My apologies for the relative paucity of posts over the last week or so. Christmas is a very busy time for me, as it is for anyone with children and visiting relatives. Things are still fairly hectic and likely will remain so for a little bit longer. And truth be told, I could use the break. Getting Thousand Suns out the door at long last was a big (and slightly stressful) effort and I expect a similar experience with both my Dwimmermount releases and Petty Gods, which can now finally get my undivided attention and, I hope, see completion in January.
But enough of that! Last night, while waiting for the clock to strike twelve, I sat around my dining room table with my family playing LEGO Heroica. I mentioned this game earlier in the year. Ever since my son got it for Christmas, I was itching to play it, and New Year's Eve provided a good opportunity to do so. Heroica is basically a simple dungeoncrawl boardgame, a bit like TSR's Dungeon! but far simpler and with much more attractive components.
Each of the characters has a unique melee or ranged ability. This ability is activated when you roll a shield icon on the die -- another one in six chance. The wizard, for example, can use his magic to slay a creature up to four spaces distant, even around corners. The druid can heal himself to full health. The knight can charge, slay a monster, and keep moving. The barbarian can slay all creatures adjacent to him and keep moving. These abilities give each character a distinct feeling, though the randomness of their activation meant they didn't get used very often. That's probably more the result of the small starting map, though. I think, with one or more expansions (there are three currently available), the abilities would come into play more often.
my first D&D character. My son didn't name his wizard, leading us to alternately call him Tim or Talroc, though he insisted he was called "Just 'The Wizard.'" So, later, I started referring to him as "The Unknown Wizard." And while he didn't have a name, he did have a personality. In three games over an hour and half -- the game plays very quickly -- he forsook the stated goals of the missions and instead sought out gold and treasure chests. Apparently, he needed funds for his alchemical experiments.
Heroica includes the option of what is effectively campaign play, allowing characters to retain items they've acquired in previous missions. There's also an option allowing one player to take on the role of the monsters. Further, the rules (which are only about three pages long) encourage you to make your own missions and create your own rules, which my children almost immediately started suggesting. For that alone, I judge Heroica a huge success and I imagine I'll be buying the various expansions in the weeks and months to come (if only to add new monsters and characters). As I remarked to a friend of mine, who plays in my Dwimmermount and Thousand Suns campaigns, "Heroica is a better D&D Starter Set than the D&D Starter Set. Why the heck isn't WotC producing something like this?"