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Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Sunday March 24th, 2013 2:35am
by mikemacdee
I see a lot of unfinished Quest Pack projects on here and it makes me sad -- this poor forum seems more abandoned every time I visit, and it makes me hesitant to bother posting in any threads sometimes, let alone start my own. I don't intend to add to the list of unfinished Quest Packs though: the campaign I'm working on isn't finished, but it's getting there. It doesn't have new rules or mechanics to slow development, just straight-up adventuring with the base game (mostly). It is currently 8 Quests strong, and the biggest obstacle has been fixing kinks in the story.

EDIT: Available now at this page, under "Campaigns."

INTRODUCTION
The worst of it is, it really was your own stupid fault the guild banished you, and that work had been so hard to come by ever since. But guild leaders came and went many times in the small number of years that passed. They'd said on your last visit that a mere letter was your salvation: a letter of recommendation from a local lord praising your skill and reliability. To but brandish that letter would win you your life back. Your travels had brought you to the city of Kale in the Arden highlands, lorded by the eighth master of Castle Valmont -- eighth in a long line of loud, brazen, brawl-loving Valmonts -- and thus it was the Valmont signature you sought.
That was before he became the first Valmont to have his castle overrun by greenskin maurauders. Utterly, completely overrun, like ants on a cake.
So here you sit in a dirty army tent with several other sorry-looking fellows who are perhaps in the same rickety boat as you -- disgraced and desperate for that wondrous piece of parchment, the Valmont signature glowing at the bottom. You were summoned, as were they, by the chief of Castle Valmont's guard, Reinhardt, for an undisclosed purpose. Outside the air is thick and rank with the screams and grunts and crashes of a siege going on its second week.
Reinhardt's lieutenant marches into the tent, gestures to you all, then marches right back out. You try to swallow, but haven't the spit for it. Whatever this new job is, it can't be good, or they wouldn't have handed it to someone as expendable as you.

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Sunday March 24th, 2013 4:38am
by Sjeng
mikemacdee wrote:this poor forum seems more abandoned every time I visit, and it makes me hesitant to bother posting in any threads sometimes, let alone start my own.

I have to disagree with you on that one. We're getting new members weekly. And maybe not all of them are very active, or active for a long time, but we ARE growing, and we do have a very steady group of faithful and active members.
But I agree on the fact that I'd also like to see the unfinished quests finished someday. But it's often an issue of time. I myself am also working on some Sir Ragnar quests, but it's going slowly. Married life with a fulltime job and a baby will do that :)

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Sunday March 24th, 2013 4:42am
by mikemacdee
Sjeng wrote:
mikemacdee wrote:this poor forum seems more abandoned every time I visit, and it makes me hesitant to bother posting in any threads sometimes, let alone start my own.

I have to disagree with you on that one. We're getting new members weekly. And maybe not all of them are very active, or active for a long time, but we ARE growing, and we do have a very steady group of faithful and active members.

That's pretty exciting, then. Pretty much all the forums I used to frequent have become graveyards haunted only by one or two senior members, and I sorta dread that happening here when I only just got back into this game.

I just finished the first draft of this campaign and am now wondering how I'll go about testing it. In the meantime I was looking over said Sir Ragnar thing and I love the quest map you guys set up.

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Monday March 25th, 2013 6:51pm
by mikemacdee
Update! First draft is available via the link in the first post. Won't be able to fully test it myself anytime soon.

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Tuesday March 26th, 2013 2:46am
by Daedalus
Like Sjeng said. There's definitely something to be exciteted about. Glad you're on board for the ride right now.
drathe wrote:2012 has been a fantastic year for our community. We've grown considerably and had more community members involved than ever before! Great advances in HeroScribe have lead to Derfel Link creating many Icon Packs and Multiple Boards. Patroclus developed some great programs for making cards, quests and booklets. The forums are full of great cards created by members for everyone to use. Our gallery Artchives are swelling with artwork for members to use in creating their quests and cards. It's a good time to be (back) into HeroQuest! :D

File downloads for 2012 have increased 197%, and Website usage has increased 258%. We just about hit our Bandwidth limit for the first time ever in December. :? Hopefully it's just due to Christmas and people getting new resources to add to their HeroQuest Christmas gifts. Since we've never even come close to hitting our bandwidth limits before, we have no idea what will happen. Some Websites just go offline until a new month starts, some just stay online and incur a hefty over-usage charge. *fingers crossed*

And now it's time for the annual stats!

Image

Note: The below lists do not include files from Agin's Inn Archives, or any files attached to the forum.

    2012 Top Ten File Downloads
  1. Corner Prison Tile by Big Bene: 2573
  2. Adventure Design Kit Sticker Sheet: 1646
  3. Equipment Cards by drathe: 1362
  4. System Tiles (European): 1343
  5. Character Booklet: 1332
  6. Assassina Character Card by Dock: 1269
  7. Armoury/Identification Guide: 1198
  8. Halls of Durrag-Dol: 1194
  9. Stand-up Ogres by Big Bene: 984
  10. HeroQuest Font Pack: 921

    2012 File Download Totals
  • Total of all Homepage Files: 229172
  • Cards: 40879
  • Quests: 26281
  • Rules: 1962
  • Tiles: 48078
  • Design Tools: 20081
  • Game System: 33448
  • Adventure Design Kit: 4440
  • Kellar's Keep: 7045
  • Return of the Witch Lord: 5551
  • Against the Ogre Horde: 7079
  • Wizards of Morcar: 12545
  • Mage of the Mirror: 7805
  • The Frozen Horror: 7147
  • Dark Company: 1530


    What's in store for 2013 (at lot of these are left over from 2012... & 2011 :oops: ):
  • Complete the German/Deutsch resources.
  • Complete the Danish/Dansk Game System and Kellar's Keep resources.
  • Complete the rest of the Italian/Italiano card resources that have been waiting to go online for far too long.
  • Create cards for Norwegian/Norsk OH, WM, MM and FH with translations provided by tallyho.
  • Several more Agin's Inn Classics.
  • Complete other resources that come our way over the year.
  • Provide fan created content submitted to us throughout the year.
  • Complete card translation project (with community support) in order to create cards missing from other language releases.
  • Begin Quest Book translation project (with community support) in order to create quest books missing from other language releases.
  • Continue to translate Homepage and complete Forum elements as provide by community translators.

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Tuesday March 26th, 2013 7:38pm
by torilen
I didn't read every single detail - but I got a good handle of what is going on
there, and looking at the quests...I like it. Great job on all the unique details
there...special secret doors, monsters popping up in specified areas once the
boss of the quest is killed. Very nice.

I love the two different conclusions, also. Good planning, and great idea keeping it all
in once quest book.

Great addition to the inn...and I'm glad you decided to add it. Don't let any unfinished
stuff scare you off. As was stated, we all have times where we have time to work on
stuff, and then get busy again. Sometimes we forget to come back to stuff, sometimes
we decide to leave things as they are. I'm trying to make sure I don't leave stuff unfinished,
and I try to make sure I don't leave anything unfixed or poorly "published" - but to be honest,
my memory is absolutely horrible, and I really do just forget...and I stay tired all the time
(I have a 3 1/2 year old and a one year old - go figure on being tired, right?).

Keep all the good stuff coming.

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Tuesday March 26th, 2013 8:04pm
by mikemacdee
Thanks for the replies, everybody! If anyone gets a chance to playtest these quests, I encourage you to post about it here.

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Thursday March 28th, 2013 5:31am
by mikemacdee
Doing a playthrough of the campaign by myself with all four heroes, starting with The Glaive of Acastus as a warm-up quest. Three Quests into Daredevils I thought of another place for a plot fork: after completing Quest 2, Zargon could give the heroes the option to:

A) Resupply on the way out of town
or
B) Return directly to Lord Valmont

If they choose option A, they get to spend their Quest 2 rewards now, but then they must survive the harrowing Quest 3. If they choose option B, they skip Quest 3 and go directly to Quest 4, but they don't get to resupply between Quests. Any thoughts? or does it seem like a pointless detour given the payoff from each Quest?

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Thursday March 28th, 2013 9:01pm
by mikemacdee
Further into the campaign I've begun to think the gold output is too high: my heroes are at the final Quest with almost 800 gold and a nearly fully armored team. Granted, getting this far already cost them two heroes, but I don't know if they should be able to make one or two notable armory purchases per quest.

So I've pulled the reigns on the treasure yielded per quest, and tweaked a couple rules to toughen things up a bit -- for example, the Quest 6 "treasure deck" rule was changed to "gold found in the treasure deck is doubled, but also yields a wandering monster" to increase the risk of Alyssa being killed. By the time the heroes reached this one they were too souped up to be harmed much by the monsters. Also fixing typos and neglected map items.

Post your thoughts if you got any.

Re: Campaign: The Arden Daredevils

PostPosted: Tuesday April 30th, 2013 2:36pm
by Daedalus
Okay, I finally took some time to check out your cool Quest pack. I have some suggestions, but I'm afraid they may come off as too direct as a result of my plowing along. If they sometimes comes across this way, please remember I think your effort is worth the criticism, and overall I think you have a great contribution here with many interesting details and nice choices. If they don't bother you or are worthwhile anyway, all the better.

To start out, cutting the gold per Quest sounds like a good idea. One quick fix could be done in Quest 3 by taking out the Battle Axe as a reward--that's 450 gold down. The players won't have a problem with this, as monster weapons generally aren't transferable to Heroes anyway. Another reduction is possible in Quest 7B by reducing the Plate Mail treasure to Chain Mail--another 350 gold down. I'd also say cut down the number of artifacts awarded.

I'd say try placing fewer traps on chests for the later Quests. It's fun to catch them unawares, but this will be less likely if you punish them too often. Instead, guardian monsters can meet out pretty much the same punishment.

Keeping track of the Gnoll bounties in Quest 4 should be part of the fun. I'd say tell the Heroes in the Quest Parchment section of the bounty rewards so as to encourage them to keep track.

In Quest 7A, I like the trap that destroys the Healing Potion if it isn't disarmed. Nice way to affect Body Points indirectly. However, I don't feel it is necessary to change the power of Orc's Bane. It is already a weak artifact, and reducing it's damage to that of a Broadsword against Orcs only makes it pretty useless (other than being a Quest objective). Even the Broadsword found on the weapons rack is better.

More on Quest 7A. It's not clear how rooms D, E, and the lower G adjacent to D are reached. There's a door in D, but the Quest notes don't tell about it or where the spiral stairway leads. Does the spiral stairway connect to this door like trap doors, situating rooms D, E, and G above the other section? This could explain why the pit trap dumps a Hero into the room with the "X". If this is the case, I'd suggest adding another room to the left of room E and moving the pit trap and a door 3 squares to the left. That would leave the pit and landing spot just 2 squares apart. Can a Hero climb out of this pit trap? If not, it would be useful to say so. It can't be searched for, so someone is definitely taking the trip. Others must jump it to get to the Quest objective--is this your intent?

In Quest 7B, it could be pretty rough on the Heroes before they find they're equipment, especially if they open the wrong door in room C and find the 2 Orcs and Fimir. Do spells and a shortsword compensate enough--maybe. Also, I'm not a fan of a blind search for equipment, as it is so necessary for success. Maybe a clue in the Parchment Text would help, so the Heroes don't wander too far without it. Just my :2cents:

The secret door mechanism in room C makes it seem escape is impossible, indeed. I like the do-this-to-open-that effect, but having it blindly opening and closing doesn't clue the Heroes. Why would they leave a useful broadsword behind on this trigger? There should be a click or something.

How are the Heroes supposed to get to room E and the connecting corridors? The only way I can figure is if 2 Pass through Rock spells were available and the casting Hero made a lucky guess.

In the room G description, try moving the second paragraph to the top of the second column. This will make room for Bogia's stats and place them in the room where he appears.

When you feel your Quest Pack is ready, you can give it a new home at the Quests and Quest Packs subforum found in HeroQuest Additions. Check out this thread by drathe first when you do, or let me know and I can move it for you.