Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Hero Kids Out Now!

Hero Kids, three normal adventures and one premium adventure are out NOW at DriveThruRPG!

Click to get it:

A New Home for Hero Kids!

There comes a time in a young game's life when they have to leave their home and strike out into a blog of their own. For Hero Kids, that day is today.

Hero Kids RPG Blog

This blog remains the home for the development and game design discussions for all of my games, but the Hero Kids blog will focus on that game and its supplements, including adventures and expansions.

So if Hero Kids is your bag, please please please head over there and click the Follow button so that you can stay informed about all the cool new stuff I release for Hero Kids.

As a super-special bonus, here's the cover for Hero Kids, once again by my buddy Eric Quigley:

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Review of Heroes Against Darkness at Earth Alpha

Here's another review of Heroes Against Darkness, this one from Andrew Collas on his Earth Alpha blog.   I've cribbed quotes from Andrew's review here, but check Andrew's blog:

Review of Heroes Against Darkness - Earth Alpha

"...this game MADE me want to play D&D again... well this version of it anyways."

"Heroes Against Darkness... that takes the wide breadth of D&D and pieces together one hell of a fun system!"

"Justin Halliday wrote this as a labour of love, to be sure, and it shows on every page.   The writing is tight and focused, the art is evocative and exciting and the layout is excellent."

"The thing that I liked most of all was the incorporation of a pseudo-4e Power mechanic for each class as well as a hybridized almost Magic The Gathering style for spellcasters.   Together this really hits the spot for me, though it does make house creating character classes a bit of work as you need to balance out their new powers."

"Another nice thing is that while mapping isn't necessary, it is really a lot of fun with the way the rules work.   So much so that my group played out a map combat, and we are NOT mappers by any stretch, and LOVED it!"

"Best of all though is the price... FREE!   That's right, you get a FULL game that is fast and a load of fun to play with out paying 1 single penny."

"So in summation, this is worth the price of admission and even gives you more value than some games that you pay $20+ for.   Check it out, give it a read and maybe even take it out for a spin or two.   Trust me, if you like fast paced, less complicated stuff, this game does not disappoint!"

Thanks Andrew!

Heroes Against Darkness won't disappoint, unlike its author:
Heroes Against Darkness: Downloads.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

New Hero Kids Logos

You may already have noticed the new Hero Kids logo in my previous Jennisodes post, but if you didn't then prepare to be amazed by the majesty that is the new Hero Kids logo:

And here's the black and white version too:

As you can see, Eric Quigley has transformed my original into a real piece of art!

Monday, 22 October 2012

HAD and Hero Kids on Jennisodes!

Jennifer Steen was kind enough to have me on Jennisodes to talk about Heroes Against Darkness and Hero Kids.

Check out the episode here:

Jennisodes Episode 127: Heroes Against Darkness

Why listen to me talking about Heroes Against Darkness when you can play it for free:
Heroes Against Darkness: Downloads.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Presenting the HERO KIDS!

From left to right, they are; knight, rogue, brute, warlock (male), hunter (female), hunter (male), warlock (female), healer, warrior (female), and warrior (male).

Click to enbiggen:

The previous warlocks that I used were in poses much more like the healer and they weren't popular with the playtesters, so hopefully these kick-ass versions get the attention they deserve!

Kids would never fight monsters in Heroes Against Darkness, or would they?:
Heroes Against Darkness: Downloads.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

What Lurks in the Mines of Martek?

What foul beast has taken residence in the Mines of Martek?

I reckon that whatever lives here can be found in the Heroes Against Darkness Bestiary:
Heroes Against Darkness: Downloads.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Hero Kids Setting: The Brecken Vale

Last year my art buddy Josh Sacco and I spent some time developing a Photoshop map template that people like me (semi-artists) can use to put together decent maps without having to spend years and years actually learning how to art...

I've finally gotten around to using this beautiful piece of PSD action to put together this map of the setting for Hero Kids: The Brecken Vale, which is described thusly:

You live in a small village, Rivenshore, which is nestled in a tight valley beneath a range of towering mountains.
Rivenshore would be a beautiful place to live, if it weren’t beset by an endless series of calamities.
The village is on the eastern shore of the Camarva River. The river runs fast and crooked from the mountains, down through the valley, The Brecken Vale, and out into a small bay. To the east of the village are the dark and wild Darkenwold Woods, which have claimed many foolish travelers.
The Brecken Vale is bounded by the Druinhowe Mountains, their snow-covered peaks cloaked in cloud.
The vale should be a haven for its civilized inhabitants, but instead it keeps them in close proximity to no end of threats that offer boundless opportunities for adventure.

And here's the end result, which should give the GM and kids something to get their imagination going:

Probably the most difficult part of this map was the research for the etymology of the place names:

Brecken Vale: Valley of the crooked river
Druinhowe Mountains: Ridged mountains
Darkenwold Woods: Holy woodland
Rivenshore: River-shore, but without any great etymological basis!

Considering I do most of my research late at night, don't sue me if my derivations are erroneous (or crazy).

People keep telling me that Heroes Against Darkness needs a setting, so this is a start:
Heroes Against Darkness: Downloads.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Maze of the Minotaur Adventure Playtest

Playtester 0 (Violet, aged 4) and I spent an hour last night playing through the Hero Kids premium adventure Maze of the Minotaur.

I've mentioned Maze of the Minotaur briefly before, but this adventure deserves some attention because it's quite different from the game's normal adventures.   Maze of the Minotaur is different because it features a randomly generated maze and randomly generated encounters in the maze.

The maze is generated from a set of over 30 random cavern tiles, so each time the heroes move off the edge of a tile, the GM takes the top tile from the pile and (if it fits) puts it down to extend the maze.   If it doesn't fit, the GM puts it on the bottom of the tile and takes another (rinse, repeat).   The tiles include straight tunnels, t-intersections, crossroads, and corner pieces so there's a huge amount of variety on offer for junior adventurers.

The GM also rolls 3d6 to generate a random encounter for each new tile that the heroes enter.   For example, a roll of 3 (three 1s) gives a rock-fall trap, 11 is an encounter with giant rats, 12 is an encounter the titular minotaur, and any total of 15+ means the heroes discover the minotaur's lair, which is the actual goal of the adventure.

But enough this talk, here are some photos from the session.   Enjoy.

A maze with a minotaur, that's almost as original as Heroes Against Darkness:
Heroes Against Darkness: Downloads.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Hero Kids Adventure Maps

While I'm waiting for some of the artwork to get done for Hero Kids I've been spending my time working on adventures for the game.   So far, I've made two 'normal' adventures (one of which will be included with the game), one premium adventure (which will be a stand-alone product), and I'm currently working on some more standard adventures to create a number of separate adventure packs.

One of the things I've had to do with the adventure maps is make myself a library of bits for caverns, caves, and mines.   The caverns and caves are used in the free adventure that comes with the game (Basement O Rats), and in the premium adventure (Maze of the Minotaur), but I also want to do an adventure in a mine so I spent tonight working on modular rail sections for the mine maps.

Here are a few example maps that I've thrown together from all the bits to make sure they fit together properly:

Anyway, back to the coal face (literally)!

A maze with a minotaur, that's almost as original as Heroes Against Darkness:
Heroes Against Darkness: Downloads.