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Dungeons & Dragons: Conquest of Nerath Board Game» Forums » Variants

Subject: Advancement rules for heroes rss

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Edward Hamilton
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Since this is a D&D game, it seems odd that the hero units (fighters and mages) never improve as they clear out dungeons. The dungeon-delving portion of the game seems underdeveloped relative to the rules for land and naval battle, even though treasures are a major source of victory points. So adding a system for leveling up heroes seems like a natural candidate for some optional house rules.

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I. Level

Unlike other units in the game, heroes now have a "level" as an additional attribute. Heroes begin at 1st level, and can eventually rise as high as 4th level. Placing chips under heroes no longer indicates the number of units in a stack, but instead the levels gained by that particular hero; a fighter on top of three chips indicates a 4th level hero.

II. Gaining levels

Whenever a group of heroes defeats a dungeon, they may go up in level. Take the total number of monsters in the dungeon, and add the amount of bonus gold gained by killing monsters. If this total is greater than the current level of any surviving hero of less than 4th level, that hero gains one level.

III. Additional hero types

In addition to the two existing heroes (fighters and wizards) there are two new types: rogues and priests. They function just like fighters (2 movement, can fight on ships, etc), except as indicated below.

A rogue costs 2 gold like a fighter; if you don't have a unique miniature of your own, just put a "1 gold" marker under a fighter to indicate it's a rogue. A priest costs 3 gold like a wizard; again, if needed, place a "1 gold" marker under a wizard figure to indicate a priest.

Rogues and priests roll d8 instead of d10 for their attacks, and do not have the First Strike ability. However, they have additional abilities of their own (see below).

IV. Additional dungeon battle steps

At the very beginning of a dungeon battle, before the first round only, make a trap check. The number of traps is equal to the number of monsters in the dungeon. Roll a d8 for each trap, and apply hits before the first round begins. If you have a rogue in your party, you may Find Traps by rolling a number of d10 equal to the rogue's level, with any result of 6 or higher being a success. (Use only the highest level rogue.) Subtract the number of successfully found traps from the total, and then apply any other hits as damage.

At the very end of a victorious dungeon battle, you automatically gain one treasure. You make then make a Search & Open Locks check to see if you can find a second treasure. Roll a number of d6 equal to the level of your highest level rogue. If you get at least one 6, you found a second treasure.

V. Benefits of gaining levels

As fighters gain levels, they gain the ability to absorb multiple points of damage up to their level, representing improved armor and health. This works like the Durable property for dragons, but provides the ability to absorb up to 4 hits, instead of just 2. You can use red chips placed beside a fighter to represent wounds. After winning a battle, any wounds on a surviving fighter are automatically removed. IMPORTANT: This ability applies ONLY during dungeon battles, not other land or naval battles (which are on a much larger scale!)

As wizards gain levels, they gain additional secondary attack dice to roll. For each level a wizard gains, they add another d6 to their attacks. A 4th level wizard would roll one d10 and three d6 attacks, all during the First Strike phase. Note that some monsters may require higher than a 6 to hit, in which case the extra dice have no chance to hit and can be skipped. (Wizards are good at clearing out lots of weak monsters, like the horde of orcs.) This applies during land and naval battles as well.

As rogues gain levels, they improve their attack dice to reflect flanking and ambushing. At 1st level they roll a d8, at 2nd level a d10, at 3rd level a d12 and at 4th level a d20. (They're good at hitting a single difficult monster with high armor, in contrast to a wizard's area spells.) This applies during land and naval battles as well.

As priests gain levels, they improve their ability to heal. Instead of rolling an attack in a given round, a priest may roll dice to attempt to heal a wounded fighter. Declare that the priest is attempting to heal during the First Strike phase, and then roll a number of d8 equal to the priest's level, along with the wizards First Strike attacks. Any "hit" for a healing attempt is applied to remove wounds to the fighter at the end of that round. (The fighter must still take the wounds first, before being healed, and so might die before the healing takes effect.) IMPORTANT: Like the fighter's extra health, healing can be used ONLY during dungeon battles, not other land or naval battles.

********************************

That's it. Having lots of unstacked heroes around makes the board crowded, so it's probably a good idea to keep them off-map and use a marker to indicate the location of an entire party. This also makes heroes very powerful, so it's recommended to limit them to only the provided figures in the game (so you can never have more than six fighters/rogues, or six wizards/clerics).
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Leigh Shepherd
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I like the idea of limiting the Heroes and making them more unique - using the chips as levels rather than multiple heroes is a nice simple way of expressing that
 
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Dave de Vil
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Few ideas:

If using this, limit heroes to the pieces supplied - so each player is limited to just 3 of each type, i.e when a hero is killed the piece is retired from the game.

At setup everyone starts with a full party of 4 heroes in his/her capital, others have to be brought into play later; perhaps just 1 or 2 per turn (but they don't cost money).

Someone might create hero cards to give each piece some personality, as well as tracking levels.

Maybe some heroes are neutral and can be "rescued" as treasure when defeating a dungeon.

Perhaps heroes are sometimes captured in battle rather than always killed (die roll?); they can then be held prisoner, probably being taken to a castle under armed guard to minimize the chances of rescue/escape. Ransom or exchange of prisoners is permitted; clearly a level 4 Wizbang will fetch a higher ransom than a bog standard thief.

If you allow attempted execution of prisoners, the level of the hero in question increases the chance of escape (effects die roll).

Fighters might be tied to a particular home castle, ie. the Lord of castle such and such. They are brought into play with that castle, and have combat and recruitment bonuses when in that tt. Maybe introduce a "king" character who starts in the capital.

Perhaps other units can only move when under the command of a hero, but this might be too limiting.
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Leigh Shepherd
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Angry Martian wrote:
Few ideas:

Maybe some heroes are neutral and can be "rescued" as treasure when defeating a dungeon.

Perhaps heroes are sometimes captured in battle rather than always killed (die roll?); they can then be held prisoner, probably being taken to a castle under armed guard to minimize the chances of rescue/escape. Ransom or exchange of prisoners is permitted; clearly a level 4 Wizbang will fetch a higher ransom than a bog standard thief.

Perhaps other units can only move when under the command of a hero, but this might be too limiting.


OK... thinking of stealing a lot of ideas here to make a more Heroic variant - something where there are quests for the heroes to fulfill, not always in dungeons - maybe something akin ot Lords Of Waterdeep where you have a quest board with a number of quests available to choose from - Go to The Tomb of Horror, as rumour has it the Gauntlets of Ogre Power are there - sneak into the enemies capital (requires a rogue) to undo the enemy plans (discard their faction cards) etc etc - might make it a totally different game though!
 
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