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A simple answer has been found, and Lego is your answer. Yes, Lego! Lego has come up with this really cool mini rpg game called Heroica. Its a simple lego build board, with various challenges on the board, such as monsters, rocks, and gold.
As you can see, there a couple of dots to show movement and a sword/skull for combat.
The game is played in turns, as each person moves, and if their path is blocked by a monster, they roll the die to see if defeat it or lose health points. The cool thing about this whole process, is you can find gold along the way or for defeating a monster. With this gold you can buy various things, such as weapons. Each character has a special ability if the special face is rolled on the die.
So you are saying,” Great, so my kid will learn to love mini games, not AD&D or classic”. But you are wrong, you can use this and tweak it a bit. First play the game a few times as written to get the kids into it. From there you can change the rules, by adding a d20 for combat. Order more lego parts and craft out a mini dungeon crawl, and use it as visual for the kids as you start describing the scene for them.
For instance, when they roll to move, instead of just doing the one, two , three space count and move the mini. You as the GM, can say, “You slowly creep down the dungeon hallway, as you can smell what you can only think is a wet dog a head of you.”
For combat, use classic or Advanced rules, but act out the fighting so they are interested.
The goal Heroica is to be the first out of the scene, but you can change it, everyone must survive to win!
What do you think? Does Lego hold a gateway for us?