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Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Tuesday November 18th, 2014 6:01pm
by cornixt
I figure it is about time to let you guys rip this apart. It's not completely done, but if I waited until then it would never be shown to anyone! This version is a little different to what I plan for the final release, since it uses mostly HQ dice references instead of D6, so there are probably a few areas where bits don't make sense because of that. See attachment

The Why

I hope to explain why I created this. First, it was just tidying up HeroQuest rules. A lot of it was untidy, such as the equipment rules being unfinished – players could carry as much stuff as they liked, instantly switching from a powerful sword to a powerful bow. There was a lack of variety when it came to player types and equipment range. Mind points seemed as important as Body points, but were actually almost never used in the game. Since the game was out of print and I didn’t have a copy, I had to get together everything in the game from various places in order to play – the rules and quests were on the Hasbro website in pdf form, so I printed them out. I created tiles of the rooms instead of making a board, so I could have a much wider variety of quests and use them for other games. I constructed papercraft furniture. The models I had for the heroes didn’t quite fit the design, and there were obvious problems with the originals anyway. I managed to gather enough equivalents for the monsters from Warhammer armies and Blood Bowl teams.

After a few games, I reworked the worst parts of the rules for use in my normal games of HeroQuest. This led me to several HQ fan sites where they discussed what made the game good and what the spiritual successor was for people today. The latter was a bit sad – there was almost nothing commercially available at the same level of being easy to learn and play. Neither HQ nor these rules are some kind of tactical game with meaningful decisions on every turn like you may have with more complicated games like Legend of Drizzt or Descent, but they are easy-to-play games with some luck and roleplay. Recreating a playable copy of HQ is also not a simple task, with the board, tokens, and cards, it is a lot of stuff; it’s not something you could expect people to do if they just want a simple dungeon crawl game. So what was stopping me from writing one to fill this void? All I needed to do was redo the rules to remove the remainder of the rough edges that I hadn’t touched yet. It took less than two pages, but each change took it another step beyond being just another HQ update.

The main rules are two pages. The tables for each genre are two pages (but could be entirely replaced by cards). I’ve bundled a few other things, so I don’t think it is a stretch to call it the Two Page Dungeon Crawl.

Movement – Roll and move games tend to be frowned upon, and with good reason; it makes luck the biggest deciding factor in a game and takes strategy away from the players. I gave each character fixed movement and made the opponents unpredictable instead. This makes much more sense from a player perspective.

Characters – Five generic character types rather than the four characters that nearly always became weirdly different from their origins (a barbarian wearing armour?). Race/species no longer matters. Got rid of Mind points – so rarely used. The warrior is the only one who can still handle himself in combat when unarmed.

Equipment – Players have to consider what they want to use and carry. Added new stuff to allow different combinations, removed need for cards (although they can be used, easier to keep track of equipment that way).

Actions – Wanted to make it a bit faster when it came to searches; having separate search for treasure, traps, and secret doors, just slowed the game down. Made movement one of the actions so characters could do other productive things when they aren’t moving around. It also means that the character that kills the last monster in the room can search.

Replaced Cards With Tables – The cards were fine, but were just one more thing that needed to be made. Printing out a couple of pages is so much easier than making decks of cards. All of the tables can just as easily be turned into a deck of cards if you want to.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Tuesday November 18th, 2014 8:24pm
by whitebeard
This is nice. From the "Actions" section I was initially confused that the characters are also "creatures".

In addressing your "Why" section (gathering all of the pieces is difficult), I would argue that what is really needed is an "open license" set of rules, quests, board, furniture, quest builder (icons etc.), card decks, dice design, … This way anybody can print them (commercially or hobbyists) and any vendor who wants to can offer a starter pack. You only need a minis manufacturer (Zealot) and a print shop. Reaper licenses "Pathfinder" and others perhaps they would consider pulling together a collection from their Bones line and selling a starter pack as well? "QuestHeroes" anyone?

Anyway. From what I read, this is a really good starting point. I think you need another iteration in keeping things simple though. completely pre-made characters on cards is the way to go… human warrior, human mage, human priest, human paladin, human rogue, elf, dwarf, and halfling should be plenty.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Tuesday November 18th, 2014 9:45pm
by mitchiemasha
Roll and movement, frowned upon because of luck... I despise this belief... Half the fun of HQ is not knowing if you can run away or not. The unknown of rolls but knowing of a monsters reach can make for some very fun mishaps or just made it lucky escapes.

The main reason i despise people being against this mechanic... You're walking around in a dark, decrepit dungeon, unfamiliar to your feat. Lose stones, cracks in paving, all have factors in your movement. In the real world rushing forward as fast as you can and having good footing is quite down to luck.

I see it as 12 is the maximum 1 could move, if you roll 12 and want to move 12 you got good footing and charged ahead, if you only move 5 or 6, it's because you went slow. if you wanted to move 12 but only rolled a 2 it's obvious that you tried to run as fast as you could but tripped, stumbled. Nature itself and where you place your feet determines how fast you can progress.

Movement dice are a must for me, but some kind of +/- could be added to different characters... I add in roll doubles, It always seems exciting when you roll doubles but nothing in HQ reflects the feeling. Double 1 trip! roll a shield or lose 1bp. Other doubles can be MAM, charge etc, doubles can be made to combine with special abilities of artifacts.

Movement dice is how normal board gamers know how to play games and HQ was an introductory from this world to the more serious games, it's an important mechanic.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Wednesday November 19th, 2014 12:13am
by mitchiemasha

There is where i'm at, just having a read through yours.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Wednesday November 19th, 2014 8:08am
by knightkrawler
Biff's game - he's the admin of the OldScratch Heroquest forum - which is heavily influenced by HQ, goes by the name of Dungeon Crawl.
Just sayin'.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Wednesday November 19th, 2014 10:42am
by torilen
I bookmarked this topic, so hopefully I'll remember to come back to it.
Just some preliminary thoughts.
- I agree with you on the movement thing - I also dislike the "luck factor" when it comes to
movement with dice rolling.

- Equipment cards - as you said, it makes it easier to keep track of what a character is carrying.

- Replaced cards with tables - I somewhat agree with this when it comes to monster stats and wandering
monsters...even tables to explain what players will find in rooms/areas (monsters, traps, treasures, etc).
However, I have really come to like cards for spells, treasure, actions/skills, and such things. It makes it
much easier to keep track of things (as with equipment), especially if skills build upon only
need one card to tell you what level of skill you have and what it does for you. For spells, it makes it easier
to know what spells have been used.
I also like the idea of using tokens for duration of spells, magic items, and ammunition. It does make for a
lot to keep up with as far as knowing if you have all the parts for the game...but it makes playing a hero much
more manageable sometimes, instead of having to pour through a character sheet and lists of spells and skills, to
see what level something might be or whether you have used it this quest or that quest.

I'll try to come back and read the rules soon - it is off to bed for now, though.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Wednesday November 19th, 2014 11:11am
by cornixt
I do intend to make a deck or two of cards for all the equipment and search stuff. The spells of each type come on a single card that you can turn to signify which spells you have used up. In theory, they replace all of the tables, so you can buy them if you prefer hem (I don't expect to make any actual money from it, but if it partially funds any future card decks I make then that would be good). I intend this to be an open system, with everything printable on a b&w office printer, but easy to upgrade to full miniatures.

Biff's game - he's the admin of the OldScratch Heroquest forum - which is heavily influenced by HQ, goes by the name of Dungeon Crawl.
Just sayin'.

Seems a bit foolish to use the genre name as the name for an actual game, especially when there are so many other games with "dungeon crawl" in the name. Pretty much buries the game when it comes to internet searches. I'm still not set on the name for mine yet, and since I plan on make modern and sci-fi versions that use the same rules, it probably isn't going to be appropriate in the long run anyway.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Wednesday November 19th, 2014 2:53pm
by mitchiemasha
Possibly Bif was going for the approach that it was the ultimate rules of the genre, using the best ideas from all. Crowning his king so rightfully deservent of the title. One dungeon crawl to rule them all...

I need to have a another look at Bifs ideas but when I first seen it, I thought he'd taking it down the advanced route too much so was initial put off.

Torilen... Did you read my post on the luck factor of movement. I'm interested in opposing views on my thinking.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Wednesday November 19th, 2014 3:28pm
by The Road Warrior
mitchiemasha wrote:Torilen... Did you read my post on the luck factor of movement. I'm interested in opposing views on my thinking.

Sorry, but I agree with your opinion. I think random movement is an important part of the game for the reasons you gave. I also think that from a quest writing perspective it opens up the possibility to add in more interesting non-combat events like the rolling boulder from Kellars Keep. How *lemony goodness* would that be if the Heroes had fixed movement!? You would be able to work out straight away whether you were going to get squished or not.

But I have to admit that I'm not so keen on the range of movement provided by the HQ system. 2 -12 movement is a big difference and I would definitely be open to a system that used 1d6 + modifier e.g. +3 for a Dwarf, +4 for a human +5 for an elf. That would retain some of the randomness, even out the movement a bit and provide another differential between the characters. It may also work better with the movement penalty for wearing plate armour.

Re: Two-page Dungeon Crawl

PostPosted: Wednesday November 19th, 2014 4:05pm
by cornixt
Rolling dice for movement. The thing I dislike about it the most is that it turns a pretty basic thing, like walking, into something unpredictable. Fighting with swords and shooting arrows are a whole magnitude more difficult, so they make sense to represent that way. If the game was set in a craggy cave then it would make more sense, but a dimly lit room with a flat floor should not impede someone so dramatically. Why can someone go 12 along the same straight corridor as someone else who is only going 2? Maybe a pair of dice more balanced for movement would work better (like 2,3,3,4,4,5), but that is beyond the scope of this project.