hero kids - tabletop RPG for kids - cover and awards

Review of Hero Kids, a tabletop RPG for kid-focused adventures!

Hero Kids is an awesome table top role playing game for kids that comes highly recommended from many sources (including here)! This review covers game mechanics, characters, setting, and how much fun my kid had playing it – I hope your kids enjoy it just as much as mine!

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Hero Kids recommended for ages 4-10

Hero Kids is rated for ages 4-10 and has a range of difficulty (easy to hard) with their adventure modules so you can adjust based on how your child is doing.

Despite the age range, I did run this with my 2.5 year old, who had a lot of fun.  He understood the stories, understood the combat, and loved getting to roll dice.  He needed some help with understanding dice rolls mechanics at first, but I don’t believe this should be a problem for kids within the recommended age range.

Hero Kids spinning the classic fantasy tabletop RPG setting

The premade adventures in Hero Kids take place in a typical fantasy adventure realm, similar to what you would expect in Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder.  

Adventures include the classic tavern with rats in the basement, wizard towers, pirate ships, yuletide specials, and a lot more.  There’s 13 premade settings with a wide range of classic tabletop RPG adventures to choose from.

I could also see this being easily tweaked to cover additional settings if you wanted to homebrew off this system beyond a medieval fantasy system. 

Your heroic kid character!

The core game has lots of premade human kid characters to choose from with different ability focuses (magic, defense, range, healers, etc).  From the expansions, you can play as other fantasy origins, woodland creatures (this is why my kid picked), monsters, etc who all have unique options. 

hero kids - tabletop RPG for kids - hero characters

You can also create your own character in a few minutes:

  • Assign 4 dice to your dice pools
  • Determine what your normal attack will be (melee, ranged, or magic)
  • Choose a special action that you make up or from one of the premade heros
  • Choose a bonus ability from the list
  • Fill your inventory from the list

And that’s it!  There aren’t a lot of stats or spells to assign and track, just a few core elements are enough to give each character enough abilities to make them unique. 

Mechanics in Hero Kids tabletop RPG

Dice pools in Hero Kids

Hero Kids uses a d6 dice pool mechanic for all of its roles, which means you roll six sided dice equal to the value in your skill to determine an outcome.  

So, if you assigned two dice to your melee attack dice pool during character creation, whenever you attack, you roll two dice and take the highest number rolled as value you use.  

Combat in Hero Kids

Combat is was very streamlined, and my 2.5 year old even to pick up (albeit with a little help the first few encounters).

For initiative, all players take their turn as a group and all monsters take their turn as a group so there’s no individual initiative tracking needed. 

Each hero’s or monster’s turn is 1 action + 4 squares of movement.

When you attack, you roll your attack dice pool against the monster’s defense dice pool, and whoever has the highest roll wins (defender wins on a tie).  This means there’s no adding lots of dice, just an understanding of greater than/less than is needed.

There are also options for advanced combat that you may want to introduce to older kids or kids already used to encounters; these include adding additional attack effects, combining effects, line of sight, cover, etc.  What’s good about this is it allows some scaling so you can make things more challenging as your child levels up and is ready to handle more.

Ability tests in Hero Kids

There are non-combat situations in several of the Hero Kids modules that require a skill check to get more information about the story, avoid a hazardous situation, or continue with the adventure.  

To do skill checks, your attack dice pools are used to represent part of your skill roll.  So, magic = intelligence bonus, melee = strength bonus, ranged = dexterity bonus, etc

Your skill check dice pool is created based on your applicable attack pool and inventory/special skills plus a base skill check die.  

hero kids - tabletop RPG for kids - character sheets

For example, an tracking check would be: 

  • Your magic attack dice pool (since magic = intelligence bonus)
  • 1 die if you have the tracking skill
  • 1 die for doing a skill check (all skill check get at least 1 die)

You then roll all dice together, pick the highest one, and see if that beats the number set for the test difficulty.  

This part was probably the most complicated one to explain to my kid because the dice were coming from multiple areas.  However, after he understood, it was actually a good foundation for teaching some basic math (i.e. you get to roll 4 dice because you get 2 from here, 1 from here, and 1 from here).  Like I said earlier, this is something that I think kids in the recommended age range would probably handle just fine after the first try.

What did my kid think about Hero Kids?

My kid had a lot of fun playing the Hero Kids tabletop RPG!  So far, we’ve played most of the easy modules (since he’s a little young), and he loves the storytime parts and getting to roll dice to smash the bad guys.  

We did modify some areas to fit him – he has no qualms about smashing spiders or defending against wolves, but… for example, he wanted to try and talk to the giants in the Yuletide adventure instead of fighting.  We rolled with it and let him have a conversation about holiday decorations instead.

While we’re playing, he’s super engaged, running around acting it out, clapping when something exciting happens, and getting excited when the fight is won.  My favorite was when a werewolf changed in front of him… I pulled out the battle map and he yelled, “I need to get my sword!!” He ran off and came back with his little wooden costume sword standing ready to fight. 

Overall thoughts on the Hero Kids tabletop RPG:

This was an awesome game to share something very close to a classic fantasy tabletop RPG with my kid.  It definitely fits for kids and has room to let them learn strategy and basic systems that are used in tabletop RPGs for “grown ups”.

This is a good well-rounded system to start with, and has a solid set of premade adventures to let you get used to the system before making your own.  

Where to find a copy of Hero Kids!

Find Hero Forge games at: https://www.heroforgegames.com/

You can pick up a copy at: DriveThruRPG

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3 thoughts on “Review of Hero Kids, a tabletop RPG for kid-focused adventures!

  1. “We rolled with it…”

    I don’t know about you, but that might be the best lesson I’ve ever learned about playing rpgs with a young child. Thank you for the words of wisdom and a great review.

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