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Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Discuss Miscellaneous HeroQuest Merchandise not fitting into any of the above categories.

Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby cornixt » Tuesday March 9th, 2021 11:28am

I don't know what people are expecting. This wasn't a kickstarter. This wasn't by a random unknown guy who has to handle everything and loves to show off what he has done. You placed a pre-order with a giant company, consider it to be the same as with any other game pre-order. They aren't going to run away with your money. They promised miniatures, you'll get miniatures. They don't need to keep some level of excitement going for months, as soon as the buying phase ended those marketing people were put to work on something else to bring in the cash. Manage your expectations based on that and you'll have less stress.
Last edited by cornixt on Tuesday March 9th, 2021 2:44pm, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday March 9th, 2021 1:00pm

Wise words... the "fundraiser" threw a lot of people off, but this is Hasbro/Avalon Hill we are talking about here. I am not aware, but perhaps someone can tell me, have they ever raised the money and failed to deliver the product people paid for? A company of that size would not get away with disappearing into the night or claiming those were "donations" and not "buys." So worst case scenario, they would cancel the project (gaining a lot of bad press from angry customers) and issue refunds for everything in the fall if the project couldn't be completed. They basically promised that once they got $1 million, boom, the set was a guaranteed release. The only "question" was which "unlock goals" would be reached, which we see was all but the last two (extra gargoyle and dragon+questbook#3+tiles).

I'm not worried about it not coming out, or suddenly changing into a pile of paper... (on the off chance the project crumbled, I am not worried about losing my refund, as might happen with some guy trying to sell a homebrew video game cartridge out of his garage) my concern is with the quality of the material we haven't been shown yet.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Kurgan » Tuesday March 23rd, 2021 5:26pm

Daedalus wrote:
Davane wrote:
Daedalus wrote:An Orc Skald sounds like a waaay better fit for HQ canon. Would the spells and armor work as presented for the Orc Bard, or are changes desirable? Is there a starting weapon that presents itself?


With some renaming, you could get a workable Orc Pirate using the current effects.. . .

. . . As for the spells, change Lullaby to Intimidating Stare (Dread Stare?), keep Inspiring Tale (or change it to Bawdy Song?), and you could use use something creative like "Grog for the Crew!" to replace Healing Song.. . .

I like those thematically appropriate Spell names, particularly Grog for the Crew!

Davane wrote:. . . You could probably get away with the Inspiring Song (Battle Chant?) and Healing Song as is, but Lullaby becomes a bit harder without a rename of some kind (Warcry?).. . .

Rename Lullaby as Waaaah! Or put it in the description. (Too GW?)

Lots of useful suggestions for a continuity-conscious Orc.


I still love the idea of an Orc Pirate (call him a Corsair if you want to be super fancy-like, but I still picture an Orcish Buccaneer like in the HeroForge mock up on the earlier page). I also love the suggestions you guys came up with. So...

Image

"The Orc Pirate fights for a bigger share of the plunder, and respect in his dangerous profession. Just don't cross him!"

[This is before he "saw thee light," became converted to the ways of the island monks and was re-fashioned a cleric]

Rapier becomes a pirate Cutlass.

"Skills"

• "Inspiring Tale" - Suggested alternative "Sharpen Blades"

This Skill may be used on any one Hero, excluding yourself. The next time that Hero attacks, they may roll one extra combat die. Regain this skill when any Hero you can “see,” excluding yourself, rolls two white shields when rolling Defend dice.

[I picked this because it has precedent in HQ. Yes, you could also imagine the Wizard sharpening the end of his staff... whittle that sucker with your dagger, matey!]

• "HealingSong" - using the "Grog fer me crew!" idea, I propose "Yo ho ho and a bottle o' Rum!"

You and each hero you can “see” each restore up to two Body points that have been lost but does not give a them more than their starting number.


• "Lullaby" - proposed alternative "Blowdart of Sleeping Venom"

This spell puts one enemy into a deep sleep so they cannot move, attack, or defend themselves. The sleep can be broken at once or on a future turn by the enemy rolling one red die for each of their Mind points. If a 6 is rolled the enemy awakes. May not be used against Mummies, Zombies, or Skeletons (or Mutants or Sasquatches!).

[Blowguns don't have much range, I hear you saying... well, are you aware of the lung capacity of a hardy Orc?]

If he picks up a spell scroll for Fire of Wrath, you can pretend that's a matchlock or hand cannon. ;)

Image

Somebody went all out...


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby iKarith » Friday March 26th, 2021 9:08pm

cornixt wrote:I don't know what people are expecting. This wasn't a kickstarter. This wasn't by a random unknown guy who has to handle everything and loves to show off what he has done. You placed a pre-order with a giant company, consider it to be the same as with any other game pre-order. They aren't going to run away with your money. They promised miniatures, you'll get miniatures. They don't need to keep some level of excitement going for months, as soon as the buying phase ended those marketing people were put to work on something else to bring in the cash. Manage your expectations based on that and you'll have less stress.


Very much this. If I get a set of minis that are basically compatible with the quest books I either own or have downloaded … I'm happy.

If there are a couple of other minis in the box THAT AREN'T IDIOTIC, I'll use them. If someone really wants to play the Orc Bard, fine whatever, I don't care. I mean, I'm gonna laugh, but I don't care. And if someone wants to get all upset and SJWy about the fact that I'm gonna laugh, I'm going to laugh doubly at them. Because I live in freaking Portland (which at this point might actually cause some of you from outside the US to wince) and I'm tired of watching these people who hate anything fun and enjoyable declare they are offended by YET ANOTHER THING they want destroyed or else.

Orcs are not "an analogue for certain indigenous peoples". When we want an analogue for indigenous peoples in fantasy gaming, we create one! Because having tribes of people with their own lore, history, and different but complex backstories and unique abilities is interesting AF and great fun to play—and of course you fun police will declare that some kind of "social responsibility" sin too. Probably "cultural appropriation" or some bullshit.

No, orcs are creations of evil, servants of darkness and chaos. They pride themselves on being fearsome and brutally violent, and most of them aren't all that interested in higher education or magic (except that magic users tend to be interestingly seasoned by their spell components…) Some might be gifted with magic by dark gods, but that more as a boon for their service than something they spent decades studying the arcane to master.

An orc might "see the light". But it would be akin to Rev Bem (if anyone remembers Andromeda before they screwed it up) betraying the Abyss to serve The Way. And it's totally possible that it could happen as probably a lot of folks here well know: Orc derives from Orcus, "from hell", and exists as a modern fantasy creature because Tolkien brought them into the modern world as effectively created by Melkor (Satan) in mockery of Illúvatar's (God's) earliest "people", the elves.

As with Christian tradition, Melkor was a servant of Illúvatar who rebelled and took some of his kind with him to do self-serving, evil things. But ultimately the evil done by Melkor will serve Illúvatar's plan for creation in the fullness of time. I mean what do you want? Tolkien was Christian. :)

So yeah, an orc could rebel against darkness. Maybe more than one. But they'd wander the land hated for what they were (and understanding that hatred, even if it stings.) It would still be in their nature to be pretty aggressive and brutal in their actions, and they wouldn't necessarily be any more educated. Basically, you're not going to have a theological argument with them. "Darkness harms things who not deserve. I harm only things who deserve. They call me traitor. Me call them meat!" And again, that might be fun to play. Probably not in HeroQuest, unless…

…in most dungeons, a turned orc might walk right past the monsters, unknown to them. He might pass through a closed door (open, enter, close) and reveal what's inside. He would only aggro the monsters within if he took an aggressive action, tried to claim a treasure, tripped a trap, or otherwise gave some indication he didn't belong there. That has promise!

Of course, if he's carrying an instrument and spouting poetry, the other orcs are going to rip his spleen out and eat it in front of him, because they aren't "people", they're orcs.
<InSpectreRetro> All hail Zargon!!! Morcar only has 1BP.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Kurgan » Saturday March 27th, 2021 12:40am

That would be an interesting note... a "hunted" Orc. Maybe it would be cool if he could slip past other Orcs at first. But maybe he was branded in some way, so that he's recognized on sight!

"Traitor!" they snarl... Orcs attacking him roll Black dice, but will focus on the "hero" Orc more than the other Heroes.

Maybe his knowledge of Orc culture and tactics means HE rolls better dice (black again) against other Orcs. Maybe they'll both roll Blue dice when defending from each other too, in a war of attrition!

Could be interesting. Yes, Orcs as allies seems weird, but if we can have Ogre mercs (suggested, but not implemented in Against the Ogre Horde), Orc mercenaries don't seem too far fetched, and if one of them sticks around a little while longer... a rare bird to be sure.

I'm still thinking seriously about this multi-part quest with Orc pirates and a Long John Silver (Long John Green?) type character... I just need to actually sit down and write it. And yes, as disappointing as the Hobbit adaptations from Peter Jackson were, he did give us an Orc with a piratey hook hand. Pirates of the Sea of Claws!!!

So yeah he's probably going to jump ship with the treasure in the end...


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby iKarith » Saturday March 27th, 2021 3:23am

I can't keep track of all of the additional dice people have made. I guess these are semi-standard, but at the point you start having half a dozen different kinds of special dice, I'm back to using standard d6 and aiming for 5, 6 or 4, 5, 6 with 6 counting for two, or … whatever.
<InSpectreRetro> All hail Zargon!!! Morcar only has 1BP.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Kurgan » Saturday March 27th, 2021 4:50am

It's simple... black dice have one extra skull and one less white shield. So greater chance of landing a hit. Simulate this on standard white HQ dice by counting a black shield as a skull.

Blue dice have one extra black shield and one less white shield. So greater chance of a monster defense. Simulate this by counting white shields (only) for monster defense.

Green dice have one extra white shield and one less skull. So greater chance of Heroic defense. Simulate by counting black shield as a white shield for Heroic defense.

The other colors of german HQ dice are wilder, with doubles of certain things or missing certain things entirely, but they're all D6's. Yeah, you really don't need them, but the above are easy to do to manipulate the odds in favor of certain ends, temporary or permanent. I like using them to simulate progress in the hero's weapon or magic skill as they complete more quests, and the more dangerous "elite" monsters randomly generated as the heroes become stronger.

Another simple thing you can do without the dice is to just allow situations where Heroes can re-roll one or more dice, or just flat out add more dice, or add points to the result, or multiply the results. Whatever you want! But who wouldn't want an opportunity to roll some "special dice" used sparingly?

Just one of many ways to use the colored dice.

I resisted using them at first too, I thought "oh boy, another thing to suck up my money!" But so far they've been very popular with my gaming group. They become something special. But you can simulate what they do in other ways easily enough. It's like how you don't have to have fancy miniatures for every special character, your stuff doesn't have to all be painted up, your custom cards don't have to be professional printed (home printed paper inside a sleeve or pasted to cardstock works just as well) and so on.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby iKarith » Saturday March 27th, 2021 9:40pm

Oh, i don't have problems with the money aspect. I mean I do but I could ultimately suck it up, and my final intention is to buy a printer and not have to buy much that can be made afterward.

The issue with different sets of dice is versatility. The theme of "defend with skulls instead of shield" or similar substitutions is kind of a mess, but the n or better defends or n or better hits is easy and scales very well once you've already basically gone well beyond HeroQuest's rules and you fundamentally have a different, more complex, and perhaps in some ways more interesting, game.

A number of HQ-derived games have essentially a 5-6 hit with missile weapons vs a 4-5-6 hit for melee. But I'd argue that doesn't necessarily make sense for a skilled bowman with the tool of their craft. If you have such thing as skills and someone has the bow skill, perhaps they gain a +1 modifier to their roll giving them effectively 4-5-6 hit, same as for melee. Much easier to do with numeric dice. And in terms of a generic/open licensed set of HQ-type rules, it's clean of Hasbro's Copyright and used in other games.

(Other games do use special dice, admittedly. And a d6 is a d6, there's a finite number of combinations any way you slice it.)
<InSpectreRetro> All hail Zargon!!! Morcar only has 1BP.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby Kurgan » Saturday March 27th, 2021 11:59pm

Pretty sure the STL files for the special dice are out there too, so you could print them. The colors don't matter so much as the distributions, an easy way to adjust the probabilities. The colors are just a quick visual reminder as to what you're getting.
Beer and Board games had a guy leading the HeroQuest game using standard dice. He assigned different numbers to skulls or shields of various kinds. Easier not to have to think about it when its late at night.


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Re: Thoughts on the New Orc Bard Hero?

Postby iKarith » Sunday March 28th, 2021 1:08am

Kurgan wrote:Pretty sure the STL files for the special dice are out there too, so you could print them. The colors don't matter so much as the distributions, an easy way to adjust the probabilities. The colors are just a quick visual reminder as to what you're getting.
Beer and Board games had a guy leading the HeroQuest game using standard dice. He assigned different numbers to skulls or shields of various kinds. Easier not to have to think about it when its late at night.


I've seen 1 = black, 2,3 = white, 4,5,6 = skull … I've also seen attack = 4,5,6, hero defend = 5,6, monster defend = 6. I kinda prefer the latter if you're not using the combat dice for some reason (such as you made your own set…)
<InSpectreRetro> All hail Zargon!!! Morcar only has 1BP.


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