HeroQuesting in Hero Wars

Send comments and/or criticism to Simon E. Phipp
Created On 5 August 2003
Last Updated On 5 August 2003
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 2003

Looking at the Hero Wars rules, it seems as though HeroQuesting has been overlooked. There are rules for how to perform a HeroQuest, but they are fairly sketchy and don't work particularly well.

While I am not an expert at Hero Wars or HeroQuest, even I can see that the rules could be expanded on, so this is what I am going to try to do here.

The one advantage of the Hero Wars rules is that everything is treated the same. The same principles can be applied to HeroQuests and HeroQuesting in Hero Wars. In this way, the normal rules can be applied in order to get extraordinary results.

Gaining/Improving HeroQuest Ratings

Anyone performing a HeroQuest can use a Hero Point (HP) at the end of the HeroQuest to gain the HeroQuest at a certain Ability Rating. The Ability Rating will depend on how well the Heroes did on the HeroQuest, any kind of failure gets the HeroQuest at 13, a Tie gets 15, a Marginal Success 17, Minor Success 19, Major Success 1W and Complete Success 3W. The HeroQuest is written on the Character Sheet in a new section - HeroQuests.

So, Rurik performs the Hervald's Helm HeroQuest and achieves a Minor Success, he uses 1 HP and gains Hervald's Helm HeroQuest 19, which he writes on his Sheet.

Alternatively, anyone can petition the priests at a temple, clan or tribal centre to try and learn a HeroQuest, using the normal rules for learning new skills.

Heroes who perform a HeroQuest that they have a rating for may increase the rating on completion of the Quest by using a HP. As with gaining the HeroQuest, the amount increased depends on the success of the Quest, with each level of success increasing the amount gained by 1.

Heroes may also gain or increase Stations using the same method as above. Stations are recorded in the same way as full Quests.
  Any Defeat Tie Marginal Victory Minor Victory Major Victory Complete Victory
Gaining Ability 13 15 17 19 1W 3W
Increasing Ability +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6


Using HeroQuest Ratings

A Hero with a rating in a HeroQuest can use it in several ways. The simplest way is to substitute the rating for the Mythology of () when beginning a HeroQuest. So, Rurik performs the Hervald's Helm Quest again, but this time he has Hervald's Helm HeroQuest 19 and can use that as his base for travelling to the Other Side rather than his Mythology of the Thunder Brothers rating. This is particularly useful when a Hero has performed a HeroQuest for which he has had to improvise the Mythology.

A Hero may use his HeroQuest rating to improvise effects based on the HeroQuest. So, Rurik can use Hervald's Helm HeroQuest 19 to improvise See Through Mists with a -3 improvisation modifier, or he can use Hervald's Helm HeroQuest 19 to resist a Succubus with a penalty of -10 because resisting a Succubus is not quite the same as resisting a Love Nymph.

A Hero may use his HeroQuest rating to augment another skill or ability as normal, so Rurik may use his Hervald's Helm HeroQuest 19 to augment his Spot Hidden skill when looking through mists with a -3 Penalty.

When on a HeroQuest, a Hero may attempt to change the Quest by using his HeroQuest ability rating. He will have an improvisational modifier applied depending on how badly he is changing the HeroQuest. So, Rurik performs another Quest and reaches the stage where he has to cross a river, normally this is achieved by asking the Otter Woman to carry him across, but Rurik has abused her earlier and she will not help him. Faced with having to swim across and face the Water Dragons, Rurik uses his Hervald's Helm HeroQuest 19 to call the Ferryman to ferry him across the river. The Narrator decides that this is fairly close to the original Quest and she assigns a -3 modifier to because a Station is being changed and a -5 modifier because the modification is not too different. He succeeds in his modification and calls a ferryman who charges him a single magical item to cross. Rurik gives him the Otter Purse that he has taken from the Otter Woman and crosses the river in safety. Had Rurik had the Crossing the River Station as a HeroQuest Rating then he would not have incurred the -3 penalty for improvising a Station.

If a Questor tries to change a Quest then he may be opposed by other Questors. If the opponents do not have the correct HeroQuest rating then they may use Mythology with a further -10 modifier. This is a Simple Contest with the result affecting how the change is integrated into the Quest. Each time this happens, the Narrator must decide how this affects the overall Quest.

Sample HeroQuest

As an example to show how these changes could work, let us consider a sketch HeroQuest, Sharna's Rescue. Sharna is the ancestress of the Tarmansharn Clan and was an earth daimon who was held captive beneath the earth. She was rescued by the co-founder of the clan, Tarman, and brought back to be his wife. Every year, the best HeroQuestors of the Tarmasharn Clan re-enact Sharna's Rescue to bring back fertility to the clan. However, for the past three years HeroQuestors from the rival clan have defeated them at the station of The Bridge of Death and prevented them from completing the Quest. This year, however, a long lost member of the clan has returned with new HeroQuest magics and plans to lead the clan to success.

Sharna's Rescue is a fairly simple Quest with only a few stations. The stations are:
Station Description
Cry of Rage Tarman hears of Sharma's capture by the rival clan and his cry of rage can be heard across the valley. He gathers his comrades and sets off to rescue her.
The Long Climb The companions climb nearby Mount Rage to locate the secret path that leads to Sharna's Tomb.
The Bridge of Death The companions cross the Bridge of Death over the Dragon River. They are faced by members of the enemy clan.
Descent Into Darkness The companions enter Sharna's Tomb, defeating the Guardians who dwell there. They enter the Darkness without a light to help them.
The Kiss of Life The companions find Sharna sleeping on a stone bed. She does not respond to their cries until Tarman kisses her and awakens her.
Dazzling Light The companions take Sharna to the secret door and open it, letting in the dazzling light and forcing back the demons of darkness that are pursuing them.
The Lovers Embrace Tarman takes Sharna back to their tula and embraces her, returning to the normal world.

Tarmantan is the head of the clan and the main HeroQuestor. He has performed this Quest many times and has Sharna's Rescue 12W2, The Long Climb 3W, The Bridge of Death 6W and The Kiss of Life 4W. His son, Tannan has Sharna's Rescue 3W and their cousin Shantarman has Sharna's Rescue 5W and Hervald's Helm 7W.

They set off and perform the Cray of Rage and The Long Climb without problems, but as they approach The Bridge of Death, they see the Wolf Clan HeroQuestors present, already guarding the bridge. Tarmantan knows that their leader Greywolf has a magical sword call Bridgeslasher that will cut down the Bridge of Death as they try to cross it, sending them plunging into Dragon River. This has happened for the last few years and they have been swept away. This time, however, they have a plan. As they approach the Bridge of Death, Tarmantan uses his Bridge of Death rating to help Shantarman use the River Crossing of Hervald's Helm to call the ferryman to take them across the river. The Narrator rules that this requires an Extended Contest between Tarmantan and Greywolf, who is resisting with his Sharna's Woe Quest 18W. The result of the contest is a Major Victory for Tarmantan and he calls the Ferryman and crosses the Dragon River. They then attack Greywolf and his companions at the other side of the Bridge of Death and force them into the river as they suffer another Major Defeat. Because they achieved a Major Victory when changing the Quest, the Narrator rules that this new station will not have a negative impact of the outcome of the Quest.

As they enter Sharna's Tomb, the companions decide to change the Quest again. The Darkness in the tomb is caused by a thick smoke cloud that the Wolf Clan made to hide the tomb. Shantarman tries to use Hervald's Helm to see through the smoke but fails abysmally to change the HeroQuest in the worst possible way, fumbling against the Narrator's Critical. The Narrator determines that they have a permanent penalty for trying this and will be handicapped for the rest of the Quest. Shantarman is lost in the smoke and finds himself away from Shantar's Tomb alone. The others face the guardians and manage to defeat them, then they reach Shantar and free her. The Demons of Darkness come faster than expected and they have to fight, but eventually they manage to open the Secret Door and flood the cavern with bright light. The Demons are driven off and Tarmantan, Tannan and Sharna make their way back to their tula. They meet Shantarman on the way back and help him, for he is temporarily blinded.

The Narrator determines that the overall result is a Minor Victory and the clan gains back some of the fertility they had lost over the last few years. Shantarman recovers his sight after a few weeks and the clan becomes happier. Next year, they will try again, but will only change the Bridge of Death station.