• Advertisement

Make a small donation to Ye Olde Inn!

Donate via Paypal

Every cent received goes toward Ye Olde Inn's maintenance and allows us to continue providing the best resources for HeroQuest and Fantasy Gaming fans.

Advancement - how to do it?

Discuss the Rules of HeroQuest as set out by Milton Bradley Game Systems and Quest Packs.

Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Saturday September 3rd, 2022 5:20am

The Inn is littered with suggestions for a new “Advancement System” for HeroQuest (many of which are confusingly included in this topic The Inn’s Modular System for House Rules although the posts have the title ‘’Advancement – how to do it?”) but for me, aside from missing spell casting advancement opportunities for the Wizard (and I’ve covered this already in this topic The Wizard Clearing House of House Rules), I am happy with the existing system ‘acquire gold then use it to buy upgrades to your weapons & armour from The Armoury Between Quests’ mechanism, as a concept.

That said the implementation of the advancement mechanism does have a few flaws but rectifying those should be easier than building a whole new mechanism

Problems

1. Not enough ‘steps’ – the Barbarian starts with a Broadsword leaving him only one step up in terms of Weapons upgrades, the Battle Axe in UK/EU system or two steps (Longsword, Battle Axe) in the US system, or 2 and 3 if you include the Crossbow, other Heroes have 3 (Broadsword, Longsword, Battle Axe) or 4 if you include the Crossbow

2. Rate of gold acquisition versus cost of items results in the Heroes maxing out too quickly (made worse by the later introduction of the buyback rule – do NOT introduce this)

3. Giving away free upgrades in the form of weapons & armour in-Quest undermines the advancement mechanism AND takes away player choice (“but no one wants a staff except the Wizard, and he already has one, I would have preferred the gold to choose my own upgrade”) and some of the later Quests give away kit by the cart load – can’t remember which one off the top of my head but I think 2 shortswords and 2 longswords in a single chest – think of the gold value!.

Proposals

*Changed Barbarian Starting Weapon to Shortsword and replaced with Battle Rage ability to give him the combat edge he deserves (this is an improvement also because he retains this attack advantage – but defend disadvantage through his development path, giving him a boosted starting weapon as an advantage disappeared as soon as the other Heroes upgraded) to partially resolve the Barbarian aspect of problem 1
Battle Rage: As you attack a foe you fall into a berserk rage, sacrificing your own safety to press home frenzied attacks. Whilst in this state your attack dice are increased by one, but your defence dice are reduced by one. This state ends when, at the start of your turn, there are no monsters visible to you.


*Added Bow, Axe, Spear to increase the number of steps in the weapon upgrade path to a potential 6 steps (plus the existing 4 for armour gives 10 steps in total) to mitigate problem 1

Bow
250 Gold Coins
Labels: Weapon, Large, Ranged, Both Hands, 2AD
This long-range weapon gives you the attack strength of 2 combat dice.

Axe
250 Gold Coins
Labels: Weapon, Medium, Throwing, 2AD
The axe allows you to roll two combat dice in attack. You may also throw the axe but if you do so you may lose it.

Spear
250 Gold Coins
Labels: Weapon, Large, Diagonal, 2 AD
The Spear allows you to roll two combat dice in attack. The Spear may be used to attack diagonally.


*Increased the cost of some weapons and armour to partially mitigate problem 2

Staff (50), Dagger(50), Shortsword (150), Axe (250), Spear (250), Bow (250), Broadsword (450), Crossbow (650), Longsword (650), Battle Axe (850), Shield (100), Helmet (200), Chainmail (500), Plate mail (1000)


*Reduce the rate of gold acquisition by restricting treasure searches to once per room (as UK/EU) rather than once per Hero per room (as US) to partially mitigate problem 2

*Removed from Quests the giving out of free advances in the form of equipment in-quest (except Daggers as these are cheap and disposable) and just draw a treasure card or use single-use special treasure like magic arrows, magic throwing daggers/darts, spell scrolls and so on to mitigate problem 3

*Recovery rules for throwing weapons, dagger, and axe to encourage their use and therefore acting as a gold sink to partially mitigate problem 2

A thrown weapon is permanently lost, if the thrown attack misses i.e. no skulls are rolled.
Otherwise, it can be recovered by a Hero picking it up automatically when they move onto the target square or automatically when a room containing the target square is searched.


*Changed Borin’s Armour to Borin’s Amulet (extra BP for the wearer) to avoid giving away the most expensive upgrade in the game for free early on (this pretty much breaks the advancement mechanism in a single hit) – this one is mitigation for problems 2 and 3

Borin’s Amulet
Labels: Amulet, Artefact
This Amulet increases the starting Body Point value of the wearer by one. When it is first put on it adds 1 Body Point to the wearer’s current Body Point total.


*Give the Heroes another form of advancement through “Blessings” available between Quests at The Temple 500GC for a single-use Fate Point (thanks AHQ), mitigation for problem 2

The Temple
Note: The Temple becomes ‘active’ at the end of the Game System with any Hero gaining the champion status getting a free blessing.
Any Hero may donate 500gc in exchange for receiving a Blessing at the end of the first quest book or at any point beyond as part of the “Between Quests”.

A blessing can be used once, and only once, to either allow you a complete dice reroll, you can reroll all your dice used for an action once or to force your foe to do the same to change the effects of something that affects you.
Last edited by Bareheaded Warrior on Tuesday March 21st, 2023 12:08pm, edited 3 times in total.
Super HeroQuest Rule:
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original - First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 1991 Remake [Japan], 2021 Remake / 1990 Remake [US] Second Edition?

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.
User avatar
Bareheaded Warrior

Archmage
Archmage
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Sunday December 8th, 2013 11:12am
Location: UK
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Usergroups:
Adventurers' Guild Group Member Champion Group Member

Advertisement

Make a small donation to Ye Olde Inn!

Donate via Paypal

Every cent received goes toward Ye Olde Inn's maintenance and allows us to continue providing the best resources for HeroQuest and Fantasy Gaming fans.

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Farwatcher » Saturday September 3rd, 2022 2:31pm

The Japanese version (viewtopic.php?f=190&t=1684) has an interesting Level Up system -- from Quest 4 onward, after each quest, a hero may spend 500 gold for a chance to increase their Maximum Body Points by 1. Could be something there.

On to these proposals!

*I don't agree with changing the Barbarian's starting weapon the way you suggest -- right now, he's the simplest hero, and I think that has value for new players and for baseline play.

*Adding items to the armoury / adjusting costs -- makes sense, and there's definitely space to work with. Likewise, adding more semi-consumable items -- for example, what if the spear could be used as a regular weapon OR thrown like a Magical Throwing Dagger (doing 1 unblockable BP of damage, but then lost).

*Finding weapons and armour while questing feels too good and too much a part of the classic fantasy to take away, plus it provides a catch-up mechanic for bringing a new hero in to join a bunch of veterans. Counter-proposal -- what if all non-artifact armour and weapons found within a quest had to be "turned over to the realm" at the end of each quest? Instead of saying heroes can sell equipment back for half-price, you might say "At the end of each quest, the King's Quartermaster claims any equipment you found and gives you half its value as a reward" (or 10% if you want to reduce the amount of gold in circulation).

*Borin's Armour > Borin's Amulet -- also makes sense, plus it means not having to complicate things like the Pit of Darkness rule with yet another type of armour a hero may or may not be wearing. Good idea.

*Agreed, Heroes definitely need another form of advancement. I don't know Fate Points, but they sound thematic for heroes. If they're single-use things, though, what makes them different from potions?

My proposal for a secondary advancement path would be a gold sink based on the number of Quests Completed: After every, let's say, 7 Quests, you can spend 500 gold to train a skill -- maybe that's "a dwarf-like ability to disarm traps", maybe it's a once-per-quest skill like the Knight has, maybe passive like the Rogue. We could also borrow from the Japanese version and say when you train a skill, you also get to roll to potentially increase your Maximum Body Points -- or say that certain skills automatically come with +1 BP (or +1 MP).
Farwatcher

Zombie
Zombie
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Thursday January 13th, 2022 3:26am
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Zargon

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Monday September 5th, 2022 6:50am

The Japanese version is certainly interesting and I have studied it, but the ideas whilst good seem a little too different for me compared to the original, but can certainly be good for inspiration.

In terms of 500GC to increase starting BP (and indeed MP) is something that I originally had as part of my advancement system, but I moved away from it for a couple of reasons;

1. It kind of clashes with some of the artefacts, like Talisman of Lore, my own Borin’s Amulet and the Ring of Fortitude amongst others
2. The idea of getting permanent improvements for only 500GC (which by the time you get to the later Quests is effectively small change) is too much, better to ‘waste’ that gold on single-use bonuses like potions and the blessings (fate points), to avoid situations where you end up with Heroes having a dozen Mind or Body Points!

Fair point around the Battle Rage for the Barbarian as he is, and is meant to be, the simplest Hero to play but across two generations of players for me now and the youngest of both generations, aged eight and nine at the time, went for the Barbarian (with Battle Rage) and had no problems, in fact they absolutely loved the ability, after all at that age what could be better than bashing monsters even harder.

I have substituted finding standard weapons and armour in-quest, (obviously artefacts are different) with finding Daggers (and Magic Throwing Daggers/Darts), Magic Arrows, Scrolls and other single-use “special treasure items” and I have modified some of the Quests where the reward states “to be divided equally between all surviving Heroes” to be divided equally between ALL Heroes (or players) so if anyone has lost their Hero then that gives them a ‘seed’ fund to catch up a little.

I’ve edited my previous post to clarify how Blessings (Fate Points) work, so hopefully that has answered that question.
Super HeroQuest Rule:
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original - First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 1991 Remake [Japan], 2021 Remake / 1990 Remake [US] Second Edition?

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.
User avatar
Bareheaded Warrior

Archmage
Archmage
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Sunday December 8th, 2013 11:12am
Location: UK
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Usergroups:
Adventurers' Guild Group Member Champion Group Member

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Farwatcher » Monday September 5th, 2022 10:44pm

I see your point about 500 GC being cheap for a permanent improvement, though I think that's related to the "too much easily-acquired gold" issue. What if it were 2,000 GC for a permanent +1 Body Point? Or, what if it was only for one quest -- say, something like:
"Blessing of Endurance
500 GC
For the next quest only, increase your Starting Body Points by 2. These extra Body Points can be lost and restored as normal during the quest. At the end of the quest, discard this blessing."

Setting that aside for now, though -- if we're just looking at advancement via gold spent at the armory, I think you've got everything pretty well mapped out. The exact prices might need to be tweaked after seeing how changes to the treasure rules affect gold accumulation, but the bones are there. I would add one more top-end weapon:
Longbow
950 Gold Coins
Labels: Weapon, Large, Ranged, Both Hands, 2AD
This long-range weapon gives you the attack strength of 4 combat dice. Because of its cumbersome size, you may not move more than 6 spaces on the same turn you attack with it.


With this progression-via-armory model, though, I do worry about slowing down advancement too much -- particularly if you're also cutting back on treasure searches, which means fewer found potions and more gold spent at the alchemist's shop. How many quests do you see the heroes completing between armory upgrades?

But let's assume that we can hit a nice pace for gaining/spending gold... with your proposed armoury prices, a hero needs to spend 2,100GP to get a helm, shield, chain mail, longsword, and crossbow. That's roughly what each hero can accumulate from rewards and listed treasures by completing the base game, Kellar's Keep, and RotWL if they're extremely unlucky on treasure searches. Is their advancement after that strictly relegated to consumables? (I'm counting mercenaries and Blessings as consumables.)

My feeling is that there needs to be some sort of advancement beyond collecting the top-end weapons & armour. If it's not something as complex as purchasable skills or as permanent as extra Body Points / Mind Points, what about weapon enhancements? Nothing complicated, just a semi-permanent boost to a non-artifact weapon.
Enchant Weapon: [Monster Type]-slayer
Cost: 600 Gold
This enchantment may be placed on one weapon. You roll 1 extra Attack die when using that weapon to attack [Monster Type]. A weapon may only have one enchantment on it at a time. If the weapon is lost, sold, or destroyed, the enchantment is also removed.


...so maybe you enchant your Battle Axe against orcs for Kellar's Keep, and then when you're heading into RotWL, you spend another 600 gold to re-enchant it against zombies instead.

PS: I read through your HQ Gold Rulebook -- great work, and nicely put together!
Farwatcher

Zombie
Zombie
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Thursday January 13th, 2022 3:26am
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Zargon

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Tuesday September 6th, 2022 11:05am

Farwatcher,

I think for me the concept that I am struggling to articulate is about keeping the distinction between the various categories of items to avoid blurring the lines and overlapping (not sure that sentence actually helps understanding and I reworded it twice so I’ll try a different approach!)

Potions – temporary, single-use, instant boost / short-lived effect (now, next/this turn, until no enemies in sight) and I include Elixir of Life as a potion

Miscellaneous magic items (scrolls, flasks, magic dust, throwing dagger/darts, arrows) – temporary, single-use, instant boost / short-lived effect – obviously spell scrolls have effects like spells

Spells – permanent but single-use per Quest, instant boost / short-lived effect as potions but some are longer lived than equivalent potions – Rock Skin, but the key distinction here is that the spells are permanent, whilst the effects are relatively short-lived

Weapons & Armour – permanent, always on, improvements (like levelling up in other games)

Artefacts – permanent, but gives advantages over and above those that can be obtained through non-artefact weapons & armour – extra AD/DD over and above the equivalent mundane weapons and armour (sometimes only in specific situations), extra BP/MP or something truly unique like the ability to cast concurrent spells or recover/retain a cast spell or whatever.

So irrelevant to the cost, I see offering permanent improvements like +1 BP for gold, devalues Artefacts which should be special, unique and priceless. If +1BP can be purchased as an 'advancement' for 500GC or 5000GC then that instantly puts a price on Borin’s Amulet (HQ Gold) or the Ring of Fortitude etc.

That said I think it is a great idea to perhaps look at expanding out The Temple and ‘Blessings’ concept so your 500GC donation buys you a roll on a table, which could include a fate point (single-use) or your ‘Blessing of Endurance’ (single-use), possibly reduced to just +1BP to minimise effects of stacking, and perhaps a booby prize of a flask of Sacred Water (which is also single-use)

Back to the main topic…when I have time, I will work out the average gold value of each treasure card, the number of rooms in each Quest, total value of chests, rewards and so on for the base system quest pack and the expansions and work out the average gold accumulation versus spend, my version feels about right from playtesting but it would be interesting to get some supporting data behind it and as you say, easy enough to tweak, so leave this with me for now.

About the Longbow, I considered it myself but didn’t introduce it due to concerns already shared on this forum about the Crossbow being over-powered, jury is still out on that but plenty of people think that it is, adding a more powerful ranged weapon can only intensify those debates, so I erred on the side of caution.

And I would add that your movement restriction ‘you may not move more than 6 spaces on the same turn you attack with it’ may be controversial, movement restrictions tend to fall into the ‘only roll one red die for movement’ type e.g. carrying chests or potentially corpses, rather a fixed amount as if your movement roll turns out to be 6 or less, then you’ve not been restricted, and you also have to consider how the movement restriction works in combination with other item effects (although to be fair that issue exists in the original), e.g. I use my Longbow to attack and then drink a (US) Potion of Speed (allows me to move 12 squares irrespective to my movement roll), I use my Longbow to attack but as I’m wearing plate mail that restricts me to a single die of movement anyway then I don’t get penalised (I have removed that movement restriction for plate mail in my version but still it would apply when carrying a chest)

And finally, and most importantly (for me at least) I’m pleased to hear that you had a read of my house rules, it is in desperate need of proof-reading, but I appreciate that would be quite a time investment, just reading through the Scroll of Changes, probably gives the most bang for your buck on your time investment but glad you enjoyed it!
Super HeroQuest Rule:
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original - First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 1991 Remake [Japan], 2021 Remake / 1990 Remake [US] Second Edition?

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.
User avatar
Bareheaded Warrior

Archmage
Archmage
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Sunday December 8th, 2013 11:12am
Location: UK
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Usergroups:
Adventurers' Guild Group Member Champion Group Member

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Farwatcher » Thursday September 8th, 2022 4:01pm

I think I see where you’re coming from with the categories, and avoiding overlap certainly makes sense. As I see it, there are three areas where advancement could be improved within your category model, and one general problem that could stand to be addressed.

Skills – For the Knight, these are the equivalent of spells, albeit with their own individual weird rules about when and how they can be cast. If you’re expanding the ability of spellcasting heroes to buy additional spells, there’s an easy opportunity here to formalize how any hero can buy skills.

Mercenaries – Missing from your categories, there’s an opportunity to add more gold-sinks here with “For the next quest…” effects. If a mercenary is “For the next quest, you control an extra character until it gets killed”, a potential boon/blessing could be “For the next quest, you roll one extra movement die until you lose a Body Point”.

Intrinsic – This is where I see advancement going after a hero has bought all the good gear: permanent, always on improvements that can’t be passed to other heroes or recovered if the hero dies. With weapons, armour, and artifacts, my veteran Elf can give her Longsword to your newbie Dwarf when she gets a Battle Axe, or take a Spell Ring from the Wizard’s corpse (to give to his player’s next Wizard, of course). An intrinsic upgrade, like the +1 Body Point increase I originally envisioned, would be affixed to a single hero and permanently lost if that hero died. The Dwarf’s trap sense and the Rogue Heir’s new passive skills would also fall into the intrinsic category.

Separately from these, the other problem that’s come into focus for me is the difference between advancement through gold and advancement through quests completed. The advancement mechanism we’ve been talking about is fine until the heroes have bought the top-end weapons & armour, at which point it feels a bit odd to complete a quest pack and be rewarded with a thousand gold to spend on… potions?

Proposal
A hero who has been awarded the title of Champion (by completing the Base game) begins to earn Renown. After every 10 additional quests a Champion completes, that hero may choose one of the following advancements:
Renowned Endurance: Gain 1 Starting Body Point
Renowned Wisdom: Gain 1 Starting Mind Point
Renowned Luck: Gain the ability to re-roll a single die (once per quest)
Renowned Favour: Gain a coupon good for the purchase of any item in the armoury for half its listed price (discard after use)
Farwatcher

Zombie
Zombie
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Thursday January 13th, 2022 3:26am
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Zargon

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Monday October 10th, 2022 7:48am

Just to follow up on this thread, and I'll add more information later, but I worked out that the Heroes on average would get around 5300GC for completing the game system.

Obviously this is only an average figure, based on many assumptions:

• They search every room in every quest once
• They loot every chest
• They complete every Quest once and successfully
• Kill all the monsters in Bastion of Dread (but no Wandering Monsters)
• Any Weapons & Armour included in the Quests are valued at their cost price using the new rules
• Artefacts in the form of Weapons & Armour are also included at the cost price of their mundane equivalent using the new rules
• Potions and similar are not recorded as they have no cash value (at this stage)
• Neither is the 500GC ‘champion’ reward as that is now part of the temple rules
• Borin's Armour has been replaced with Borin's Amulet so that drops the value from that Quest by 850/1000gc

Incidentally using the base rules, allowing search once per hero per room and putting Borin's Armour back in results in a total gold of almost 10,000GC so my changes have halved that figure!

That works out at ~1300 per Hero, so ignoring the Wizard who is different entirely in terms of advancement

Assuming the maximum 'kit out' is something like Crossbow (650), Longsword (650) & Shield (100) OR Battle Axe (850), Helmet (200), Chainmail (500), Plate Mail (1000) is 3100/3200 and allowing for the fact you aren't likely to save your gold and not spend it on interim weapons so probably around 4000-4200GC to get to 'max' so at the end of the GS you would be about 30% of the way to your max.

I'll work out the figures for KK and ROTWL but yes I think your estimate of hitting max at the end of those 3 big packs looks and feels about right.
Super HeroQuest Rule:
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original - First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 1991 Remake [Japan], 2021 Remake / 1990 Remake [US] Second Edition?

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.
User avatar
Bareheaded Warrior

Archmage
Archmage
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Sunday December 8th, 2013 11:12am
Location: UK
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Usergroups:
Adventurers' Guild Group Member Champion Group Member

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Farwatcher » Monday October 10th, 2022 6:21pm

Good stuff, BW! I think I undervalued treasure searches when I was estimating gold progression, but overall, I think we've got the same sense of what the heroes are able to accumulate. It seems fair to say now that progression through the GS and the first two expansions reasonably uses the existing Armory system -- with room for some tweaks -- and it's when you start getting into the advanced expansions that progression starts to have problems.

Incidentally, I was thinking about your rule about the Barbarian not using ranged weapons, and how everyone loves to give the big lug some extra abilities, and I came up with an idea that might be relevant to this topic:

Barbarian Ability - Mighty Hurler
When you attack, you may throw your weapon at any monster you can "see". Your weapon is lost once it is thrown.


This would be a passive, do-not-discard ability. You can apply recovery rules to thrown weapons if you wish, but my thinking is that it would be equal parts situational advantage and gold sink (plus, making those random shortswords and broadswords slightly more useful as throwing fodder).
Farwatcher

Zombie
Zombie
 
Posts: 30
Joined: Thursday January 13th, 2022 3:26am
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Zargon

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Thursday March 9th, 2023 7:35am

Picture the scene, you are a game designer, back in the 80s, perhaps your name is “Steve”, tasked with creating a dungeon crawler, but under the instruction to keep it simple, aim it at 10-12 year old market, but you want the players to keep their character from game to game and develop, invest and advance them.

Classic Advancement System

Starting with a classic advancement system, you gain experience points (XP) through in-game accomplishments, at the end of each “level” you get the opportunity to trade these XP in (assuming you have enough) to gain a bonus / level up your characters stats. Simple and straight-forward.

So, what in-game accomplishments should gain you XP, start with the obvious ones, killing monsters and a bonus for fulfilling your mission objective.

So, considering the bonus first,

Bonus XP for achieving mission objective (must be stated at the start of each level: If the mission objective is completed successfully all (surviving) characters get a 100XP bonus each

Note: of course, not every level will have an objective, it may just be a pass-thru level or an escape from the dungeon level but that doesn’t matter. Equally some objectives may be harder than other so it doesn’t have to be a fixed 100XP that could just be a typical example, to be varied on a level by level difficulty basis.

So, uncovering the clues from the past buried in today’s edition, (feels like I’m creating a new hobby of board game archaeology, head lamp on, whip coiled on hip, dainty brush at the ready), we could assume that the reward system from Bastion of Chaos gives us a glimpse back into the murky past.

XP gained by killing monsters:

• Kill a Goblin = 10XP
• Kill an Orc = 20 XP
• Kill a Fimir/Chaos Warrior = 30XP

However our instruction is to keep it simple, part of that is minimising book-keeping, and tracking every single monster killed, and either writing down the XP bonus, or taking tokens out from the bank, seem too much book-keeping and too much chance of player forgetting (did I write down the 10XP from that Goblin I killed, or is the last 10XP scribbled down from the one I killed the turn before?)

So instead, we abstract this XP gained by killing monsters up a level. Let’s assume rooms on average typically have 10-60 XPs worth of monsters (and there will be exceptional rooms – Boos rooms but we’ll cover those later), so instead of having the hassle of tracking XP from every single kill, lets just say, whoever kills the last monster in a room gets D6x10 XP (another clue here maybe in the EA treasure card where you find D6x10GC?). On average this works out the same, but less book-keeping.

For exceptional circumstances where we have a room packed with monsters that would otherwise break this average principle, we’ll replace this standard D6x10 XP reward and just add a note to the room in the level that says “clearing this room, gives a XP bonus of 100XP, rather than the normal D6 x 10XP” or whatever fixed value better reflects the combined XP value of the monsters.

So that covers gaining XP but what about levelling up our character

At the end of each level, you can trade in 200XP to increase your attack dice from 2 to 3 or your defend dice from 2 to 3. Later on, you can trade in 500XP to increase your attack dice from 3 to 4 or your defend dice from 3 to 4. Later still maybe you can trade a 1000XP to increase your attack dice from 4 to 5 or your defend dice from 4 to 5. You get the picture.

Note: Obviously if you haven’t got enough, or you have XP left over after the transaction then it carries over to the next level.

So now we have first draft / working version of our advancement system as below:

Gain XP by…
1. Killing all monsters in a standard room = D6x10 XP
2. Special rooms, are an exception, where you get a fixed amount detailed in the notes of say 100XP or 150XP for clearing the room (based on the XP value of the monsters within)
3. Bonus XP for achieving mission objective: If the mission objective is completed successfully all (surviving) characters get a fixed XP bonus each, maybe 100XP but will vary depending on the difficulty of the level and not all levels will have an objective linked to a bonus.

Trade in XP at the end of a level, provided you have enough, any excess carried over as follows
1. 200XP for an upgrade from 2 to 3 on AD or DD
2. 500XP for an upgrade from 3 to 4 on AD or DD
3. 1000XP for an upgrade from 4 to 5 on AD or DD


But then, and this is the clever, ingenious part, so watch carefully. We HeroQuestify our working version.

Instead of referring to it as XP (Experience Points) we make it more atmospheric, more themed to a dungeon-crawler and call it Gold Coins
We introduce a ‘search the room for treasure action’ that can only be done once the room has been cleared of monster to get the standard D6x10XP reward or the fixed reward if applicable to that room.

Instead of ‘levelling up’ we call it buying better weapons (AD) or armour (DD) from some sort of virtual ‘shop’ between quests.

Now with this theme layered over the top we produce something like this

Acquire gold coins by…

1. Searching a room for treasure after any monsters have been killed and you find D6x10 Gold Coins (or in special rooms, instead of finding D6x10GC you find a fixed value of gold coins, maybe 100GC or 150GC roughly depending on the monsters in the room, these exceptional rooms and their reward will be called out in the Quest Notes. In fact lets take this up a notch and for these special rooms lets place a treasure chest in the room, as a visual prompt for this special gold bonus)

2. Some quests will have an objective, and some of those will come with a bonus gold coin reward. These quests, the objective and any bonus will be detailed in the parchment text at the start of the Quest so the Heroes know what they have to do to get the reward up-front

Between Quests: Present the opportunity for players to spend their gold on boosting their Heroes stats by ‘spending their gold on purchasing better weapons and armour from a ‘shop’’

• 200 gold coins to buy a Broadsword gives you 3AD up from the usual 2AD
• 500 gold coins to buy a Battle Axe gives you 4AD up from the 3AD that your Broadsword gave you
• 200 gold coins to buy a Helmet giving you an extra DD to 3DD
• 500 gold coins to buy Chainmail giving you another extra DD to 4DD
• 1000 gold coins to buy Plate giving you another extra DD to 5DD

Any excess gold is written on your character sheet and carried over to the next game


And now we have something that, with a few tweaks, resembles the HQ process that we are all familiar with.

A few tweaks include tweaking a few of the values, adding in some disposable throwing weapons, the diagonal and ranged attack properties to boost the number of attacking upgrades available without a hero ending up over-powered with 10AD, adding in some more flavour with a shield that cannot be combined with a battle axe, plate having a penalty, the Quest reward being a lump sum split between surviving heroes, so it auto-balances, more heroes easier Quest less reward each, less heroes harder quest more reward each, replacing the D6x10 gold with treasure cards that average to the same value but gives you more variety and control and can be expanded and padded with WM, potions, traps and the like.

HeroQuest gold acquisition and spending in a ‘shop’ IS the advancement system (but in disguise) which is why you have to be careful about taking it too literally when considering rule modifications (and quest notes) that cover such areas like:

• Finding equipment in the dungeon (this short-circuits the advancement system, and when you find a staff that is useless to anyone apart from the Wizard and he has already bought one, then we would all prefer the gold to choose how we spend it – less so with throwing knives, throwing axes and anything else disposable or limited use)

• Finding stuff in the dungeon that has a gold coin value so high that it makes everything you have found to date, look like loose change, and complete an upgrade path in a single hit (Borin’s Armour anyone, got to be worth 1000 Gold Coins and just given away…)

• Introducing rules that lead to your equipment breaking in certain circumstances, yes that is realistic in-game that weapons can break, but at a player level rather than in-game level, the weapons represent your Hero XP / Advancement Level, how exactly can you break your upgrade by hitting someone with it (and this would cover Rust spells)

• Recovering equipment from a fallen hero, in-game this makes sense, but at a level above this you are simply passing all the XP, from a now deceased character to a replacement character, instantly levelling him up, the end result being that the replacement character ends up exactly the same as the one who just died, so you might as well just do the computer-game version of dropping the original character back in from the top of the screen at the start of the next level (or if they all die the (re)start of the same level).

The other key area that is very, very difficult to achieve is the right balance between XP or Gold acquisition, your upgrade progress, buying stuff and running out of available upgrades or get over powered, either too early or just completely over-powered, making the opponents too easy, and the game no challenge, but I’ll cover this later.

On a separate but loosely related note, is anyone able to provide me with the correct terminology to smooth these conversations (or point me in the direction of a suitable book/website):

What is the terminology for the 'levels' that I'm referring to?

The "in-game" heroes exploring a dungeon, slaying monster, finding gold, rescuing a princess, versus the players, rolling dice, moving figures, levelling up their character stats?
Super HeroQuest Rule:
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original - First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 1991 Remake [Japan], 2021 Remake / 1990 Remake [US] Second Edition?

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.
User avatar
Bareheaded Warrior

Archmage
Archmage
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Sunday December 8th, 2013 11:12am
Location: UK
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Usergroups:
Adventurers' Guild Group Member Champion Group Member

Re: Advancement - how to do it?

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Monday March 20th, 2023 6:11am

Balancing the Advancement System (SE)

My intention is to run through SE Gathering Storm Quest book recording the acquisition of gold and the spending of that gold on upgrades to see how balanced or otherwise this works out under SE rules and quests and then possibly repeat for other editions (but one step at a time).

Assumptions

Obviously there is a huge number of variables so I’ll need to make assumptions and I’ve listed them here so that these can be considered and challenged before I start to use them in any calculations.

1. Players take ever opportunity provided to acquire for treasure, searching every room and passage(way) and opening every chest.
2. SE Treasure deck contains 25 cards with a total gold yield of 365 (the D6x10 card yields an average of 35) so I’m working on the principle that each card drawn will on average provide 15 gold coins. Obviously, this won’t be true on each occasion but over a long enough sample should average out.
3. Players complete each quest successfully on the first attempt, no heroes die, and they get any reward.
4. Assume ‘set paths’ for advancement through purchasing equipment for each hero, see below. Players purchase an upgrade at the earliest opportunity.
5. Gold is held collectively by the group.
6. Throwing weapons (Hand Axe & Spear) are ignored in the advancement paths as they are one-shot items and not permanent upgrades.
7. The staff is assumed to be Wizard only (although strictly speaking it isn’t) because otherwise it fits awkwardly, being just a cheaper version of the shortsword, so I'll ignore that for non-Wizards.

Advancement Path for each hero

• Barbarian (starts with 3AD), 6 upgrades, total [2270GC]: Shield (+1DD) [100GC] -> Helmet (+1DD) [120GC] -> Battle Axe (4AD) [400GC] -> Chain Mail (3DD) [450GC] -> Plate Armour (4DD) [850GC] -> Crossbow (3AD, Ranged) [350GC]

• Dwarf, 8 upgrades, total [2670GC]: Shield (+1DD) [100GC] -> Helmet (+1DD) [120GC] -> Short sword (2AD, Diagonal) [150GC] -> Broadsword (3AD) [250GC] -> Battle Axe (4AD) [400GC] -> Chain Mail (3DD) [450GC] -> Plate Armour (4DD) [850GC] -> Crossbow (3AD, Ranged) [350GC]

• Elf, 8 upgrades, total [2670GC]: Shield (+1DD) [100GC] -> Helmet (+1DD) [120GC] -> Short sword (2AD, Diagonal) [150GC] -> Broadsword (3AD) [250GC] -> Crossbow (3AD, Ranged) [350GC] -> Battle Axe (4AD) [400GC] -> Chain Mail (3DD) [450GC] -> Plate Armour (4DD) [850GC]

• Wizard, 3 upgrades, total [650GC]: Staff (2AD, Diagonal) [100GC] -> Bracers (+1DD) [200GC] -> Cloak of Protection (+1DD) [350GC]
Super HeroQuest Rule:
:skull: = white skull, one "hit"
:blackshield: = black skull, one "hit"
:whiteshield: = shield, cancels out one "hit"

Editions: 1989 Original - First Edition [FE] and Second Edition [SE], 1990 Remake [US], 1991 Remake [Japan], 2021 Remake / 1990 Remake [US] Second Edition?

HeroQuest Gold new edition based on Original 1989 HeroQuest, holes patched, dents hammered out, buffed to a shiny finish with ~50 common issues fixed for a smoother experience.
User avatar
Bareheaded Warrior

Archmage
Archmage
 
Posts: 998
Joined: Sunday December 8th, 2013 11:12am
Location: UK
Forum Language: British English
Hero:
Evil Sorcerer: Morcar
Usergroups:
Adventurers' Guild Group Member Champion Group Member

Next

Return to Official Rules

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest