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Lego Heroica – Castle Fortaan

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I’m sure I wasn’t the only teenager who tried combining D&D and Lego. I took it as far as recording names, stats and equipment for all of my medieval-themed Lego guys, which were quite a lot. Now my kids have inherited those sets, but are still too young to understand the complex rules and hours of gameplay that usually accompany tabletop RPGs.

Luckily, Lego is still around to help bridge that gap. It would be an understatement to say that Lego Heroica is a few grade levels below D&D; it’s even a few below the classic board game HeroQuest. Therefore, it makes a great intro to dungeon delving for youngsters. Like other Lego Games, Heroica must be built before it can be played, which is part of the fun. Even the six-sided die requires assembly. The first module, Castle Fortaan, comes with 304 pieces. It’s listed for ages eight and up, which is probably true for setting up or reading the short rulebook, but my five-year-old follows along just fine with his older brother and me to help him.

Fortaan calls upon the heroes to defeat the Goblin King and recover the Helmet of Protection, which translates to three 10-20 minute missions – though players can easily customize their own. Two to four players cooperate or compete in the roles of Knight, Barbarian, Wizard, or Druid, each with a special skill otherwise available only to the bearer of a particular weapon. For example, the axe allows a hero to defeat all adjacent monsters when the Heroica shield is rolled, but the Barbarian may do so without the axe. That axe – or sword or strength potion or gold coin – is a physical Lego object retained in each player’s “Hero Pack,” the game’s equivalent of a character sheet. It’s pretty satisfying to pick up the little keys or other trophies from the map and place them on your Pack, or, between adventures, to buy new little weapons from the “store.” The rules are fairly straightforward and easy to remember, allowing for – and even encouraging – house rules and creative expansion, made easier by additional modules, monsters, and heroes.

You and your little gamers can try out Lego Heroica for free using the Castle Fortaan online web game, or check out the official Heroica comic video below!

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