Five ways to make your child’s first role-playing game amazing

How old does a child have to be to play a role-playing game? I know of children who’ve started role-playing at the ripe old age of three and a half. My rule of thumb is that if a child can read numbers up to ten, and follow a bedtime story that lasts 20 minutes, then they’re ready.

Compound Image

But making that first game a success is still a challenge. Here are five ways to make sure that first game is memorable for both of you.

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Updated character sheet collection

I’ve added a new style of character sheet to the downloadable character sheets on DriveThruRPG.

The new look sheets feature dice icons kids can use to keep their dice on. No more forgetting which dice is which half way through a session.

New Look character sheet
Ruben’s dice neatly sorted.

You can download the new character sheets here. And you can check out the Kickstarter for the Big Book of Amazing Tales here.

Amazing Tales statement on Kickstarter United

Trade unions were founded to secure the rights and dignity of workers in the face of employers who viewed these things as optional.

When workers wish to form a union they should be supported in doing so.

It was deeply disappointing to learn that Kickstarter is opposed to the formation of a union by its workforce. Credible allegations that staff have been fired for union organising are concerning.

As with many small games companies I looked forward to running a series of successful kickstarters as a means of growing Amazing Tales. In my mental business plan ‘successful kickstarters’ has now been replaced with ‘successful crowdfunding campaigns’.

As it happens when the news broke I was far down the line of preparing Amazing Tales’ first Kickstarter, which will go ahead as planned. But I, like the other entrepreneurs I know, will be spending the coming months looking into alternative platforms, because in the long term I don’t want to be supporting a company that doesn’t respect its workers.

And having been both a manager within a multi-million euro organisation responsible for dealing with the workers’ council, and a member of a workers’ council dealing with management I can confidently say that Kickstarter have nothing to worry about. Union recognition would be a long term win for their company, even if it were to mean confronting some unpleasant truths about their current practices in the short term. Trade Unions help create fairer, more equitable workplaces, improve the quality of decision making at every level within a firm and improve the society they are part of. They should be welcomed, not feared.

Of course it would be remiss not to acknowledgethat Amazing Tales advertises on Facebook and sells books via Amazon, both deeply problematic companies. In a world dominated by defacto monopolies you can’t always get what you want. But you can push for change, and exercise choice where you can. Amazing Tales supports the workers of Kickstarter United in doing so.

You can follow Kickstarter United on Twitter, here.

Martin Lloyd, founder, Amazing Tales.

So what’s in the Quest for the Dragon Crown?

The Quest for the Dragon Crown is the first published adventure for Amazing Tales, a tabletop role-playing game for kids aged four and up.

(Spoilers follow…)

When writing the campaign I wanted to get in as much exciting content as I could. If your kids only ever play one fantasy campaign, well, this should leave them with plenty of great memories.

Things start off spooky, as the heroes are sent to recover a treasure map from a very messy library. Their goal can be found among the teetering stacks of books, but so can a ghostly librarian and a very hungry bookworm.

From the library the heroes are sent out to sea where they encounter the formidable Queen Tempestua. Will she permit them to leave her ocean realm? And can she solve the riddle of the crown’s hiding place?

We’d better hope so. Because the heroes need to make their way to the magical wood of seasons. The wood is one huge riddle, but at it’s centre is the Dragon Crown.

On leaving the wood the heroes find that years have passed. But before they can worry about that they’ll have to fight their very first dragon.

Beating one Dragon is all very well, but the whole kingdom has been conquered by a dragon army. Can the heroes drive them out and restore the rightful king? It’s not going to be easy.

If you want to take your kids on this amazing adventure it’s available from DriveThruRPG. But the Quest for the Dragon Crown is also available as part of the Big Book of Amazing Tales, which includes three other campaigns and is funding now on Kickstarter.

Download the Quest for the Dragon Crown Handouts

An international player requested that the handouts for the Quest for the Dragon Crown be made available in a format that could be translated for his kids. This seems like an excellent idea, so here they are

Note that if you want to edit these you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Pro or something similar.

Thanks to Nicolas Folliot for the French translation.

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What makes an Amazing Adventure?

When I wrote Amazing Tales one of the things I felt was important was that parents and kids be able to sit down and make up an adventure right then and there. No preparation required. So a published adventure needs to offer something special to justify the investment. In the course of writing The Quest for the Dragon Crown I’ve worked hard to deliver on that. Here are some of the principles that guided the writing.

Some of those spiders look rather large…

1. Small players deserve big adventures

Just because children are young doesn’t mean they can’t imagine big stories. The Quest for the Dragon Crown asks them to save a kingdom. On the way they’ll have to face down monsters, solve puzzles and make new friends. As the cover makes clear, there are dragons to fight. Because fighting dragons is awesome – so why wouldn’t you include that in your game?

I’ve never been able to understand why games for kids often assume the players will want to play as child heroes. Role-playing lets you be anything you want – and a lot of kids want to be big.

2. Build in regular moments of awesome

In writing the game I tried to include what I think of as ‘moments of awesome’, events that are so cool they’re unlikely to emerge in games that you make up as you go. They might, of course, but a written adventure lets you try and hit these highs consistently.

I might be wrong – but play-tests suggest that the moment the players find out what the Dragon Crown does for the first time is going to be something that sticks with players for a long long time.

3. Make the game tangible

While I couldn’t quite work out how to include a real magic mirror in the game (that plan is on hold while I do more research) I did manage to include a few cool things. There’s a map of the kingdom to colour in, there’s your very own dragon crown to cut out and colour in, and there’s a multi-stage puzzle for parents to print out and kids to solve.

Make your own Dragon Crown (Magic powers not included)

4. Pack it full

Quest for the Dragon Crown features a ghost, dragons, mermaids, fairies, and an enchanted forest. It’s not a series of adventures about dragons and mini-dragons, because that might get repetitive. Each session brings in new fantastic material and escalates the stakes. If your kids only ever play one Amazing Tales campaign they should come away from this with a ton of brilliant stories about the things they’ve seen and done.

When you’re playing with your kids it’s easy to add extra excitement by asking your players questions. As the heroes approach a village ask questions like ‘What makes this village special’ or ‘The people who live here aren’t human, what are they?’ and watch as your story takes off.

5. Leave plenty of room

As a game Amazing Tales has a focus on improvised story-telling. So while The Quest for the Dragon Crown provides a structure there’s plenty of space for players and story-teller to go off-piste. Does your kid love mermaids? Take a few extra sessions to make up stories in the mermaid kingdom, the quest will still be there when you get back.

I hope you like the Quest for the Dragon Crown, and I hope it helps you take your games of Amazing Tales to the next level.

Buy now from DriveThru RPG

Introducing The Quest for the Dragon Crown

Here’s the news on The Quest for the Dragon Crown. The first adventure supplement for Amazing Tales.

Travellers arrive in the happy kingdom of Merrydown bringing alarming news. A band of evil dragons are approaching, and only the Dragon Crown can hold them back. Unfortunately, the crown is missing…

Trust me, that’s one mean dragon

In The Quest for the Dragon Crown you will find…

  • One glorious campaign made up of
  • Five adventures, each suitable for 1-2 sessions of play
  • Five full page, full colour illustrations by Iris Maertens
  • A map of the Kingdom of Merrydown to print out and colour in
  • One fiendish puzzle for you to cut out and your players to solve
  • Your very own Dragon Crown to make and colour in

To complete the quest the heroes will have to

  • Investigate a haunted library
  • Descend beneath the oceans to the Merqueen’s kingdom
  • Make their way through an enchanted forest
  • Face down dragons in heroic combat
  • Unlock the secrets of the Dragon Crown

The Quest for the Dragon Crown is available as a PDF through DriveThruRPG and retails for USD $4.95.

What makes an Amazing Adventure?

When I wrote Amazing Tales one of the things I felt was important was that parents and kids be able to sit down and make up an adventure right then and there. No preparation required. So a published adventure needs to offer something special to justify the investment. In the course of writing The Quest for the Dragon Crown I’ve worked hard to deliver on that. Here are some of the principles that guided the writing.

Some of those spiders look rather large…

Small players deserve big adventures

Just because children are young doesn’t mean they can’t imagine big stories. The Quest for the Dragon Crown asks them to save a kingdom. On the way they’ll have to face down monsters, solve puzzles and make new friends. As the cover makes clear, there are dragons to fight. Because fighting dragons is awesome – so why wouldn’t you include that in your game?

Build in come moments of awesome

In writing the game I tried to include what I think of as ‘moments of awesome’, events that are so cool they’re unlikely to emerge in games that you make up as you go. They might, of course, but a written adventure lets you try and hit these highs consistently.

I might be wrong – but play-tests suggest that the moment the players find out what the Dragon Crown does for the first time is going to be something that sticks with players for a long long time.

Make the game tangible

While I couldn’t quite work out how to include a real magic mirror in the game (that plan is on hold while I do more research) I did manage to include a few cool things. There’s a map of the kingdom to colour in, there’s your very own dragon crown to cut out and colour in, and there’s a multi-stage puzzle for parents to print out and kids to solve.

Make your own Dragon Crown (Magic powers not included)

Pack it full

Quest for the Dragon Crown features a ghost, dragons, mermaids, fairies, and an enchanted forest. It’s not a series of adventures about dragons and mini-dragons, because that might get repetitive. Each session brings in new fantastic material and escalates the stakes. If your kids only ever play one Amazing Tales campaign they should come away from this with a ton of brilliant stories about the things they’ve seen and done.

Leave plenty of room

As a game Amazing Tales has a focus on improvised story-telling. So while The Quest for the Dragon Crown provides a structure there’s plenty of space for players and story-teller to go off-piste. Does your kid love mermaids? Take a few extra sessions to make up stories in the mermaid kingdom, the quest will still be there when you get back.

I hope you like the Quest for the Dragon Crown, and I hope it helps you take your games of Amazing Tales to the next level.


Welcome to Rescue City

Rescue City is a big, bustling place. Its got skyscrapers, stadiums, a dock, a fairground, a train-station, a concert hall, museums and an airport. Life is good in Rescue City, but it does have problems. Problems like fires, hurricanes and earthquakes. Problems like gangs of clever criminals and people getting sick. Fortunately Rescue City has plenty of heroes to protect its citizens. The kind of heroes you might meet just walking down the street.

The new Amazing Tales setting. Available at DriveThruRPG

What is Rescue City?

Rescue City is an additional setting for Amazing Tales. It includes:

  • Character descriptions for Firefighters, Police Officers and Medics
  • 21 new skill descriptions
  • Advice on making up stories for kids in real world settings
  • Tips to bring Rescue City to life
  • Ten story seeds

It also includes a suggestion for a different way of structuring games of Amazing Tales – A busy day in Rescue City. 

Rescue City is available from DriveThruRPG for $1.99

Note that Rescue City is not illustrated.

Why play games in Rescue City?

I was inspired to write Rescue City by a comment on the Amazing Tales Facebook pages. Someone mentioned that they’d asked their kid what kind of hero they wanted to be in a game of Amazing Tales and they’d replied ‘Firefighter’. Which reminded me just how much young kids love all the emergency services. 

It also tied in with another discussion that’s been going on around Amazing Tales – coming up with stories that are non-violent in nature, but still exciting. The heroes of Rescue City come up against difficult and dangerous challenges all the time, but they don’t solve their problems by fighting – giving Rescue City games a different feel.

Rescue City is a perfect setting for kids who love to use their toys when playing Amazing Tales. So it’s time to get out those Lego firetrucks and Playmobil doctors; find the dress up police set they got for Christmas and go have an adventure together!