“… You manage to battle your way through the pirates,” the Storyteller describes, “which now leaves the way clear for you all to reach the ship’s aftcastle. The rain has stopped, but the deck is still slick with rain and sea water, and there are loud rumbles above you from the remaining thunderstorm. Other than this, and the crash of waves against the huge Brigantine ship, all is quiet…”
“I don’t like where this is going…” Sam, the Healer, quietly says
The Storyteller smiles. “Suddenly there’s a crack of lightning in front of you, revealing the silhouette of an imposing figure at the helm. He stands at twice your height, with a tall plume sticking out of a ragged bicorn hat. A well-worn coat adorned with gold buttons and chains hides most of his figure, reaching all the way down to his cracked leather boots. But these aren’t the first thing you notice. That would go to his scowl, with eyes burning with anger and teeth either yellowed or simply missing.
“‘Well then,’ the captain growls, ‘I see some bilge rats managed to escape. That goes to show how useless my crew can be…’”
“Hey,” Jesse the Ranger pipes up, talking to the Storyteller. “How far away am I from him?”
The Storyteller thinks about it for a moment. “…About 40 feet away?”
“Okay. Can I move forward a little bit and try to attack while he’s talking?”
“Sure thing, just roll your dice and let me know what you get.”
Jesse grabs two dice and rolls them. With a scowl, she says “A one and a two…”
“Ouch…” the Storyteller winces. “Alright… So you move a few steps forward, and nock an arrow. You pull back, aim for a moment while the pirate captain says something to the others, and release. The arrow whizzes through the air, and strikes the captain dead center of his chest. So true was your aim, in fact, that it bounces off of one of his buttons, the one that is keeping the heavy coat on his shoulders. Both the button and the arrow go flying off in different directions, and the coat slumps down onto the wet wood behind him.”
“Hey!” Malcolm the Knight sneers, talking to the Captain, “You dropped something!” The adventurers all share a laugh.
The storyteller continues, “The pirate captain, who was in the middle of saying something about throwing you to the sharks, stops mid-word to see the coat slip off of his shoulders. ‘On second thought…’ the captain rumbled, ‘I think I’ll just do the deed myself.’ As he says this, he unsheathes a large curved cutlass with a cold metal shriek.”
“Oh yeah?” Sam pipes up. “Well… I hope you can swim! Because you’re gonna go overboard and we’ll take the boat back home ourselves!”
“The captain roars ‘To arms, men!’, and seemingly out from the shadows around you appear four crewmembers, two armed with crossbows and two with rusty shortswords. It looks like talking isn’t going to work for this situation, so you’ll have to defend yourselves!”
… Curious to hear what happened next? This is one of the many adventures that can be had when you play Hero Kids at the Osterville Village Library!
Hero Kids is a tabletop RPG aimed for ages 6 to 10 (anyone can play, though!) that focuses on action, strategy, puzzle-solving, and role-playing, with need for a strong imagination. Tabletop RPGs, or Role-Playing Games, are a way of having a game that takes place mainly in the imagination of the players. In a way, it’s an elaborate form of storytelling. One person, acting as the Storyteller, will narrate the setting and the situation the adventurers find themselves in. The players in turn describe what their characters plan to do to get around the problem. It doesn’t work for them every time, though; players will need to roll dice to see if they succeed with their plans. High numbers mean it worked! Low numbers mean it didn’t. And from there, the adventure twists and turns so that no two games are alike.
Confused as to how it works? Most of the time, RPGs can take time to learn how to play. Hero Kids differs from most; it takes about 15 minutes to learn how to play fully, and can cause hours of fun! And the best part about it? All you need are some regular 6-sided dice, a pencil, and some paper, along with the materials provided with the game book (all of which we have, so all YOU need to bring is yourself!). No electronics or over-the-top setups are needed, as long as you can bring your imagination to the table too!
The Osterville Village Library has many different adventures to choose from, and there are many times throughout the year where games are open to play for those who want to sign up (because of the nature of the game, there’s a limit of 5 players at a time, so sign up early!). Games can, on special request, be scheduled privately as well (talk to Ethan or leave your information at the circulation desk if you’re interested). We hope to see all you young wizards, knights, and healers soon!
~ staff member Ethan