes.
Tell me about Amazing Tales
Amazing Tales is a role-playing game for children aged four and up to play together with their parents. It features mechanics so simple a four year old can explain them to you. Player's heroes can be anything they can imagine, from shape shifting pirate aliens to robot tyrannosaurs with four arms, princesses with pet dragons and talking mice.
The core book is packed with advice and tips on gaming with kids, and four complete settings to get your adventures started. They are...
The Deep Dark Wood: In the Deep Dark Wood you will find trees that move by themselves, animals that talk, and fairies who look after the forest. Enter the woods as a fairy, or a talking animal.
Magical Kingdoms Long Ago: In the magical kingdoms you will find kings and queens, warriors and wizards, dragons, unicorns and giants. Explore the kingdoms as a prince or princess, witch or wizard, knight or explorer.
Pirate Seas: The Pirate Seas are an exciting and dangerous place. Set sail as a pirate to hunt for treasure, explore forgotten islands, befriend the mermaids, fight seas monsters, and brave the wild blue yonder.
Adventures Beyond the Stars: Far beyond Planet Earth lies a world of adventure. Gleaming spaceships voyage from planet to planet, man meets alien, robots talk, and a universe awaits to be explored. Take to the stars as a space ranger, robot, alien, or scientist.
What have people said about Amazing Tales?
Tell me about DriveThruRPG
If you're not familiar with them DriveThruRPG are the world's biggest retailer of digital and print on demand role-playing games. Once you've made an account with them any digital products you have are permanently available to you to download from your account.
DriveThru RPGs print on demand service prints and ships books to customers around the world. If you back at either the Big Book of Amazing Tales or the Big Bundle of Amazing Tales levels
Risks and challenges
I work full time on Amazing Tales, so delivering this project for you is my job. The adventures are already drafted, and will go to playtesting as soon as the Kickstarter campaign wraps up.
Key challenges to the timeline will be around the playtesting. If anything needs a major rewrite - and thus another round of tests - that could easily add a month to the timeline. But you know you're getting adventures that have been well tested.
I've deliberately chosen to keep production of the finished products as simple as possible by working through DriveThruRPG. That leaves my hands free to focus on the quality of the content, and means there should be no issues with things like shipping and print quality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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