One of the most common questions I am asked about Role Playing Games (RPG) is: How do I start? Followed closely by: How do I introduce it to my kids? In all honesty, it all comes down to storytelling. Bonus points for cute characters and visual cues but the real appeal comes from a game that builds your basic storytelling skills. With a bit of guidance and a handful of creativity, you can encourage anyone to join your imaginative world. Of course, there are some games and kits out there that make it easier than others, though many can still be quite overwhelming at first. That’s where Adorablins is the perfect game to keep in your back pocket.
What is Adorablins?
Adorablins is the cutest storytelling game, perfect for introducing your own goblins to the world of RPGs. To start, you play as an ‘Adorablin’; a cute little critter with a taste for adventure and snacks. Adorablins are goblin-esque creatures who live in a vibrant land that tends to open portals to other worlds. And often things go missing into these portals. And often the Adorablins have to go after them.
Players can choose their Adorablin character along with a companion for the journey. Each Adorablin comes with the basics of character development, mainly their skill set with strengths and weaknesses. Along with the players is the Narrator (aka ‘Dungeon Master’ or DM). The Narrator sets the stage and guides the other players through the adventure.
Adorablins is currently available through Kickstarter until February 4, 2022 (at the time of publication, they had already hit their goal). More on that shortly.
What’s In the Tin?
Part of the charm for Adorablins is the pocket-sized portable nature of the game. Everything you see comes in a small ‘Mint Tin’ you can carry in your pocket, bag, pencil case, or wherever.
How to Play Adorablins
Our family is no stranger to RPGs. However, it was not an easy start to the gameplay. Our eldest (15YO) dived straight into the plethora of rules and lore behind Dungeons & Dragons, more than willing to guide us on all the rules (and how to … stretch them to great benefit). While our 12YO was eager to follow his older brother, both he and our youngest (8YO) took a little longer to understand the storytelling elements. To be completely honest, so did I.
Adorablins is a very easy-to-learn mechanic with visual cues from cards and tokens. Best of all, the Narrator is also given guidance for their role within the gameplay. Everything you need to play is provided in the tin; from cards to tokens to prompts for storytelling. There are no additional books or websites to load on your mobile phone. Everything is contained in one neat pocket-size container. Not only is this easy to maintain, but it also gives you a sense of confidence in playing the game because you know you already have everything you need.
The Narrator starts with four (4) cards and clear instructions–I especially love the friendly note: “Remember to always be a fan of the players!” This is a great motto to hold on to from the beginning. Players each choose one (1) Adorablin card as their Character and one (1) Companion Card. They also take one (1) Action Card and two (2) Snack Tokens. The Narrator invites the players to introduce their Adorablin characters, their companions, and to share what their character is doing today.
“Uh oh! A portal to another world has opened and something from your world just went through it! It’s up to you to go through and bring it back!”
The Narrator’s cards are always there as a prompt to help the storytelling progress, however, they are never the sole feature of the game. The spirit of Adorablins is to play through storytelling, developing the adventure and building a world on your own. The Narrator guides the players with open questions, like What escaped your world? and Where did the portal open to? Along the way, the Narrator will introduce Challenges that require Players to perform actions based on their Adorablin’s skillset and their Action Roll. Sometimes the Narrator will also have their own Moves and consequences. The goal is always to move the story along and have fun.
Adorablins is Perfect for RPG Kids
I cannot think of a better game for GeekMoms (and all geeky parents/carers) to carry in their pocket or bag. I’m planning to buy a few of these for the teachers at our local school! Adorablins is absolutely perfect as both a playable game mechanic and a portable game to take everywhere.
RPG is one of the best ways to encourage creative lateral thinking in our kids. More and more educators understand the benefits of role-playing games to encourage kids lateral thinking and problem-solving skills. The most common reason why kids don’t play RPG is that they are often overwhelmed with world-building elements. If they don’t understand the steps involved, they often react with “oh, that’s dumb” and push it away.
This is where I love Adorablins. The game is very clear in guiding the set-up and expectations without becoming too restrictive in how you play. Everything is provided with prompts and visual cues on how to play but it never tells you what to do. That is for you to create from the prompts. By keeping the game neat in a mint tin, Adorablins becomes a game you can pull out at any time to play.
Adorablins is currently available through Kickstarter, closing on February 4 2022 with delivery currently set for September 2022. Pledges start at USD$9 for Digital-Only copies or go all-out with the Kids RPG Bundle including Adorablins Physical Copy, Adventure Pack, and Questlings RPG Book for USD$35. Check out the details on their Kickstarter page here.
New to Kickstarter? Check out our crowdfunding primer here with GeekDad Jonathan.