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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Mini Review - Monster Slayers: The Heros of Hesiod (Free WotC RPG Aimed at 6+)

Monster Slayers is loosely based on D&D - probably 4e, but it's hard to tell. It's simple and gets the player's right in the game, but I do have some issues:

1 - It's got a board, which is pretty limiting to kids imagination I would suspect. It also is heavily reliant on positioning on that board for PC power to be effective. Again, limiting imagination, which is usually the strong point in young kids.

2 - It uses 1d20 or 3d6, depending on the dice one has available, to determine hits, but the spread isn't equal. Here's an example from the rules:
An attack power is made up of the name (such as Massive
Axe), what you roll to try to hit a monster (such as 1d20), the
number you add to the result of that roll (+ 5), and what happens
if you succeed in your roll (such as “Deals 1 point of axe
damage”). If you don’t have access to twenty-sided dice, there
is an alternative using conventional dice (such as 3d6+2). 
To use a Massive Axe attack power, the player rolls one
twenty-sided die and adds 5 to the result. For example, Raen
rolls a 10 and adds 5 to get 15. The player announces the
result, and the Dungeon Master compares it to the monster’s
armor class. If it equals or beats the monster’s armor class,
then the attack succeeds. For example, Raen’s 15 is the same
as the bullette’s armor class of 15, so Raen succeeds in hitting
the bullette.
So follow me on this one: 15 or better hits, which is a roll of 10+5 on the d20 (55% of the time he hits) or 3d6+2 roll which needs 13 with the +2 (about 16% chance).

No, the numbers dont work if you switch dice around.

Not the game I'd use to introduce my niece to gaming, but it is free, so it has that going for it. Maybe others will get some mileage out of this that I won't.

From the blurb:

Are you a parent who wants to share the fun of Dungeons & Dragons with your kids, but you’re worried that the rules are too complicated or a standard adventure would tax their attention spans? Are you a teacher or librarian who would like to introduce your students to the game, but you’re reluctant to take on the regular time commitment of a full-blown campaign?

There are a great many reasons to share D&D with kids. Besides being just the kind of imaginative play that kids naturally engage in, Dungeons & Dragons develops an array of essential educational skills, including:

Math skills
Reading skills
Writing skills
Cooperation and leadership
Creative thinking
We’ve heard from many of you out there that you’ve been wanting to unlock these benefits for your kids, but you feel that they’re not ready for the basic game or you just don’t have the time to run your own campaign. So we put together this variation, based on the new novel for young readers, Monster Slayers by Lukas Ritter. Monster Slayers: The Heroes of Hesiod captures the flavor, fun, and educational benefits of Dungeons & Dragons in a fast-paced, easy-to-learn experience for kids ages six years old and up.

Monster Slayers: The Heroes of Hesiod requires no previous knowledge of Dungeons & Dragons, and all you need to play is included in this adventure, aside from a few dice and pencils (and some friends to play it with). Play time can be as little as fifteen minutes or as long as an hour, depending on how many monsters you run.

Monster Slayers: The Heroes of Hesiod isn’t just for kids. It’s also a fun diversion for experienced players who need their D&D fix but don’t have the time for a full-length game. Or share it with your non-gamer family and friends who claim to be intimidated by the rules of the game. It won’t be long before they’re hooked on the game you love!


  1. My son read the books this was based on and loved them. I'll have to check this one out!

  2. I think you are misunderstanding the text. The +5 is added regardless of which dice roll method you use. Either roll 1d20 + 5 or 3d6+2+5.

    1d20 = 3d6+2

    Not really but close enough if you don't have funky dice.

  3. I'll just leave this here for those interested in introducing small children to RPG's...

    [/shameless plug]

  4. Wouldn't they be better served by reprinting / reskinning one of the TSR Basic Editions?

  5. You're right, the numbers don't work if you swap the dice around.

    Actually with 3d6+2 in place of d20 and to use the above example with an AC of 15 and a +5 modifier (3d6+2+6 vs 15) they would have a 83.8% chance of success. Quite a bit better than the 55% on the d20.

    I'm a 3d6 proponent myself, the +2 is entirely unnecessary, the bell curve is worthy enough on its own.