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Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday January 20th, 2021 9:07pm

Pics of the professionally printed Zargon coins (Elite Monster tokens) can be found here !


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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday February 24th, 2021 1:07am

I created an evil wizard card that is a potion the bad guy can drink that gives him blue dice for defense until the end of the quest. I also created a card reflecting the same "Chaotic Defense" ability for each of the Wizards of Zargon(Morcar). If the Heroes are already champions, this helps the bad guys survive a bit longer and they will use the scrolls of battle formations similar to the Heroes once they have that ability as well.

Now to find a use for the purple, orange and other colors of dice (Wizard's Arsenal possibly).


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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby j_dean80 » Wednesday February 24th, 2021 7:14am

Kurgan wrote:I created an evil wizard card that is a potion the bad guy can drink that gives him blue dice for defense until the end of the quest. I also created a card reflecting the same "Chaotic Defense" ability for each of the Wizards of Zargon(Morcar). If the Heroes are already champions, this helps the bad guys survive a bit longer and they will use the scrolls of battle formations similar to the Heroes once they have that ability as well.

Now to find a use for the purple, orange and other colors of dice (Wizard's Arsenal possibly).


Mound of the Beastmen Questpack uses the orange dice.
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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday February 24th, 2021 12:26pm

Nice. I was resistant to using them at first, thinking it was going to make the games too complicated, but overall I see the benefit. The Green, Blue and Black dice are easily to account for, even if you don't have the special dice (just count a certain result as something else).

On white dice:
Black dice, count the black shield as another skull.
Blue dice, count the white shields as if they were black shields (and ignore black shields).
Green dice, count the black shield as a white shield OR count skulls as if they were white shields (and ignore white shields).

The pink/black and the red/gold dice are just dupes of the white dice, to keep Zargon's results separated at a glance from the Heroes, which is a fun luxury option.

I saw a "Beer and Board Games" episode where they played Hero Quest, but the guy playing Zargon used regular dice! I think he was counting 6's as black shields, 1-3's as skulls, 4-5's as white shields on each die. It's possible, just a bit harder to remember in a long game with a bunch of people without a cheat sheet.

But yeah the special dice with "doubles" of things, those are the ones that will be interesting.


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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby Kurgan » Saturday June 5th, 2021 6:56pm

Kurgan wrote:More thoughts on Elementals... (already introduced here)

So these Summoned Creatures as we know are uber powerful.

They must have weaknesses, right? Unlike most of the other examples of Elementals I've seen, instead of having absurd numbers of body points, or expiring after they kill a certain number of figures, these are based on turns. They will survive for 2-7 turns. They impart damage or other effects simply by passing through other characters. Some of them have spells they can use which diminish the remaining turns of "life" they have. They can't be harmed by conventional means.

However they can die under other conditions:

1) They Pass through another Elemental. This could happen if there were two Hero summoned ones, or in theory (If I were to allow it) if a bad guy summoned one. This could happen I suppose if I allowed someone like the Frozen Horror to use a bunch of Ice ("water") spells to summon an Elemental of his own. What a battle that would be! But Elementals are special beings, they don't fight, they just crush into each other and are simultaneously annihilated.

2) Weaknesses. Yes, certain spells could damage them.

I haven't decided yet if these spells will DESTROY them in one take, or if each hit simply diminishes a turn (instead of doing a body point of damage as they would against a conventional target). Maybe it should vary by power? The situation is that a Hero could destroy another Hero's Elemental but more practically speaking it would be a Chaos Sorcerer taking out the Hero's super gambit.

So here are the weaknesses as I originally conceived them:

Fire is vulnerable to Water/Ice or Earth, is not affected by Air (or Air might make it stronger)*
Earth is vulnerable to Water or Fire
Air is vulnerable to Fire
Water is vulnerable to Air or Ice

* Using an example here of Tempest. Maybe Tempest strengthens a Fire Elemental. Zargon would know this, but if he tried it on the Hero's Fire Elemental, it would gain a turn. The Heroes could use their Tempest on their own Elemental to give it another turn of "life." Swift Wind wouldn't make the Elemental move faster, but it might give it another turn of "life" as well. The opportunity to do something similar "strengthening" say an Earth Elemental with an Earth Spell wouldn't come up unless you had a Spell Scroll. This seems like it would be even more OP, but in those cases, we are talking about single use, rare Artifacts that are only giving the character one more turn, at best. But then in a turn, they could run over the big boss one more time! But that means you really had to save all your big stuff for the end of the Quest, so there's still a trade off.

So element based spells come into play here, but I suppose also certain magical artifacts might count as well, but probably not potions, since you are supposed to drink them, not throw them at the enemy. I can't imagine dousing a Fire Elemental with Holy Water, but it would be pretty funny, now that I think about it, especially if it took multiple attempts with a stack of vials.

In my version, unlike some others, the Elementals are under complete control of the Summoner. So there is no worry about having to "put down" a rogue Elemental. I suppose if that were a factor, it would be pretty tricky. However, a turn-coat Elemental could do a TPK fairly easily in certain circumstances.


Once the Heroes in play are all "Knight" level...

The Frozen Horror (or any monster with sufficient chaos spells) will be able to summon an Elemental, mainly to threaten overpowered heroes or counter the "good" Elemental. This evil Elemental works the same way as the Hero's version. It moves after the monster who summoned it (in this case the FH himself), and has a "lifepsan" based on a number of turns (1 + 1d6 red die).

Ice Elemental (suggested model: Reaper Bones Crystal Golem):

This creature of Ice moves with 1 red die. Each figure it passes through rolls 3 white combat dice and loses 1 body point for each skull rolled.
I've decided that it will "put out" a Wall of Water it passes through, but at the cost of 1 "turn." The same would be true of a Water elemental passing through a Wall of Fire.
It may attack any adjacent enemy with 2 combat dice, and if does any damage, it automatically does a "Chill" spell effect as well (for 1 additional unblockable body point of damage UNLESS the Hero has some kind of nullifying item like a Potion of Warmth, Ring of Warmth or Armband of Ice to counter-act the effect)... due to the cold (and scary!) nature of the creature.

Certain spells may reduce it by a turn, but like all Elementals it is immune to all weapons (except from those magical weapons which are infused with a rival element).

After it has run out of "turns" or passes through (or is passed through by) another Elemental, it melts away into a lifeless puddle.

Should Elementals die if the Hero (or monster) who summoned the dies? I don't think they should. I think the one who controlled the summoner should still be able to control them until they run out of turns or die in some other fashion.

The FH's default spells (he gets all six, plus six more from the regular GS Chaos Spell deck!) are easy enough since they're all Ice based. Heroes can use Ice based spell scrolls equivalent to Water of course.

For purposes of Elemental summoning I would categorize the various chaos spells according to the previously known categories. So Lightning and Tempest would be air, Ball of Flame and Firestorm would be fire as would Fear, Rust would be Water as would Sleep. I'm tempted to say Command would be Air as with all "mentalist" type spells (ATOH) and "Madness" from WOM. Not sure if Cloud of Chaos would be better as Air or Water (its effects remind me of sleep, so maybe Water?).

Several WOM spells are trickier... other than the Stormmaster spells of course (which easily fall into the Earth, Air or Water categories). Skulls of Doom would be fire as would Wall of Fire. Hard to say regarding the various Orc Shaman and other Necromancer spells. Deathbolt could be Air or Fire (maybe air since it suggests some kind of lightning). Some I may not consider Elemental at all and just can't be used for that purpose.

When I saw the Reaper bones miniature "Carnivorous Black Pudding" I was tempted to imagine this as the Elemental summoned by sacrificing the "Darkness" spells by a Hero. But then what would "Detection" be? Maybe it summons a Beholder (Eye beast!)? What about Protection? An iron golem? (The Reaper "Avatar of Protection" is unfortunately just an anthropomorphic Water Buffalo, not too impressive).


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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby JoeAlekber » Wednesday January 18th, 2023 9:39am

It looks very nice. I hope I'll see something else interesting.
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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday January 18th, 2023 12:08pm

Thanks!

I haven't fully ironed out what the upgrades would be for the Bard (Orcish Pirate/Cleric), Warlock or Druid, but I did come up with some (thanks for JacerJ's feedback too) on the Commander of the Guardian Knights hero:

-------------
"Knight":

Champion upgrade:
Substitute 1 green die when defending with any type of Shield. Substitute 1 black die when attacking the same type as the "Wandering Monster" on this quest.
(the below are preliminary:)

Knight upgrade (Knight Knight!):
Substitute 2 green dice when defending with any type of Shield. Substitute 2 black dice when attacking the Wandering Monster of the quest.

Or maybe some kind of discount on mercenaries (charisma, but less than having the Warhorn of Command) or other buff to them?
Last edited by Kurgan on Saturday September 30th, 2023 2:42pm, edited 2 times in total.


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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby Kurgan » Monday January 30th, 2023 2:44pm

further Brainstorming with "new" heroes:

-------------
"Bard" (Orc Pirate/Cleric)

Champion upgrade:
Rapier can use 2 black dice
Orc allies within LOS defend with Green dice

Knight upgrade:
Up to 3 black dice against any Orc.
"Healing Song" restores 3 BP
"Inspiring Tale" gives 2 dice

-------------
"Warlock" (Ranger):

Champion upgrade:
Wand substitutes 1 black die

Knight upgrade:
Wand substitutes 2 black dice
"Demonform" uses 2 dice

-------------
"Druid":
Champion upgrade:
"Shape Shift" adds 1 extra attack and 1 extra defend AND can be used at range, not just adjacent.

Knight upgrade:
"Shape Shift" uses 1 black die (for attack) and 1 green die (for defense)
"Pixie" can be used twice per quest.
-------------
"Rogue": (is he OP?)

Champion upgrade:
Dagger hits with black die (whether thrown or striking adjacent)
"Opportunistic Striker" skill attacks with two dice.

Knight upgrade:
Bandolier: always assumed to be carrying two daggers, and so two daggers can be thrown at once (2 dice ranged attack instead of 1). This stacks with Opportunistic Striker for 3 dice (2 black, 1 white).
Disarm traps like a Dwarf

-------------
"Monk": (is he OP?)

Champion upgrade:
substitute one black die when attacking unarmed
substitute one purple die when attacking with a staff or shortsword

Knight upgrade:
substitute two black dice when attacking unarmed
substitute two purple dice when attacking with any weapon he can use


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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby Kurgan » Saturday September 30th, 2023 3:26pm

I really got thinking about these due to "hard" expansions like Frozen Horror, Mage of the Mirror (and also Dark Company or what I've heard about Wizards of Morcar). As written (at least under NA rules) these packs are a bit unfair, so having the heroes be a little uber powerful could help compensate and still retain the "fun" while keeping the heroes fresh and interesting to use.

Playing "long campaigns" is tricky with adult schedules, so I have the habit of "passing along" a hero from one play session to the next. If the new player is willing, they can take over control of an "already in progress" hero, and simply change the name (if they want) and retain whatever equipment, gold, potions, and upgrade progress along with them.

After awhile it may seem a little complex, with character sheets filling up with stuff, but there are ways to remedy that (when you need 'em, those potions can be used fast! gold goes to pay mercenaries, etc).
-------------------

What general benefit is there to becoming a "Champion" in this system? That hero gets a bonus reward of 500 gold coins to spend how they choose. A "Knight" doesn't get a specific gold reward. And yes, I would say that at this point Zargon can "unlock" Alchemist Shops (and other spell categories) for other expansions you "own" for the use of those heroes if they wish (again unless it would destroy the difficulty of a not-so-difficult set of quests being played).

Refining the four classic heroes (I'm actually using it now that they have completed enough quests!).

Complete 3-5 quests (Zargon's discretion; larger number if they are "easy" quests, fewer required if they are "hard" quests): Champion upgrade.
Complete 10+ (total) quests: Knight upgrade

It doesn't matter if these are "multi-part" quests, each quest completed with that hero present counts towards the upgrade. Zargon's discretion if a hero joined "at the last second" and didn't really do anything as to whether that should count of course.

If a hero dies (but is restored, even with the Elixir of Life), upgrades are retained. Heroes and Zargon may mutually agree to start a new expansion with "basic" heroes again if it would feel unbalanced of course.


-------------
"Barbarian":
[completes 1 quest: automatically draw 1 random combat card per quest, resets next quest]

Champion upgrade:
substitute 2 black dice with any sword
2 random Combat Cards per quest (resets next quest)

Knight upgrade:
substitute 3 black dice any sword/axe
3 random Combat cards per quest (resets next quest)
1 random combat potion per quest (from "Potion deck" that affects attack or defense)

-------------
"Dwarf":
[completes 1 quest: automatically draw 1 random combat card per quest, resets next quest]

Champion upgrade:
substitute 1 black die with any axe/hammer
black shield may be re-rolled once when disarming trap (2nd chance to succeed)
2 random Combat Cards per quest (resets next quest)

Knight upgrade:
substitute 2 black dice with any axe/hammer
auto disarm trap (declare intention to disarm and move to square, trap disarmed without rolling)
3 random Combat cards per quest (resets next quest)

-------------
"Elf" :
[unlock Elf Spells from MOTM, including adding 9th Elf Spell "Moon Time" which transforms Elf or an ally into a Wolf for three turns, with Giant Wolf powers but drops equipment tile; wolfsbane/superior restoration potion cures it instantly]
[completes 1 quest: draws 1 random Potion at beginning of quest - if "poison" redraw]
[can draw random Potion at Alchemist Bench if no quest note instead of Treasure deck draw]
[can restore 1 used spell at Sorcerer's Table if no quest note instead of Treasure deck draw]

Champion upgrade:
1 random spell scroll (alchemist item) per quest OR 1 Elf Spell added (even if already chose 3 elf spells instead of elemental spells)
upgraded Elemental spells (Rock Skin is +2 instead of +1, extra square of movement added to Veil of Mist/Pass Through Rock, 2 extra squares movement added to Swift Wind, 5 BP restored with Heal Body/Water of Healing, Fire of Wrath/Ball of Flame requires roll of 6 to defeat damage, Courage adds black dice, Genie substitutes up to five random color dice, Tempest lasts two turns if rolling skull on 1 die).

Knight upgrade:
2 random spell scrolls (alchemist items) per quest OR 2 Elf Spells added (even if already chose 3 elf spells instead of elemental spells)
still upgraded spells but Genie can pick all 5 of the dice colors

-------------
"Wizard" (Alchemist):
[completes 1 quest: draws 2 random Potions at beginning of quest - if "poison" redraw]
[can draw random Potion at Alchemist Bench if no quest note instead of Treasure deck draw]
[can restore 1 used spell at Sorcerer's Table if no quest note instead of Treasure deck draw; if no spells used, can draw 1 random Spell Scroll/Alchemist Item]

Champion upgrade:
upgraded spells (see Elf upgrades)
Wizard's (Alchemist's) Staff: 2 black dice
Wizard's (Alchemist's) Cloak: substitute 1 green die

Knight upgrade:
previous upgrades plus:
sacrifice 3 unused spells (or scrolls/alchemist items) of the same elemental type to summon an Elemental
I also thought that a "Knight" level Wizard/Alchemist could gain access to a special new Armory full of items only he can use, "powerful magical items" that were long ago promised but never delivered, via the classic rulebook. Here I'm thinking (purchasable) artifact-type items that give special effects, exclusive potions, lots of borderline OP stuff (but expensive!). "The Wizard's Arsenal."

-------------
Zargon (Evil Wizard player):

I would not use these upgrades on the very first quest for the heroes, but after that...

If majority of Heroes in play are champion level, roll 1 combat die when monster revealed (game system monsters, excluding gargoyles, named villains and magically summoned or wandering monsters). Black Shield makes that monster an "Elite." This monster rolls all Black Dice when attacking and all Blue Dice when defending.

Depending upon how many (Hero) combat cards are drawn, Zargon may draw double that number of (Chaos) Combat cards at the beginning of the quest (cards reset next quest). So if the heroes draw 1, Zargon gets 2. Heroes get 2, Zargon gets 4, etc.

If majority of Heroes in play are knight level, Zargon rolls 1 combat die to check for Elite monsters, but now he rolls a blue die (doubles the chances they will be elite).

If majority of Heroes in play are Champions or Knights, Zargon may draw one card from the "Evil Wizard" ("Threat") deck at the beginning of each turn if there are no monsters on the board. He can hold up to three cards in hand. If he wishes to draw a fourth card, he either has to use it immediately, or discard (or use) one of the ones already in his "hand." If the deck is used up, he should re-shuffle them and start again with the option of drawing one card each turn when there is no monster on the board.



When it comes to hiring mercenaries, I haven't done much with this yet, but if the heroes really "waste" mercenaries, it could always be stated that fewer of them are willing to fight for the heroes, or perhaps the prices go up. Of course using the Warhorn of Command (Into the Northlands) or simply playing by the rules of Wizards of Morcar, heroes can gain an incentive to keep their Men-At-Arms alive from quest to quest instead of using them as cannon fodder. You can even do little mid-quest vignettes or cutscenes where perhaps the Heroes stroll by the local tavern and whichever soldiers of fortune show up, those are the ones who can be hired, and it isn't guaranteed that all 12 (or whatever) will be available at the regular prices. I've also thought of eventually adding new Ogre Mercenaries (same as Ogre Warriors but with 1 extra mind point and body points fixed at 3. When the Ogre defeats the last monster of a group, he can gain back 1 lost BP (unless it was an undead monster). He costs 200 gold coins per quest and takes up 2 "mercenary slots."

Also I like the idea of being able to hire Elf mercenaries (where appropriate; using the extra blue figures found in the Mage of the Mirror and/or Rise of the Dread Moon boxes). Perhaps 100 gold for an Elven Archer and 200 gold for an Elven Warrior. These characters like the others will roll white shields for defense and can use Equipment, Potions and Spell Scrolls handed to them by heroes, can be affected by spells, and otherwise behave as heroes under the control of the hero who hired them (and can continue on if that hero dies if that player wishes).

You simply have to be at least a "Champion" to be able to hire mercs of any kind. In actual practice I think we've hired mercs even when the hero technically hasn't completed at least 3 quests, but simply was starting a quest that allowed hiring of mercs. I think retaining the "Champion" requirement as a minimum is appropriate as one champion in a group would get to hire mercs while the non-Champions would have to wait to earn the privilege.


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Re: Heroes Upgrade / Leveling System (and Villains too!)

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday November 21st, 2023 10:50am

I think from here on I'm going to offer that a Champion Dwarf can buy a Repair Kit for 100 gold (well anyone can buy one, but only he can USE it). Each repair kit can be used by him to cover over one triggered pit trap (takes an action) making it permanently safe.

I thought about offering something similar for the Fallen Block trap but figured he can just use up his turn and a hammer or warhammer to clear the block (some blocks may be magical and can't be cleared, in a few occasions). Move adjacent to the fallen block and start working. Perhaps I'll say he has to roll a Skull on 1 combat die for it to be successful that turn. Otherwise he still forfeits his turn and he can try again next round.

For the Knight level Dwarf, I'm going to say he can pickup Repair Kits for FREE between quests, and the Fallen block trap hammer action doesn't require a die roll.
This in place of "autodisarm" which I think is just a little bit too powerful, but at least the main two annoyances will be negated by him.

Inspired by Legacy of Sorasil and Hazzington's upgrade list on Discord!


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