Featured Project: LoadOut Magazine by Ampersand RPG

In the past, I’ve checked out Ampersand RPG’s work on games like Mages & Macrophages and REALLY enjoyed the tools and features they included in the game to make it player friendly. Now, they’re releasing a regular magazine with tips, adventures, and other ideas for your games!

*As a note, the intro is written by Steph from TTRPGkids, and the article was written by the project’s creator since content is in pre-release/crowdfundinand is edited/approved by TTRPGkids for the site

What is LoadOut?

Ampersand RPG is running a Kickstarter campaign to publish the first issue of LoadOut, a regularly-published Zine created by us for the many families who play our Ampersand RPG games. Ad-free and fun-filled, LoadOut is replete with gameplay tips and tricks, puzzles, status on upcoming projects and – most importantly – every issue will have a “Skirmish”: a short, 30-minute Adventure for kids to play and get some sweet Loot Tokens, meet some interesting foes, and earn XP. 

We will saddle-stitch (staple) LoadOut like a regular half-letter-sized (5.5″ x 8.5″) magazine, but unlike most Zines, LoadOut will be in a horizontal format to make it easier to play the Skirmish. Engaging content for both kids and parents will be complemented by a bunch of cool game components – Monster Cards, Loot Tokens and Figurines – sealed in a polybag with the Zine and ready to ship! Our plan is for 16 pages with the following sections and topics:

Player Loadout – Spotlighted Player of the Month
Feature Article – Editorial take on the Ampersand world
Dear Ampy – Answers to player-submitted questions
Token of the Month – In-depth discussion on included Loot Tokens
Rolecall – Tips on specific situational gameplay
Skirmish – a 30 min playable story with Monster Cards, Loot Tokens and Figurines
Epic Fail – A serialized comic of your favorite Ampersandian folk
Classifieds – A not-so-real marketplace for our zaniest fans
Puzzle – Selected in-game brain teaser from our Instagram feed

What’s the kid-friendly twist?

As with our flagship ScreenBox games (Mages & Macrophages was released in late 2021), our games are designed to be played by an adult GameMaster and 3-5 players ages 5 to 10. Although we use combat and light horror elements (magic, zombies, evil wizards), we provide ourselves in producing TTRPG content that is fun for younger players without containing some of the more racy and/or violent content typically associated with fantasy role-playing games.

Who we are: more about Ampersand RPG

We are an independent Tabletop Games Developer comprised of three nerd dads in Brooklyn, NY. Our primary mission is to create collaborative, genre-spanning, paper-and-pencil roleplaying games for children and their parents. Two years ago, we published our first Ampersand Adventure, Mages & Macrophages, which introduced a novel way to play an RPG with young kids: all items and equipment appear as Loot Tokens, each creature or ally encountered has a unique Monster Card with Health Point tracking, and each player creates and owns a Character Folio which can physically hold collected Loot Tokens. These physical components – to help younger players envision their characters and in-game events – are all housed in an innovative game box that unfolds to become the GameMaster’s Screen, complete with story text printed on the inside and Loot Tokens organized in a hide-away flap, ready for action.

Our RPG games are easy to set up, with fast onboarding and light rules for the benefit of not only the kids, but also the parent GameMasters. We focus on the fun: pre-organized game components, engaging story and artwork, and numerous opportunities to make hilarious memories, so both parents and kids can dive in with minimal preparation. Kids love it – and so do parents who’ve been looking for something like this for a long time.

Mages & Macrophages was very well-received. Kids couldn’t get enough, and we were repeatedly asked the same question: “When’s the next one coming out?” Great question! It takes a lot of time and funding to develop a complete boxed game like ours, so we came up with LoadOut to get more content into the hands of families as fast as possible.

Where to find the campaign and more on Ampersand RPG’s projects

Make sure to check out the Kickstarter campaign for LoadOut here!

And find the Ampersand RPG website here and the TTRPGkids review of Mage & Macrophages here!

Make sure to check out the project to support the creator, and, if you liked this post, make sure to subscribe to the TTRPGkids monthly newsletter to 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!

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