So before the announcement of Silver Tower I wanted to have an epic dungeon crawling game. But I couldn't find one that really covered my hopes and dreams.
I really liked Descent but it was a 1 vs Many. There were a couple of fanmade expansions to make it co-op and I also made an add-on for that expansion to simplify the mechanics and add more variety (it was called Incidents). Also created new classes, new skills, new items, even hybrid classes before they released the hybrid classes! But I didn't like the non-random scenarios, and the miniatures, coming from Warhammer were lacking in detail or poorly detailed, although I'll admit they are really good for a boardgame.
So I bought a copy of the original Warhammer Quest (I had all the tiles and cards from the original one but lacked tons of stuff) and realized I didn't even want it. Is still in the closet looking to be sold or maybe used at some other point.
Then I realized what was the issue, at least for me. That was that every one of those games I liked lacked about something that I would try to house rule, and then it occurred to me, let's create my own dungeon crawling game.
That's how Freequest was born. I had the rules, skills, items, spells, customization, campaign ... (everything in Spanish) but didn't playtest it yet. I started building my modular 3d dungeon (really cheap easy way) and some of the standard miniatures for the game, like skeletons, some heroes, the furniture ... I had almost everything ready (except the physical cards for the game, more of that later) and then Silver Tower came out.
I dropped my project. Because I loved the idea of a new Warhammer Quest. I didn't play it yet to be honest but is like I've already played a lot because I know almost all the rules by the detail, and know what are the main issues, again, for this game. No real level progression, and no campaign setting, no town visits ... but loved the mechanic of the dice pool. That was probably my favourite part.
Because of that last part, the dice pool, I decided to read again all my rules for my Freequest and found them more complex than silver tower, like requiring a lot of dice for a single action and with less action management than ST.
Then it occurred to me, again. I will rewrite my Freequest, from scratch, using ST as a base, but basically just the dice pool mechanic (and basic attributes etc).
I'm still writing the base rules, some items/spells etc to be used with the game but will take me time. Next week (or by the end of the current week) I will be posting the first draft. Just an alpha with some rules and skills to get feedback.
So what will be Freequest? Here is my explanation of what it will be, at some point:
First of all is an Overhaul for Warhammer Quest Silver Tower, but a big Overhaul. You could even say is a new game that just copies some things from WQST and you could be closer to the truth. I feel the dice pool mechanic is great, so is the main thing I want to keep.
There are no prefedined heroes. I love the variety a lot, I honestly have all the cards and the two hero expansions and love to present my friends when we play (when I paint everything) all the heroes with their cards. But hate the lack of customization or advancement or progress.
Because of that there are no predefined heroes, you create your hero. And the main focus I'm putting in this game is the hero creation to let you have the hero you want or at least, plan for it. Here is more or less the process:
You start with a basic template of Movement 3, Agility 5+ and Save 6+. You also get an unarmed attack (1+) that hits on 5+ and deals 1 damage. Then you can choose 3 skill cards.
Those skill cards, for example, are "Armor proficency" which allows you to wear armors and also gives you an armor from the basic item deck. This armor just increases the save in 1.
Weapon proficency lets you use weapons and also gives you one from the basic item deck.
Then you have for example a skill called Charge. It requires an action die (3+) and lets you move and attack (with a 3+ or lower weapon) an enemy. You can only use it once per encounter (an encounter ends when there are no more enemies for example). You also need to be at least 2 squares away to charge.
You can improve some skills, or get skills that improve current skills. For example, improved charge lets you reset the skill when you kill and also lets you use a 4+ weapon and can attack adjacent enemies. You will also be able to get Stampede that increases what you can move while charging by 2 and also deals 1 damage to enemies that you charge through or adjacent to.
This is just a brief example, I'm working on much more skills, but the idea is that you create the hero you want.
Then, after you select the 3 skill cards you choose your race. You can choose your race before that as well. For example, humans get an extra skill card, a stormcast eternal gets an extra point to the save and also has access to the stormcast deck which are skills like the basic skills but a bit more powerful, however you can only get one, so out of your 3 initial skill cards you can get 1 from this deck. Elves get a 1 bonus to movement and agility. Etc ...
This is an example. But again, the idea is that, you want a human paladin? work for it and customize it. You want a guy with a bow that cast spells? go for it. A full barbarian with no armor? go for it. Customize it as you want.
Also there will be real spells. Not just like now, where the wizard just has a missile weapon that has a spell name. And you will have an extra dice mechanic for spells. When you get the spellcaster skill you get some spell dice. You use those spell dice like if you were rolling to hit but you spend the dice. So you have to manage your spells. There are ways to recover those dice during combat, but you might need to suffer a wound to recover some!
The idea is to give tons of customization and posibilities to the game so you can play the hero you want.
I'm working on the rest or healing system that it doesn't feel like you are gaming the system. I don't want you to let alive an enemy to use healing spells or to kill all the enemies, rest, and move to the next room and feel that there is no risk and is just clean fight everytime you enter a room but I don't want either to feel like is a game against the clock.
Then the enemies will have their profiles modified, as the heroes will be weaker initially I will have to tweak the enemy profiles. Also there will be a lot of profiles for the same enemy. You will have different profiles for the same enemy depending on the number of players. So a 2 player enemy will be weaker than a 4 player enemy. The number of enemies will remain the same.
Also want to think on how to work on levels, as the heroes get more powerful I don't want the enemies to grow as that doesn't make sense, suddenly you have a powerful item or skill and the enemies are stronger too!! Instead I will use different profiles for the different phases or "levels" of the campaign in order to face different enemies that grow in power. You might start fighting brimstone horrors or weak skeletons and end up facing strong tzangors or demons.
As I said there will be profiles for the enemies depending on the number of players (2-4). However, if you want to play solo you will get 2 extra wounds that, when wounded, will never block the action, and will be the first ones to be wounded. So you start with 6 wounds and 6 actions, you get one wound and you still have 6 actions, second wound? 6 actions, 4th wound? 5 actions etc... but in this case you will be using the 2 players profile.
1 player will be obviously more difficult than 2 players as you have 6 actions instead of 8 but first 2 wounds let you still have 6 actions. Also you won't have synergies that can be built with two players but that is part of the game.
Anyways, I just wanted to talk about this project because I'm trying to make a really good dungeon crawling experience and want to make it as good as possible. I will post some alpha version of the rules and skills I have to people to judge. But will take some time to finish.
When this is finish you will get some links, you will download the rules and some pdf with the cards. I will recommend then to go to drivethrucards to get a professionally printed cards and have tons of stuff to play with. I think by the end I will have at least 100-150 different cards, maybe more, as for now, with the base game we have 10 enemies (3 different horrors, grotlings, skavens, acolytes, tzangors, gaunt summoner, ogroid not counting familiars) which means 10 profiles x 3 gamemodes (2-4 players) 30 cards but will be simple as most of the changes will be number of actions, damage and or vigour.
So any suggestions you have or things you miss in the game, let me know!!
P.S. Name might change as Freequest was thought when the system was going to be completely mine but now as it will be an overhaul might hear suggestions.
Member of the San Francisco Game Group since 2005
This is a customized Bane Tower from the game Man o' War
Good luck on your project! Soon the next big box WHQ will get released, and will include campaign rules, so definitely check it out to see how they do "level ups" and encounter scaling and such.
Great to hear you are working on this! I was kicking around the same idea. Even mocked up redesigned hero cards and location cards. I love the dice mechanics of ST. Loosing a die when wounded is so simple, yet makes so much sense in representing your hero's durability.
I found the same faults as you with the current system.
I'd be willing to help test when you get to that stage of development.
Matt, check the thread "New Info on the Upcoming Shadows Over Hammerhal." The next "big box" contents list has been leaked and it is not on par with ST in my opinion. To me, it looks to be more of a pricey expansion than a stand alone big box product.
Also, the leak offered no word on the campaign rules we've all been screaming for. However, there's supposed to be a GM mode included. I love the co-opt format, so this isn't a selling point for me.
- Last edited Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:15 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:15 pm
First view of the rules:
Is a really small draft. Correct me any spelling mistakes and ask any questions you have.
Will be updating this and will post here about the updates.
I've run into a small issue.
While I love the mechanics for silver tower, the room for customization is smaller. If in the original WHQ you could start with a 1d6 weapon and end up doing like 1d6 +8 wounds and because of the system was different and with higher numbers it had room for customization and improvement. 1d6 + 1 is a small improvement, whoever with WHQ ST you might start with a 1, 2 or D3 damage weapon and the room for improvement is smaller.
I have 20+ skills. You start with 2 skills and the idea is to play up to 10 dungeons per campaign getting skills on the 1st dungeon, 3d, 6th and 9th. Then the 10th dungeon would be the final one.
This works ok because you would have as much as 6 skills so you might be 100% combat focused or 75% combat and 25% spells but if you get more skills you could easily do absolutely everything.
The idea is that you start at level 1 and each extra skill you have is an extra level. However you might get a treasure that lets you learn a new skill, so you could potentially end up with more skills, but I think I'll have to remove that so the number of skills you learn is fixed (the skill you learn is your choice).
The thing is, I've thought of giving extra wounds to the heroes but wounds that don't allow you to perform any actions. This way I can start putting higher level monsters that deal more damage, because otherwise, while I can level up the monsters to have more vigour, if heroes always have 4 wounds I can't make a monster deal 1d6 because it might end the game in two rounds.
My idea is to keep growing the numbers in both sides, monsters and heroes and in both areas, damage/wounds, so you can see how you increase power and danger.
Now, as well, the skills I have designed are with the current standard system. Doing this would allow me to create level 1 skills (the current ones), level 2 ... up to level 5 skills where you could deal, I don't know, let's say 3d6 damage with a powerful spell, that would anihilate lower level minions but not higher level ones.
I think having 5 levels is ok, would allow you an evolution and won't need a lot of tracking. Descent has basically 2 acts that determine the level of monsters so when you go from the end of act 1 to the start of act 2 while you might have the same power, the enemies might have grown much suddenly.
With this approach, the idea is that everytime you level, the encounters you get are of the same level. However, dungeons that don't give you skills will give you treasure, so you still grow in some ways.
How would you deal with this lack room for improvement?
I'm studying the warhammer quest roleplay book to try to adapt as much as possible and keep the funny things like traveling, visiting towns, managing stuff ... My idea is to, once I have all the rules, create a campaign. I want to create a map with 10 quests location, 1 is the starting quests (fixed) and 1 is the final quest, then you travel around the map visiting towns, cities, buying equipment and doing the 8 remaining quests in the order you want.
You will need a big table, because there will be a lot of cards, as I've been working and thinking on items, skills, spells, I can safely say that we might end with 500+ cards. Although there will be duplicates obviously, as for example, each skill, item, and spell will be twice, so 4 players chan share some skills but need to be different because you won't be able to play 4 clones.
Another idea I had was to just use the plain old system of wounds and limit the hero with 2 actions at first level and then give him some extra actions while leveling. That way I can have more room for improvement and customization. Also some events and monster actions could block heroes extra actions.
What do you think?
- Last edited Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:03 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:40 pm
I had started working on my own house rules and system as previously mentioned. I liked the Heroes starting weaker and decided on this option for two reasons.
1. Many think the game is too easy and Heroes are too powerful.
2. I like this better than scaling up the existing heroes and monsters. As you mentioned, I don't want to see them doing 3d6 damage.
I decided to make the maximum Hero level 5th level.
Here is my new Hero Card I made for the Knight Questor.
We are still play testing this so it's not finalized.
Here's an explanation of what's on the card.
At 1st level you get 2 Hero Dice. You can basically move once and attack once. This makes cooperative use of the Destiny dice all the more important and is key to maximize your success early on.
At 2nd level you still get 2 Hero Dice and the new "Challenge" skill on the Knight Questor card.
At 3rd level you get 3 Hero Dice and the new "Guard Stance" skill on the Knight Questor card.
At 4th level you get 4 Hero Dice and 1 random skill card.
At 5th level you get 5 Hero Dice and 1 random skill card.
I added a Psyche save because I was going to add more variety to the adversaries powers. I have not gone through all adversaries and tested this aspect yet. Honestly, it can be omitted and ignored easily enough.
Anywho, I love what you are attempting. I really want a campaign mode and I'm not sold on Hammerhal yet. So I'm really excited to see what you put together. I looked over your Descent work and am impressed. My son and I just can't seem to get into Descent for some reason even though we've tried several times. Having said that, we love ST and it's streamlined mechanics.
I know you've got your own ideas on how to proceed so I'm throwing this out there to just aid in your creative process, brainstorming various ideas and such. I'll download the draft of your rules and give it a read.
- Last edited Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:11 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Wed Feb 22, 2017 12:08 am
Hey I love your idea. Is a really simple change that makes so much difference and you can see a real progression now. Really clever.
I think I will go to something in between the classic WHQ and Silver Tower. My idea is to give the heroes more wounds so, a skill that makes you deal +1 damage with all weapons is not that big of a deal as it would be in silver tower where enemies don't have a lot of HP. But don't want to go to the extremes where enemies with 60+ HP because at the end you have to keep track of a lot of things.
I will give, probably, 2 actions initially and 2 more actions while you level up and they will work as in silver tower, you roll before your turn and decide what to use. Actions won't be tied to wounds but monsters will interact with available actions (substract 1 from your next rolls, lock 1 action to the attacked hero ... just as an example)
You will still have save to ignore the attack but you will also have thoughness to reduce the wounds taken. Initially will be 0 but having this stat allows me to have more items and skills. Ignore enemy thoughness, magic armor that gives 1 thoughness ... etc.
The system will be 100% co-op. If you want to GM you don't need additional rules. That's what I hate about the new WHQ. They write the game with a GM in mind but not with Co-op in mind. Is easier to make a co-op game gm compatible than viceversa. For example, hamerhall doesn't have exploration cards, so you cannot make the random dungeo. Silver tower does, but if you want to play a predefined dungeon by the gm you can do it. So is always easier to modify something to make it gm compatible than co-op compatible.
My inital version of the game had a lot of stats, like willpower, fortitude, awareness, reflexes, hitpoints, armor, thoughness, attack skill... but made everything overcomplicated.
I want to have less tables and less calculations. You have a weapon that hits on 3+, that's it. Maybe an enemy requires 1 more so you hit at 4+ but that's it. No tables where you look your skill and enemies to see the to hit roll. Also is not, you first check for hit, then hit for wound, then roll the wounds. I like it simple but with depth because at the end, when I played descent, I forgot about a lot of things, and had a lot of tokens that made everything a bit harder to keep track of.
I will create some blank hero sheets. Will be bigger than ST, they will be A4 because I want to keep slots for the items you carry. Will probably print them on a thick paper and put some plastic so I can use a wet marker over it to reuse them.
I talked a while ago with an artist on deviantart and he gave me permission to use his creations on cards if I mention the artist on the card and that's what I will do. I will try to contact more artists to do so. I won't get any cent for this so I expect they let me use their art.
Anyways I will rework what I have to include the changes I have in mind, more wounds etc. I don't have a problem with the heroes doing 3d6 damage in the last level (I think 5 levels is ok over the course of 10 dungeons) people always love rolling dice, I just don't want to do it at the start of the dungeon.
I'm eating the rulebooks for the original WHQ to get more and more ideas, more now that after reading everything regarding hamerfall I have 0 interest in buying it.
I skimmed through the rough draft you posted. I was wondering how your changes are coming along? I checked out your gallery and admired your painting skills. Do you have any updates on that as well?
My Son and I tested the new leveling system I suggested and it definitely makes the game more challenging at the start.
I want to improve the treasure cards by adding specific gear, but keep it simple. Possibly have 3 gear slots; weapon, armor, utility (i.e. ring, necklace, etc.). You can have any number of Potions and other Consumables, so they don't count against the 3 gear slots.
Exchanging a piece of equipment from a gear slot uses 1+ hero die during combat. Armor can only be swapped out at a settlement between quests, or during a Respite maybe. So during a Respite you can Heal, Search, or Switch your armor??
I also went back to read through the original rule books. Mostly because I want to design a campaign type of variant. I'm thinking of a generic map with various sized settlements. It will have 2d6 random locations for the Silver Tower to teleport to. The tower starts at location 1 at the beginning of the campaign. Then it moves to one of the other locations 2-12 for the next quest. It stays at that location for a random amount of time. Something like 3d6+6 days, depending on the map's scale.
You have to travel to the new Silver Tower location to enter and do the next quest to obtain a shard. Maybe have some sort of doom tracker so you have a sense of urgency. Bad things start happening if you don't reach the tower before it moves again. This makes for an interesting choice. Do you tarry in a settlement to do something or push on to the tower's location before it moves ...
Work has been crazy busy, so I haven't had much time to develop this stuff much past the conception phase unfortunately.
Just wanted to update that I'm still working on this and have set up a wiki with all the info, which is a lot, about the rules and how the game is supposed to work: