Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Expanding HeroQuest: My Homebrew!

 In my latest HeroQuest post I wrote I was eager to expand the game. Well, I lied! I've already expanded the game a lot! Thing is, I've expanded it with stuff I already had at home from my board game and ttrpg collection.

So here's the things I've added to the game.

1. Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Game (2003)

The first, most obvious addition to our HeroQuest adventure has been Dungeons & Dragons: The Fantasy Adventure Game from 2003. It had been sitting it in my garage for more than 10 years: bought, read and never played. The moment we started playing the new HeroQuest I knew it was the perfect expansion. Here's what it has to offer:

5 modular, double.sided cardboard boards. These are 11 x 11 squares big, mostly with dungeon rooms, but also include two outdoor maps, and one cool "bridge on lava river" tile! The squares are slightly smaller than those on the new HeroQuest board (and probably the very same size of the original HQ's), but still perfectly usable. These boards a very handy addition to the game, offering new areas to explore.

40 minis. These are NOT amazing sculpts. The four heroes are not bad at all, but the monsters definitely lack the quality, detail, and pose of their counterparts in the new HeroQuest. If you play with the old HQ, instead, all the minis are just great, matching the scale, sculpting style, and quality of the '90s amazingly well. In my opinion, all of this really matters if you are a perfectionist AND paint (or plan to paint) everything.

4 heroes: cleric, fighter, rogue, wizard (purple plastic)

36 monsters: goblins, trolls, carrion crawlers (green plastic); gnolls, ogres, bugbears (brown); skeletons, wights, wraiths, and a lich (white plastic).

Despite being not-so-great minis, I've happily added all the pieces to my game, creating simple game stats for all the new heroes and monsters, finding great value in the extra variety. I'll post all of that in the future!

Stuff. The box also includes standing cardboard trees and columns, which I don't plan to use because all the HeroQuest scenery is tridimensional plastic, so these look really poorly on the table, and a heap of other flat cardboard markers and tokens. Of these I've immediately decided to use the red circular Hit Points tokens for lost Body Points, and flip them on the white side for lost Mind Points. There's also about a dozen special six-sided dice, item cards, flat markers for doors, chests, traps, and even slimes, which I didn't bother to look or use.

All in all: The D&D adventure board game IS a great addition to HeroQuest, in my opinion. The main problem, if you want to add it to your game, is it is out of production and out of stock almost everywhere. The best chance to find one is ebay or similar sites, or your local shops, secondhand shops, and flea markets.

Alternatives: The world of board games is full of cool big board games with lots of cool, cheap minis. Dungeons & Dragons comes to help again with the more recent series of board games: Wrath of AshardalonCastle Ravenloft and Legends of Drizzt. All of these have about 40 minis (monsters and heroes), nicely thematized. Beware: these are fairly old too, and while they are still cheap in the US, they are getting rare and expensive in Europe, so maybe you should hurry and get them while they are still out there. If you want more, the DescentDungeon Saga and Sword & Sorcery board games (and expansions) are all seriously interesting to look at for more monsters and heroes to homebrew.

More alternatives: If you're hunting for more minis, 3d printing can be excellent. Etsy is full of awesome models and sets for ttrpgs, such as this gorgeous cultist set, and this yuan ti group I'm about to order.

If you can 3d print, you surely know lots of STL files can be found in lots of places. DriveThruPRG has LOTs of cheap files, as well as dozens of freebies and pay-what-you-want to print new monsters, heroes and pieces of scenery.

2. Toys!

Did I mention I have a 7yo son? That means we have plenty of toy spiders, insects, and other assorted animals that often are the right scale to be featured in our HeroQuest games.

You can find plenty of cheap things on amazon, just be careful with the scale or, even better, support some local business and get a chance to inspect them in person.

Beside the obvious spiders, insects and scorpions, we plan to use a set of sea animals like this for a future underwater adventure: starfish, crabs, octopuses and shark will make for great enemies. And we're going to fight those stupid abominations in their own environment

3. Immersive Battle Map Book and Confrontation Tiles

I backed the Immersive Battle Map book on Kickstarter somewhere around 2018, got it, and stashed it in my library for a loooong time, and when I got the new HeroQuest I immediately grabbed it to check how good this could be. In short, it is GREAT.

https://amzn.to/3GgeCY1 is a HUGE book. When closed, it's about the same size as the new HeroQuest box. and when you open it, you get a full board that's twice that big. In other words, you get a game board that is about half the size of the HeroQuest game board, and there's 32 of them!
You can find a lot of similar products on amazon, but this one I can really vouch for because of the variety of themes and environments, complementing the dungeon of the standard HeroQuest board very well: market squares, harbor docks, temples, a gladiatorial arena, several inns, houses and shops, a farm, a waterfall, a glacier, a ship on the seas, and even a sunken ship on the sea bottom for underwater adventures (we're coming for you, abominations!). Really lots of diverse environments to stir imagination when creating your homebrew quests and, in my opinion, the vivid art style compliments well the HeroQuest graphic style (or, at least, I like it a lot).

The Confrontation tiles I'm using are another relic from my late '90s/early 2000s gaming years. I believe these are near impossible to find now, but I have them and I've enjoyed the sewers sub-set, and plan to use several more.

Alternatives: The world of ttprgs offers an endless amount of tiles, floor, battle maps and battle mats that are just perfect to use with HeroQuest, adding great variety to adventures. Several books with maps: the Giant Book of Battle Mats and its Volume 2 and Volume 3, the Box of Adventure - Valley of Peril set, as well as the double-book sets Wilderness Books of BattleMats and Dungeon Books of Battle Mats are all perfect if you want more environments in the shape of sturdy, ready to use products.

If you don't mind printing your own boards and tiles, DriveThruPRG has an endless amount of items to choose from, including almost 800 free pieces! Printing your own allows for hand-picked maps, but it's definitely not MY thing as I don't have the patience to make good prints and find suitable storing solutions, but I bet there are lots of gamers out there who are better than me at this.


So that's all I am regarding the stuff I'm using. If you know of more useful resources, let me know in the comments!
For my next HeroQuest post, I'll write about my homebrew rules including random dungeon events and new monsters and heroes!


Into HeroQuest? Check out my other HeroQuest Posts!


  1. Thank you for all your advices, im starting to play with my 7 y girl, and wife, before taking them to d&d 😂
    I'll take your homebrew rules, very nice !
    Thanks again !


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