The Alchemist's Bench: Game Master Advice

Incorporating Other Games' Components
into your HeroQuest Adventures

GM Advice

By Lou Harland ( )

I'm a gamer and love the thought of creating unique adventures. HeroQuest is the perfect engine for my creativity. I was cutting out one-inch cardboard squares and making up new tile ideas before I ever bought my first expansion pack. (For example, I had Trap Door tiles connected by underground tunnels before they came up with them in Kellar's Keep.) I have also used figures and maps from other games to make new adventures. I think HeroQuest is an awesome game that should be brought back as I'm sure you will agree if you are reading this article.

There are many games out on the market today (and many out of print) that include miniatures and maps that can be used with the HeroQuest game system. I have read numerous articles from other people about this same topic. My reason for this article is to give you a few other examples and hopefully give you some additional inspiration in your adventure creations.

Dewayne Agin does a fantastic job of explaining uses for figures out of TSR's Dragon Strike and Mattel's Dark World. I was wondering, why not use the platform at the end of the Dark World game as a prop in an adventure. Maybe you could use it without the staircases and have the main villain waiting in this room for the final showdown. I thought about setting it up at the edge of the board with stair tiles leading to it or even a secret door concealing it. Some folks have mentioned using Lionheart, Battle Masters and even Key to the Kingdom pieces. My thoughts are to someday make an outdoor adventure using two Battle Masters mats and possibly have a castle set up at one end to be the destination of the party. This way I could incorporate the figures from Battle Masters and Lionheart. Then I would use a HeroQuest board to continue with an inside adventure once they've reached it. At present I am still working out details for movement on the Battle Masters mat.

Some games I haven't seen mentioned before are Tower of the Wizard King by Parker Brothers, TSR's New Easy to Master Dungeons and Dragons along with its expansion sets (for example, The Goblin's Lair and Dragon's Den.) and Weapon's and Warrior's by Milton Bradley. Tower of the Wizard King included some miniature characters that would be great to use in your quests such as a gold colored wizard, a skeleton, a minotaur, a dragon, an elf, a dwarf, a warrior, an orc and an ogre. They are all sized to fit in the one-inch squares, so you may want to give them special stats. For instance, the dragon may be a young dragon since it takes up only one square. Some of the others are a little too tall also, so they need to be champions or a special type. The minotaur and ogre would work well though. The main problem with using these characters is that at all times half of the figures are locked inside the tower, although I'm sure you can remove them or at least swap them with the figures you aren't using. By the way, if you've never played Tower of the Wizard King, it is a fun game.

TSR's D&D boxed sets included only cardboard stand up playing pieces for the characters, which some people might find boring to add into an HQ adventure, but the maps included in the boxed sets are good to use for variety in the map layouts. I have the boxed sets mentioned above and have used a few of those maps in some of my quests. The only drawback I found (which wasn't a big problem) was that the rooms on the maps are numbered and have the doorways preprinted on them. To solve this problem, I simply explained to my players ahead of time that they should consider these maps to be blank and that the doors printed on them were not necessarily the doorways in my quest. This worked out fine and the adventure was a big success.

The various Weapons and Warriors sets put out by Milton Bradley can also be useful. Since these pieces are outdoor sceneries, they would fit in nicely as props or backdrops for an outdoor quest with the Battle Masters mats. Also their figures are mostly soldiers armed with halberds and large shields, so they would make great guards or even the king's army. In the Pirate Clash expansion set, the pirate figures carry swords and pistols. Now I don't get into using guns in my adventures, but have read some quests where the GM spoke of the invention of gunpowder. If this is something you would like to include in your stories, then you might think about using these figures.

If you really like the idea of creating outlandish adventures, I have also thought of using dinosaur pieces from Milton Bradley's Jurassic Park and JP The Lost World. You could make an adventure where you're characters get sent through some sort of time warp and end up in a prehistoric setting. If you combine figures from both JP sets, you'd have two T-Rexes, thirteen velociraptors, and six spitters. I have not made any quests like this yet, so you would have to come up with the stats on them yourself. In continuing the thought of time warping, I have also considered using cowboy and Indian figures for a Wild West adventure and little green army men for a wartime scenario. You could also use some futuristic type figures or robot type figures to create a space age adventure. Honestly, these are a little too far-fetched for me, but I wanted to throw them out as ideas if you are into this sort of thing.

There you have it. Some new ideas for many hours of creative questing. I do own all the board games I spoke of in this article. If any of you have some other ideas for more uses of these game components, let me know at "". I am still looking for copies of Advanced HeroQuest and Warhammer Quest to make even more great adventures for my party to go on. Have fun creating and happy questing.

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