Thursday, 22 March 2018

Quest 1 - The Maze

"This will be your final test before you set forth. Be sure to use all the skills that you have been taught. You must attempt to find your way out. Several monsters have been placed in the Maze. They will try to stop you, so take care. Whoever finds his way out first will be rewarded with100 gold coins. This may be used to buy equipment for the adventures to come".

The very first quest will be 'The Maze'. A lot of players find this quest to be very boring as there are not many monsters. When the US edition of the rules came out the substituted this quest out for 'The Trial', which unfortunately had the opposite problem of too many monsters - like ALL of them. This was overkill for the first quest. I much prefer the simple easing-in nature of the Maze. Its not very challenging, but its charm lies in the idea that at the start of their careers as adventurers the Heroes are actually competing against each other. They are racing each other to see who can find the way out first. The Evil Wizard player (who doubles up as a games master) really needs to play on the rivalry between the players if this quest is to work well. Fostering division should always be Morcar's objective anyway.
I think if I run this quest again I'll use the much improved version created by Mortimer here
but for now let's get on with the original quest.
Here's the board with the unusual set up of the heroes starting in all four corners of the board.
Starting in the top right corner we have Humuncules the Barbarian. He hails from the bitter cold northlands of Norsca, and these southern dungeons feel positively tropical to him, hence his lack of clothing. He rolls a lowly 4 for his first movement roll and heads down towards the closed door.

Here's Bretal the Elf. He rolls only slightly better with a 5, and heads towards the dwarf hero. Bretal has the Water spells.

Enter Grimgold the Dwarf. He is the first hero to remember to search for traps. Finding none, he then roles 8 for movement. Moving away from the Elf, he enters the first room and comes up against an orc. Having searched for traps already this turn, he can't attack at this time.
(it was at this point I realised I didn't have enough of the closed doors, the Maze quest makes uses of tons of them! so I had to use a door from the expansions).
This finely dressed fellow is the Wizard, Merkai. He has chosen the elemental spells of Fire, Air & Earth. Copying the Dwarf, he first searches for traps then rolls a 10 taking him up to a closed door. Learning from the Dwarf again, or at least his mistakes, he decides not to open the door until his next turn when he will be able to attack or carry out another action.

On Morcar's turn the orc rolls three combat dice to attack Grimgold the Dwarf and gets 3 skulls. Ouch! What a way to throw the first attack of the campaign. Grimgold rolls one white shield in defence, and so loses 2 body points. He has 5 left, down from 7.
Humuncules then enters a yellow coloured room. Searching for treasure he takes a card from the deck and finds a gem worth 50 gold coins. Nice! Maybe he can buy some bigger clothes with it....
Bretal the Elf enters another room, searches for treasure and pockets a potion of healing for later. The heroes are starting to enjoy the treasure searches and are now thinking its all good stuff in the deck. Naïve fools!
Grimgold fluffs his attack on the orc and stays put.

Merkai the wizard opens the door and sees an orc. Wisely deciding to use a spell rather than physical brawn, he casts the fire spell 'Ball of Flame', and the orc dies screaming.

The orc facing Grimgold rolls only one skull in his next attack, which the dwarf defends.

The Barbarian searches for secret doors, finds nothing but a dead end, and has to head back to where he started the quest. Thankfully he rolls a 10 and gains some ground.
Bretal also searches for secret doors but has more luck. He moves through it, getting very lucky indeed as the blue room with the other closed door that he rejected had a orc in it, as well as being a dead end.
Bretal also searches for secret doors but has more luck. He moves through it, getting very lucky indeed as the blue room with the other closed door that he rejected had a orc in it, as well as being a dead end.
Grimgold rolls 2 skulls and kills his orc foe. He moves into the next room but has wasted quite a bit of time.
Merkai moves up a bit, and finds 25 gold in treasure search. Morcar has nothing to do as there are currently no monsters on the board.
Humuncules finds a treasure hoard worth 100 gold! He now has 150gc. If he can get out of the maze first and claim the prize the Barbarian will have a hefty amount of loot.
Bretal finds another secret door. There are not actually any monsters yet on this side of the board!

The dwarf finds 50 gold inside a small leather pouch that was wrapped in an old rag. Morcar is starting to think that he didn't shuffle the treasure deck properly!
 Despite a thorough search Merkai the wizard finds no treasure in the blue room with the odd kink in the corner. There is a secret door right next to where Merkai is stood in the photo, it opens out into the corridor and is the only way out of the dungeon maze from the side of the board that the wizard and dwarf are on. Who will find it first?

Humuncules moves through both doors of the small room, finds an orc in the second small room, and smashes him down with his broadsword.
 Bretal moves through the secret door and sees an orc guarding the large centre room. The elf suspects this is the way out. He doesn't however have enough movement to get to the orc.
 Grimgold moves across the corridor and into the same room as the wizard, searching for secret doors he gives Merkai the opportunity to then skip through it into the corridor. He then kills an orc guarding the other door into the centre room with a Genie spell!
The orc on the other side charges Bretal and takes one body point from him.
The barbarian can't find a way out so heads back to the first small room ready to search for secret doors next turn. Its a frustrating time for him; he can hear the battle raging in the corridor through the wall but can't join in!

The elf recalls how long it took the dwarf to despatch the other orc earlier and hatches a plan to get past this one. He casts the water spell 'Veil of Mist' and simply steps through the space that the orc is in! Rolling a 7 for movement, he enters the centre room but is agonisingly just one space away from the staircase that leads up out of the maze....

The dwarf must ask the wizards permission to pass through the square that he is in. Wanting to be the first out of the maze himself, Merkai flat out refuses. Grimgold, growing angry, asks Morcar if it is possible to attack other heroes. With an evil grin Morcar nods. Grimgold then threatens to attack Merkai if he doesn't let him through. After a few more threats and bargaining, the wizard suggests that the dward saerches for treasure instead. Finally Merkai decides to call the dwarfs bluff, hoping that he won't actually attack.Grimgold holds off and searches for treasure instead. Hilariously, he draws a wandering monster card, gets attacked and loses 2 more body points (now down to 3!). Really pissed off now, Grimgold asks Merkai to heal him with one of his spells, but the wizard makes no promises. The rest of the players, including Morcar, are enjoying this immensely.

On the wizards turn, he decides not to heal the dwarf and instead casts the air spell 'Swift wind' on himself. Doubling his movement, he breezes into the centre room and escapes out of the Maze, winning the quest.

On Morcar's turn, the orc attacks Grimgold. The orc can potentially kill the dwarf if he gets 3 skulls. The players hold their breath....the orc rolls 2 skullls, both of which are defended, and Grimgold lives on.
the other orc chases Bretal back into the centre room hoping to prevent the elf's escape, but causes no damage.

Humuncules finds a secret door and heads into the corridor, his way out still blocked by the orc fighting Bretal. Instead of helping slay this orc, Bretal skips up the stairway to safety. There has not been much charity between the players this game!
On their turns both Grimgold and Humuncules slay the orcs they are facing and then leave the dungeon, the barbarian first stopping to search the centre room for treasure, finding only a potion of speed that would have been very useful earlier but totally useless now.

Although the Barbarian finished the quest last, he actually had the best haul of plunder (150 gold coins). Merkai collected 125 including his prize for getting out first, Grimgold cam away with 50 and the Elf with absolutely nothing (having neglected treasure searches over his effort to get out fastest).

All in all a good quest to start with, although I'll definitely run the more interesting version linked to above if I do this quest again.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

A Gathering Storm......

The fire burns warmly, but casts little light into Mentor's study. The flickering shadows only hint at the vast number of books and scrolls on the shelves. Slowly Mentor walks over to the fire.

"Heed well the words of  Mentor, Guardian of Loretome, and I will tell you of  times past, of darker days when the Empire was saved against all hope from Morcar, lord of Chaos. For I fear the darkness is about to return....

"The book I carry - Loretome - was written when time began, all that ever was and all that ever will be is recorded in its countless pages. Through Loretome I may guide you, but I may not intervene directly, lest a greater evil befall the World, and Chaos triumph forever.

"Many centuries ago, Morcar was my apprentice. He worked hard and learned quickly. But impatience devoured him, and he wanted to learn more powerful magic. I told him of the dangers and that he should be patient, for in time he would become a great wizard. But Morcar could not wait: each night he broke into my study and read my spell books. The secrets that were held within them were great indeed. Once he had learned these secrets, Morcar fled.

"When I had caught up with him, I found him greatly changed. He had pledged his allegiance to the Great Powers of Chaos. Fool! He saw magic only as a short-cut to power and paid no heed to the terrible price he would have to pay. I tried to reason with him, reminding him that the Great Powers would only serve him while it suited their own dark purposes, yet in time destroy him. But to no avail; he laughed in my face and then unleashed a terrible spell which I was hard-pressed to counter. For many days we battled, but Morcar had allies stronger even than I, and I could not defeat him. In the end, as we both weakened, he fled and sought refuge in the Northern Chaos Wastes. There he licked his wounds and honed his skills, conjuring ancient powers with which to overthrow the Empire. Then Morcar's fell Legions poured out of the Chaos Wastes and swept all before them. At the sight of the Black Banner and the massed hordes of Chaos, even the bravest warriors of the Empire had turned tail and fled, the land was laid waste and all men despaired.
"But then there came a mighty warrior Prince from the Borderlands - Rogar they called him. He wore a glittering diamond on his brow - the Star of the West - as worn by the ancient kings of legend. Hope returned and men flocked to his standard, leaving their hiding places in the hills and forests. Other great heroes joined him: Durgin, the fearless dwarven warrior  from the World Edge Mountains,  Ladril the elven fighter mage from distant Athelorn and Telor the wizard whose sorcery was to save Rogar on many occasions.
Related image
"For many years Rogar trained his army, always careful to avoid open battle with Morcar's general until all was ready: but ever harried their supply lines, wiping out countless Orcs and Goblins.
Then came the day for which Rogar had waited. His army had grown strong and was well practiced. Camping in the high passes Ladril saw the Black Hosts from afar and bade Durgin blow the call to arms on his mighty horn. Rogar's army poured down upon the enemy from two sides and battle was joined. Many foul creatures and good men perished that day. Yet, as the light faded, it was Darkness that fled the field. But the victory was not absolute. Morcar and his general escaped beyond the Sea of Claws, and even now they plot their revenge.

"I must watch Morcar and measure the strength of his magic. This I will do with the help of Loretome. The powers Morcar has called upon will destroy us all if I relax from this vigil. Morcar's armies are on the march once again: already they have assailed the Borderlands. The Empire must look again for Heroes and to this end I have trained you. Soon Morcar's plots will be ready and the Empire will have need of a new Rogar. But where are the heroes to equal him?

"Your training is complete, but you still have much to learn if you are to become as great as Rogar and his companions. You are not yet Heroes, you have yet to prove yourselves, but I will help you all that I can. Each of you must complete seven tasks. If you do this you will be acclaimed as Champions of the Realm and dubbed Imperial Knights. Then you will truly be on the road to becoming a Hero. I shall speak with you on your return - if you return......."


Monday, 19 March 2018

Heroquest world map

This is a quick map that I knocked up showing many of the most important locations in the Heroquest world, including many of the official expansions, semi-official published quests and fan-made adventures created for this game.
Locating many of these places was not easy. I used the Warhammer fantasy world as the basis for the map, as Heroquest was loosely based in that universe, then added info from various canonical and semi-canonical texts, as well as reasonable deductions made by folks over at Ye Olde Inn (the main Heroquest fan site on the English-speaking internet).

The result is shown below. Rivers and bodies of water are shown in blue, marshes in light green, forests in dark green, mountains in grey pencil. My HQ campaign will use many of the locations depicted.
Feel free to use/adapt as you wish.

A Message from Mentor

Welcome to the world of Heroquest, the greatest boardgame ever created. Sadly now out of production (a situation bordering on the criminal) but still played by a community of feverish fans who loved this game when it first came out in 1989, this blog will serve as a meeting place for all of my Heroquest related thoughts. This will include notes on playing this fantastic game, such as quest design, model collecting and painting.
It will also chart the course of an ambitious campaign of Heroquest games spanning literally scores of quests with many different monsters, Villains allies and Heroes, both old and new. This will include the core game, all the expansions and published quests, and a great many fan-created adventures, all with my own little twist on events. A saga of epic proportions, a veritable feast of Heroquest stories that will sate the appetite of even the most veteran of dungeon crawlers.

Dare you enter the dark dungeons beneath this world and accept the Hero's Quest?