Anyway, Lance is a Legomaniac. Seriously. He loves the Legos.
We played air hockey for a few games but eventually I couldn't resist busting out the new Lego Heroica set I bought. He was instantly captivated.
Being the incorrigible DM that I am, I couldn't help but tinker with the rules. I explained to him that we were going to explore the complete castle (3 games; different layouts). During the first two games, whatever magic or treasure we found, we would carry that over to the next game. If our characters died in the first two games, they could regenerate and we could regenerate all our hit points between session. In the final session, if we died -- we were out. We'd need to team up to defeat the goblin king.
In my back pocket I had a rule that if no one character made progress during a turn, the goblin king would get one random reinforcement from the goblin jar. Never had to use that. Lance didn't fool around.
The first game was occupied mostly by Lance getting a handle on what his characters could do. He took the knight and the wizard. I took the barbarian and the druid. Basically, you roll the Lego die to move and if you end up fighting you roll the die again to fight. The one symbol that is common to both rolls is the shield. If you roll a shield during movement, you can use your ranged power. If you roll a shield during combat you can use your melee skill. Here's a picture of a page from the rules. You can see what the character skills are at the bottom:
During game two, we started to discuss strategy. We talked about what weapons we should buy with our gold and who should have them. We discussed who should have the potions. The weapons duplicate the skills of each warrior. That way, you could have a barbarian (close combat) who also has the staff (healing).
When the map was laid out for Game 2, we talked about what we'd do first and if we should split the party (in Lego this is a good idea). We talked about what order we should visit the rooms and we made sure we'd have enough keys to open the locked doors.
During Game 3, I really thought Lance would be afraid that his characters would die. He wasn't. At one point, his knight with only 2 HPs left charged a green and grey goblin. The green does 1 if you lose in battle; the grey does 2. He took on the green first and won. Then he took on the grey. That could have been the end. Nope. He rolled a shield and took him out. High-fives across the table.
At the end of the battle, we had to go 1:1 with the goblin king. My barbarian had a potion of strength (instant kill) and I told Lance to just wait. Nope. He ran right in with his knight and rolled a sword. Dead goblin king.
"Ha! I got him! I didn't have to wait for you!" He was really proud of himself.
Great game, great fun. This just might be the "gateway drug" that the OSR needs. A few rules tweaks and you've really got something.
Proposed Rules Tweaks for Heroica to OSR conversion (not playtested yet):
- All damage is 1. You can attack diagonally. Monsters take multiple hits to kill based on their color.
- Spend gold for healing potions (heal 2 pts; 3 gold)
- No regeneration.
- If the heroes fool around and don't make progress toward the goal, add one random monster to the board in unexplored areas.
- Maybe have a GM and reveal the dungeon one room at a time.
- Allow the monsters to move (I think this is already in the rules). Wandering monsters from explored areas when the GM rolls a shield during monster movement.