Been a while! Besides making a light Superhero game for my daughter (using HeroClix minis – might post more in the future) and playing some of the dice game One Deck Dungeon and the video games Grim Dawn (thanks to their new expansion), Book of Demons (great Diablo 1 homage), and Deep Rock Galactic (great coop experience with friends) and absolutely salivating over Rebel Galaxy Outlaw (might FINALLY be the spiritual successor to Wing Commander Privateer we all want) I’ve spent a bunch of time reworking Glowquest!
Still so excited for this game; I really want to provide an enjoyable Advanced Heroquest experience with more in-depth and tactical combat. Besides the huge shot of nostalgia from aiming it at me and my 2 childhood friends who played AHQ through junior high & high school, that’s really what Glowquest is about.
So what’s changed? TONS of streamlining and ripping out concepts, to push them to future “expansions”. I really would rather have a tight, playable core framework to build on instead of trying to throw in the kitchen sink on the first go around.
- Skills/powers/abilities/activators are now cards called Benefits! The game is almost “roguelike” in nature as it has a narrowed focus onto heroes completing a single expedition into the dungeon (the Quest is also always the same), with no in-between town events or locations. To make a hero they still choose a Role (which gives some basic stat modifications), and then “gain” from their Role deck (of Benefits), which means draw 3 cards and keep 1, which they do 3 times. Then they gain from a Passive deck in the same way. Then the real roguelike element is after every fight the heroes “level up” by Gaining from a deck of their choice (Role, Equipment, or Passive). This means they slowly flesh out their character without the tedium of gold/Crowns management, improving equipment, figuring out what skills come from what items, etc.
- Surge generation! You now roll 1D6 at the start of your turn for the number of Surges you get, but you also re-roll once if you get a 1. This sounds like the complete opposite of the odds I was trying to fight against with the original game, BUT the big a-ha (take two?) was to shift every single Benefit to cost 1-3 ONLY. AND movement is now a basic Benefit you can do for 1 Surge, so you don’t even have to move or you can move multiple times. Surges of course are what you spend/use to activate cards.
- Attacks to-hit rolls! You now roll a simple 1D12 to attack, hitting if the result is greater than or equal to the enemy Grit. Damage is still a flat number with ways to increase it from skills.
- Interrupts are gone at least for the time being. Just too much to track. I had already taken them off monsters after my last playtest, but now they are gone for heroes too.
- Elemental damage is gone. so no more weakness/resist. Partially this came from playing Grim Dawn, which has like 9+ resists and was hella boring to try to max them all. So why would I want that in my game? Exactly…gone!
- Dodge and “attacks of opportunity” have been simplified to a choice: leave combat freely but take Unsteady (which means you are easier to hit) OR risk trying to escape (4+) or get stuck there. Ever since Dinosaur Cowboys I’ve loved choices like those.
- Momentum is still there, because honestly fights in 5×5 rooms would stagnate otherwise. Besides Blood Bowl being a super fun light game, I can thank it for the idea of Momentum (where you HAVE to push or be pushed by an enemy based on if you hit or not).
- Roles do more such as Offense letting you roll 2D12 and choose the highest for attack. Or Defense getting bonus effects if an enemy tries to leave combat. Or Utility getting special “Blessing” tokens to heal out of turn.
- Exploration is a bit different now to fit into the turn structure. Now you can go double your Speed, and don’t have to roll for Surges or anything. Part of me wants it to fit the same as combat turns, but part of me wants to be true to the Advanced Heroquest roots which also had split turn styles.
- Glory has been renamed to Resolve (thanks Renowned Explorers I guess?), but still functions the same in that you can lose the game if you run out. You can also choose how much Resolve the party wants to start with, from 2-4.
- Unconscious is a bit more interesting as it provides 3 choices for your special truncated turn: Try to Recover, Throw Rock, or Crawl Away
- Dungeon generation is now a single D20 roll for passage length + doors + passage end, which is vastly simplified from the D20/D12/D10 mess I had before.
- Fate has been removed because under the new system it didn’t feel impactful enough, and was just another thing to track. I still like the idea of a spendable resource, so maybe it’ll make an appearance in the future.
- Monster changes are coming…it’s my next big chunk to do. I came up with the concept of a “Monster Controller” player who alternates each combat before I did the rework, so I need to port that over and flesh it out. I also had the idea of a Monster Strength if I go the route of a “Monster deck” of stat cards to draw from.
- And many more removals and changes. I had written them all down at first (like no more weapon swapping) but then as I progressed through my TODOs I pulled that information out. Regardless the rules should be much tighter with a much more realistic and focused plan.
Updated documents, rules, cards, reference sheets, etc. to come soon!