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HeroQuest
Variant Rules

by Carl Forhan

The following are new monster and rule variations I have developed to keep players on their toes. In a few cases, a monster is just given better attack or defend dice. But in most cases, I have introduced new abilities, weapons, etc. to make them more challenging.

The new rules, likewise, are intended to enliven the game without adding too much more detail (IMHO); HeroQuest should still remain a fast-paced board game.

Enjoy!



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Monster Variations

Chaos Warriors

  • Allow Chaos warriors to successfully defend by rolling Hero shields rather than the usual black shields.

Gargoyle

  • Each round, the Gargoyle can choose to attack with either his whip or sword. The whip can hit any Hero one or two spaces away. If he causes any amount of damage with his whip (5 dice), the Hero is paralyzed for his next turn only and cannot move or attack. A paralyzed Hero loses one die on defense, but a Hero is always allowed to roll a minimum of two dice for defense. The Gargoyle's sword is sharp and jagged, allowing him to roll 6 dice when attacking with it.
  • Additionally, the Gargoyle may be granted one special ability by the GM. Here are some suggestions:
    1. Once per game, the Gargoyle may breathe a poisonous cloud instead of attacking. The cloud only lasts one turn, and every Hero in the same room (or within sight, if in a corridor) immediately loses 1 body point.
    2. Allow the Gargoyle to use either three Chaos spells or an Artifact.
    3. The Gargoyle possess Invulnerability, and can only be harmed by fire or magic, similar to that described for the Undead below.
    4. Let the Gargoyle's sword only attack with 5 dice, but any attack that causes damage drains 1 mind point from the Hero as well. Any Hero reduced to zero mind points is slain.
    5. Twice per game, the Gargoyle can spray a stream of acid from his mouth at any one Hero in sight, inflicting 4 body points of damage. However, the Hero is allowed to roll one red die for each point. For every 6 rolled on the die the damage is reduce by one point.

Fimirs

  • A fimir enters a beserker rage when placed on the board, allowing him to roll 5 attack dice for his first attack only.

Goblins

  • Allow goblins to possess bows that allow a 2 dice attack against any Hero in sight. Alternatively, each goblin's first attack would be to throw a spear for 3 dice; however, only one spear per goblin is allowed.

Mummies

  • Mummies are granted two new abilities: (limited) Invulnerability and fear.
  • Invulnerability means that the mummy may only be harmed by fire, spells, magic weapons, and Artifacts. All other attacks fail automatically, regardless of the dice rolled by the attacker.
  • Fear means that the first time a Hero comes within sight of a particular mummy, he must immediately stop all movement and actions, and roll one red die. A roll of 5 or 6 six indicates that the Hero has resisted the fear and may finish whatever action or movement he desires. If he fails his roll, then he is paralyzed with fear and cannot move or attack until a 5 or 6 is rolled at the beginning of subsequent turns.
  • A paralyzed Hero loses one die on defense, but a Hero is always allowed to roll a minimum of two dice on defense. Once a Hero has broken the Fear from a particular mummy, that mummy can never cause that Hero to Fear again.

Orcs

  • Same options as described above for goblins.

Skeletons

  • Allow them to sometimes possess Invulnerability as described for mummies above.

Zombies

  • Allow them to sometimes possess Invulnerability as described for mummies above.


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Rule Variations

Light

  • Heroes are now required to provide some source of light while they are adventuring. This light is typically provided by torches, which can be purchased at the general store for 10 coins apiece.
  • Each torch lasts 6 turns, and provides light for as far as a Hero can see as described in the rules. A torch may also be used as a club, allowing the wielder to roll 2 attack dice.
  • Crafty GMs will not immediately reveal that torches can be used as weapons, and only introduce the Invulnerability for various monsters in later games.

Locks

  • Allow some doors, chests, etc. to be locked.
  • Only the dwarf or a Hero possessing the tool kit (or if the optional skill system is used, any Hero with the skill and kit) can pick the lock with same chances of success as removing traps. If he fails his roll, he may try again on as many subsequent turns as is necessary to open the lock.
  • Alternatively, a locked door will not appear to have any traps to the Heroes, but if the first attempt at unlocking the door fails, the Hero suffers a minor trap (darts, needle, gas, etc., usually causing a loss of only one Body Point). Subsequent failures at opening the same lock do not result in further damage.
  • Locked doors may be broken down rather than picked. Each door is considered to have two body points, and defends with four dice (normal shields).

Traps

  • Room traps are activated when a set number of Heroes either enter the room (i.e. the third Hero that enters, although three Heroes need not be in the room at that time) or are in the room together (i.e. one Hero, two Heroes). Room traps can never be detected by anyone. Here are some suggestions:
    1. When one or more Heroes end their movement in the room, all doors immediately shut and become locked. The room floods with water for one turn, and on subsequent turns each Hero loses one body point. The locks must either be picked or the doors broken down.
    2. The floor is an illusion; the entire room is actually a large pit. The first Hero entering the room falls for one body point of damage. From then on, to move in and out the room requires each Hero to end movement on a square adjacent to a door. Next turn the Hero may either enter or exit the room.
    3. The room is filled with a magical darkness, such that any Hero in the room can only "see" squares adjacent to him (i.e. only four directions). This prevents any sort of long ranged spell or attack.


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The following new rules require that the players make some Fire markers (red posterboard squares work just fine) and some ballista markers (draw a simple cross or crossbow on a 1 square x 2 square piece of white posterboard). The rules also assume that it is possible that the Heroes could be traveling on a ship; the map for this will have to be drawn by the Zargon player on a piece of grid paper or posterboard.

Fires

  • Any character who crosses a space that is on fire, or cannot move because of fire on one or more adjacent spaces, suffers one body point of damage. A character can put out one space that is on fire by forfeiting his Action for that turn. Damage from fire is recorded only at the end of that Hero's turn.
  • If the fire is on a flammable surface, such as a wooden floor or a boat, then at the beginning of the GM's turn the GM will add one fire counter to each "pocket" of fire that exists. Once a pocket of fire reaches eight counters, then that fire will no longer grow but now cannot be extinguished. Each pocket of fire (any size) inflicts one body point of damage on a ship each turn.

Ballistas, Light

  • A light ballista fires every turn if manned by a crew of two, every other turn with a crew of one. It rolls 3 dice to attack against ships, 4 dice against a Hero or monster. If attacked, it rolls 3 dice in defense (regular shields). It has 3 body points. Fire spells do twice normal damage against ballistas, although they do get to try to resist the each point of damage just like Heroes by rolling a 5 or 6.
  • A light ballista may fire either a bolt or flaming pitch. A bolt shot at a Hero inflicts whatever damage is not blocked by defense dice; a bolt shot at a ship does one point of damage if not successfully blocked. Flaming pitch shot at a Hero does one extra point of damage if it hits a Hero; flaming pitch shot at a ship inflicts no damage on that turn if it hits, but the GM can place a fire counter on any one unoccupied space of his choice.

Ballistas, Heavy

  • A heavy ballista fires every turn if manned by a crew of three, every other turn with a crew of two. It rolls 5 dice to attack against ships, but is too slow to be used against Heroes or monsters. If attacked, it rolls 5 dice in defense (regular shields). It has 5 body points. Fire spells do twice normal damage against ballistas, although they do get to try to resist each point of damage just like Heroes by rolling a 5 or 6.
  • A heavy ballista may fire either a bolt or flaming pitch. A bolt shot at a ship does two points of damage if not success- fully blocked. Flaming pitch shot at a ship inflicts one body point of damage on that turn if it hits, and the GM can place a fire counter on any one unoccupied space of his choice.


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This article is © Copyright 1995 by Carl Forhan, and may not be reproduced in any form without permission by the author.

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