Tuesday 5 March 2013

Goblin Quest, battle report.

Rab over at Rab’s Geekly Digest has put together a little game to play with his five year old. Called Goblin quest it pits heroic knights and their retainers against hordes of evil monsters in search of adventure, fame and gold. Now the clear selling point of the game is it can be played with a five year old, a common theme I’m noticing these days. Just look at Gygax magazine or a host of games on RPG Now/Drive thru RPG. People really want to play RPG like games with their young children, are we the first generation to do this? Perhaps the generation of dads before us were too old when they started in the hobby and never went through the stage of being very young and wanting to play like us 30 some-things?

I digress, last Sunday night my eldest, Arthur, a 4.5 year old of reasonably sound mind and I decided to give the game a go. We were ably assisted by the dice losing Wilfy. Now the game is still in development and I guess it is fair to say is a labour of love, Rob has asked for feedback and emailing him would probably be the right way to do this. I don’t want this to be a full blown review post but a few fundamentals are worth exploring. It is rules light as you may expect and book keeping is at a minimum thanks to the use of descending collections of poly dice for combat and as a inbuilt health check. All well and good. Movement is by dice which we had to house rule out due to impatience on, well both our parts. We had no Knight and retinue but a hero adventurer and assisting dwarf and elf, they had the same stats as the knight and retinue though so we were testing Robs game as written.

EDIT: A few further points due to requests.

We liked and really enjoyed the game but we did alter it slightly to make it run faster, even given that we didn't get very far mainly because a good 15 minutes (spoiler alert!)was spent in anguish over the elfs death. Noooooooo!

Main take away pionts:

As a rule set it is quite seamless and easy to understand even for a 4 year old. 

It could do with being faster but that may just be myself and Arthur. I'd be inclined to have one dice monsters and more of them. I may well try it that way next time.

It was lots of fun.

The point of course is to have fun so without further ado I present our Goblin Quest Battle report.


  1. Great report, and I really like your cavern tiles. Where are they from?

    Was expecting some sort of conclusion and opinion on the system, cause after reading the intro it sort of seemed like you weren't exactly swept off your feet.

    1. Sorry if you got that from the post I'm not underwhelmed. As I said this is a game in the design stage that can be got and tried for nothing so a thorough review isn't really needed at this stage. The main thing is I'm gaming with my 4 year old...whats not to like. However I'll clarify a few points in the main text.

    2. Oh the caverns are fat dragon games, though I really like the old school look of Inked adventures and may finally buy some so I can swap quests with anyone interested.

  2. Great stuff, Erny! Looks like the little knight had a blast gaming with you, which is the whole point, after all :)

    Any and all constructive criticism is more than welcome.

    1. Yeah thanks Rab, I think you have a gem of an idea here, possibly different kids are going to want it to run faster or slower. AJ certainly needed it faster bu that could be all the difference of half a year.

    2. Cheers Erny, especially for expanding your post. I shall certainly add 1-dice monsters to the "things to ponder" list. I think you're right, it's going to come down to attention span which varies so much within the same kid, never mind between different kids!

  3. You know, I'll have to mentioned this to my mate Geoff. He games with his kid regularly. Perhaps we can even get you an interview on our next Chaos of the Warp podcast Rab? Next show is in two weeks time. Sent me an email to brian@leadlegion.com if you'd like to join us for a quick interview. Doesn't haven't to be in two weeks. We can always pre-record it if that works better for your schedule?

  4. Goblinquest looks mighty interesting. I will let you know how it goes, in five years time. :( (Hurry up and grow damn you!) A selection of weak minions and higher level baddies should make the game applicable to all ages, from the prodigies to the most hyperactive of kids, those for whom ADD definitely does NOT stand for Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.

    I noticed the author felt unsure about the name on his site. How about Cavern Quest? Googling didn't come up with anyone already using it (well, the first 2 pages anyway, and I NEVER go past page 2...there lies madness).

    He can have the name for a mere 20%. :)

  5. Be a knight and do it right! Good to hear your lad puled through - the loss of an Elf is never easy!

    I also rather like your cavern tiles Erny - my lad just got to watch me cutting out the free tiles I printed off of Dave's King's Miniatures blog in preparation for the game we ran out of time for and was trumped by bathtime!

    Ah well, there's always this weekend. I'll have to do a little report lke yours too. My lad certainly enjoyed the last game we tried and I'm keen to try out Rab's first quest. Might even paint up a knight as our HArry is also a fan of Mike the Knight.

  6. Get yourself over to RPGnow then, GMs day sale runs all week and these tiles along with loads of others are on sale.

    No hero can hope to continue beyond bath time, it is the squeeky clean end that awaits them all.

  7. Hi Erny,

    I saw your post in the LAF and got curious.

    what a nice report!
    Our daughter is 2.5 years old and I can't wait until she's old enough for such shenanigans.


  8. Monty,

    About the same age as Wilfy, he's super keen knows the names of the monsters but doesn't yet get the concepts, i'm sure you'll have a blast with your little girl in a couple of years time. I can't wait to have an adventuring party when Wilfy gets there!

    Great blog by the way.


  9. I am overwhelmed with the cute. What a lovely blog post!