Crafty Quest Box 2: Prophecy of the Elder Tooth – An Interview With Michael Best (Kids Arcanum)

Almost two years ago I spoke with Michael Best about his all-ages RPG crafting project, the Crafty Quest Box. After introducing many kids to RPGs, he’s back to talk about his new boxed set of crafting and RPG options.

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EGG EMBRY (EGG): Michael, thanks for talking with me. You have a new Kickstarter up, what can you share about Crafty Quest Box 2: Prophecy of the Elder Tooth?
: Thanks for having me! Box 2 is a continuation of the adventure we started in 2020 with the original Crafty Quest Box. We left the story a little open ended in case there was demand for another part of the story. Lo and behold, people asked for more! Box 2 picks up right where Box 1 leaves off. To cut back on costs, the box is physically smaller and it is a little bit shorter of an adventure, but it still packs a whollop of adventure! It is meant to be an expansion quest but can be played as a great standalone activity. Just like Box 1, everything you need is included in the box, so you can accomplish this quest anywhere!

EGG: Who’s the target audience for this boxed set?
: The best age groups for this adventure would probably be 5 – 12. It does really depend on the kid though. Older kids who still enjoy crafting and haven’t yet discovered D&D (for example) will still vibe on this! It’s also a great way for parents who want to ease their kids into roleplaying to get to share in the adventure. Younger kids needs a story teller, but older kids can do this on their own. Everything you need is included in each box. Crack it open and play on!

EGG: In this adventure, you’re introducing new RPG concepts to the players, correct?
: Yes! The first box had character sheets and a fantasy map (for example) and this expansion adventure introduces them to the concepts of spells, spellbooks, spell components, magic items, and familiars! We want to keep building on the concepts of character development and the backstory of each item and ability. As an avid D&D player, backstory is always my favorite part of character building!

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EGG: The box includes a number of crafting options. For the one where the players hatch a dragon familiar, what’s included?
: The crafting activities are super fun! The first activity is an original shadowbox designed by my brilliant wife. It is a clockwork owl that the kids meet at the start of the adventure. They paint the box, let it dry, and then assemble the owl. It can then be hung in a fun place to keep watch over them! The second activity is a ceramic dragon they can paint that represents the Elder Tooth, a main character in the story. The last activity is a Dig it Up! dragon they can “hatch”! The dragon then becomes their familiar, another gaming concept we want to introduce kids to.

EGG: Some of these funds raised here go to a school club, yes? What can you share about the club?
: Our free fantasy themed after school club was on pause for a long time due to the pandemic. Thanks to some amazing and dedicated parent volunteers we are back with a vengeance though! Our first session this school year had over 30 kids of all elementary school ages. We taught them some very basic roleplaying skills and ran weekly mini adventures. The kids also did a good deal of crafting! Our next session will be targeted to older kids with a heavy focus on D&D and roleplaying games. The club is free for all and donation based with Kids Arcanum picking up the remainder of the costs. Kids get VERY HANGRY at the end of the school day, so rest assured some of the proceeds from this project will go towards adventuring provisions!

EGG: Who is producing the artwork on this project?
: Bruce Tracy is our fabulous local artist doing the box design again! A portion of the proceeds will go to him to pay for his expertise.

EGG: It’s been almost two years since we talked about your first Crafty Quest Box. Did the Kickstarter for the first one go smoothly?
: It was a roaring success! We were able to fund and distribute 150 boxes to our backers and enabled us to distribute over 150 more boxes at local faires and events. It was an honor to bring this adventure to so many young adventurers.

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EGG: You took this around to in-person events. What kind of feedback did you from from the players and the parents?
: I can’t describe how rewarding it is to have parents approach me and thank me at events and tell me how much their kids loved the first box and STILL continue to play with the components months after the fact. This is really a fantastic way for parents who don’t know a lot about gaming to get their feet wet as well and connect with their children. Gamer parents have told me that their young ones play the quest boxes while they themselves are playing an adult game, and it makes the kids feel like part of the adventure. Little kids are always eager to chat about their characters too, and honestly, it’s incredibly heart warming. I get tons of great feedback from homeschooling parents also that vibe on this product in a big way. The common theme amongst all of them is always a very excited, “when the next box is coming out?” So here we are!

EGG: Do you have to play Crafty Quest Box 1 before you can play this one or can this adventure standalone?
: This can certainly be done as a standalone. The story is continuous so there would be an element missing for a new player that has not experienced in Box 1, but the instructions are very clear and we are trying to make it appeal to newcomers as well with a short recap in the intro. The first box is also included as an Add-on so a new player could certainly order both and complete them in order. You won’t be disappointed if this is new to you!

EGG: Beyond Crafty Quest Box 2, are you working on anything else for RPGs?
: We have partnered up with many different organizations in our quest to spread the love of roleplaying to kids. We have hosted successful fantasy/medieval events with our school PTO and will be doing a few more events this year with local charities, libraries, and schools. We also host fantasy themed birthday parties! You can also find us shouting huzzah to our heart’s content at the Maine and New Hampshire Ren Faires this year.

EGG: Thanks for your time and for making something cool to introduce kids to RPGs. Where can fans find you online?
: Thank YOU for asking about this project. We are very proud of it and of the work we do with the community to get kids involved in the fantasy genre. We are on Facebook, Instagram, and our main site.

Crafty Quest Box 2: Prophecy of the Elder Tooth from Kids Arcanum
  • END DATE: Tue, March 7 2023 4:01 PM EST.
  • “Following the success of our first Crafty Quest Box, we've created an expansion box featuring a brand new adventure and crafts!”

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