Introductory RPGs for Kids
by Dan Repperger

In episode 207, we promised a list of kid-friendly RPGs.  Below are the titles that were recommended to me as great starter games, and I pass them along for your consideration.  Where possible, I’ll credit the suggesting party.

  • Buggin’ – Inspired by movies like Antz and Bee Movie, participants play tiny bugs out on big adventures.  (Thanks to Todd Downing of Deep7!)
  • Dread House – In a combination of RPG and board game, you play teenagers spending the night in a haunted mansion.  (Thanks to Emily Care Boss of Black and Green Games!)
  • Faery’s Tale – An introductory RPG where players take on the role of one of four kinds of faeries and go adventuring in Brightwood.  (Thanks to Marcy Ganow of Tabletop Adventures who also helps organize the kids’ track at Nuke Con in Omaha!)
  • Fuzzy Heroes – A tactical game with plenty of RPG and character elements where kids use stuffed animals to tussle out battles.  (Another hat tip to Marcy Ganow and the game’s creator, Christopher Clark!)
  • Happy Birthday Robot – A storytelling game where players take turns writing the story of Robot’s birthday.  (Thanks to Jessica Blair from Sandstorm!)
  • Land of Og – Players take on the role of cavemen that have extremely limited vocabularies and go adventuring in a prehistoric world.  (Another hat tip to Marcy Ganow!)
  • Meddling Kids – This game is something like Scooby Doo where you make investigators and chase down mysteries.  (Thanks to Tim Dugger from Ice Crown Enterprises!)
  • Pre-School RPG – Designed for his daughter when she was very young, this flexible game is easy to learn and requires no literacy.  (Thanks to Keith Curtis for creating this game!)
  • rpgKids – A cheap and easy-to-play fantasy game designed for children as young as 4.  (Thanks to Daniel Perez from Highmoon Media and also Brannon!)
  • Siege Games: Harvester – Players match little animals with fantasy classes and take their heroes into a world of fantasy adventure.  (Thanks to Christina Stiles of Misfit Studios!)
  • The Heroes of Hesiod – A simplified, kid-friendly D&D adventure put out by Wizards to help introduce kids to the hobby.  (Thanks to Matt Forbeck for this one!)
  • The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men – Players create gingerbread cookies which represent their characters and then go on adventures about the house.  What other game lets you eat the character sheet?  (Thanks to Ryan Dancey of CCP / White Wolf for introducing me to this game several years ago!)
  • Toon – Players take on the role of wacky, slapstick characters straight from Saturday morning cartoons.  (Thanks to Bill Stoddard of Steve Jackson Games!)
  • Warriors – A free RPG based on the Harper-Collins books, with a new adventure coming out to accompany each novel.  (Thanks to Stan for this one!)
  • Witch Girls Adventure – A fantasy game for new players about the lives of young mistresses of magic.  (Thanks to Grant Davis for this one!)

Comments (10)

GrantOctober 7th, 2010 at 9:01 am

I would recommend Witch Girls Adventures for girls. There is also a comic book with game statistics in the back.

MattOctober 7th, 2010 at 2:09 pm

I started my 7y/o on Heroscape. Having a 3-D map and colorful minis made it really engaging for him.

BrannonOctober 8th, 2010 at 12:15 am

May I suggest rpgKids by newbieDM:

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=84050&language=en

http://newbiedm.com/

RoachOctober 8th, 2010 at 9:13 am

Ice Crown Enterprises? More like Iron Crown, I’d say…

I would recommend Panty Explosion which, despite its weird title, is a very interesting game in an interesting setting, and with unusual mechanics. E.g., successes and failures are as a rule not narrated by the GM but by another player.

Daniel M. PerezOctober 8th, 2010 at 10:02 am

Check out rpgKids from NewbieDM.com. He had it on his site for about a year, and last month I got him to put out a revision which I’m selling on RPGnow. It’s for the 4+ crowd and it delivers.

http://www.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?cPath=&products_id=84050&affiliate_id=17008

ronBunxiousOctober 12th, 2010 at 12:18 pm

John Harper’s Wildlings is amazing too! Nice use of adverbs to encourage actions/descriptions. And kids get to draw on their character sheets. (opens pdf): http://www.onesevendesign.com/wildlings/wildlings.pdf

Right now, me + the kids use Seven Leagues for stories and PDQ for action.

We’ll have to check out rpgKids, thanks!

OruborosOctober 20th, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Witch Girls Adventures is worth a look.

Tim RodriguezNovember 30th, 2010 at 8:09 am

Another one that I like a lot is called “My Monster” by John Wick.

http://johnwickpresents.com/market/products/mymonster.html

kids designer bootsJuly 17th, 2011 at 1:14 pm

. Adults have historically created these games with kids as the intended end user. However, many adults have been finding that these games are fun and challenging, and some are even considered quite difficult to master.

YouhasJanuary 16th, 2013 at 4:28 am

RAWR is an awesome game I picked up at Gencon 2012. You play as monsters fighting the forces of nightmare. My son loves it and wants to play it all the time. Simple d6 mechanic but involves some basic math a first grader can handle.

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