Category Archives: Musings

Hero Kids Character Sheets

I love Hero Kids. My kids love Hero Kids. We’ve been playing for years, and we’re still going strong in our Bayhaven campaign. It’s gotten to the point where my kids want to include their friends in the game from time to time. I’m happy to do this because Hero Kids is such a simple system to teach and use.

But there’s this one thing. It’s small, but whenever I teach the game, the kids always get hung up on it. And it’s this rule: Whenever you make a skill check, you roll 1d6, and add d6’s based upon your skill proficiency and the related attribute. So a Dexterity (Stealth) check starts with 1d6, and then the player would add their Dexterity dice, and a d6 if they were trained in Stealth. Easy, right? But kids always get hung up on that first, free d6. Why do they get it when they roll a skill, but not an attack? It’s hard to explain because there’s no in-game reason for it. On the base game character sheets, every character gets one skill, and one inventory item. So players don’t realize that they actually have one die in every skill, and two dice in the pictured skill. And they don’t realize that other inventory items are available to them.

Then I realized that if I could illustrate it in the form of “just another dice pool,” and include all available inventory items as pictures, it would be easier. And so, this new character sheet was born. I ran over to the awesome, free repository at game-icons.net, and pulled some icons that would serve my purpose. Then, I did a little gimp-fu, and basic layout, and voila. A new character sheet design. I translated all 10 of the characters from the base game into the new format, plus threw in some blank sheets with instructions on creating a character. And made it form-fillable!

You can check out the new character sheets at Drive Thru RPG. If you already have the Bayhaven Ultimate bundle or the Starter Pack bundle, you’ll pay far less than $1 for the new character sheets.

What I’ve Been Up To

Wow, four months and no post. My apologies. I have been working on stuff, however, and I thought I’d share some of that with you.

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First up, there are now 10 two page mini delves that I have completed, and are available on Drive Thru RPG. There’s even a bundle of 5 free ones, so you can check out the format, and see if this sort of thing is right for your campaign. You can get the Two Page Mini Delves here.

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Second, I know I’ve been kind of quiet on the Adventures In Bayhaven front, and for that I apologize. At one time, my goal was to publish one adventure per month. Obviously, that hasn’t happened. However, I do have one new adventure in the works, and will post it here when it’s available. In the meantime, go check out what Justin (the creator of Hero Kids) has been up to – there will soon be a Monster Compendium with over 100 monsters! Add to that the monsters in the Bayhaven Guide, and you’ll have… well, enough monsters to last you a while. I’m also happy to see that he’s consolidating the monsters into their own book, as it was a bit of a pain to go to different adventures to find the monster you need.

On top of that, Justin has updated the Hero Kids rules, and is offering a 50% off coupon for the softcover book. I don’t know how long that will last though. I only had the PDF up to this point, so I was happy to pick up the physical book. I know it will get a lot of use in our house!

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Finally, I’ve submitted the 5 Questions supplement to Drive Thru RPG to be the Deal of the Day, at 60% off. That’s $2 for a really great supplement. I don’t know when it will be the deal of the day (because it’s determined randomly each day), but you can put the product in your wishlist; I’ll be sending an email on the day of the sale targeted to people holding it as a wishlist item.

Aaaand, in the “Miscellany” category, there’s one more product I’m working on; it’s the reason I haven’t posted in so long, and why I’ve been neglecting my Adventures in Bayhaven series. It’s been quite the undertaking, especially for a one man show like myself. However, I’ll be announcing that product in the next post. Stay tuned!

New Magic Item: Stones of Friendship

rune stonesI came up with this on my way home from work today, and thought I’d throw it up on the blog. I’m puzzling over another RPG problem, and I didn’t want to be too heavy handed in the implementation of a solution. I’m not sure I’ve arrived at a solution for that problem, but in the process, I came up with a new magic item for you to use in your campaign:

Stones of Friendship

These smooth obsidian stones all have the same ancient sigil engraved on them, and come in a set. Once per day, a holder of a stone can teleport adjacent to any other creature holding a stone from the same set, up to 1 mile. Requires attunement.

During creation, the stones all must have the same sigil engraved on them, and different sets can have different sigils. The stones from a set must all be attuned to each other by being fired in a kiln together for 24 hours. More expensive materials increase the quality of the effect, allowing for further teleportation.

I can see all sorts of fun uses for these stones. They make “split the party” scenarios possible, but I could also see the party slipping one in the pocket of an NPC they’d like to follow. Or maybe the assassin slips it in his target’s pocket in the market square, and then appears in her bedroom later that night…except maybe instead of arriving in the target’s bedroom, he arrives in a room filled with knights waiting for him because his target was wise to the trick… A party could also use them to cross a chasm – the character with Acrobatics crosses the rickety bridge, and then the Paladin in his full plate can just teleport next to him.

All sorts of fun stuff! Enjoy!

New Hero Kids Pets Expansion!

chamroshTransparentBGI’ve developed a new set of pets for your Hero Kids game!

Pets are consistently a favorite among the young kids who play Hero Kids, and I thought it was a shame that they only had 11 to choose from. I also thought that some mythological animals could be included, since Hero Kids is a fantasy game. You can add these creatures to your heroes’ choices of pets right away, or you could design a special adventure where they find one of these creatures. (Imagine an adventure where they have to fight a bunch of goblins that ride on giant beetles!) It’s totally up to you. I hope your kids have as much fun with them as I had designing them!

Here are the 11 new pets in this expansion: Continue reading

Becoming a Great DM: Talent vs. Experience

DM ScreenIn a recent blog article, Teos Abadia (aka Alphastream) posed the question: Is a good DM “good” because of talent or because of experience? And is there even such a thing as DMing talent?

By way of response, if I have to choose talent or experience, I choose experience. While there may be certain aspects of DMing that some people do “naturally” well, I don’t believe that anyone naturally possesses everything it takes to be a good DM. Further, I believe that everyone can learn enough of the skills necessary to be a competent DM through practice and experience. And even those natural abilities some people have can be honed further through experience.

That being said, I think that the article misses the heart of the issue by asking a question that is only tangentially related to what we all (DMs and soon-to-be DMs alike) ask at some point. The real question at the heart of the matter is this: Continue reading

Character Backstory: A DM’s Best Friend, A DM’s Worst Nightmare

Stack of BooksFor some time now, I’ve been pondering the problem of character backstory.

On the one hand, you have the player who does nothing to flesh out any kind of backstory. I call these the “orphan” characters. Why? Because that’s inevitably their backstory. “My character is an orphan.” I don’t know why that seems to be the default backstory for all the lazy players out there, but it is.

And while “no backstory” isn’t a problem for the DM, per se, it also doesn’t give the DM too much to work with. If you want your players invested in your campaign beyond killing the monsters and looting the bodies, you need to tie at least SOME of the story to their characters. And character backstory is useful for that. Continue reading

Treasure Map Fragments!

Map Fragment ThumbAnyone who has been running my Adventures in Bayhaven for your kids will have come across a treasure map fragment or two. Or more. I just went through the old adventures and added a Treasure Map Fragment “Equipment Card” for your players, so they can keep track of how many they’ve found. As a result, I thought I would list here the adventures that include a map fragment:

Why are these map fragments special? Well, they’re sort of like easter eggs in a video game. The adventure runs fine without them, but if a character does something specific, or rolls really well, they’ll come across a map fragment. Collect four of them, and a special adventure is unlocked! It will be titled “Cave of the Black Sail Pirates,” and no, it is not written yet. I still need to hide more treasure map fragments for your kids to find…

 

Two New Adventures in Bayhaven

BayHavenDTRPGthumbThere’s a new adventure out today! It’s part 2 of a 3 part series I’ve titled “The Shrike Incursion.” Shrikes are evil fish-men who have invaded the bay. In the first part of the series “Empty Nets,” the kids discover that the fishermen of Bayhaven aren’t catching any fish, and eventually find that they have to explore a cave to fix the problem. Who’s to blame? Shrikes!

But the shrikes aren’t done with their mischief yet… in “The Heart of the Bay,” a water elemental appears and asks the kids for help. But how can they help it? They need to dive to the very bottom of the bay after they’ve searched a library for clues, and done a bit of shopping in town…

What’s cool about these adventures? Well, aside from some art by Wes Hall

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We have:

  • A weapon upgrade
  • A new bonus ability for magic users
  • A new magic item
  • A new potion
  • And stat blocks for a few new monsters, including that cool mounted shrike above
  • And TWO opportunities for your party to find Treasure Map fragments!

Stay tuned for the grand finale next month!

Bayhaven Review

EFG_Logo21-300x129There’s a nice review of Bayhaven over at Engaged Family Gaming.

“Real life is filled with so many things that eat away at your time that it can be tough to come up with missions for the players, ways to link them together, or places for them to explore.  Even a game as straightforward as Hero Kids requires time and creativity to set up new trials for the heroes.  Adventures in Bayhaven, by Roving Band of Misfits Press, takes care of some of that legwork for you, alleviating that stress with a series of new adventures, centered in the port city of Bayhaven.”

 Check it out! In celebration of our first review, I’ve posted two coupon codes over at Drive Thru RPG.

Click here for Caravan to Rivenshore for $1.99

Click here for Mystery of the Stolen Pendant for $1.99

These coupon codes expire May 27, 2015.

New Adventure in Bayhaven: A Simple Errand

BayHavenDTRPGthumbThis one falls into the “better late than never” category, as I actually released the adventure last week. It’s a fun linear plot that sends the kids all over town in search of “things that people need.”

I’m especially excited about this adventure because it features a full page color illustration by Wes Hall – there’s a sample after the jump

Continue reading