Age range: 4+
Starsworn Chapter 3: The Celestial Conservatory is rated for ages 4+, and kiddo is just about 4 now, so we’re right at the target age! As long as your child can recognize numbers on a six-sided die (or is OK with you telling them if their roll was a pass/fail) then they should be able to play.
The basic dice mechanics are the same as previous Starsworn modules, which are nice and streamlined, only using d6’s and having the same numbers to track for pass/fail through the game. It also came with lots of opportunities for coloring breaks and fun role playing exercises that we had a lot of fun working on together. The age range is on point and is 100% appropriate for little ones to play.
Starsworn Chapter 3 continues the adventures from Chapter 1 and 2 in the fantastical magical medieval world that parallels the Stories Podcast program.
This particular adventure leads your group to a magical school where they are learning to use their powers! There’s elements of both magic and technology meshing together to create an exciting and bright environment for your adventures. There’s a library full of living books, star-touched creatures to befriend, and magical contraptions to invent together. All of this is capped off with a dramatic contest involving some very cool airships to be used in the next adventure.
The hands-on school setting and the additions of tech elements flavor the world of Starsworn with a bit of vibrancy that is sometimes hard to find in medieval settings. It’s a great way to portray school too – kiddo has been a bit nervous about starting pre-K in the fall, so having a game that showed fun learning experiences and let us connect to what would be happening at school (library time, the lab being like craft time, etc) has kiddo hyped for school now.
You use your same character from previous Starsworn chapters (or make a new one because your kid REALLY wants to play a dancing skeleton superhero this time), and character creation is roughly the same.
You have the basic character creation from Chapter 1 and the addition of the star signs that were introduced in Chapter 2 of Starsworn (see here for more info)… and you’re ready to go!
One of the things that I really like about Starsworn is how it builds on the rules from chapter to chapter – you learn as you play with your character and mechanics getting just slightly more complex each time. It helps kids to pick up the mechanics gradually so they aren’t overwhelmed and requires no prep or reading and explaining manuals from the parents.
Like with the characters section, Starsworn Chapter 3 uses the previous chapters’ mechanics but builds on them a bit. You can read up on the Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 rules here, and below, I’ll go over the new element that was added….
The Drama Clock
The Drama Clock is a way to introduce some exciting and dramatic instances to the game that don’t involve fighting! You need to complete multiple challenges in a row, as a group, if playing with one, in order to succeed at an overall task. Players work to create a story, and it gives a really cool summary of what everyone did to be able to review at the end of the module.
With kiddo, since it was just us, we did fill out all three ticks (even though we only needed to do 1) because he was having a lot of fun chaining his checks together. Kiddo returned to the library to find a hidden gem for the airship race and then the airship race began!
I’ve done quite a few challenges that have built on each other like this with kiddo, but what was unique here was having a log and getting to write things down or check them off. I think having it written down and being able to reread it all later, plus letting kiddo check the boxes off to see progress, actually really helped to keep engagement. Sometimes my kid will get a bit too excited and sort of forget what we’re doing, but this allowed us to build drama AND keep on track at the same time.
The drama clock is a great tool for facilitating cool scenes and longer action sequences that could be a bit difficult for kids to track or for story guides to manage – it’s a perfect aid for both the players and the guide.
What did my kid think?:
Kiddo loved Starsworn already, but now, being a little older and with the school elements, this was an even bigger hit! Kiddo immediately understood all the mechanics and got super into the school setting. He got to create his own magical creature (the Sugar Spider who loves candy)… and has been talking about it for days making up stories, which is a great sign that the game connected with him. We also had a really fun time talking about the other students at the school and making friends – kiddo is WAY more excited about starting school now!
Starsworn continues to be an awesome game – the gradual introduction to the rules, the creativity and positivity that this fosters, and the wonderful tools that are introduced make this game a fantastic TTRPG to play with kids. Chapter 3 in particular with the bright and fun school elements is a great way to connect with kids and promote learning. It holds the ability to be an instrument for caregivers to bond with their kids and to be used as an educational tool to show that learning is fun. I highly recommend trying Starsworn out (Chapter 1 is even free)!
Where to find a copy:
Also, check Michael Low’s itch.io here for more games and the Luck of Legends site, including his blog and class sign up! Michael and I have a few collabs as well including an interview and article swaps if you’re interested in more!
Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or decide to try out this game because of this post!