Rainy Day Game Design


On Columbus Day, the boys were home from school, Daddy had the day off work, and they had some time to create their own indoor fun. See how diligently they’re all working?


They designed their own board game, Warrior Quest, complete with beeswax player characters, weapons, a movement system, four regions with corresponding monsters, cards for drawing and battling monsters (even ones that caused you to skip a turn or two), a hit points and damage system to deal with battles and winning or losing. Players could level up and become more powerful through experience so that when they finally confronted the top boss, they would have a chance to defeat him.


The icy world was inhabited by a Viking with a mighty hammer and its resident monster was a polar bear. Beating the polar bear earned you a hammer for your arsenal. I think this might have been influenced by Lucas’s fourth-grade Waldorf curriculum—Norse mythology.



The volcanic world was the home of the dwarf and his fiery dragon. Asher is all about dragons.


In the middle of the board was a crossroads where you could earn gems by battling monsters. Each gem you earned incrementally reduced the damage you would take if a monster bested you. You needed one of each color.


This is the biggest, baddest big-nosed goblin boss standing atop his castle. You could only confront him after you’d traveled through three foreign lands, bested their three monsters, and earned a weapon from each—oh, and you also had to beat the goblin’s two big-nosed minions who were standing guard (one of whom seems to be down in this photo). During playtesting, we mutually decided that your region’s monster could join you in the final battle, adding his die roll to yours. Without this boost, the big boss was just too tough. Good thing you had a friendly monster on your side!


This is the desert nomad player. The desert monster was a giant scorpion. If you beat it, you earned a sword. The forest world had a bowman for a player character and a giant black spider monster. You got a bow for beating this creepy creature.


When all the game design was done, we all played Warrior Quest together. Dinner interrupted our game temporarily, and rather than move everything, we ate on the floor.


I have to say, it was totally fun. We had to keep track of our points with, like, math. We had to gain experience and weaponry and go on a great journey with perils and setbacks.


My sweet guys spent four solid hours on this project. They all stayed involved and contributing. Ian credits the book Geek Dad for inspiring him, and assorted board and role-playing games for some help with game mechanics. But it was all new to the kiddos. Apparently Asher wanted to add a whole cash economy to the game, and Lucas wanted there to be more magic with spells and stuff. Both ideas might have been cool additions, but that sort of thing would have delayed the PLAYING of the game, and frankly, you cannot spent four hours working on something when you’re 4 years old and then NOT get to play it at the end!


And Asher won!

2 Responses to “Rainy Day Game Design”

  • e l l a
    October 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    That is the coolest thing! Awesome 😉


  • Ritsa
    October 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    As a die-hard board game geek, I just have to say that this is the coolest thing ever. And I totally want to play it. Especially if Ian plays with his shirt off. 😉

    Asher’s cash economy and Lucas’ magic system sound like two excellent expansion sets for their game. There are a bunch of rainy days ahead; they’ll have plenty of chances to refine and add on.


Leave a Reply

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

  • Buy Our Festivals E-Books

  • Archives

  • Tags

  • Categories


  • Meta