Monday, April 25, 2016

RPGs for Kids: My Little Pony miniatures

Miniatures month continues and this week and I'm talking about My Little Pony.

I wasn't intending to talk about My Little Pony, but my daughter (who is right in the target demographic) picked out My Little Pony: My Busy Books with a gift card from grandma when we were at Barnes & Noble the other day. It just so happens that it is a perfect fit for an MLP-based RPG.

Why is it so good for RPGs? Because along with the book, comes a  four scene play mat with 12 pony figurines. Not only that. but the figures are in roughly the same scale as 28 -30 mm D&D-size miniatures... all that for only ten bucks!

The play mats are a nice background to set the scene for your little role-player, but it appears the figures alone may only cost FIVE BUCKS! While I can't 100% confirm, it appears the set of 12 My Little Pony miniatures on Amazon is the same set of figures that comes with the book for half the price. UPDATE: Don't bother ordering these from a Chinese seller for $5. They are mostly scams and the package will never arrive. Stick with a Prime seller.

For those that are looking to introduce role-playing to their younger children (5 to 10), if they already like MLP, then they are already familiar with a setting in which they can explore their pony personalities. There are several RPGs targeted at younger gamers that can help.

For a fully fleshed out Equestria-like game world, there is Ponyfinder Campaign Setting, a Pathfinder compatible campaign setting which also has conversion guides for D&D 5th Edition as well as 4th Edition.

However, the Ponyfinder setting is a bit pricey and probably too much for a younger gamer to digest. For the younger set, you would be well served to go with something relatively simple like Hero Kids Fantasy RPG.

Queen Celestia is about to be lunch. Can Rarity and Rainbow Dash save the day?

I will be doing a full play test report of Hero Kids with my 5 year old in the not too distant future, but for now, all you need to know is that the mechanics are downright simple. When facing a foe, you roll 1 or more attack dice (six-sided dice) depending on you abilities and you opponent rolls a similar number of defense dice. Highest roll on a single die wins. It's very streamlined and easy to understand for those pre-K to 4th grade. You can try more complex games as your kids get older, but Hero Kids is awesome for the youngest.

Older kids (or adults, I suppose) interested in My Little Pony may want to try out which is a completely new and free RPG designed specifically for MLP... but again, it's a bit complex for the elementary school crowd. 

Final Thoughts

For young kids. Hero Kids is probably your best bet (whether playing Ponies or regular old Elves, Dwarfs and Halflings). It's easy to adapt to different genres, and the mechanics are simple enough to for just about any child able to count to 10. Given that you can get a set of 12 ponies for $5, this is an excellent (and cheap) vehicle to introduce the younger crowd to role playing in the land of Equestria.

Twilight Sparkle makes a new friend.
Pinkie Pie has a bad day.

"Dude... it's about self respect!"

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