Glowquest (2018+)

Glowquest (2018+)

EDIT APR 2019: Glowquest is undergoing quite a significant rework to streamline and clean up the concept. Details are still being posted, but once I have a stable rules concept I’ll update below.

Rework Rules

Hero Sheet
Reference Sheet
Benefit Decks: Offense, Defense, Utility, Passive

Early Rules (PDF)
Big Pile of Brainstorming (PDF, basically 4 documents: original brainstorm, refined once I figured out a better dice system, playtest, and class ideas)

This game is a dungeon crawler with a focus on combat, exploration, looting, and improving and advancing your heroes. Heroes will leave the comfort of their town to undertake expeditions to randomized dungeons, which are represented with square grid tiles from Advanced Heroquest. The game is designed for 1-3 players who each play a role from the classic “holy trinity” of Tank (Defense), DPS (Offense), and Healer (Utility). There is no requirement to have an extra player as a dungeon master who runs the game.

Although in the early stages, I’m pretty excited about this game. Mainly because Advanced Heroquest was the first real game I got (at the ripe old age of 10) so it was pretty formative for me. This post about a Most Important Gaming Memory more or less sums up my experiences.

Anyway the main concept is to have a game without the tacked on or forced RPG elements when the focus is combat. Much like that Wizards should have done with 4th edition D&D. So there aren’t skills for bartering and bluffing and stuff. But there is an interesting combat system.

The idea (so far) is roll 3D6 to hit. The lowest die becomes the number of Surges you get (similar concept to Imperial Assault by FFG), the other two dice are added together as your to-hit roll. Surges can be spent to do neat stuff through Activators. You built a list of Activators from your Race, Class, and Equipment. So a Spear might give you a Surge 1: Reach, and your Role of Offense might give you Surge 1: +1 to hit, and your Class of Assassin might give you Surge 2: Poison 1. Damage is flat instead of rolled, and I’ve tried to take some ideas from “micro strategy games” like Into the Breach to make combat dynamic and interesting even in a small 5×5 room. For example after every attack you apply Momentum, which means on a hit you push (and have to follow up) the enemy, and on a miss they push you. So you don’t get this blob of unmoving melee.

We’ll see where it goes!

Lessons Learned
Too soon to tell, but I have realized it’s okay to use cliche ideas that aren’t as popular/trendy on a lot of game design forums. Everyone seems to be chasing story games and dice-less systems and moving away from fighting being okay, at least in the RPG space (compared to say skirmish games). And much like Party of Light, it’s okay to just make a game targetted to yourself and a narrow audience (basically friends who I grew up playing Advanced Heroquest with).