Creating Therapeutically-designed Role Playing Games (TdRPG)
S.N.A.P.S. Heroes was created in 2013 by Drew Rowan M.D. and Lead Game Designer Daniel Rowan M.S. BSL, as a therapeutic game system meant to enhance the social skills of players.
Sessions are run with a Game Master, a therapist and up to 6 players. During game play, our players take on the role of a powerful Hero, working together with their team to complete their Mission, defeating the Boss Monster and saving the day. Sessions are meant to be an hour long. Most Missions requiring multiple sessions to complete.
Each class of Hero was designed to have their own strengths and weaknesses, making it so that no one player can complete the Mission all on their own. Instead, the Heroes unique Skills serve to complement one another, giving the players an edge if they are working together.
The S.N.A.P.S. Heroes system is turn based, allowing players to plan and strategize with one another, before actually performing the actions to resolve the challenges set before them.
Employing the S.N.A.P.S. Heroes system, we have created the Games "Heroes of Telluria" and "Legends of Telluria." Available for purchase are our "Heroes Boot Camp" kits, containing 8 introductory Missions to our Heroes of Telluria game. Lead Game Designer Daniel Rowan also created a tactical game titled "S.N.A.P.S. Heroes Squads" which takes place in the world of S.N.A.P.S. Heroes. This purely tactical, competitive game has all overt therapeutic elements removed.
Sessions of "Heroes of Telluria" are currently being played weekly, using Legos(c) at Let's Go Play, Inc. in Media, PA.
The S.N.A.P.S. Heroes System
Designed at it's Core to be a Therapeutic Game System that enhances Social Skills
How Is The TdRPG Different?
TdRPG’s are role playing games that can’t be played without the experience being therapeutic. It is designed at its core, through in-game and specifically designed mechanics, to enhance social skills and address therapeutic goals for players. The therapeutic element is inevitable through game play. Characters, enemies and obstacles are designed so that no one player can do it on their own. Our game is designed specifically as a tool for therapists to use. Other Role Playing Games can be made to include some therapeutic elements, but the original goal of those games is to go on quests or have adventures. We also offer an electronic, video game version of our product.
Enhancing Social Skills
The S.N.A.P.S. Heroes system is designed to intrinsically enhance and work on social skills in a variety of ways. The first and foremost way is simply through the built-in mechanics of the game itself. Just by playing the game, opportunities for teamwork, communication and strategizing are employed at every turn. The system was specifically designed so that no one Hero can win on their own. Additional types of actions beyond the standard "move and attack" actions are used in the game system to further enhance communication and the development of social skills. Teamwork is absolutely vital, as many enemies cannot be defeated by a single Hero alone. Synergy (cooperation between two or more players that results in a combined effect more powerful than their separate actions) exists between all members of the team, but it is up to the players to effectively make use of their skills and adapt when the Game Master inevitably challenges them. From that need for teamwork and strategy inevitably comes communication and ample opportunities to practice social skills. Not working together puts the Heroes at risk of a Game Over scenario, at which point the therapist and Game Master have an opportunity to address what went wrong and how the players will overcome the obstacle, before trying the Mission again. Throughout game play, players will be developing social skills, practicing staying motivated despite difficulties, working with and through potentially emotional situations, all while having fun.
A Dual Run System
S.N.A.P.S. Heroes is traditionally run using a partnered system of Game Master and Therapist. With the Game Master and Therapist each having a separate role, S.N.A.P.S. Heroes sessions employ a powerful therapeutic team, capable of addressing numerous target behaviors, beyond working on social skills. The Game Master is knowledgeable on all things game related, having familiarized themselves with the Heroes, Villains and Mission(s) and rules over all aspects of game play. The Therapist is a Master's level clinician or higher, capable of identifying the needs of a player, as well as any areas of concern that may arise during a player's session. The Therapist meets with the Game Master before and after sessions to discuss these needs, concerns and progress of the players. The Therapist works together with the Game Master to incorporate creative, effective in game interventions, even if these are outside of the interventions listed in the Game Master's guide. Perhaps the Game Master will need to adapt a portion of the plot to better address the need of a player, or a separate system might need to be employed to provide rewards to a player for making good choices. Since each player will be unique, the dual mastery of Game Master and Therapist will help ensure a strong therapeutic team, capable of addressing whatever issues may present themselves during sessions.
Roleplaying in an Expansive World
Welcome players, to the planet Telluria! A massive, futuristic world similar to Earth and inhabited by Tellurians, a species remarkably similar to that of humankind. The main difference between the two is the presence of an abundant and varied crystalline form of energy, oftentimes imbuing elemental aspects. Tellurians have managed to harness this energy in their technology and some individuals, the most gifted of which, can manipulate this energy directly, to great effect. Players will take on the role of a Hero, flung from the far past, into this future world. Joining a clandestine organization known as the Tellurian Defense Force, set to turn back a great evil that plagues the very cosmos itself!
The plot of S.N.A.P.S. Heroes is story driven, spanning over 100+ Missions to date, separated into 12 Chapters. As players progress through the story, the actions they take and the decisions they make interacting with NPC's (Non-Player Characters) and resolving conflicts have a direct impact on their performance in the Missions. On top of all the therapeutic aspects listed above, the very plot of the game is designed to be therapeutic as well. Players will interact with a colorful cast and crew. Some will help and guide them, others will be an obstacle and some will challenge their ability to resolve problems. All of the interactions, both interpersonal between players and those conducted between the player and the Game Master (roleplaying an NPC) are meant to enhance social skills.
Beyond a contiguous plot, each Mission is specifically designed to focus on various therapeutic themes. For example some Missions are focused more on teamwork and coordination, some on social interactions between players and with NPC's and some work towards encountering problems and employing effective strategies to overcome them.
Effective Game Sessions
Additionally, our Game Master's Codex, Player's Guide and Monster Compendium Database contain all of the information a Therapeutic Team would need to start running sessions. They are written for beginners new to turn based role playing games and are an invaluable tool to the Therapeutic Team. With the knowledge and advice contained within these books, the therapeutic team can ensure that game sessions are being used to effectively address areas of concern, reinforce positive behaviors and make sure players are enhancing their social skills at every turn.
One of a kind Therapeutically Designed Role Playing Game (TdRPG)
Unlike other games out there, S.N.A.P.S. Heroes is a Therapeutically Designed Role Playing Game (TdRPG). As the name implies, it was created to be therapeutic at its very core and to and to extend that to all other aspects of the game. The game itself was created entirely from scratch within a unique roleplaying world. The game system, character design and story were created entirely by S.N.A.P.S. Heroes, in order to ensure that therapy was the main focus.
Additionally, S.N.A.P.S. Heroes Boot Camp, existing in electronic format, is the first of it's kind. A therapeutic video game that mirrors a fully designed therapeutic roleplaying game.
S.N.A.P.S. Heroes - A game for every player!
S.N.A.P.S. Heroes has something for everyone! The S.N.A.P.S. Heroes system is used in Heroes of Telluria and Legends of Telluria. Although both are conducted in the same world, with similar Missions, Heroes of Telluria was designed for kids and young adults. Legends of Telluria contains complex, in depth rules and gameplay mechanics, as well as 18+ material.
We are currently producing our Heroes Boot Camp for Heroes of Telluria. It is an introductory kit comprised of 8 one hour long Missions targeting core social skills areas. It is available in a physical or digital format. Order your copy today!
What does S.N.A.P.S. Heroes stand for?
The acronym used stands for Special Needs Archetypal Program for Socialization. (Essentially we are saying that the archetype of Heroes is employed in our games to create scenarios for players to socialize.)
S.N.A.P.S. Heroes - Enhancing Social Skills
Through Game Play
Lead Game Designer Daniel Rowan created this additional Mission for our beta testers at Let's Go Play, Inc. After rushing into an out of control forest, the Ranger found himself in a "sticky situation" (pun fully intended). Watch as our players work together, with some guidance from the Game Master, to overcome this disadvantageous situation. This short clip shows just how powerful the S.N.A.P.S. Heroes system is! Our players learn and grow simply by playing a game.
Media, PA 19063, USA