Thursday, June 10, 2021

FEAR the DARK - HeroQuest fanzine issue number 5

With issue 5, this fanzine continues to present a set of additional rules which aim to make the game last longer, funnirer and slightly crunchier (without drifting too far from its original simplicity). In this issue you’ll find four new characters sheets which allow your players to pick up the old heroes miniatures giving them a new life. These characters, though, are not born “heroes” but “adventurers”.

The first thing that comes to mind, when thinking of adventurers and dungeon crawling, is that characters venture in dark and dangerous dungeons to find treasures, and with treasures come experience and improvements. These improvements are something to look forward to; characters start weak and may have to retreat from missions which are too dangerous. They cannot face any kind of threat from the start - but players know that their characters can become stronger in time, and this makes up for their early struggles.

In a few words, then, issue 5 just gives you your four original adventurers with some cool abilities to unlock adventure after adventure. It features a simple system for gaining XP and therefore unlocking these abilities, and a simple encumbrance system with movement penalty.

As all the previous issues, this is free (Pay What You Want on Drivethrurpg... of course if you want to throw me a dollar, your support will be appreciated!):

If you missed them, here are the previous issues:





Monday, June 7, 2021

Rebuilding HeroQuest with AoS miniatures

Although I'm a fan of the old school design of the original HeroQuest, I have to say that some new miniatures have their charme.

If you've read the blog before, you'll know already that I started painting less than one year ago, and soon started to work on a 2nd hand HeroQuest set, until I completed all of its miniatures and furniture. Moreover, I started slowly adding to it some old miniatures for additional monsters etc...

But there is only so much you can do with old school design, and I hate to mix old and new minis, because of their different sizes and their diffent styles.

So I started exploring AoS miniatures, and in particular I thought Underworlds (a game I don't play...) had some very cool sets. The good thing about Underworlds is that it provides monsters in small warbands, usually 4 to 6 or 7 miniatures in a cheap(ish) box. (Cheap at least if compared to other GW products)

It looked like I could build a "new-looking" HeroQuest set almost only with Underworlds warbands... they had goblins and orks, released recently some saurian (seraphon) which could replace fimirs, they had skeletons, and ghouls which could replace the zombies... no mummies but plenty of spectres (like nighthaunts or banshees) and various boxes of barbarians/chaos champions etc.

I was just in trouble for the heroes... what to do? Then I realized that the modern-looking heroes I bought on ebay (which represent the original heroes in the poses they had on the box cover) were perfect. They were of the proper size (Underworlds and in general modern miniatures are more on the 32mm scale than 28mm), and were dynamic enough.

They just had squared bases.

So I bought DAS and bluestuff (my first experiment with bluestuff, really), and "cloned" a few round bases from other Underworlds miniatures. I wanted Underworlds bases, not just round bases. Underworlds provides each mini with a scenic base which is also a little bit taller than the simple flat discs we typically use. And I wanted the same base for heroes and monsters.

Below is the result: a barbarian and a few monsters for scale, then the whole party of the 4 heroes. Not bad; I actually prefer this look to the one of the new HeroQuest remake that Hasbro will put out (and which is unclear if it will be available for sale after their crowd-funding campaign).

Thursday, April 8, 2021

FEAR the DARK - HeroQuest fanzine issue number 4

With issue number 4, FEAR the DARK, my new HeroQuest fanzine, enters a new stage.

As all the previous issues, this is free (Pay What You Want on Drivethrurpg... of course if you want to throw me a dollar, your support will be appreciated!).

This time, instead of new adventures for our heroes, I've put together several random tables to be able to generate a dungeon directly while playing. 

I was trying to keep things simple but to include everything needed by the GM: there is a theme for the mission (so the heroes know what they have to do), a system to generate a map which puts the "final room" somewhere down the road (not too early) but leaves space for additional rooms to explore, etc.

Every room has its own monsters, but there are a few tricks to try to maintain some consistency between the mission and the monsters, and between the content of the room (i.e. furniture) and what happens in it, and so on.

I know this would work much better as a computer program, it would be much faster, and would allow a GM to generate a dungeon with a simple click, have a look at the map, and discard it if it made no sense or was not suitable for the game they're playing... but I wanted something which could rely simply on paper and dice, as it was in the '80 in the last century!

Also, this will still work in case of an apocalypse.

If you missed them, here are the previous issues:




Wednesday, January 20, 2021

FEAR the DARK - HeroQuest fanzine issue number 3

And this is the third and final issue of the first series of quests for FEAR the DARK, my new HeroQuest fanzine. As the previous issues, this is free (Pay What You Want on Drivethrurpg... of course if you want to throw me a dollar, your support will be appreciated!).

This issue concludes the series of adventures which started in issue number one and continued in number two, bringing to an end the story of the Mad King and his alliance with chaos warriors and sorcerers. It surely was a tough journey for our heroes!

I hope you enjoyed these quests, and I would love to hear your feedback and comments, and especially your stories if you played these quests at home.

If you missed them, here are the previous issues:



Issue number 4 is in the making... if you follow my blog you've probably already seen the draft I released asking for comments.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

HeroQuest maps forever

I wanted to try my hand at something, and here is my current draft, just before the holydays... So that perhaps you might give it a try and send me some feedback, if you happen to play HeroQuest in these days of festivities.

What is it? It's a series of instructions and tables to generate a random map in HeroQuest.

It uses only the original board and the original materials (no additional monsters, no special furnitures, just normal dice, etc.). It also provides you with a mission or theme for your dungeon, so that heroes know why they're going in there (except for killing monsters and taking treasures) and who or what they're looking for.

It has some variety: so it can generate a dungeon only of green monsters, or just undead, or a standard mix, it can give life to multiple-levels dungeons, and has guidelines for basically everything, including hidden traps, secret doors, wandering monsters. There are also some simple rules for a few special rooms, to spice up things a little bit.

Of course it would run better as a program on your phone or on a website, but this is if you want to play totally off the grid - just print it up, and play forever!

(Feedback totally welcome! I tested it a few times but without playing, but I wanted to put a draft out for christmas when maybe you all have more time to play and give it a try!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

A box for HeroQuest

Well, I didn't stop at mini-painting, but also found a great, large box for HeroQuest which is large enough for all the original materials, plus a lot of new miniatures. The original plan was to build one myself, but after checking the wood boards for sale in the local DIY store, I changed my mind (the wood looked either too thin or too heavy).

So I started checking ebay and amazon etc. and finally found a box that was large enough to fit the HeroQuest board (I would have liked more a smaller but taller box, but to fit the original board inside, I had to go for large and flat... Perhaps in the future I'll build my own board, to fold in 4 or 6 instead of 2...). Anyway: here is the box (closed... not much to see).

I guess you can find something similar, on amazon or ebay - as an example see this

As you can see from the link, the key was to look for a wine crate, large enough to hold 6 bottles in a single row. All the other wooden boxes (for jewels or decoupage) were too small for the HeroQuest board. Wine crates, though: large enough. Before you ask - this came empty (no wine inside) but I guess you could also find one which combines 6 nice bottles you'd enjoy, and keep the box for HeroQuest!

At the bottom of the box goes a foam tray with all furniture, plus pencils, dice, and there's enough space on one side for the manual, the Quest book, the hero cards, etc. There is plenty of space left on the side, so I will probably add prints of new adventures/heroes etc.

And there is plenty of space for the board, the terrible, large (too large) board.

The other two foam trays in the picture contain all the original miniatures (on the left) and many added miniatures (on the right) like alternative heroes.

And with the foam trays inside, here it is! I promised myself this summer that I would have had a painted HeroQuest set in a nice, organized box in time for christmas... and I made it, plus additional miniatures, and with the lockdown, all chrismas gaming is cancelled :-) I guess we'll play next year...

There is still room for improvements: I am thinking of the armory summary on the inside of the lid, plus maybe a rules summary or maybe something that would hold the Quest Book open at the proper page with the map... and of course, fill the last foam tray with another ten miniatures.

And because someone asked, here is the link for the foam trays:

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Finally finished painting the whole HeroQuest set

At the end of this summer, I started playing HeroQuest again with some family members, and I started painting the 2nd-hand set that I bought on eBay. I started with the monsters, and while also trying my hand at different miniatures (like modern GamesWorshop skeletons, some Reaper Mini heroes, etc.) I slowly built enough skills and confidence to paint also the Gargoyle and the original 4 heroes.

With the Gargoyle I also tried for the first time a little bit of wet-blending on the whip and the sword, and while it's far from perfect, I am happy with what I achieved so far.

Once those were done, I had the full painted set. If you are the proud owner of an unpainted HeroQuest set, I encourage you to pick up brushes and paint and try paiting. Having a full painted set makes a huge difference, and even if you're new to the hobby of mini painting like me, it just takes a little bit of practice to be able to achieve a more than decent result.

(If you're totally new to the hobby like I was, get your hands on some cheap miniatures, maybe on eBay, and do a little practice before you start with the HeroQuest precious, out-of-print, minis... but it really takes just a few test minis to improve... Maybe use Contrast paint, like I did, for skin and clothes, practice a little of dry-brushing and edge-highlighting for details, and you're good to go!)

I didn't stop with the regular HeroQuest miniatures, and I started expanding my set. I did it by searching on eBay for relatively old models, to maintain a consistent feel across the original and added miniatures... I bought some skinks, some goblin and orc archers, and heroes variants, plus added a new chaos warrior.

I am planning to add more in the coming months (I want to kitbash a goblin shaman and some orc variant, plus a few additional fimirs and maybe more undead and chaos warriors, and I need to see which arch-enemies I can come up with, besides the chaos sorcerer). Anyway, last pictures, below, is the full collection so far.