Innovating RPG for Parents

Ampersand RPG has reduced the burden of preparation and game management by creating standalone, all-in-one-box Adventures.

Innovating RPG for Parents
This is a community submitted press release.

With the popularity of Harry Potter, Adventure Time and Stranger Things, the zeitgeist of Dungeons & Dragons and Roleplaying Games has become a common topic in modern day families, even among the youngest of members. Today, almost every grade-school child has been tempted with Dungeon Master-lead after school programs and eclectic classroom curriculum integrating roleplaying games. But for the uninitiated novice parent, it can be a difficult endeavor to provide a fulfilling gameplay environment for their kids at home. Countless expensive rulebooks, expansion tomes and epic modules can be daunting to collect and decipher.

Rules from Scratch – out of necessity

Back in 2018 or so, three dads with similarly-aged kids – had a nostalgic hankering to play Dungeons & Dragons with their children, but were confronted with this massive world of today's RPGs and didn't know where to begin. Over the passing decades since they played as kids, the world of Dungeons & Dragons had grown into a colossal beast, and surprisingly, there wasn't a robust RPG system out there that would be simple enough for young kids to play and for busy parents to administer. So they made their own from scratch, gradually inventing and redesigning game components to better suit younger players and to keep the focus on humor and storytelling instead of combat and horror.  The result is Ampersand RPG.

Ampersand RPG has reduced the burden of preparation and game management by creating standalone, all-in-one-box Adventures: instead of buying multiple rulebooks, figurines, and dice, each ScreenBox Adventure contains everything you need to play. And it's all contained in a box that ingeniously unfolds to become the GameMaster's Screen! While the general idea and gameplay spirit will be very familiar to experienced players of RPGs, the new innovations integrated are a unique, charming, and refreshing take, specifically designed to be engaging for kids and easy for parents to GM. Each Adventure provides hours of storytelling and interactive creative play... a welcome break from digital screens.

Mages & Macrophages

About a year ago, Ampersand published their first Adventure, Mages & Macrophages. All items and equipment in the game are represented by Loot Tokens. Each creature or ally encountered has a unique Monster Card with Health Point tracking. And each player creates and owns a Character Folio which can physically hold collected Loot Tokens. All of this is housed in an innovative game box that unfolds to become the GameMaster's Screen, complete with story text printed on the inside and Loot Tokens organized in a hide-away flap, ready for action.

The story in Mages is about a terrible virus that has taken over the world. Sound familiar? But there's hope. Your rag-tag group may be the only thing that can prevent global annihilation! You discover that a crazed scientist may hold the key to saving the world…or destroying it. Fight off a Zombie horde, shrink down inside a human body, and solve the puzzle to find a cure for a global pandemic in this timely epic. It’s The Walking Dead meets Fantastic Voyage! 

The game is easy to set up with fast onboarding and light rules described in 6 pages. This is not only for the benefit of impatient kids, but also the newbie parent GameMaster. It focuses on the fun: tactile game components, engaging story and artwork, and numerous opportunities to make hilarious memories.

Gameplay can last between three to five hours, but the story is discretely subdivided in Acts and Rooms, so it can be consumed it in shorter game sessions. Kids love it – and so do parents who've been looking for something like this for a long time.

Mages is published and available today. Learn more about this game at

LoadOut on Kickstarter

Mages & Macrophages was very well-received. Kids couldn't get enough, and repeatedly asked the same question: "When's the next one coming out?" It takes a lot of time and funding to develop a complete Ampersand-style boxed game, so in the meantime, Ampersand RPG is planning on some new ideas.

With a Kickstarter launched in mid-Feb (ending March 16, 2024), Ampersand will publish the first issue of LoadOut: a regularly-published FanZine. Ad-free and fun-filled, LoadOut is replete with gameplay tips and tricks, word games, status on upcoming projects and – most importantly – every issue will have a "Skirmish".  This is a short, 30-minute Adventure for kids to play and get some sweet Loot Tokens, meet some interesting foes, and earn XP. 

The inaugural issue of LoadOut will feature the Skirmish Adventure "Outpost B-9" which takes place on an abandoned spaceship! What happened on board? Who abandoned this vessel... and why? Can your party deduce the fate of the crew... and why they may have left something behind specifically for you? 

Visit to learn more about the company and founders.

Definitely reserve your copy of LoadOut. Kickstarter ends 3/16/24