Tuesday, 29 May 2012

WHQ: better dungeon layouts in random play

I had a moment to myself in my flat tonight, but didn't quite have enough time to play a full solo Warhammer Quest game as planned, so I decided to enjoy myself by just laying out the dungeon as the card decks told me, with some improvised rules regarding extra exits from rooms as dictated by the roll of a die and then splitting the deck according (hard to explain if you haven't played WHQ* - but it's a home-brew improvised expansion on the T-Junction rules).

*Or is it "WQ"?  I think I'm might be getting confused with AHQ... and I'd be making this mistake all of the time.

Once a new board section is laid down roll one die (d6):
1,2,3=Number of exits are as normal; 4,5 one extra exit; 6 two extra exits
Incidentally, T-junctions can now become cross-ways (well almost)

Normally there's only ever one exit from a room in dull old
Warhammer Quest, so mix up the fun with a few extra exits!
(Taken with a phone camera - having some PC issues atm)
Lots of interesting WHQ and HeroQuest pictures and threads
can be found in the Lost and the Damned Forum

It was a little crazy because the deck was split three ways in the starting room (I rolled a "6"), and I'm not sure I dealt the cards correctly because the Quest Room ended up being two board sections away (the large Tomb Room at the top of the picture).

The journey of "play" basically went East then doubled back to the starting room (the dungeon entrance is marked with the arrow), then North, where the Quest room was found, and then the my imaginary players were given the option to clear the rest of the dungeon (for monster scalps and treasure) by exploring the West sections.  When the dungeon cards run out the players can see that the room or corridor is a dead end but an encounter might still be triggered.

In WHQ the dungeon usually ends once the Quest Room is completed, whereas I'd encourage retreats to the main entrance in the middle of play (like in D&D - returning to village, rest up, go shopping) or the option to battle their way out after the Quest Room -perhaps encountering wandering monsters in the now relatively empty dungeon.  In some ways the doubling back compensates for possible shorter routes to the Quest Room. 

I was also trying out a random way of positioning exits in relation to entrances, but common sense and practical spacing would often decide this (no pieces must overlap!) - so another die roll is not required.

I am aware that there are countless random dungeon tables and systems in many RPGs, and my preference often flips from die rolls to card decks in an instant.  The system in the AD&D DMG (1e) is truly surreal in terms of the room shapes.  I prefer systems which are simple enough to construct with standard floor plans or tiles quickly.  I'm guessing that this is where drawing onto a battle mat on graph paper has it's advantages, but I prefer solid floor plans.   I may develop a dungeon randomiser or card deck for my Inked Adventures Modular Dungeon Sections Basic Pack.  Laying down new sections is easy, but determining the number of doors or archways (links to other sections) is whole different kettle of fish,  but we'll see .... watch this space.


  1. Very cool idea, it's always fun playing with mapping elements/dungeon tiles. Cheers my friend!

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  3. Thanks for the blog post buddy! Keep them coming...