Featured Project: StarGems
*As a note, the intro for this was written by Steph from TTRPGkids, and the below description was written by the game’s creator
The tabletop role playing community is a welcoming and exciting place for gamers to find and connect with others (even around the world). But what about for the future gamers that are within our own homes, schools, clubs, and more?
Stargems is a TTRPG game designed specifically to be easy to use and implement with children as young as 4 years old (but as old as 104!). Take your adventurers on a journey through the stars as they try to collect the stargems that will replenish their rocket ship to continue their quest. However, along the way, they’ll be met with dangerous situations, enticing puzzles, challenging obstacles, and more. Hitting a wide variety of experiences all in one game, Stargems is the perfect gateway to help get young adventurers into TTRPGs. Currently being funded on Kickstarter as a part of ZineQuest23, Stargems is available throughout February 2023.
Playing any type of game with young children can be difficult once the rules or mechanics become too complex. Here are some of the ways that Stargems is designed to fix some of the common difficulties of gaming with young adventurers:
Grab some pencils, paper, and a pair of ordinary 6-sided dice, and you’re ready to play Stargems. There are even maps laid out in the game that you can blow up and print out, or just copy onto some paper if you want to have a more interactive experience. Additionally, players can cut out the character tents and design them to fit their character, creating some easy and customizable figures for gameplay.
Basic Stats and Mechanics
Everything revolves around three simple stats: Speed, Strength, and Smarts. At the beginning, players will assign a modifier (+3, +1, or 0) to each stat, then they will add those to whatever they roll. This makes it easy for kids to understand how their characters can work together to each use their best stats to progress throughout the challenges they face. Easy stats also make it a great way to practice basic addition for younger kids, and probability for older ones too.
I don’t know about you, but my 4 year old had a really difficult time waiting for her turn to come when we first started playing. With Teamwork Points, each player can now help on a different player’s turn, meaning that they can still be proactive, work together, and are inclined to pay attention, even when it isn’t their turn.
Reusable, Customizable System
Stargems is just one adventure, but there are many more to be had with this system. Whether you’re looking to take on a dragon, explore ancient ruins, retrieve magical items, or solve mysteries, you can reuse the system for different genres. Archetypes have been provided with suggestions for different types of genres as well. Plus, with a ton of options for encounters, you can pick and choose the ones that you think fit your players the best, leaving out ones that may be too advanced or challenging.
Ages Up with Adventurers
Within Stargems, there are a number of pull-out sections that detail ways that the system or adventure could be modified to increase complexity or difficulty for older adventurers. There are also notes about playing with a mixed age group, and how to make the experience fun for everyone at the table.
Additionally, the information is easy to read and understand, meaning the older kids looking to run a game themselves should find no problems making their way through the system and finding ways to make it their own.
At the time of this article, the Kickstarter is officially fully funded and we are now working our way to unlocking some really fun stretch goals, including more adventure ideas, items, NPCs, or even a second adventure! With such support, I’m also looking to create future adventure packs to release using this system so you can keep playing without the need to spend time prepping adventures on your own (perfect for vacations from school or snow days).
My own kids and I have played dozens of one-shots and adventures with this system, and it has led to many memories of creativity, bravery, teamwork, and above all, tons of smiles and laughter. I hope that I can bring some of those things to you and your young adventurers as well.
Check out the Stargems Kickstarter to find out more!
Go check out the Kickstarter to support this awesome project, and if you liked this post and want to keep up to date on other features projects, make sure to subscribe to the TTRPGkids monthly newsletter! Stay up to date on the latest reviews, tips and tricks, game and podcast list updates, and more! Thank you for playing tabletop RPGs with your kids and sharing this awesome hobby with the next generation!