Friday, 3 February 2012

Dungeon delving

I got discussing my changes to Advanced Heroquest dungeon generation recently, so I thought I'd cross post about them here.

For the whole discussion see here:
http://the-lost-and-the-damned.664610.n2.nabble.com/Advanced-Heroquest-is-the-best-td7172021.html

We discussed a number of generation methods, from the original standard rules, to the Quest for the Lichemaster expansion, to the solo non-boardgame Chronicles of Arax to using playing cards in the style of Warhammer Quest.

The methods I'm currently tinkering with are an escalating roll system (can't think of a better name!) and playing card based.

The roll system involves a chart say:

1 Lair
2 Hazard
3 Normal
4 Normal
5 Normal
6 Hazard
7 Normal
8 Normal
9 Normal
10 Hazard
11 Lair
12 Lair
13 Quest

When you roll one of these results you cross it out, or put a tick next to it. If you later roll this number again move up (down!) the chart, so 9, 10, 9 would result in Normal (9), Hazard (10), Lair (9 shifted to 11). The room types are easily moved around, added or removed for greater interest (more Hazards), lethality (more Lairs), or other considerations (Furnished - for Heroquest furniture for example).

With this method the higher numbers more likely rolled, with 12 having to be rolled in order to get to 13. I prefer this over the 'Chronicles of Arax' method of adding 1 for every room entered, at least for now!

My second method is using standard playing cards, here 2-7 is Normal (with reds as Furnished for me), 8-10 Hazard, Face cards as Lairs, with Aces as the Quest rooms and Jokers as 'Special'. Each card can be keyed to a particular Hazard, Furnishing or even Lair encounter.

Special rooms can be almost anything, a lost chapel, a magical item, a treasure hoard. Usually it's player beneficial but it doesn't have to be, a Chaos cult sacrifice in progess for example.
So, take the Aces out and shuffle the pack, take the top 12 cards off, then the top 4 of those. Shuffle in 1 Ace then put the top 4 back on for your hand. Shuffle the remaining Aces into the 38 card deck and put it to one side.

Whenever a door is placed a card is immediately put behind it, it is only revealed when the players open that door into a room. If it's a passage (from a room door) then the card is placed at the bottom of the hand instead. If the hand is ever reduced to 3 cards immediately take 3 cards from the large deck and shuffle them in.

Couple these with my amended dungeon exploration tables and you tend to get more interesting dungeons. My amended tables are:

Length
1-4 1 section
5-8 2 sections
9-12 3 sections

End(s)
1-2 T junction
3-5 Right turn
6-8 Left turn
9-10 Dead end
11 Stairs up
12 Stairs down

Features
1-4 Nothing
5-9 1 Door
10-11 2 Doors
12 Wandering monsters (and roll again)

Room doors
1-4 None
5-8 1 Door
9-12 2 Doors
1-5 Passage 6-12 Room

My final observation is to remove what seems a common problem for AHQ players, the Meat Grinder, otherwise known as the optimum door entry system. My solution is that when an enemy is defeated the victor is granted the opportunity to spent into the vacated square. If they pass this opportunity an unattached enemy may make the one-step move themselves. This replicates the crush of bodies with one opponent immediately being replaced with another. Now the victor is caught by the new enemy's death zone.

Until next time Steve

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