HeroQuest Homebrew: House Rules

Last Updated | November 15, 2018

House Rules

Although I want to keep the spirit of simplicity with my version of this game, I also wanted to add a little more variety, and a sense of accomplishment for the players. HeroQuest is both a board game and a role playing game, and I think it is important to maintain that hybrid feel when tweaking the rules. My goal is to add some extra fluff, fix a couple consistency errors, and allow the players more customization and depth to their heroes, all while maintaining the ease of play that the original gave. I want my children to be able to play this game, but I also want it to be fun for mature folks like me (mature purely in the physical sense, as clearly my mental maturity is in question).

Hero Progression

Progression is the most important house rule I felt was necessary for HeroQuest as it keeps the players from getting bored of playing the same Hero over and over. There's needs to be something to work towards other than just collecting gold to buy equipment. After a bunch of Quests, the heroes lack any uniqueness and are just a product of their equipment. This is why I have introduced Experience Points and Character Traits. Most of my custom Heroes begin with a trait to make them unique, but as the players progress, they can customize their Hero by selecting their own Traits. The Level 1 and 2 Traits are meant to augment a certain style or equipment choice, while not breaking the game. The Level 3 Traits introduce some potentially overpowered abilities, but a Hero must survive quite a long time to attain them, and I believe the players deserve a big reward for that!

The XP system itself is pretty simple.
1 XP is awarded for each of the following:
Surviving a Quest
Successfully Completing the Quest Objective (whole team)
Discovering the Quest Objective (individual)
Killing a Villain (named Monster)
Killing a spellcasting Monster (so that's 2 XP for a Spellcasting Villain)
Discovering a Artifact

Traits are awarded at set numbers of XP:
Level 1 Traits awarded at 6 and 15 XP.
Level 2 Traits awarded at 30, 50, and 72 XP.
Level 3 Traits awarded at 100, and 150 XP.

A Hero can have a maximim of 2x Level 1, 3x Level 2, and 2x Level 3 Traits. If a Hero already has the maximum Traits and would be awarded another, they instead receive 500 Gold Coins (they use their experience to teach young Heroes for gold). The only exception is the Trait "Jack of All Trades," which awards an additional Level 2 Trait beyond the normal maximum.

Check out the Trait Cards section to see the all the Traits.


Fundamentally, spellcasting is the biggest change to the base rules. These house rules introduce the ability to re-cast spells during a Quest at the risk of losing Mind Points. The more powerful the spell, the riskier it is to recast. The rules (and rewording of spells) introduce spell types and targeting restrictions as well. The effects of the original game spells are the same, they have just been re-worded in a clear and concise manner.

Re-Casting Spells
- Each spell a Figure "knows" can be cast for free as normal, but is not discarded. Instead, it is placed in a seperate "re-cast" pile.
- A spellcaster may attempt to re-cast a spell from the "re-cast" pile by rolling a number of Combat Dice equal to the Spell Value, represented by the number in parenthesis beside the spell type (usually 1, 2, or 3).
- The spellcaster suffers 1 Mind Point of damage for each Skull rolled.
- If 1 Black Shield is rolled, the spell fails and the Spellcaster looses his action.
- If 2 or more Black Shields are rolled, the spell fails, the spellcaster looses his action, and may not attempt to re-cast that spell for the remainder of the Quest (it is discarded as per original rules).

- The new wording on spell cards introduce the term "target".
- In order to target something, it must be in sight of the spellcaster and meet any restrictions on the spell card.
- A spellcaster is always in sight of himself, and can therefore be targeted.
- A "Figure" refers to any figure (friend or enemy) present on the board, but again, must be in sight to be targeted.

Spell Types
- Attack Spells - Instant effect, cause direct damage or harm to figure(s).
- Task Spells - Instant effect, do not cause direct harm to figure(s).
- Hex Spells and Buff Spells - Lasting effect (duration noted on spell card), immediately broken when spellcaster dies, attempts to re-cast the same spell, or chooses to end the spell. One Figure can only be affected by one Hex spell and one Buff spell at a time; a new Hex spell will break an existing Hex spell on the Figure (likewise with Buff spells).
- Area of Effect - No targets, affects a defined area or condition (usually the room the spellcaster is in).
- Reaction - May only be cast or re-cast immediately after a certain event happens (noted on the card), even if not during the turn of the spellcaster, in which case it does not use an action.

Dual Wielding

The introduction of Dual Wielding weapons is dangerous as heros can get overpowered if the mechanic is not balanced. Below are rules for Dual Wielding that are meant to add variety without allowing overpowered heroes. It is more of a cool thing that heroes can choose to do, even if it may not be the most effective. It also allows some fun progression traits to interact with the ability to Dual Wield, that gives experienced heroes the possibility to take advantage.

Dominant Hand
Weapons held in the Dominant Hand (or two-handed weapons) provide attacks as normal per the HeroQuest rules.

A hero may choose to hold a light-weight, non-ranged, one-handed weapon in the Off-Hand.
Immediately after an Attack with the Dominant hand, the hero may make an additional Attack with the Off-Hand weapon on the same or a different target with a -1 Combat Die penalty.

Throwing Weapons

Again, this house rule is meant to add variety to the game, and also allow for fun and interesting hero progression and traits for experienced heroes.

- Any "throwable" weapon may be thrown at a Target Figure up to a number of squares away equal to double the throwers starting body points, and not adjacent to the thrower.
- If the weapon misses the target, it is broken or lost on the roll of a Black or White Shield on 1 Combat Die.
- If not lost or broken, thrown weapons can be recovered by performing a "search for thrown weapons" action in the room or corrider, in the same manner as searching for traps or secret doors.
- Any Figure can recover a thrown weapon, not just the one who threw it, and it's up to the finder whether or not to give it back!

HeroQuest Homebrew: Showdown 35. Design by David Fenner. | Milton Bradley
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