Kickstarting Adventure Maximus

58e22d_6c6989fa82441d223c1c6517c68e51c9.png_srz_969_215_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_png_srzThe folks at Eden Studios (producers of tabletop roleplaying gems like Conspiracy X and All Flesh Must Be Eaten) launched a Kickstarter this month to raise funds for a new RPG for kids: Adventure Maximus. Designed and illustrated by gamer dad Francis James Hogan, it’s a card-based game that allows kids to create characters and start playing in minutes. It comes in a box the size of a hardcover book stuffed with 162 custom, full-color cards, a full-color rulebook, and a set of five custom dice.

Eden Studios sent me a prototype of the game to check out, and it’s a solid package. If you’ve ever played D&D before — or most other tabletop RPGs — you already know how to play Adventure Maximus. It’s a straightforward system in which players get cards that depict their character’s race, class, spells, powers, and items. Each player takes on the role of a single character in the game, except for the Maximus Master, who runs the game for the players.

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The most innovative part of the game is the random adventure generator, which uses cards to create a quest to play through. It’s slick and fast and easy enough to work that kids can even run the adventures on their own, without needing a parent to keep watch over their shoulders.

The Kickstarter drive smashed through its funding goal fast, and it’s reaching for stretch goals right now. At the $35 level, you get the game shipped to your US door, plus an exclusive 18-card promo pack of cards, plus all those stretch goals. Those currently include:

  • The Court of Darkness 18-card expansion pack.
  • A four-page PDF of printable figure flats.
  • The Dungeon of Dread 18-card expansion pack.
  • The Maximus Master Screen.
  • The Peglegs & Pilots 18-card expansion pack.
  • The Island of the Shining Lady 18-card expansion pack.

They also have a slew of add-ons available, including the Star Maximus preview pack, deluxe Maximus Dice, t-shirts, a poster map, dice bags and card holders, coloring books, blank cards, blank character sheets, character folios, and even a USB flash drive.

If you’re looking to introduce your kids to fantasy roleplaying games and they’re not quite old enough to leap straight into D&DAdventure Maximus should be a perfect fit. The Kickstarter runs until June 4, so check it out if you want to get in on the deal.

Disclaimer: I’ve written things for Eden Studios before — an award-winning zombie-superhero story from years ago — and company owner George Vasilakos is a friend. He makes great games. 

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Award winning author and game designer and father of five, including a set of quadruplets. For more about him and his work, visit