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Subject: New coop variant centered on Guilds rss

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Diego Zap
Italy
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Testing and playing my previous variation of AHQ and looking to all the excellent variants presented during the last year of the REAL roguelike boardgame, I decided to elaborate differently my variant, played mainly with Tabletop Simulator on Steam, with the following objectives:

1. Simplifying the game

The use of tables and calculation in AHQ is massive: I personally like this "rpg feature", but having played it a lot I noticed that the flow of a boardgame should be faster, and simpler.

2. Coop instead of GM

Playing as GM is not always so fun, the variant is going to elaborate a simple but effective AI against the Heroes efforts to gather as much treasure as possible.

3. Game centered on Guilds

Each player will play as a Guild instead that as an Hero: he will be able to hire Heroes available randomly during the game. The gold gathered during the expeditions is used to hire new heroes, to gain skill cards for them and to be the wealthies Guild winning the game.

4. Heroes stats do not change

The training of the Heroes and the increasing of their stats often lead to unbalanced game, to unpassable TH stats and much more. Heroes are pre-made and available randomly for hire, they do not change their basic equipment neither, the cost of training can be used just to gain up to 3 skill cards. Better heroes cost more gold to hire while simpler are cheap. This leads to a more boardgame style than to a rpg one. It's more easy to balance dungeons generation this way.

5. Random dungeons with Objective Card

Dungeons are random but with "identity": a Card indicates the type of monsters, the special features, the size of the dungeon, its final objective, the treasure awaiting inside etc.

6. Fate points for Guilds

The Fate Points gained by the Heroes are at disposition of the Guild that can use them during the Expeditions with its different heroes.


I will try to take the already published rules to resolve the most common flaws of the original game mechanics and check if the game works fast and interesting enough. I will post the different sections of the Rules during my revision and test them on Tabletop Simulator. Cheers
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Diego Zap
Italy
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This is the first part of my rewriting of AHQ3.0, transformed to AHQ3.0 - The Guilds, trying to make it faster and easier to pick n play.

You can find the full page with the proper layout here on AHQ3.0 website:

http://advancedhq3.altervista.org/rule/rl002

PART I - HEROES

In Advanced Heroquest 3.0 - The Guilds the players are the owners of a Guild: a group of adventurers (Heroes) searching for treasures. Guilds keep their heroes during the game, using the wealth obtained to increase their Skills and to hire new Heroes available during the game with a cost: the new Heroes can increase the number of adventurers available for the Guild or replace other Heroes considered less useful. If an Hero dies during an Expedition (he reaches 0 Wounds) he can be brought outside from the Dungeon following the specific rule and can be resurrected to life by a specialist Healer with the specific set of rules: this rule allows the game to not be too much frustrating: AHQ3.0 is not a classic roleplaying game where Heroes are unbeatable: anyone can die from a good strike from the humblest monster! When an Hero dies and he cant be brought out then he's eliminated, if he was the last Hero of a Guild that Guild is closed and has to restart from scratch. Each Guild starts with two Heroes that can be choosen from the ones indicated as available at the beginning of the game. The Statistics of an Hero are indicated in the Hero Card (a sort of Hero Sheet, as AHQ3.0 use decks of cards instead of sheets and tables).

Hero Cards

The Heroes statistics are indicated in the Hero Card. This card is divided in two sections: the Statistics section, and the Notes section with indications about the Hero equipment, skills and spells. On the top left of the card is indicated the Cost in gold crown (and, eventually, in Fate Points too) to hire the Hero. During the game Campaign, at the end of each Quest, three Hero Cards are drawn from the Deck: the Guilds can decide to hire one or more of the three Heroes available, then they are discarded from the Deck (see the Campaign section for further details).

All the Skill of the Hero have a maximum limit of 12, that indicates the perfection in a specific Skill. The Weapon Skill (WS) indicates the capacity in the hand-to-hand combat, both attacking and defending. The Ranged Skill (RS) is the capacity with ranged weapons. The Strenght (ST) indicates the Hero muscular strenght while the Thoughness (TH) indicates the capacity of the Hero to resist to enemy attacks. The Speed (SP) is the quickness of movements and the pace of the Hero quantifying his movement in combat too. The Courage (CO) is Hero ability to face the danger, Intelligence (IN) quantifies his intellective capacities and the ability with the use of Spells. All these Skills characterize the Hero and have a maximum level of 12, that only very expensive and rare Heroes can reach.

The Wounds (W) indicate the health status of the Hero: when he receives damages from enemies, traps, spells he lose Wounds, when the Wounds reach 0 the Hero is knocked out and has to be brought out of the Dungeon if he cant be recovered with the use of Potions and Spells. If nobody can help the knocked Hero, he dies.

Examples of Hero Cards:







Races

The Heroes in AHQ3 can be of one of the 5 starting races. Any extra race can be added with dedicated addons. The Humans are the majority of the Heroes available to hire: they are flexible and allow to be excellent in any field, when well trained; their cost is usually lower than the one of the other races. The Dwarves are natural born warriors and adventurers, with a battle spirit and a great greed for gold and wealth, they are though, 1 mt - 1.30 mt tall. The Elves are quick and thin, their dexterity makes them lethal but fragile warriors, they can excel in magical arts too. The Halflings are slightly smaller and thiner than Dwarves, 80-100 cm tall, great explorers and always looking for adventures; they are very good scout and very talented with small ranged weapons. Sometimes Guilds let humanoid Heroes to join them: it's the case of the Ogres: humanoids with orcish blood, great and stupid, with a brute strenght. They are perfect warriors able to deliver and suffer a lot of damage.

Special Traits

Special Traits are special abilities cards granted to the Heroes thanks to their race. Each race except the human has its personal trait: the Dwarves have the Craftsman trait, Elves the Elven Sense, Halfling the Small trait and Ogres the Great trait.

Craftsman: the knowledge of mechanisms and of their building, allows the dwarves Heroes to gain a +2 on all Detect and Disable rolls for Traps.

Elven Sense: thanks to their superior perception, elven Heroes add +1 to their Surprise Roll when an Elf opens a door or a new Dungeon Section. This modifications doesnt apply on the Initiative Rolls once the Fight has started and cant be cumulated with the Skill Alertness.

Great: the space occupied by a Great Hero is 2x2 instead of 1x1: he's not able to move through 1 square passages except for doors. The Control Zone of a Great Hero si extended to the 8 squares adjacent to him. An Hero with Great trait can use two-handed weapons with a single hand, using at the same time a Shield; ranged attacks against a Great Hero doesnt suffer modifications from the Line of View but he blocks completely the Line of View between him and the opponents.

Small: an Hero with this Trait can freely escape enemy Control Zone and using the Spy and Hide Skill Card he doesnt need any check as it's considered always successfull. A Small Hero cant use big weapons (Great Axes, Halberds, Two-Handed Swords etc.).

Classes

Bard: the Bard combines the magic powers of a mage and the fighting skills of a warrior, not being excelent in both competences. Bards choose a magic College and chooses 2 spells from that College, they can carry 2 reagents at the beginning of their career. When a Bard casts a spell and performs the IN check, in the case of failure he lose the reagent and fails the spell. A Bard can use any weapon except the great ones (Great Axes, Halberds, Two-Handed Swords), can wear only leather armor and can use the Shield. The Bard can learn spells only from his choosen College up to a maximum number of spells IN-3.

Berserker: The Berserker is a savage who lives in the wild and is used to wars and raids, often he is a fanatic who lost his reason for a dramatic event embracing a life style devoted to rage and chaotic fight, with no limits and with a very istinctive style. The Berserkers are granted with the Skill Card Berserk, can wear maximum leather mail, cant use the Shield.

Druid: the Druid is a magic user who embraced the nature recall. At the moment of his creation he chooses 4 Spells from the Druidical College. The Druid gains the Survival Skill Card. The Druids can use only wooden weapons that inflict only and always 1DD. They cant wear any kind of armour or shield, and they cant use ranged weapons. The Druid starts with 4 Reagents.

Mage: the Mage is an Hero dedicated to the use of magic spells: at the creation the Hero chooses a College and 4 Spells of that College. A Mage cant use armors and shields, can use only Daggers or Magic Swords and he cant use any ranged weapon except the Dagger itself. The Mage can learn a number of Spells as his IN stat. The Mage starts usally with 4 Reagents but this number can be greater in the case of more expensive and powerful mages to hire.

Priest: the Priest is Gods representant and is granted with minor spells (called Prayers) derived from his faith: the Priest is devoted to one of the available Cult at the creation and then usually start with two Basic Prayers and one Cult Prayer; he start with 3 reagents: 2 basic reagents and 1 cult reagent; he can learn Prayers up to IN-2 (cumulative between Basic and Cult). The Priest can wear any armor except if the Cult indicates something different. He can use only Staff, Slings and Warhammer as weapons, except if the Cult indicates differently. After each expedition he has to drop 1/4 of the total gold Crowns found by the Party, dedicated to his Church. The party cant refuse to do that, unless they want to renounce to the Priest in the Guild forever.

Ranger: the Ranger are masters of ranged combat and has, as starting Skill Card, Spy and Hide.

Rogue: the Rogues are adventurers skilled in lockpicking, robbery and stealth skills. The Rogues can use only leather armors, cant use the shield neither big two-handed weapons. They receive the Spy and Hide Skill Card and can learn many rogue-specific skills. The Rogue always ignores enemy Control Zone and can move freely during the Fight. The Rogue can have up to 4 Skill Cards, while other classes are limited to 3.

Swashbuckler: the Swashbuckler is a master in the art of the Sword, he can use only Sword and Dagger and can wear only Leather armor or less. He has the Skill Card Feint, that only the Swashbuckler can use. Every time the Swashbuckler is the target of a Provocation he automatically fails without the IN check. The Speed (SP) stat of the Swashbuclker is usually very high.

Warrior: the Warrior is the most common type of adventurer and the most customizable class. The Warriors can use all the weapons and armors. They have no Skill Card at the creation but are the only class that can learn Specialization Skill Cards for weapons.

Witch Hunter: the Witch Hunters are fanatic warriors devoted to the search for evil and chaos creatures to destroy. One of the hands of the Witch Hunter is always used to bring a Torcch. For his fanatism, the Witch Hunters can never retire from a Fight, unless they use a Fate Point. The Witch Hunter receives the Intimidation Skill Card and choose a Cult to be devoted to. They start with a Cult Prayer and can learn up to three Cult Prayers (no Basic Prayers for them); they start with a single cult reagent.

Some classes are reserved only to specific races, as the the following:

Enchanted Warrior: an Enchanted Warrior is a an elven warrior who combines the art of the war with the magic spells. The Enchanted Warrior chooses at the start a College and learn a single Spell from that college, carrying a single Reagent. The maximum number of Spells he can learn is 4 and can carry up to 4 reagents. The Enchanted Warrior cant use the shield and one of his hand has always to be free to be able to cast the spells. He can wear up to Chain Mail and cant use the Helm. Doesnt receive any specific Skill Card at the start.

Troll Slayer: the Troll Slayers are dwarves that left their community for a terrible and ashaming event, looking for atonement through the danger and the death. Troll Slayers receive the Bersek Skill Card and they are forced to use this skill in the case they found a Great monster; when they are wounded they have to go in Berserker mode; if there are Great monsters they have to attack them: charging, running: they feel the NEED to go face-to-face against them, they just do not pass through enemy control zones doing this, but they are forced to push even allies, if blocked, to reach the Great monsters. They cant use ranged weapons except daggers, hammers and axes. They can use only leather armors and cant use the shield. Each time a Troll Slayer is hit with a Wound in a Fight he is forced to go Berserker till the end of the Fight.

Wardancer: the Wardancers are elven fighters extremely and specifically trained, specialized in the hand to hand figthing instead that in the ranged one. The Wardancers cant use no armor and no shield. At the creation they choose a single Skill Card of these: Tumbling, Provocation, Focus Attack. Wardancers can learn up to 4 Skill Cards, instead of the limit of 3 of the other classes.

Skill Cards

Skill Cards allow the Heroes to customize their advancement. Some classes receive a Skill Card at the moment of the Hero creation. Skill Cards can be gained through Training, spending gold Crowns gathered during the Expeditions as explained in the proper section about Heroes Training. Except is differently indicated in their class, the Heroes can learn maximum 3 total Skill Cards, the starting one included. The following Skill Cards can be learned by any class, except when it's differently indicated. The use of each Skill is explained by the card itself. Check the notes following the Cards to see which skills are reserved to specific classes.

Link to Skill Cards:
http://advancedhq3.altervista.org/images/carte/carte_abilita...

Aggressive Stance: reserved to Warrior and Wardancer.
Assault: reserved to Warrior, Troll Slayer and Berserker.
Battle Spells: reserved to Mage.
Berserk: reserved to Berserker, Troll Slayer and Wardancer.
Cat Falling: reserved to Rogue, Bard and Wardancer.
Counterspell: reserved to Mage.
Defensive Stance: reserved to Warrior and Wardancer.
Demons Lore: reserved to Witch Hunter.
Double Weapon: not allowed to Druid and Priest.
Feint: reserved to Swashbuckler.
Force Locks: reserved to Thief.
Healing Capacity: reserved to Priest and Druid.
Healing: reserved to Priest, Druid and Ranger.
Herbalism: reserved to Druid.
Intimidation: reserved to Warrior, Troll Slayer, Berserker and Witch Hunter.
Magical Range: reserved to Mage.
Push: reserved to Warrior, Troll Slayer, Berserker and Witch Hunter.
Simultaneous Spells: reserved to Mage.
Skilled Weapons: reserved to Warrior.
Spy and Hide: reserved to Rogue, Ranger and Bard.
Survival: reserved to Druid and Ranger.
Traps Lore: reserved to Rogue.
Tumbling: reserved to Wardancer, Rogue, Bard and Swashbuckler.

The cost of the Heroes training is indicated in the section dedicated to the Campaign.



So the main changes with the original AHQ are:

- Players play as Guilds instead that as single Heroes
- Heroes are ready-to-play: quick pick n play
- Heroes can improve with Skill Cards
- Hiring mechanics (a bit of Blood Bowl here)
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Frank Clarke
Canada
Surrey
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It all looks very interesting, thanks!
Is there going to be a printable player's handbook?
 
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