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Subject: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG players rss

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Nicolas Monnier
France
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Hi all,

I already had a look through some topics dealing with this subject, but did not really find what I was looking for.
I am looking for some kind of like a "Hero Quest" (which gave me, numerous years ago, real times of pleasure!), yet a bit more complex, but still "arcade" oriented (also video-game player, let's talk about Diablo I&II or NWN!)

I have several friends, with whom I played RPG, often in Fantasy theme (AD&D mainly), but we do not have time enough, right now, to play this kind of game. Yet this universe and the "monster rush" still enjoys us.

Is there a fantasy board game, quite reusable (ideally with a modular board), with a good balance between rich possibility (wide range of sorcery, weapons and artifacts) and easily understood rules, that can be played in less than 3 hours, and with lot of rich materials ? Whether there is a story behind is not a criteria, but I would prefer avoid the "dungeon master" style, since in most cases, this is the boring role tu play !

Indeed, I played "Starcraft the boardgame" a few days ago, and even if this game is a good one, it requires the players to spend lots of hours (understanding the rules, preparing the game, cleaning the place afterward), and lot of space (my table being to small, we had to play on the ground !!)... And on top of that, there is no swordman, no wizzard and no goblin to slash...

I heard about Warcraft, Wow, return of the heroes, Magic realm, runbound, descent... Which of these could best fit my need ? (knowing that some of these might be difficult to find, I don't want to waste too much time on a game that does not convince me at the end!)

Thanks for the help.
 
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Mark Chaplin
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Try the Dungeons and Dragons game by Parker - it would seem a snug fit for you and your group.



 
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Christine Biancheria
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I think Descent is the way to go. Lots and lots of room for customizing, too. I play regularly with old Hero Quest guy, who seems convinced its the logical followup.
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Vinny Tee
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Try Runebound. Descent is very good, however, it has a dungeon master type mechanic. Runebound can be played solo as well.
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ggg ggg
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
I've tried a couple of these ... and they just don't work for me. I got rod of Descent (too many chits/tokens/etc, too much setup) and Return of the Heroes (Fetch Quest x20.) I've got Dungeon Bash sitting on the shelf and it seems like it may be more to my liking, but I'm not thrilled about all the prep work; it seems like it only works (the way I want it to anyway) if you get a bunch of map sections prepared ahead of time and maybe some other play aids. Hmmm, maybe I should get off my rear and try to make/buy some and find out for sure.

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Joseph K
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Descent is definately the way to go. However, the average length of a game for our group was about 6-8 hours. We would normaly go into a game knowing that we could not finish in one game night. We would leave the game set up and return a week or so later to finish.
RuneBound is a fun game that might work for you but it is not as much fun to play as Descent.
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Eric Matteau
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
I also recommend Runebound. Plenty of fairly cheap expansions available to keep you interested in the game once you'll be bored with the base game too. It's available in French or in English.

A few other games might be more immersives, but will probably run longer than 3 hours. World of Warcraft is also very good and could be played in about 3 hours once the players are used to the game mecanics.

Good luck!
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Bryan Wade
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Quote:
Descent is definately the way to go. However, the average length of a game for our group was about 6-8 hours. We would normaly go into a game knowing that we could not finish in one game night. We would leave the game set up and return a week or so later to finish.
RuneBound is a fun game that might work for you but it is not as much fun to play as Descent.


This is where the new expansion, Road to Legend, is going to really shine. With the new campaign system, and random dungeons, you can play for an hour or all day, and not have to leave the game set up all week.
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Paul Duroni
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If purchasing some miniatures isn't a problem, you might want to look at Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures. Modular capabilities, short play time, and a wide variety of individual skills and abilities per character. If minis aren't for you, I haven't played it, but Runebound (First Edition) sounds like it could fit your criteria pretty well from what I know about it. If a modular board isn't crucial, take a look at Prophecy. Its a really fun game with different characters, weapons, spells, and skills. Something else that might be a cheap and easy option is any of the Dungeoneer games. Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord and any of the other decks that can be purchased for cheap can be played simultaneously with each other or stand alone. The DM role is rotated from person to person, which makes for less down time and a more interesting adventure. Happy hunting!
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Thijs Smitskamp
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Hey Nicolas.

Of the games you mention I've only played Runebound (2nd edition) and Descent.
I'm going to try to describe these games in the terms you mention.

Descent:
Obvious successor to Hero Quest. Similar play, but more complex. (Adds strategic decisions for the overlord, which where severely lacking in Hero Quest)
Fantasy boardgame with a modular board.
Lots of skills, sorcery and weapons (Three types of attack: magic, range and melee)
Rules are not very complex.
Plastic figures similar to heroquest (Unlike heroquest big monsters occupy multiple spaces)

downsides:
Dungeon master.
Takes longer than 3 hours to play.
The scenario's often require a large table.

Runebound:
Obvious fantasy universe.
Wide range of weapons, sorcery artifacts and allies.
Rich background.
No dungeon master.
Board is not extraordinary large.
Swordmen and wizards to slash (In runebound your enemies are tokens. A card is drawn to tell you what you're up against. This means more variation in monsters and background than Descent, but less impressive enemies on the board).
Rules are very easy.
Playable in less than three hours (warning: I have not played this with more than two players yet, and playtime seems to grow much larger with more players).

Downsides:
Not at all like Hero Quest.
No monster rush. (Monster tokens are standing still until you attack them).
No modular board.

Runebound has the richer theme and background.
Descent has the better Hero Quest monster rush feel.

I'd say go for Descent.
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James Stubbs
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
I'd also be one of the people saying Descent especially with the new expansion coming out that allows "saving" games so they can be come back to later. However, you might also want to hold out for the World of WarCraft Adventure Game coming out from Fantasy Flight. It might be what you're looking for but you're going to have to wait for it.

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Quote:
Is there a fantasy board game, quite reusable (ideally with a modular board), with a good balance between rich possibility (wide range of sorcery, weapons and artifacts) and easily understood rules, that can be played in less than 3 hours, and with lot of rich materials ? Whether there is a story behind is not a criteria, but I would prefer avoid the "dungeon master" style, since in most cases, this is the boring role tu play !



Another game that fulfills these criteria, although very different from the Heroquest/Descent dungeoncrawl type games is: Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie

I´m a former RPGér myself, and while I enjoy Descent, and other games like it, Heroscape is hard to beat for pure intense fun!!!

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Nicolas Monnier
France
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
First of all, thanks everybody for your help.

Still unsure of what should be the best choice..

At first, I think I'll avoid Descent, since I don't want to spend much much time on it, despite the potential interest of the game. I think I'd better try another "shorter" and "simpler" one, and if my friends are interested for more, then I may catch descent... Note that this might be different with this famous new extension to come... when is it expected ?

Anyway, it seems like it should be a better idea to go for Runebount at first, that looks like another "blockbuster"...

I'll have a look at World of Warcraft, and Dungeoneer, which principle seems interesting...

Oh my, what a quest !!
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Sean Shaw
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korus79 wrote:
First of all, thanks everybody for your help.

Still unsure of what should be the best choice..

At first, I think I'll avoid Descent, since I don't want to spend much much time on it, despite the potential interest of the game. I think I'd better try another "shorter" and "simpler" one, and if my friends are interested for more, then I may catch descent... Note that this might be different with this famous new extension to come... when is it expected ?

Anyway, it seems like it should be a better idea to go for Runebount at first, that looks like another "blockbuster"...

I'll have a look at World of Warcraft, and Dungeoneer, which principle seems interesting...

Oh my, what a quest !!


Good choice to avoid Descent. Descent CAN be tailored to be played LIKE Heroquest, but Descent as written is NOT LIKE Heroquest. Heroes can't carry stuff over from quest to quest (one BIG difference) and Zagar/Moacar has a LOT more teeth with a timing mechanic which gives it a different feel.

Good Choice with choosing Runebound, as that seems also what you would like. It's not a Dungeon crawler like Heroquest, but it does have the RP type mechanic, and can last under 3 hours depending on how many players.
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Andy Stout
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Another recommendation for Descent! I mean, if you're really put off by the time...but it's definitely similar to HeroQuest, and is about 100x as fun as Runebound, which we found to be slow and dull. Runebound is shorter than Descent, true, but still really long (and don't ever play it with more than 3!!! Four players is the sweet spot for Descent, and your concern about the dungeonmaster role is unfounded: it's a blast playing as the Overlord in Descent and trying to kill those damn heroes!).
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Martin Kramer
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korus79 wrote:
Note that this might be different with this famous new extension to come... when is it expected ?

Anyway, it seems like it should be a better idea to go for Runebount at first, that looks like another "blockbuster"...

I'll have a look at World of Warcraft, and Dungeoneer, which principle seems interesting...

Oh my, what a quest !!


Well, a good question. I think somewhen in the first half of 2008, at least that's what Fantasy Flight states... might also take longer, although I think it's only a few months waiting time left. Perhaps May, June or July. But this is mostly speculation.

By the way, have you noticed that Runebound and Descent take place in the same universe, with nearly exactly the same characters featured? So, if the world interests you, you might always hop from overland campaigning (Runebound) to dungeon delving (Descent).
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A. B. West
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
Descent is very good and certainly fits your tastes. It does require a Dungeon Master (Overlord), but in the game, it's pretty fun to play. Miniatures in the game are fantastic - adding to the theme. The time investment is pretty steep - 3+ hours for a scenario with 4 or so players. It sounds like the expansion coming for Descent will fix the time investment problem.

Runebound isn't as good IMHO. It is not a dungeon crawl - it's an overland adventure. Think about RPGS - how often do you role-play in the woods? On a mountain? In a swamp? That's where Runebound takes place. Descent is all about the dungeon - rooms, halls and the like. In Runebound, there isn't quite the story line running - it's very thin, just a veneer (I'm talking about the basic set here). And combat is very abstract compared to Descent.

If you do like the Runebound style, I might direct you to Prophecy which I believe has a better, well-rounded game system and play more briskly. Still, no story-line per se, and combat is even more abstract. But it was recently re-released from Z-man with better components.

Dungeoneer is easily the weakest of all of these. I have had fun playing it, but it's more strictly a solo-feeling game. The mechanics in the game are fairly week and I personally don't like the unfolding dungeon with cards. It's the cheapest, however, so if price is a consideration and you just want a taste of RPG-on-a-board, you might give it a go. Get a starter deck - don't try to use just an expansion as your first game.

In general, there still just isn't a great RPG-on-a-board. I wish there was.
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Michael Taylor
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Would Arkham Horror fit? I haven't played it myself, but have looked at it quite a bit here, and it seems like it might fit what you are looking for.

Mike
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Alexander B.
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A few notes:

-I recommend Descent, it takes more skill than Runebound and is a much deeper game.

-Many RPGs don't have dungeons at all, and are nearly all outdoors (I've played year-long campaigns without a single dungeon in them).

-Dungeoneer is much more fun, IMO, if you lay the dungeon out completely prior to starting the game (not that I love the game even then).

-There is a great RPG on a board, it's called Battlestations. Descent is that also if you either play it that way with house rules, or wait for the next expansion to include official rules.

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Scott Woodard
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
Go with 'Descent'!!! It will be worth your efforts!

The Parker D&D Boardgame isn't very good, imho. There's good reason why Wizards never released it here in the US.
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Adrian Hague
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
Dungeoneer: Tomb of the Lich Lord can be played with up to 4 players. It plays relatively quick (60 minutes), has a modular board and is expandable. Being mostly card-based it is small and very transportable too. It has all the usual AD&D stuff (disarm traps, undead, levelling-up) , but all just using 1D6.
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Scott Nicholson
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
My preference is Prophecy, played to 2 artifacts (instead of the 4 listed in the rules). It plays in less than 2 hours, has some great character development in that timespan that you control, and is video-gamey with bosses you can take on when you are ready for them.
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Robt. Ferrett
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
You mentioned Magic Realm in your initial email. I would say it meets all your criteria...except for "easily understood rules," which is not the case by a long-shot...
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We just played a full game of Arkham Horror this weekend, my first play of it, and as a former RPGer I found that it hit a pretty good spot. Mind you, there a LOT of pieces, so it needs a cat-free zone, but I was impressed by it, even if a session could last as lost as a typical RPG night.
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Tim M-L
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Re: Which Fantasy Adventure Board-Game, for former RPG playe
I enjoy Dungeoneer and Song of Blades and Heroes.

Song of Blades and Heroes is a fantasy miniatures game that has great potential for use as a dungeon crawling game. The expansion, Song of Gold and Darkness, is specifically for dungeon crawls. It is simple to understand but has amazing depth because special abilities make for a wide variety of characteristics. There are almost 200 sample profiles presented in the rulebook. The base game in only $4 for a PDF, so its worth a look. Also, as a miniatures game setup can be as simple as you want. You can draw your dungeon on a dry erase board or use printed tiles and printed miniatures.

I would suggest you read some of the rulebooks for the games you are interested in. Most of them are available online.
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