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House Rule for Movement

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House Rule for Movement

Postby Davane » Saturday March 13th, 2021 11:57pm

As part of my RandoQuest project, I am considering the following house rule for movement, in an effort to not only standardise it within HQ, but also to standardise it with AHQ and WHQ too.

Essentially, rather than rolling a number of red dice and adding them together (typically two red dice, for a total between 2 and 12 spaces), you only take the HIGHEST roll, for a total movement of between 1 and 6 spaces per turn. This will effectively halve all movement, but increases the chances of rolling higher values for a more consistent movement per turn of around 4 spaces.

All Monster movement is halved (rounded down, minimum of 1).

Plate Armour still only lets you roll one die for movement, taking away the normal benefit of having a second attempt at rolling high for movement, and thus making it more likely that you will roll lower totals for movement without holding up the entire party.

Swift Wind and Potion of Speed doubles the amount of dice you can roll to determine your movement (normally from 2 red dice to 4 red dice).

For the statisticians, the chances of rolling the following totals or higher for movement are:

:roll6: = 1/6 + 5/6*1/6 = 6/36 + 5/36 = 11/36 = ~31%
:roll5: = 2/6 + 4/6*2/6 = 12/36 + 8/36 = 20/36 = ~56%
:roll4: = 3/6 + 3/6*3/6 = 18/36 + 9/36 = 27/36 = 75%
:roll3: = 4/6 + 2/6*4/6 = 24/36 + 8/36 = 32/36 = ~89%
:roll2: = 5/6 + 1/6*5/6 = 30/36 + 5/36 = 35/36 = ~97%

The ultimate aim here is to try and turn the Move characteristic away from just how far you move, but also into a form of check that can work like a Reflex save, that can be used for dealing with Traps. For example, a Hero jumping over a pit currently takes 1 damage if they roll a :skull: on one combat die, which is 3/6 of the time (50%). I want to change that so that if you jump across a pit, you roll combat dice equal to your Movement, and if ANY die results in a :skull: then the hero crosses the pit successfully. Since rolling a :skull: on two combat dice equates to rolling :roll4: or higher on two red dice, we can see that this would take the chance of success from 3/6 (50%) to 27/36 (75%).

This will make all quests take roughly twice as long, so it is recommended that some sort of Evil Wizard deck be in play in your games.
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Re: House Rule for Movement

Postby Bareheaded Warrior » Sunday March 14th, 2021 6:49am

I have played around with the movement rolls quite a bit over the years as you can see elsewhere on the forum but have ultimately come around to the realisation that they work really well as they are!

My house rules these days are almost entirely restricted to amendments to resolve a problem that I see in the existing rules. I understand what you are trying to do by introducing a Reflex save (I would refer to it as a Reaction Roll personally but each to their own) but why link that with the movement rules?

You could simply have a 'roll a standard die and if you roll under your reaction/reflex score you have dodged the trap or the ranged attack or whatever' or 'roll a standard die and add your bonus and if you get 4 or more then ...' type of rule and then have a different reaction/reflex score/bonus for each Hero, I imagine Elves are quite nifty, and plate or mail armour might well slow your reactions down.

I think with the way movement works in the original game you have to take into account that it isn't really a measure of speed. I'm sure that in a 100 metre sprint the Barbarian would outpace the Dwarf (unless possibly there was a pot of gold at the end), but they are not racing along a track they are taking their time to move carefully through a hazardous, poorly lit environment so their pace would be dictated by factors other than speed.

The other challenge that I have found with rule modifications / enhancements over the years in general is the 'law of unintended consequences', as you have recognised yourself your intended modification has brought a new problem into the game, which in my opinion far outweighs the benefit of what you are trying to achieve.

This will make all quests take roughly twice as long


I definitely like your idea of a reflex save/reaction roll as an enhanced rule but I would leave it separate from the movement rolls personally, sorry this sounds a little blunt, but then again you are obviously entitled to ignore my opinion entirely!
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Re: House Rule for Movement

Postby Davane » Sunday March 14th, 2021 8:08am

You may think that the "unintended consequence" of having all quests take roughly twice as long is a drawback that outweighs trying to add a reaction roll to the game, but I don't see it as such. You see, that consequence isn't unintended at all, but quite the opposite. It's an intentional effect that ties in with what I am looking for with this house rule, and it allows me to tie Movement and Speed, with reactions.

I have played WHQ, and in that game Warriors have a movement rate of four squares. Four squares is enough to cross a normal room, or to get roughly two thirds way down your average corridor in WHQ. In AHQ, the movement rate for a Hero is 12, which is enough to clear two corridor sections and a junction, in a game where passageways have between 1 to 3 five-square sections. So, again, it's enough to get two thirds way down your average passageway, but way more than enough to cross a single room of 5 squares.

In HQ, an average movement of 7 squares will get you most of the way down a passageway on the long edge of the board, from corner to junction. But your average passageway in HQ is actually between 5 to 8 squares long, and your average room size is only 4 squares, so you don't actually NEED a roll of 2 to 12 to get across a room.

My current project, RandoQuest (see sig) is an attempt to unify HQ, AHQ, and WHQ by taking the best bits of each and creating a system out of them. Currently, the plan is to take the mechanics of HQ, the dungeon generation of AHQ, and the advancement from WHQ and combine them. Everything else is being used on a case-by case basis.

I actually enjoy the random movement rolls of HQ, but the range of 2 to 12 is just too much, in my opinion. A movement range of 1 to 6 is a bit more reasonable, and fits is scope with most other dungeoneering board games. This is just me, and YMMV, so maybe see the rest of what I have got.

Plus, I think the combat die mechanics for HQ are amongst some of the most sublime in a game. It's visually simple to understand and engage with, and functionally, it operates little differently from Shadowrun or Cyberpunk (once you can visualise that rolling a :skull: is the same as beating a 4+ TN). The odds favour the proactive, and also favour the Heroes in general.

I mean, I COULD have a "roll under x" or a "roll and add to get over y" type rule, but the fact is that the combat die are the USP of HQ. Therefore, using them should be a big part of the game. It annoys me that there are already far to many "roll a six at the start of your turn" effects to resist magic, when "roll a :blackshield: at the start of your turn" is much more in keeping with the game. Thus, I WANT a "roll combat die equal to your Movement," type Reflex save, and because of this, I want a similar "roll x red dice and take the highest," type rule for movement.

As for WHY it's a Reflex save, well, that's a matter of semantics, but 3rd edition D&D broke down saves into three types - Fortitude, Reflex, and Willpower. With Mind representing Willpower, and Body representing Fortitude, that just leaves Reflex needing to be represented, and what better than Movement?

With this House Rule, you could give Elves a Movement of 3 dice (roll 3 red die and take the highest), giving them excellent reflexes and practically guaranteeing that they roll high for movement, and you could give Dwarfs a Movement of 1 die (roll 1 red die), making them clumsy, and thus more likely to search and disarm traps than try to avoid them.

The key with any house rule is to look at what you want, and ask how you can achieve that. Check out the consequences, in case there's things you haven't thought of, and keep an eye open for any additional design space you can add from such tweaks.
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Re: House Rule for Movement

Postby Kurgan » Sunday March 14th, 2021 9:39am

Getting "bad movement" (under 6) rolls even with 2 dice is a perennial "problem" for me as GM when people are getting impatient. But as long as we're having fun, its kinda like, "who cares"? Rol harder!

I use the Evil Wizard cards, but I also implemented plenty of opportunities to speed up movement (Rallying Horn equipment, from expanded armory boosts movement, Ranger gets 1 extra square per move, several champion spells for Wizard/Elf give an extra square or two of movement added in, Potion of Speed is in the treasure deck even though its NA, could get a random potion between quests that might be related to speed, etc) so that's how it goes sometimes.


I guess you could implement a monopoly type rule that if you roll doubles too many times something happens, or if you roll the same thing several times in a row... it's up to you.

The "free movement or always 12 squares when no monsters are around" sounds like an interesting house rule, but not one I've ever tried playing with.
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Re: House Rule for Movement

Postby Pancho » Sunday March 14th, 2021 2:17pm

For me joy of Heroquest is the simplicity of the mechanics. We’ve all added stuff here and there to make minor improvements, but changing the core mechanics is fraught with peril in my opinion. Good luck with this, but making a quest twice as long would kill the charm of the game for me. We like playing quests that are about an hour long, as it allows us to sneak in a few quests in a single night. This helps immensely with keeping everybody interested and allowing the unfolding story to chug along nicely. I’ve never had a group that had a dislike for the movement system either. We’ve made changes a few times in this regard, but quickly changed back.


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Re: House Rule for Movement

Postby Kurgan » Sunday March 14th, 2021 4:54pm

Plus laughing at the "slow poke" who keeps rolling 3's is worth it. ;)

In a game I was playing not too long ago, the GM wanted to speed things up at one point, so he just said the Heroes all get 2 squares added to every one of their movements (the alarm goes off, the place is shaking from earthquakes, etc).
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Re: House Rule for Movement

Postby Davane » Sunday March 14th, 2021 10:05pm

The decision for this house rule might make more sense once other aspects of RandoQuest come together.

For example, both AHQ and WHQ have a seperate exploration phase in their turn order, during which you determine what is beyond a door or around a junction. As such, Hero movement essentially stops at these points. It's also typical for combat to need to be resolved BEFORE you can explore, so fights take place close quarters on a limited scale, although some more complex set pieces can be employed.

With all this in mind, there's very little need for movement in the 2 to 12 range, when a 1 to 6 range will cover pretty much most rooms, and get you most the way along the longer corridors between junctions.

It's worth noting that WHQ only gives Heroes a movement of 4, but that it allows for diagonal movement and attacking (and deathblows). Then there's also rules for pinning in WHQ, so once you are in melee, you need to make a check to leave melee and target another enemy. In AHQ, there are similar rules for death zones which limit movement through them.

Once all these factors are considered, there may be more justification for this house rule for movement, but for now, it seems more a way to provide reliability, uniformity, and to open up potential design space for certain effects related to reflexes and movement.
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Re: House Rule for Movement

Postby cynthialee » Monday March 15th, 2021 1:39pm

I offer options

Roll and take what you get or move 6
if in Plate Armor, roll 1 dice and take what you get or move 4
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: House Rule for Movement

Postby cornixt » Monday March 15th, 2021 2:07pm

I see your reasoning for reducing tactical maneuvering in rooms, makes sense to me. Might want a way of speeding up play at the other times though, maybe allow the regular 2D6 when there are no monsters on the board. It gets to be a boring roll-fest as it is when people are wandering around, often looking for the secret door that they forgot to search for.


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Re: House Rule for Movement

Postby Davane » Monday March 15th, 2021 8:25pm

As part of RandoQuest, presumably they won't have that problem, since the dungeon should be generated as they explore - secret doors included.

I get what what you mean though, and I think I have a compromise - if I recall correctly, AHQ has the option to run, which is essentially a double move action. I could allow the option for Heroes to use their action to move again. It's a bit D&D, but it does resolve the issues of retracing your steps, which both AHQ and WHQ have as well. (WHQ much less so because the dungeons are so linear, so it's only necessary if one of the three T-junctions turn up in your game.)

I think that if the Heroes are backtracking, looking for that secret door, they deserve to go slow, but if they are heading back to a specific point, or simply seeking to leave the dungeon (AHQ allowed for multiple expeditions, which I am thinking of including, albeit with some of the WHQ tweaks), then there's no reason why they can't move that little bit faster.
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