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Subject: RPG or Board Game? rss

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Jeremy Cooper
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Cheltenham
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I'm interested in games like Hero Quest, Dragon Strike and D&D The Fantasy Adventure Boardgame, etc. How does this compare with the aforementioned? Not really interested in role-playing games where the board is only used for representation instead of a gameplay mechanic. Also, it's much easier to find people who are willing to play true board games with a D&D theme.

And the same question goes for First Quest/New Easy to Master D&D, rather than post it in that game's forum as well.
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"Every Board Game I Reach Is Dead"
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Scarborough
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I'd describe it as a mixture of Heroquest and D&D. The game has a big board with a square rooms/corridors layout that is identical to Heroquest- it also has quite similar models (although all of Dragon Quest's monsters are standing, folded cards).

The gameplay is like a very simple D&D rules set, but with odd Heroquest rules mixed in like having to move spaces rather then just "going into the room". Dice used are D20s to D4s rather then just a few D6s and the combat system is much more complex then Heroquest's skulls - shields = Damage. In Dragon Quest (DQ) you read (or make up) a narrative as each room is entered just like a D&D adventure, this only happens on special occasions in Heroquest. DQ has a few more vague bits in the rules then Heroquest. Eg- being attacked by a were-creature infects you with the curse and puts you out of the game, but you have to cross check this with the heal lycanthropy spell to know if you DO get the curse you actually have three turns to cure it- THEN you transform and are out of the game!

A really good thing about DQ is the large range of monsters, but this is sadly let down by the fact you only get one or two of each stand to put on the board (meaning you can't fill a room with skellies a'la Heroquest).
DQ also has a better variety of weapons, spells, and equipment. Once again though, there's one of each card meaning it you draw it you want to write it down somewhere along with what it does and add it back into the pile of cards so someone else can get it (rather then Heroquests multiple copies but once they're gone it's tough).

I haven't played the other games you mentioned so I can't offer any comparisons between them, but if you have any other questions in comparison to Hero Quest I'm your guy! goo
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Jeremy Cooper
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Cheltenham
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I noticed you used the word "turns". So presumably, players take turns, roll the dice and are limited to a couple of actions, as in Hero Quest? Or do the players have to role-play and do anything with their character they want (bash a door, make tea, etc) and wait for the DM to tell them what the outcome of their chosen action is? Can the DM do his or her job without making anything up and just use a structured set of rules from the book? Effectively, another player but controls the monsters.

I assume there are narratives for the DM supplied with the game? How many rooms are in a typical game, and how many narratives are there? Unless it's a thick book, the implication is that DM's use the supplied narratives once to learn the game and invent new narratives in subsequent games. I've only played the computer version of Hero Quest but if I remember correctly, the narratives never changed with each game or affected gameplay, they were just there to add atmosphere and could easily be ignored without consequence. Come to think of it, maybe the narrative only appeared at the start of each level. In any event, are the narratives essential to this boardgame and can the supplied ones be re-used without making the gameplay predictable?
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Russell Waddel
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Jez2k wrote:
I noticed you used the word "turns". So presumably, players take turns, roll the dice and are limited to a couple of actions, as in Hero Quest? Or do the players have to role-play and do anything with their character they want (bash a door, make tea, etc) and wait for the DM to tell them what the outcome of their chosen action is? Can the DM do his or her job without making anything up and just use a structured set of rules from the book? Effectively, another player but controls the monsters.

I assume there are narratives for the DM supplied with the game? How many rooms are in a typical game, and how many narratives are there? Unless it's a thick book, the implication is that DM's use the supplied narratives once to learn the game and invent new narratives in subsequent games. I've only played the computer version of Hero Quest but if I remember correctly, the narratives never changed with each game or affected gameplay, they were just there to add atmosphere and could easily be ignored without consequence. Come to think of it, maybe the narrative only appeared at the start of each level. In any event, are the narratives essential to this boardgame and can the supplied ones be re-used without making the gameplay predictable?


This game comes with 2 booklets: Rules and Adventures. The rules contains everything the players and the DM need to create the world. Everything else is either on the board or in the imagination of the players/DM. The Adventure Book contains 3 pre-made adventures that you can run with the characters. It is a great introduction to RPG's, in that you can run them usually in one night. They are short (one uses like 5 rooms of the board) and they are good for the mix of characters you need.

Being familiar with Dragon Strike and Hero Quest, I can tell you that this game has more actions than those games. You can bash doors, search for traps or treasure, open locks, disarm traps, cast spells, and basically do anything your imagination tells you your character could possibly do in a fantasy setting.

You could control a character, as I think the combat is turn based (ala Dragon Strike, where you go in certain orders). You might have Initiative rolls, but those could be overlooked for the "highest Init value goes first, etc." Or even a simpler "player on my left goes, around to me." I have done this for Dragon Strike, even playing a character. In that the player on my left moved first, then around to my character, then the monsters. It would simplify the game a bit better. When monsters are not present, it is usually "what action are you taking now?" kind of mechanic, where the DM asks the players what their characters are doing. There is a handy chart on the board that explains what actions characters (and monsters, to a certain extent) can do on any given "turn." Turn being used to explain what the characters are going to do for a set amount of time. If too much time passes, the characters could end up facing random encounters (you roll on a chart and that monster shows up and harasses the players).

The "narrative" is laid out simply, but effectively as the writers at TSR knew what they were doing. They can describe a room in about two sentences. Some are longer, but you get the point. Plus, all relevant data on the room is laid out For Your Eyes Only as the DM. It tells you what monsters, traps, treasures, etc. are in the room. It will tell you what die rolls the players will need, as well as what random monsters might happen by (if you don't want to roll). Keep in mind I haven't played a lick of this game in 20 years and I would need to get the Adventure Book (you can d/l a copy of the rules in the files section)to remember what all was contained in the Adventure book. Also, there is a "character sheet" that you can print copies of from the Rule Book to keep track of various stats and equipment the characters pick up in adventures. They can also carry these over to other adventures as well.

Hope this helps. Sorry it is 6 years late.
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