Game: A-
From 386 reviews

Hero Kids

First Edition

A Dungeons & Dragons-Themed RPG For Children Ages 4-10

Publisher Description

Unleash your kids' imagination with Hero Kids, the ENnie award-winning fantasy RPG for kids aged from 4 to 10.  This game offers a fast and fun introduction to RPGs, perfect for younger kids who are just getting interested in role-playing games.

"Hero Kids is great, we were off and playing within a few minutes of reading the rules!"


Hero Kids is Basically Dungeons and Dragons for Children [ edit ]

If you were to take Dungeons and Dragons and massively simplify the rules, but keep the basic core of fighting enemies in turn-based combat, you'd get Hero Kids.  Just to give you a basic idea, everyone moves the same amount (four squares), all players have three HP, every (normal) attack does one damage, and attacks involve rolling a few d6's.

While this idea has been done before, most notably with Milton Bradley's "Hero Quest" (out of print), Hero Kids brings a modern take to the genre, and also tailors the game so that it can even work with especially young audiences (eg. one father ran a successful game with his four and six-year olds).

Hero Kids, First Edition - Rules SummaryCollapse

Character Creation [ edit ]

Most players of Hero Kids won't "create" their character; instead they'll choose one, from a set of seven pre-made character cards (ie. half-page character sheets).  Each character has four characteristics (melee, ranged, magic, and armor), a special attack, a special ability, one or more skills, and gear.

All of the characters are illustrated, which is important as several reviewers mentioned their children gravitating towards a particular class because of their look.  Unfortunately however not every class is available in every gender (eg. there is no female rogue), and while some classes are identical in both male and female versions (eg. Warrior), others (eg. Hunter) are actually unique.  For instance, the male hunter is a stereotypical archer, while the female one is a Rapunzel-style girl who fights with her long hair, and each has different abilities.

You can also create your own character.  Hero Kids characters have four characteristics (melee, ranged, magic, and armor), and each character gets four points to distribute between them.  Magic and ranged characters get one less point.  After that you determine the character's special action, bonus ability, skills, and gear, but there aren't real specific rules on doing that, you just have to make something similar in power to the existing characters.

Core Mechanics [ edit ]

Since Hero Kids is focused on Dungeons and Dragons-style "tactical" combat, it's "core mechanics" are all entirely combat-related.  Rules for things like ability checks aren't even a part of the core game, and are instead kept in a separate section for expanding things, if your kids actually want adventures and not just encounters.

But ability checks, like the rest of the system, just come down to simple d6 rolls.  The players rolls a number of dice equal to their highest characteristic, plus one, plus one more if they have a relevant skill/item.  If any of their rolls beats a GM-set difficulty number (easy = 4, hard = 6), they succeed.

Combat [ edit ]

To determine initiative one player and the GM each roll a d6 (players' win ties).  Each side acts completely before the other does (taking turns) and on a player's turn they can make a movement action and an main (ie. attack) action.  Players can  give up their attack to move twice, with each move action moving them four squares.

To attack you roll dice equal to your corresponding characteristic (melee/ranged/maged), and try to beat or tie the target's armor roll.  Magic attacks can reach four squares away, while ranged attacks reach six, and all attacks deal one point of damage.  Each character also has a special attack that they can use instead (eg. the Warrior can split their attack dice between adjacent enemies) and a special ability (eg. Warriors get an extra attack die when a monster hurt their teammate the round before).

Players can take two hits, and on the third they are knocked out.  Some characters have healing abilities, and all characters start with two healing potions.  Healing potions restore full health to either the user or an adjacent ally, but require an action to use.

What You Want if You Want "D&D I Can Play With My Kids" [ edit ]

While younger children may just want to stick to the combat game ... and in fact, may even want to play the same "adventure" multiple times (as any parent knows, younger children often enjoy repeating things they enjoy) ... it's absolutely possible to take Hero Kids on full fledged adventures, and even campaigns.  In fact, there are lots of modules available, both from Hero Kids publisher and from independent fans.

Ultimately, if what you are looking for is a way to take your kids (even fairly young ones) on a D&D-like "adventure", or even just a single grid-based combat ... you should check out Hero Kids.