Heros Journey Home

 Game: Hero’s Journey Home  Players: 1 (2 or more with more dice)
 Publisher: Graham Cranfield  Age: 12+
 Time: 10- 30 minutes
Heros Journey Home

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jyhtrI am what you would call a novice gamer. I’m using the term game in the broadest sense possible, because I am almost completely new to what the world of games has to offer. From tabletop games, down to the classic game console–I consider myself completely inexperienced. That being said, I was recently introduced to this world approximately 4 months ago, and have been completely consumed by this world of tabletop games ever since.

Prior to playing a tabletop game (aside from the quintessential Monopoly or LIFE), I was asked to participate in a Pathfinder game as a 4th player. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, and found myself completely lost during the entire game. Thankfully I was playing with 3 other dudes who were completely patient with my lack of understanding for the Pathfinder world. If you all aren’t familiar with this world, there’s a shit ton of story-making and creativity involved. Although I don’t believe that I am the most creative person in the world, I definitely did not consider myself as the least–until I played Pathfinder. Don’t get me wrong, the game play itself was entertaining, and it was definitely fun playing with friends; however, having little to no experience with RPGs (role playing games) and all games for that matter, made Pathfinder painfully difficult for me to fully enjoy the experience.

indietabletop was recently sent “Heros Journey Home,” a tabletop game created by Graham Cranfield. I was particularly excited about this game because of the artwork. The theme of the art is carried throughout the entire game–from the packaging, to the card design, to the individual character graphics, down to the clever idea paper gold (aka money). The artwork on the character side of the card is very much Where the Wild Things Are meets Andy Warhol–the line work is just enough, and the colors are bold but minimal. The rule book at a first glace seems a bit daunting in that it is rather wordy; however this rule book is completely necessary for the purpose of the game, and will help you in terms of understanding the basics of an RPG world. After playing this game through with one other player, I wish I stumbled across this game a few months back, before diving head on into a Pathfinder game. This is essentially the gateway drug to the entire realm of Pathfinder and all games alike.

Perhaps the biggest setback for me as a gaming novice is that I require extremely thorough instructions in order to be able to play and appreciate a game. Since I’ve beengame_in_progress introduced to the tabletop community, I find that there are a large number of individuals who could skim through a rule book and understand how to execute the game play right away. Then, there are a number of individuals like myself, who don’t really understand how to play the game until the game has been played a number of times through. “Heros Journey Home” does everything correct in terms of what I look for in a tabletop game. Thorough instructions go a really long way for a tabletop player like me, and I fully appreciate all the time and effort that has gone into making this rule book alone. Each page is filled with breakdowns of individual characters, and includes visuals as well. The scoring system is explained in a way that is damn near flawless, and I can’t think of a better way to keep track of health points than with a die. When it comes time for enemies to attack, the base card value (roll needed to hit, this is similar to the armor class in Pathfinder) and health points of the monsters are clearly indicated on the card itself.  What I also appreciate about what Graham provides to us is found on the backside of the rulebook, that gives you a cheat sheet, if you will, of what needs to be rolled by the attacker in order to break the base value/AC of the attackee (when you play games like Pathfinder, the addition and subtraction can become cumbersome, so having a chart to list out the possible outcomes is a huge plus).

All in all, the game play is really simple and is interactive. There is room for variants in the game that can make the game competitive or cooperative, depending on how you want to play it. The game itself can be played as one or two player game, but can definitely be played as a 3 or 4 if you get yourselves more dice. If you are thinking about becoming more experienced with the RPG world, I definitely think that you should give this game a try, as it provides a concise and visual explanation of how the world typically works.


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Stephanie Am

Produces art in the form of food. Favorite mechanics include bluffing and deduction, set collection , point to point movement, and tile placement. Favorite video game genre is Puzzle games.

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