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New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Wednesday July 29th, 2020 6:19pm
by elvyler
I've been thinking of a new style of HeroQuest game play. The idea would be to have a miniature encounter style quest that can be played quickly, something that could be done in between larger quests. An example of this could be an encounter at camp, Orcs surround the heroes camp in the middle of the night and the heroes must fight them off; or on their way to the next quest the heroes encounter a band of monsters guarding a bridge, the heroes must defeat the monsters before they can cross.

These encounters would use a smaller map, monsters and heroes would have specific starting points. In the camp attack scenario, the four heroes would start in the middle of the map and the monsters would start at the four corners:

There could be scatter terrain placed in random spots, this map has a few small rocks, these can be treated as furniture so they cannot be moved onto.

Some special rules:
- The map is pretty small so I decided heroes will only use one movement die.
- Four orcs wouldn't put up much of a fight against the four heroes, when a hero defeats an enemy, they draw a treasure card. If they draw a Wandering Monster, Zargon may place a new monster on one of the four monster starting points of his choosing.
- If a wandering monster is added to the map, it cannot be attacked until the next round.
- Heroes win when all monsters are defeated, Zargon wins if all heroes are defeated.

Here is a little play test that I did with the above map.

Round 1
Hero Turn

Rolls: Barbarian: 1, Dwarf: 4, Elf: 6, Wizard: 6

- Barbarian and Dwarf move toward the Orcs
- Elf moves to defend the Wizard
- Wizard casts Ball of Flame on OrcD, OrcD fails roll with a 2 and a 3, and dies. Wizard draws treasure card, 15 gold.


Zargon Turn

- OrcA engages Wizard. OrcA :skull: :skull: :whiteshield: , Wizard :skull: :whiteshield: ; Wizard loses 1BP
- OrcB engages Wizard. OrcB :whiteshield: :blackshield: :skull: , Wizard :whiteshield: :skull: ; Wizard defends
- OrcC engages Elf. OrcC :whiteshield: :skull: :skull: , Elf :whiteshield: :skull: ; Elf loses 1BP


BP: Barbarian 8, Dwarf 6, Elf 5, Wiz 3

Round 2
Hero Turn

Rolls: Barbarian 6, Dwarf 6, Elf 4, Wizard 3

- Barbarian engages OrcA. Barb :whiteshield: :skull: :skull: , OrcA :blackshield: :whiteshield: ; OrcA dies, Barb draws Potion of Defense
- Dwarf engages OrcB. Dwarf :skull: :skull: , OrcB :skull: :whiteshield: ; OrcB dies, Dwarf draws Wandering Monster
(Zargon places new orc in desired starting point)
- Elf engages OrcC. Elf :whiteshield: B; OrcC defends
- Wizard moves away, casts Genie on OrcC. Wizard :skull: :whiteshield: :whiteshield: :whiteshield: :skull: , OrcC :skull: :skull: ; OrcC Dies, Wizard draws Jewels!


Zargon Turn

OrcE engages Elf. OrcE :whiteshield: :whiteshield: :skull: , Elf :whiteshield: :whiteshield: ; Elf defends


BP: Barbarian 8, Dwarf 6, Elf 5, Wiz 3

Round 3
Hero Turn

Rolls: Barbarian 1, Dwarf 2, Elf 6, Wizard 2

- Barbarian moves closer to OrcE.
- Dwarf moves closer to OrcE
- Elf engages OrcE. Elf :whiteshield: :whiteshield: OrcE defends.
- Wizard moves behind Barbarian, casts Fire of Wrath on OrcE; OrcE fails roll (1) and dies. Wizard Draws Wandering Monster


At this point I realize that no matter what happens, the heroes will never face more than the starting number of monsters at a time. There needs to be some kind of rule that allows Zargon to add a new monster at some point. There also needs to be some kind of rule that determines the type of monsters starting and the type of monsters that get added each time a Wandering Monster is drawn. It would be no fun to have the same monsters the whole time.

This is what I have so far, if anyone has any comments, I'd love to hear them.

Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Wednesday July 29th, 2020 6:40pm
by Goblin-King
I like this idea a lot.
Perhaps rethink the step where you draw a treasure card for each monster that is killed. I fear this could easily turn into a loot fest.
Maybe Zargon just always starts his turn rolling 1 (or 2) dice and refer to a monster chart for this particular encounter.

6 - Orc
5-4 - Goblin
3-1 - nothing

Loot could either be a set quest note like "You each find 25 gold pieces".
Or random: Each player draws 1 treasure card and disregards traps or wandering monsters.

Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Wednesday July 29th, 2020 8:00pm
by StratosVX
The one movement die could also be attributed to the Heroes fighting in the dark. Something else that could be done is to reduce the armor the Heroes are wearing because they were settling down for the night. This could increase the difficulty without needing to add more monsters, and provides valid reasoning for the reduced armor.

Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Thursday July 30th, 2020 9:08am
by elvyler
Thanks for the feedback, this is a really great community.

Goblin-King: Those are some great ideas. I really like the idea of making the reward at the end a treasure card. My original thought was that drawing a card after a kill would be like going through the monster's pockets, sometimes you find something, sometimes you don't, and sometimes you might get poked by something. I agree that it could become a loot fest. Maybe we could do something like take all the non-gold items out of the treasure deck, or something like that.

StratosVX: Great idea about reducing the defense dice for the heroes. I was hoping to not change the character's base stats much, so that it would be easier to just pick up and play, but your idea would definitely add some difficulty without the need to add more monsters.

Some other ideas that I've come up with while thinking this through are:
- If Wandering Monster is drawn then Zargon adds two monsters to the map instead of just one.
- I'd like to go back to the hero's having two movement dice. Having only one die for a night time scenario where it is dark makes sense, but there could be other scenarios, like the bridge encounter. This might mean that we need a bigger play area, my 8x11 grid is a bit small.
- Zargon rolls between each round to see if he can add a new monster to the map.

As for monster variety, I think maybe Zargon can pick two monsters that would make sense for the scenario, then use something like Goblin-Kings monster chart example above to determine which one gets added.

I'll try incorporating some of these ideas into my next play test and see how it goes. Stay tuned for an update after I try out these changes.

Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Thursday July 30th, 2020 11:47am
by Anderas
I made some calculations.
Target was to let the Heroes lose around 4 BP and use Goblins, Orcs, Fimirs only. The Heroes were having either 3 Attack and 5 Defense, ranged or 4 Attack 4 Defense. I used NA monster stats. (Fimir = 2 BP)

Some possible monster groups are:
6x Goblin, 2x Fimir (was a little bit too easy... but put a 3rd Fimir and it goes to more than 5 BP loss)
5x Orc, 6x Goblin
8x Orc
7x Orc, 1x Fimir
6x Orc, 2x Fimir
4x Orc, 3x Fimir

Mind, each of those groups will all take more-or-less 4 BP (with a variance of 2 BP)
Your Heroes have 24 BP. So if you place 4 of the groups, one after the other, you have 16 BP plus or minus 8 (no, the deviation is a little less for longer fights, but right now I am lazy calculating it) - that makes a 50/50 chance. The dice decide. Chances are that you kill one of the heroes.

Disclaimer: If your heroes are less good equipped or fewer heroes, the damage they receive is much higher! The calculation would have to be redone completely. Likewise, if they bring a couple mercenaries or better equipment, it becomes a walk in the park! Post the hero group you want to be in the center of my attention, I would redo it for one group.

Tactics decide, too! Give them some spaces to regroup or protect one of their numbers, 2 squares small entryways, corners to run around, that way they can show if they're understanding the game or not. For most people "understand, apply and solve" is the part which is fun and makes them addicted.
So, heroes shouldn't sleep in the open fields but maybe in some ancient ruins with all-open doors. If you browse heroic maps, you'll find certainly lots more interesting maps for an overnight stay. My link points to the "geomorph" part of it, those are 10x10 tiles you can combine into a bigger map.

So what you do is, you spawn those groups: the first is surrounding the group. Then, as soon as the first group is completely dead, the next group spawns. The second and later groups all start in a corner far away from the heroes. Like that the heroes can search one or two rounds until they get attacked again.
Give your heroes a different objective, too. They lose if one of their numbers dies (a total party kill is not too much fun, one dead hero can happen). They win if they find... whatever.

If I recalculate the groups above with enclosed spaces (a maximum of 3 monsters and 3 heroes can attack each round), most of those groups get a little less dangerous. Unsurprising, the fimir-orc groups keep most of their punch while the goblin groups really start to suffer in tactical environments; given that the heroes understand how to gain that advantage. :-)

Once you have hidden corners and walls to go in cover behind, you can also sprinkle archers and spearmen among the monsters. Rule of thumb: For each crossbow the heroes have, get one archer of a type you like instead of it's original base game model. For each longsword they have, get a diagonal replacement for the original base game model.

Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Thursday July 30th, 2020 12:31pm
by arntisdale
This is a really cool idea!
Concerning the campsite ambush, you could start it off with a roll to see whether or not the heroes were alert enough to detect the ambush before the monsters rushed into the campsite. Something like skulls = unaware and shield = detected ambush.
As to the result, it could be used to determine the degree of unpreparedness. If caught completely unaware, you could randomly select two pieces of equipment that each hero normally has, and remove it from use for that encounter (who wears a helmet while camping anyway?). If they had some warning, remove only one piece of equipment. Then, you could add a chest to the terrain which a hero could go re-equip his standard gear. The mechanics could be something like having to spend an action to re-equip one piece of equipment while standing next to the chest, or make them have to spend an entire turn re-equipping one piece because they're bleary-eyed, stumbly, and unfocused due to having their rest interrupted.
Also, unaware of the ambush or not, if the camping time is that time which our spellcasters meditate and re-acquire their spells, then it would make sense to limit the number of spell cards available. I was thinking randomly removing half of each spellcaster's spells would quite effectively represent their lack of mental recovery. Either that, or you could limit them to only the spells that they still have left from the previous quest, although that would require extra tracking on what was used, and could result in a rather severe handicap if they used all of their spells last quest.
These modifications would certainly make a goblin/orc attack more interesting! Heroes might need to rush to re-equip while ambushers are running up on them and more are popping out of the bushes. Or the dwarf might charge into battle naked wielding his battle axe, while the wizard is running around barefoot casting spells, and the barbarian engages a group of goblins in a bare-knuckle brawl!

Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Thursday July 30th, 2020 12:58pm
by Anderas
Arntisdale, if this forum could give likes or claps or the like, I would do it right now until the feature is exhausted.

Letting the heroes search for their own equipment is just the kind of evilness this kind of mission needs! |_P

Decide! Do you want your helmet back or do you want to attack? :lol: |_P

Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Thursday July 30th, 2020 1:23pm
by elvyler
Arntisdale, amazing idea. This could work similar to "Legacy of the Orc Warlord", this could be a really fun mechanic.

Anderas, great work on figuring out those monster groups. I love the idea of having waves of monsters attacking. I also agree, camping out in an open field makes it a little boring, changing the setting to ancient ruins would be interesting. This could also introduce the element of different elevations as well.

Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Friday July 31st, 2020 1:15am
by elvyler
To solve some of the spacing issues, I've created a new map. My drawing skills aren't the greatest, so I turned to some free resources that I found here: ... photoshop/.

I've made the area a little bit larger, it is now 23x16. I've added ruins for elevation, and more obstacles, they can serve as a defensive point for the Heroes and as a hindrance for the monsters.


I've also been playing around a little bit with formatting the scenarios. Here's what I've come up with. My writing isn't great, I came up with it in about 5 minutes, so it could use some work. I think this helps to frame the situation. I haven't added anything about rewards yet, there are a lot of ideas for how to make that work.


Re: New Type of Mini Encounter Quest

PostPosted: Friday July 31st, 2020 3:47am
by Anderas
It is missing an explanation for the spawn points and monster spawning rules