I realize that I’m a little late to the party, but I just discovered Heroica!
I was wandering through the internet this morning, and saw on Grognardia that James and his family spent New Year’s Eve playing a game I had never heard of before: LEGO Heroica. Apparently, it came out last summer and somehow it has escaped my notice until now.
It seems that LEGO has an entire line of these mini-adventures. You set up the LEGO map, and move around by rolling a special LEGO die. If you land next to a monster, you must fight it (by rolling the die to determine the outcome). You can either: defeat the monster, take damage, or both. If you are reduced to zero health, you are pushed back one space and lose one or more turns while you heal (healing is randomly determined by the die).
According to Brickapedia (the LEGO wiki), there are four potions (“Life” to restore 2 health, “Luck” to re-roll the die, “Speed” to move up to 4 extra spaces, and “Strength to defeat an adjacent monster), various magical weapons, treasure, and other items that characters collect during their adventure. There are six character types: Wizard, Rogue, Barbarian, Druid, Knight, Ranger. Each type of character has a different special ability.
I have to admit that I am more than a little impressed. The quality of the LEGO products has always been first rate. The creativity to come up with this new line astounds me. But the design and implementation of these adventures amazes me to no end. They didn’t just take an idea and throw something together. It looks like they put a lot of thought into the system to come up with something that is extremely simple, yet challenging and entertaining. This looks like something I’d like to play.
Also surprising is the price. I think LEGO kits in general are pretty over-priced, so I expected the price tag on these adventures to shock me. Instead, the simplest one starts at under $15 (very reasonable imo). There are a number of sets, which go up in price in relation to their size, but remain reasonable even for the larger sets.
What really excites me about these adventures is that they extend role-playing games into an entirely new (and very mainstream) market. These kits could very well get an entire generation excited about rpgs.