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Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Discuss new Rules for HeroQuest.

Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby Count Mohawk » Thursday June 23rd, 2016 5:30pm

A little more progress: I have a couple of rulesets banged out for using the Alchemist Hero as an alternative Hero in a game of vanilla Hero Quest:

The Alchemist: Basic Rules
You are the Alchemist. You are a master at your craft, able to brew many different potions. You must use them wisely, however, as you cannot wear armor or use two-handed weapons.
Attack Dice: 1
Defend Dice: 2
Body Points: 5
Mind Points: 5
Movement: 2 Red Dice
Starting Weapon: Two Daggers
Starting Armor: None
Special Abilities and Restrictions:
  • The Alchemist may take one group of Spells.
  • At the start of each Quest, the Alchemist takes a number of cards from the new Potion deck equal to his Mind Points.
  • Whenever the Alchemist Searches for Treasure, if he would draw a Treasure card, he may instead draw a Potion card.
  • As an action, the Alchemist may discard two Potion cards to draw one card from the Alchemy deck.
  • At the end of each Quest, the Alchemist must discard all unused Potion cards, but receives 5 Gold Coins for each one. (Potions found in the Treasure deck or the Quest Notes are retained as normal.)
  • The Alchemist can only wear any armor a Wizard could use. He can use any one-handed weapon.
  • (Suggested house rule: Other, non-Alchemist Heroes may draw one Potion card when they Search for Treasure in a room with an Alchemist’s Bench in it. These Potions must still be discarded at end of Quest if unused, however.)
This one is for people who don't want a 'complicated' Alchemist. He gets one group of Spells and a handful of low-power Potions, which can be combined into better ones. He's also not as limited in melee combat as the Wizard, being able to hit for 3 Combat Dice sometimes, although his defense options are equally lackluster.


The Alchemist: Normal Rules
You are the Alchemist. You are a master at your craft, able to brew and combine many different potions. You must use them wisely, however, as you cannot wear armor or use heavy weapons effectively.
Attack Dice: 1
Defend Dice: 2
Body Points: 5
Mind Points: 5
Movement: 2 Red Dice
Starting Weapon: Two Daggers
Starting Armor: None
Special Abilities and Restrictions:
  • The Alchemist may take one group of Spells. He chooses his Spells after the Wizard’s first set, but before the Elf (if those Heroes are also playing).
  • At the start of each Quest, the Alchemist takes a number of cards from the new Alchemy deck equal to his Mind Points, then discards all but three of those cards. (Shuffle the discarded cards back into the deck.) He also takes the set of Alchemy Formula cards.
  • If there are no Monsters in the Alchemist’s Line of Sight, he may perform an Alchemy action:
    • If he has all the ingredients listed on one of his Alchemy Formula cards, he may discard those cards and/or cross those ingredients off of his Character Sheet, then perform the actions listed in the Results section of the Formula card.
    • The Alchemist may also choose to draw one Alchemy card from the Alchemy deck. He may do this any number of times, but only once per room or corridor. If this action is performed in a room with an Alchemist’s Bench, he instead draws two Alchemy cards.
  • At the end of each Quest, the Alchemist may record the contents of any remaining Alchemy cards on his Character Sheet for use in future Quests. He may also choose to sell those items to the Armory for 5 Gold Coins each.
  • The Alchemist can only wear any armor a Wizard could use, including the Bracers. He may use any kind of weapon, but rolls one fewer Combat Die if a Wizard could not use it (to a minimum of one).
    • Example: The Alchemist may use a Broadsword from the Armory, but rolls only two Combat Dice when attacking with it instead of three.
This Alchemist has the same baseline stats as the Basic version above, but is capable of doing more complicated things with his self-generated Potions. He remains physically weak; in fact, he is weaker than the Basic variation, as in order to hit three Combat Dice he needs a Battle Axe, whereas the previous version could get by with a Broadsword.


The Alchemist: Mohawk's Rules
To be continued! Sorry, folks, work's been busy this week, so you'll have to wait to see what I do with all of your helpful suggestions. Shout-outs to slev for writing all those pseudo-Latin Potion names; I suspect I'll be copying and tweaking those! Also to Anderas for making some "simple Alchemist" suggestions, which you may see incorporated in the two sets of rules above.

I'll probably get the Potions and Formulas (for all three versions!) nailed down by next week.


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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby Big Bene » Friday June 24th, 2016 8:38am

I like the idea of an alchimist character and I love your ideas.
Still, I have some doubts I cannot subdue.
When I would play an alchemist, I would treat him very different then the other heroes.
He's a scientist and has other motivations and goals than killing monsters and gathering treasures, even if it serves the peolpe of the empire. He would always be looking for some interesing specimien to study, a rare ingredient or a scientific book. The EWP may include some of these for the hero, if he is liberal and tends more to the roleplaing side, not the fifth player side, but generally this kind of character is rather suited for full-fledges RPGs than dungeoncrawlers, expecially if you want to play the original packed quests without additions.
Have a look ;)


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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby cynthialee » Friday June 24th, 2016 2:42pm

Big Bene wrote:I like the idea of an alchimist character and I love your ideas.
Still, I have some doubts I cannot subdue.
When I would play an alchemist, I would treat him very different then the other heroes.
He's a scientist and has other motivations and goals than killing monsters and gathering treasures, even if it serves the peolpe of the empire. He would always be looking for some interesing specimien to study, a rare ingredient or a scientific book. The EWP may include some of these for the hero, if he is liberal and tends more to the roleplaing side, not the fifth player side, but generally this kind of character is rather suited for full-fledges RPGs than dungeoncrawlers, expecially if you want to play the original packed quests without additions.


There it is!
I have been struggling to find my reasons for objection to the way you are presenting the Alchemist.
As written this is the most complex character in the list of heroes. I need to learn a whole new rules set just for this hero.

For a Dungeon Crawler the heroes should be simple I think.

Now if you have a player who is all into playing this character then rock it out, have fun and post updates to the Inn.


As a sort of aside:
Perhaps add in a personal quest for the Alchemist each dungeon. "To concoct your next batch of potions you need to replenish your supplies of Ork Livers. Collect 3 ork Livers before you can concoct any new potions." Of course you don't send him hunting for Ork Liver in a dungeon with out any orks. Maybe they need to "Loot the alchemy bench in the dungeon to obtain the ingredients for your potions."

If I was to put an alchemist into play I would give him 1 magic school, 2 potions of healing and 1-3 {D6/2} potions of choice per Dungeon. Most the time that would give him 4 potions and 3 spells. I would also open up the armor options of Shield and Helmet for the Alchemist. No body armor other than a Wizard Robe or Cloak. Probably drop him a Body Point and raise his Mind Point. I could see allowing him the Long Sword, Short Sword and other one handed weapons in addition to the staff and dagger. No crossbow, or two handed weapons.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby Count Mohawk » Friday June 24th, 2016 4:05pm

cynthialee wrote:
Big Bene wrote:generally this kind of character is rather suited for full-fledges RPGs than dungeoncrawlers

There it is!
I have been struggling to find my reasons for objection to the way you are presenting the Alchemist.
As written this is the most complex character in the list of heroes. I need to learn a whole new rules set just for this hero.

For a Dungeon Crawler the heroes should be simple I think.

Now if you have a player who is all into playing this character then rock it out, have fun and post updates to the Inn.

Given the above snippet of conversation, you fellows may be surprised to learn that Hero Quest at Count Mohawk's house is very light on the roleplaying aspects. Complexity creep strikes again!

However, it does appear that in order to make an Alchemist that anyone can use, I will need to pare down and simplify his gameplay mechanics much further. Without going too much into detail at the moment, the simplest I can think of would be:

The Alchemist
Attack 1, Defend 2, Body 5, Mind 5
Movement 2 red dice
Starting weapon 1 dagger
Starting armor ---
Abilities:
  • Takes 2 spell groups
  • Cannot use armor (except Wizard armor) or two-handed weapons
  • Whenever this character finds a Potion by Searching for Treasure, he collects one more of that type of Potion
Of course, at that point he's not much of an Alchemist...

I'll post some of the complicated stuff this weekend.


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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby cynthialee » Friday June 24th, 2016 4:59pm

Actually it almost works!

Proposal: The Alchemist is given 3 Alchemy Tokens at the beginning of each game. An Alchemy Token can be exchanged as an action to create a known potion or to copy a recently discovered potion.

Commentary: Known potions should be limited to the 4 Body Point Heal Potion, Courage Potion and Anti-Venom for Basic Heroes maybe 1 more. Champion Level Alchemists could have an additional 3 or 4 potions they may learn. These potions sould be limited to the Alchemist shop in the expansions. I add in a 3rd level and call it Epic...(20+ missions and or end game heroes.) Such hero's would gain an addition 3 or 4 potions known.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby cynthialee » Friday June 24th, 2016 5:05pm

Of course there should be some bonus for an Alchemist who discovers an Alchemy Table in a dungeon, regardless of system in use.

When I run a game and there is an alchemy table in a room, the Wizard always gets a chance to make a potion or two. If there was an actual Alchemist in play I'd have to give him some chance at making more than a potion or two and probably give him a whack at concocting some of the better potions in the expansions.
So it is said that if you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss.
If you only know yourself, but not your opponent, you may win or may lose.
If you know neither yourself nor your enemy, you will always endanger yourself.
~Sun Tsu The art of War~


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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby slev » Monday June 27th, 2016 10:57am

The slightly more involved version of Cynthia's system would be:

At the start of the Quest, teh Alchemsit gains X tokens, split over 4 colours (Say 4 white, 3 red, 3 blue, & 2 black).

You then give them a "Recepie Book" of cards, each requiring a pair of specific colour counters to make the potion as part of an action. Powerful potions require a black, but never a white. Weak potions white but never black.

Then you can allow the purchase of alchemical items that give more tokens, more recepie, token discounts, more complicated (3 token) recepies, etc.


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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby slev » Monday June 27th, 2016 11:01am

Thinking on where else I've seen PC Alchemists in dungeon-bash games...

And the only place is Descent.

1st ed had an Alchemist who could convert potions from one type to another, but they all had the same cost, so not too useful here.

2nd ed has an Alchemist who gives out one "Elixir" token each turn. This token can be discarded for an attack bounus. The equivilent would be to allow +1 green attack or +1 blue/black defence in HQ.


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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby Daedalus » Wednesday December 28th, 2016 5:58pm

Something I noticed: since the NA rules don't allow searches in corridors, an Alchemist will likely find fewer potions or ingredients in that system and thus end up a bit underpowered in comparison to an EU Alchemist. I'd suggest limiting potion/ingredient searches to rooms only and compensate by starting an Alchemist with even more, an extra potion or two, before a Quest.

Count Mohawk wrote:The card pictured above, while using my personal templates, is certainly not complete yet (not least because it lacks any sort of artwork). Any suggestions on how I can improve or simplify this mechanic?

I think it's great, but I'd go with just a potion and dagger. I see such cards working like a spell, but
called Alchemy Formula Cards. They could be bought through the Alchemist's Shop or assigned as a starting spell set is with the possibility of artifacts expanding formulae known.

Warning: Unsolicited opinions follow!

You've got a lot of strong ideas here. I'm for a simpler Alchemist, but something more than your minimal solution. I'd say drop the Elemental spell set for the Alchemist, as a Wizard and Elf already share them. Instead, I'd replace them with 3 or more Alchemy Formula Cards and start the Alchemist with more potions. I think beginning play with one each of the Treasure Card potions might work [or more -edit], but they aren't kept for the next Quest. As a special ability, I'd add any Treasure Card potion used by an Alchemist is returned to the Treasure Card deck. I also feel 2 Attack dice is enough for weapons. Probably adding a shortsword should do, but the -1 penalty also works if single-handed only, in my opinion. Wizard armor restrictions are fine as is.

Another thought--an Alchemist can trade in a potion at the Alchemist's Shop to get any shop potion at half price.

One more thing-- I think the house rule of using the alchemist bench as a source for Hero potion searches is cool, but the Alchemist is left out--the premier alchemy Hero! You could allow the Alchemist to ignore 1 potion requirement of a recipe, or substitute another potion when in the same room as the alchemist bench.
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Re: Experimental Alchemy (Alchemist rule thread)

Postby j_dean80 » Wednesday December 28th, 2016 7:02pm

Any time the Alchemist mixes a potion he should roll an attack die. If a black shield is rolled then his mixture explodes causing body point loss. I would allow him to concoct potions to attack with like a fire bomb and limit his actual attack strength to similar to a wizard.
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