Friday, 23 December 2016

Hero Kids flat plastic miniatures again...

The original Hero Kids flat plastic miniatures Kickstarter was a while ago now, but Arcknight have just kicked off their second campaign. I only mention this because the Hero Kids miniatures are available as an add-on for the new campaign!

For $30, you can get all 62 Hero Kids heroes as amazing full-colour plastic stand-ups!

Flat Plastic Miniatures 2 by Arcknight - Kickstarter

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Hero Kids Random Encounter Generator

Hero Kids enthusiast and all-round spreadsheet wizard Josiah Fiscus has put together an amazing Hero Kids random encounter generator:
Hero Kids - Random Encounter Generator

The generator is pretty straightforward, but has deep underlying sophistication. It basically reverse-engineers my difficulty tuning for Hero Kids encounters, based on number of heroes and the type of encounter.

The generator allows you to plug in a few settings, and then gives you an approriate encounter, using creatures from the Hero Kids Monster Compendium. The settings are:
• Location
• Number of heroes
• Desired difficulty
• Type of encounter (normal or boss battle)

Here are some examples:

Also, Adam Bragg has put together a blog post at Spiralbound Studios that demonstrates how to use Josiah's random encounter generator with the Hero Kids Monster Compendium to quick generate an adventure:
An Endless Supply of Adventures for Hero Kids

If you don't have it, you can get the Hero Kids Monster Compendium here:
Hero Kids - Fantasy Expansion - Monster Compendium

Monday, 3 October 2016

Free Hero Kids books for libraries!


Are you a library, or a librarian?  Send me an email and I'll mail you free copies of Hero Kids for your collection:

The first 10-20 libraries that get in touch get the books.  For serious.

My email is justinhalliday(a)

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Monster Compendium 50% off in print!

Alrighty-then.  The new Hero Kids - Fantasy Expansion - Monster Compendium softcover book is DONE!  Here's proof:

Let's take a look inside:

Use this link for 50% off the softcover Hero Kids Monster Compendium:
Hero Kids - Fantasy Expansion - Monster Compendium

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Hero Kids Flat Plastic Miniatures

In all of the excitement of the work on the Hero Kids Monster Compendium, I almost forgot that a neat box arrived containing 64 Hero Kids flat plastic miniatures from ArcKnight's Kickstarter campaign.

Even better, these are now available from ArcKnight's online store:
Hero Kids Flat Plastic Miniatures.

The set contains 64 miniatures from these sets:
•  Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG
•  Hero Kids - Fantasy Expansion - Hero Cards - Set II
•  Hero Kids - Fantasy Expansion - Hero Cards - Set III
•  Hero Kids - Fantasy Expansion - Hero Cards - Pet Cards
•  Hero Kids - Space Expansion - Hero Cards - Set I
•  Hero Kids - Space Expansion - Hero Cards - Set II

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Introducing Hero Kids Monster Compendium

It's DONE!  (The PDF anyway...)

Now, I know you're dying to know what's in this bad boy!  The PDF of the Monster Compendium has 136 monsters in the 60 page book.  I've designed multiple monsters for most of the 'types', so you can mix and match them to create interesting (and challenging encounters).

Bats, Beguilers, Boars, Brigands, Bugbears, Commoners, Constructs, Coot and Crone, Cultists, Dragons, Elementals, Firestarter, Flaming Skull, Foxes, Froglings, Gargoyle, Ghost, Giants, Gladiators, Goblins, Gorillas, Guards, Helm Knight, Hydra, Knights, Kobolds, Lizardkin, Minotaur, Mummies, Pirates, Ratlings, Rats, Scorpion, Sea Serpent, Skeletons, Slimes, Snakes, Spiders, Tengu, Water Beast, Weasels, Werewolf, Wolves, Wraith, Wyvern, Zombies...

Each monster section contains ecology and adventure hooks for the monsters.  As Brian Benoit says:

"From the perspective of a GM, I absolutely love all the hooks you've included in the book.  You could literally flip to any page and run an off-the-cuff adventure off of any one of the hooks provided, so I love the book from that perspective.  I also like the lists of names included, makes it easy to name an NPC on the fly.  It's a nice touch."

The PDF also comes with another 51 page PDF for all of the monster stand-ups.  They look like this:

It's slightly hard to see here, but the top half is monsters numbered 1 to 4, and the bottom half of the page is the monsters numbered 5-8.  So depending on how you play, and how many monsters you throw at your heroes, you can just cut the top half of each of these pages.

Now that the PDFs are finished (pending any updates), I'm gonna put together a print version of this Monster Compendium.

Get the Hero Kids Monster Compendium here:
Hero Kids - Fantasy Expansion - Monster Compendium

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Monster Compendium Cover Art...

I loved working with Hero Kids resident artist Eric Quigley on the cover for the new Monster Compendium.  One of life's greatest pleasures is watching other people work. :-)

In honor of Eric's work, and so that others can have the pleasure of watching Eric work, I created this GIF of the each of the steps we followed creating the cover for the new book:

Although technically it was mostly him doing the work...

Saturday, 30 July 2016

Monster Compendium Editing...

Spent the week editing the Hero Kids Monster Compendium.  I'm noticing a pattern that little projects develop into big projects...

The compendium is now 120-ish monsters, but also includes details about the monsters, a sprinkling of history, and a boatload of adventure hooks.  As Brian Beniot states:

"From the perspective of a GM, I absolutely love all the hooks you've included in the book.  You could literally flip to any page and run an off-the-cuff adventure off of any one of the hooks provided, so I love the book from that perspective."

The compendium also features an amazing new cover by Eric Quigley:

Friday, 1 July 2016

Hero Kids Print Book Version 2.0

I've just updated the print version of Hero Kids to 2.0 (and the PDFs for the core rules), so now is a great time to grab a copy of the Hero Kids print book:

The new edition includes:
• More monsters
• New Advanced Combat section
• New Role-Playing section

Over the next week I'm also updating the PDFs for all of the adventures to incorporate the latest monster cards.

If you're paying attention, you can use this link to get a 50% discount on the print book: Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG Softcover B&W Book

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Hero Kids - Monster Compendium preview

Quick update on the Hero Kids - Monster Compendium.  Each of the types of monsters will include a description of the monster, plus extra gameable details about their tactics and adventure hooks.

Here's a preview of the Elementals and Cultists:

Friday, 10 June 2016

Six-Score Monsters Approaching...

Sooooo...  I'm still working on the monsters for the upcoming Hero Kids monster compendium. And now's a good time for an update.  First, I've finished 120 monsters.  Approximately 40 of these are from previous adventures and the core game.  The rest are new.  There's also a bunch of new art for some of the old monsters...

Second, I'm currently editing these monsters.  Much highlighting.

Third, I've been exploring boss monsters and how to make them work well when fighting one to four heroes.  For example, this hydra is my current favorite.  As you can see, each of its heads must attack a different target, giving it more actions as the number of attackers increases:

Finally, here's a preview of all these bad boys (and girls):

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Das Beguiler!

I'm still going on the Hero Kids monster compendium.  Here's something different, the Beguiler (updated version below):

I'm still thinking about the best way to implement the effects of the eye stalks.  Should they all affect the targets for only they next turn?  Should they they have ongoing effects?  Can I find enough space on the card to add this information?  How many effects do they need?

Here's an updated version:

Questions, questions, questions...

Get Hero Kids here: Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG

Friday, 29 April 2016

Dunno... Gladiators?

I'm slaving on the Hero Kids monster compendium.  So here are some gladiators.  Let's start with Gladiator Champion:

Gladiator Net Fighter:

Gladiator Novice:

Get Hero Kids here: Hero Kids - Fantasy RPG

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Hero Kids pipeline...

People often come up to me in the street and ask, "Justin, what's next for Hero Kids?"

It's a great question, so here's a list of the things I'm working on:
•  Update all of PDFs to the new format monsters
•  Update the core Hero Kids PDF and print book
•  Write Reign of the Dragon
•  Create a Hero Kids monster compendium
•  Update the pirate monsters

Update the PDFs

I've been progressively updating all of the PDFs to reformat the monster standups into the new landscape format.  This horizontal format allows me to put more monster and hero stand-ups onto each page, more monsters cards fit on each page, and DMs don't need to cut the 'boss' monsters off the pages that include the monster cards.

Update the Core Rules

In the background I've been working on some minor updates and refinements to the core rules.  These updates include:
•  Expanded glossary to better define key game terms (such as 'engaged')
•  Added section on Equipment and Items
•  Added Advanced Combat section
•  A couple of new monsters, as explained below

I still have a few more bits to do:
•  Role-playing section with guidance for DMs
•  Update the print version

The hold-up with releasing the updated core rules is the print version.  I don't want the PDF to get out of sync with the print version so I need to update the print files and then get new proofs from DriveThru before I can release this updated version to the public.

Reign of the Dragon adventure

This is likely to be a premium adventure, and is taking a while...


I recently received this comment over on DriveThruRPG:
"Are the skeleton archer, skeleton swordsman, and skeleton warrior supposed to have exactly the same stats and special abilities as their pirate counterparts?"

The answer is 'no'.

These are some of the very first monsters that I created for Hero Kids, and not even I realized they were identical!  So I've redesigned the pirates with a new bonus ability (Timid instead of Rattled):



So these new pirates will be included in the updated core Hero Kids rules. There's also a couple of new pirates included:

The Pirate Recruiter amuses me... :-)

Monster Compendium

The monster compendium (maybe Hero Kids - Fantasy Expansion - Threats to the Brecken Vale) is where most of my efforts are going at the moment.  Before I started the compendium I had released about 40-50 monsters across all of the fantasy adventures.  For the compendium, I'm working towards over 100 monsters.

To achieve this, I've been working on all my unused unique monster artwork and my mannequin monsters.

The current mannequin monsters are usually the humanoids to which I can mix and match equipment and weapons to create variations of the base monster type.  This includes the goblins and skeletons, as well as these nefarious brigands:

I have a few unique monsters I haven't used yet, like this crone, wraith, and zombie:

I've also commissioned a bunch of new monsters from Eric Quigley, so here's a preview of these new baddies:

That feels like a lot of stuff.  So here's a sneak peek at the developing list of monsters for the compendium:

Phew!  That seems like a lot!