DungeonQuest Heroes – Figure Painting #2

I finished the last couple of DungeonQuest figures this morning! The base characters don’t have any special abilities (except for the rangers being able to fire 4 arrows) and are played solely based on their characteristics. Most of these eight characters has at least one special ability, and generally that means lower characteristics. For those interested, these metal miniatures are by Bob Naismith.

Azoth the Faceless – Sorcerer. Minimal strength, can cast spells – Fear, Fireball, Invisibility, Stasis, etc.

Fhyll Madaxe – Dwarf Berserker. Likely to go berserk if hurt, doing more damage, but can’t search with raging. (Not pictured below)

Helena the Swift – Adventuress. Has a slingshot, can take an extra move on previously placed tiles.

Ironhand the Mighty – Gladiator. No special power, average stats, but has the highest life points.

Rildo the Crafty – Thief. Can throw daggers and take 2 cards when searching.

Serellia & Bright Flame – Elf Adventurer & Dragonette. Has a once-off heal & always-on light orb. BF may warn of danger and is good fighter.

Thargrim the Dark Lord – Warrior of Chaos. Can rest to regain LP’s, and his ‘Helm of Terror’ may scare off monsters.

Tori-Jima – Ninja. Has shuriken and can hide from monsters.


I’ve wanted to paint these since I got them, and I wouldn’t have done a good job of it at that time. They are all well detailed scuplts, that would be great for any other fantasy game too. (Ironhand was used regularly as a Pit Fighter in Warhammer Quest.)

Azoth is my favourite of these. I matched the character card almost 100%, and the colours and shading came out really well. Helena came with a plastic shield, that I don’t have any more. I found a shield from my bits, put a hole through the middle and tried something interesting for the front. The character card shows a very boring bronze or brass shield. This one, with the rim (and timber lined back, which you can’t see in the photos) is probably better than what the original was.

I really never liked the dwarf figure, which I haven’t painted. He’s been replaced with one of my GW metal troll-slayers painted in 2016. The pose of the actual figure makes him look like he has a beer gut, and its been sculpted in a way that makes basing difficult. Both weapons extend past the figures feet, so he can’t be placed in a standard slotta-base without bending the weapons (which wouldn’t look right) or some creative additional work. Here’s the painted GW figure from ‘Eavy Metal, with a modified base:

…and a group shot with all my sixteen game figures ready to head into Dragonfire Castle:


Final note: I’m not impressed by GW’s proof-readers, or whoever had over-sight. The “Heroes” characters cards say “Serellia” and “Bright Flame”, while the booklet states “Sarellia” and “Flame Bright” (repeatedly). The Catacombs booklet agrees with the character cards.



DungeonQuest Heroes – Figure Painting

Last night I played a four-player game of DungeonQuest, using an assortment of heroes. We used an optional rule (‘Torchlight’) that added to room tile placement. It don’t believe it made things any easier, but it did allow for a bit more choice of pathing. As is quite typical for the game, no-one got out alive!

Two of us found no treasure at all before we died. Congrats to my wife for getting Vikas Swordmaster to the Dragon’s treasure chamber, and making it back about four rooms away from the exit with 3,620 gold, before being killed by a scorpion.

I’ve nearly finished all of the game figures, and here are the original four that came with the base game, and their counterparts from the Heroes Expansion. The originals are plastic figures in simple poses and basic detail. The expansion provided metal slotta-base figures with more dynamic poses and better detail. I also think this set was the first time I saw slotta-base figures that came with a circular base. [I really grew to dislike the original 20 and 25mm square bases that seemed to be the norm on all my purchases in the 80’s and 90’s.]

All the heroes have a character card with an image, their characteristics, and a life point track. In each case I used the image to guide my painting. Vikas is the most notable change in colour choices – I’ve done green and white checks before (Zombicide BP) but not on a small hood, with so many curves and folds! With each pair, the figure on the left is the base game figure, and the one on the right the Heroes expansion figure.

These have been fun to paint. Most have been fairly easy to do. Sir Roland with his wolf pelt took more work than the others, with his mail, plate, and ‘dry-brushed’ fur. I chose not to green-tint his plate, since the Chaos Warrior in the group has the same colouring, I thought it more appropriate in his case.

The second set are El-Adoran & Farendil (Rangers), and Ulv Grimhand & Siegfried Goldenhair (Barbarians).

Interesting note: Online, I found a page from White Dwarf advertising the Heroes expansion, showing a set of painted figures (‘Eavy Metal, GW). This image has “Gunvor Greataxe” (A very Conan-like barbarian, with an oversized axe) while my set came with Siegfried. I much prefer the sculpt and pose of Siegfried. (Although what is meant to be two feathers on his necklace look more like unusual shells.)

Next up, the eight ‘unique’ heroes from the expansion.

DungeonQuest – Board Game Review

DungeonQuest is a game produced by Games Workshop in 1987, as an English translation of the Swedish board game DrakBorgen (“Dragon Fortress”, 1985). GW also released two expansions – “Heroes” and “Catacombs” in 1988, breaking the single Swedish expansion (1987) into two parts, presumably to make more money that way.

I got the base game and the expansions early in 1989. My friends and I played this quite a lot 1989-1990, again in 1996, and 2007 – evidenced by the “top scores” sheet that I’ve kept and updated on occasion.

A second edition was released only in Sweden, and then Fantasy Flight Games got the license and produced a Third edition (2010) with new combat mechanics and standardised cards, and then the Revised edition in 2014.

DungeonQuest GW, 1987

My interest in the game has been re-ignited because I’m currently painting all the figures for the game. (I’ve done ten of sixteen, so far.) The 3rd edition rules, and notes I’ve seen on the revised version made some minor rule changes to improve play, and included optional rules. I’m planning to write up all the original rules and incorporate some of the changes/additions and hopefully play the game a bit more.

The aim of the game: to enter the dungeons under Dragonfire Castle, find the dragon’s chamber and escape from the castle with treasure before the sun sets. (1-4 players, Ages 10+)

In each of the 26 turns, you pick a adjacent square on the board to move to, draw a random tile and move into that “chamber”. Each tile (in full colour) has a mark to show the entry location, and has from 0 to 3 exits. Tiles may be empty chambers, passages, have a cave in, chasm, bottomless pit, darkness, trap or even rotate. In most cases you draw a ‘room’ card to see if anything special happens. Most rooms are empty, but you might be attacked by a monster, find a trap, have your torch blow out, find a crypt/corpse, a potion or minor treasure. Instead of moving you can search – which is the only way you might get out of a dead end.

This isn’t an actual game, but tiles have been drawn and laid as if it was.

The base game comes with four characters – Adventurer, Barbarian, Knight and Ranger. Each has four characteristics: Strength, Agility, Armour & Luck, ranging from 1-10. In most cases you have to roll your stat or less on a d12 to lift a portcullis, move through a cave in, avoid a pit, etc.

Combat uses cards and is basically scissors-paper-rock. Heroes have 6-19 Life points, monsters have 1-8. There are options to escape and sometimes a monster will flee.

If you reach the treasure chamber in the middle of the board you get to take 2 treasure tokens, and then pick one of 6 cards to see if the dragon wakes. (5 show him asleep, 1 awake) The card chosen is NOT replaced until no-one is in that chamber, so the longer you stay to grab treasure the more likely he wakes. If he wakes, you lose all the treasure you picked up, take 1d12 damage and move out of the chamber!

Character card, Room and Corpse cards visible. Turn track on left edge of board.

Since tiles are random, it can be hard simply to get to the treasure chamber. Rotating rooms, doors, and portcullis may make it difficult, or impossible for you to return the way you came. The time limit, monsters and traps, in addition to the dragon, make it very hard to get out with treasure. In fact the game rules suggest you only have a 15% chance of surviving. You could choose to make this a bit easier, by taking out some monsters and traps.

No game is the same. Each character has different strengths and weaknesses. The base game has 115 room tiles, 68 counters, and 174 cards.

The first expansion “Heroes”, gives you 12 more heroes to use – four are “copies” of the original characters, but it also adds an Adventuress, Chaos Warrior, Dwarf Berserker, Elf (with baby dragon), Gladiator, Ninja, Sorcerer & Thief. “Catacombs” gives an alternate path under the dungeon. It’s a little bit safer, but you can’t control when you will find a way back up again. Both expansions also have extra tiles, room cards, etc. We use all the extra cards and tiles, but no-ones really been interested in actually going into the catacombs.

Overall, it’s a tough, but really fun game with a lot of replay-ability. If you do get out with treasure, it’s a great feeling. It can be played solo, but is much better with multiple players. It’s meant for a max of 4 players, but if you agree to “share” staring positions, you could have up to 8. A typical game takes an hour. Lots of fan produced content exists, with copies of cards, character sheets and alternate rules for combat and rooms.

My main complaint with the original is that the room cards are quite small (4 x 6.5cm, or 1.5×2.5″) and all the other cards (Corpse, Crypt, Door, Trap, Search, Rings, Amulets) each is a different size and shape. It looks like the FFG versions used a standard card size for all of these, with unique graphics on the card backs to tell them apart. Gameplay can become annoying with so much being random, but it’s easy to house-rule some changes to make the game a bit easier, or play more smoothly.

Suggestion: With 2-4 players, run through a number of games, and have each player add together treasure gained in each game for a final score.

RATING: I’d give this 5/5 for it’s replaybability and challenge, but only 3/5 overall because there’s a lot more luck than skill involved.

Fals’Krag Session 43 – Anticlimax

A really, really good session – such a pity two players missed out. Everyone worked well together once we got past the discussion on what items to craft and who to do it. (“Are you happy to spend a bit more money to have it now?”) There was an assortment of creatures encountered, some for the first time (in this campaign) – the troll and  the glitterfire notably. For most of the ruins being explored now I have scale battle-maps, using post-it notes to hide what they can’t see.

In the last encounter I had a large snake mini which I put down and said it’s like this but made of metal, then played along with everything they said… counting rounds as they cast spells, checking who had what cast on them and where they said they were. The first arrow fired for Winter had a modified to-hit roll of 26. I said “miss”. (Cries of dismay and astonishment, especially from my wife who runs Winter.) They double checked bonuses from buffs, etc, and then she rolled for the other two arrows – same again. I paused to let them worry and rolled a Will save for Winter – she succeeded, and things went on as described.

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(12th Sunsebb): Kevelli has followed the groups adventures under the Krag for some time now, and wishes to accompany them to the Crafting Halls. He has some of his own work he would like to pursue there, but is also willing to craft items for them (using the hall) at a discount. He offers Seldrel an infinite scroll-case as a gift. The group agree to take him with them when they return. They spend time in town restocking on rations, holy water, and having a good meal. Seldrel and Merxif speak with a few priests about identity of the statues in the Hall of the Gods.

13th: The group, with Kevelli, head to the Hold and down to the Hall of the Gods. With the Wizard’s assistance, they activate the statue of Osprem, a Suel water deity. A wand of Beast Shape I (aquatic) is gained. They then show Kevelli the Crafting Halls and spend time discusses what the two wizards will work on. They eventually decide to have Kevelli craft some of the cheaper and faster to make items the group wants, like magical boots and extra dimensional backpacks.

14th – 25th: Kevelli and Seldrel work on boots of sprinting & striding, golem-bane scarabs, handy haversacks, a wand of lesser restoration, and an amulet of mighty fists. The rest of the group keep an eye on the surrounding chambers and levels to be sure nothing is taking up residence, and some of them head back to Falsford for anything the mages have forgotten.

26th: They activate the statue of Bralm – a Suel deity of Insects and Industriousness. They receive a wand of natures favour, which Winter can use to aid Summer in combat. Boris is going to escort Kevelli back to Falsford, while the rest will return to the great cavern. They choose a block near to the goblin caves and Lanliss begins to scout invisibly. After a few empty rooms, he finds a thin but muscled humanoid about 9 feet tall scrabbling in rubble. He quickly returns and the group ready to attack, sighting four goblins with it. They begin to strike down the goblins. Hardaz and Bacon go straight for the creature Seldrel thinks is a troll – when its wounds begin to heal, he is sure. He and Merxif begin targeting it with fire and acid magic. Lanliss tumbles int. Four more goblins attack from another chamber. The troll rakes the dwarves a few times, but it is no match for them when not regenerating damage. Lanliss uses magic missiles to take down the goblins Winter and her companion don’t get and the combat is soon over. Seldrel uses acid to make sure the troll is dead. The goblins yield a few coins and maces, but nothing valuable.

More empty room hold little more than dust and the tracks of vermin. Lanliss finds himself in almost darkness, and notes movement on the ceiling. He dodges something that drops suddenly and tries to grapple him, even though he’s invisible. Surprised, he runs out and calls on the others. The three “flying squids” are quickly defeated, and they recognise them as darkmantles – not a serious threat to the group.

Lanliss finds some dire rats, and as the others move to be able to attack with melee and missiles, Winter sees a snake-headed man in another part of the building. Hardaz goes to her support and they find themselves fighting four snake-men – two are large snakes with human arms, and the last has a thick snake body with human arms and head. They wear light armor and wield scimitars effectively. Hardaz is able to block a doorway until the rats are defeated. Lanliss and Bacon use acrobatics to get into the chamber and amid their foes. These turn out to be much stronger fighters than the troll & goblins, and the narrow spacing makes it a nastier fight. Merxif spends some time healing the wounded. Lanliss finds a secret door with spy-holes looking into the now empty rooms that once held many shelves or cupboards.

In the final part of the building Lanliss sees something move in the darkness, and he and Bacon move in, attacking two insectoid creatures. They knock one unconscious, and Hardaz enters to attack the second, fearful from their description that it’s a rust monster. He’s right! He and Lanliss are happy to land heavy blows without their weapons corroding before the aberrations can strike back. Their reaction speed has gone in their favour and they ascertain that the monsters have had their last metal meal. Unfortunately, there are only rust and corroded daggers remaining amid bones and clothing scraps.

Moving on to the next building, they find odd swirls on dusty floors and goblin tracks. Lanliss finds a small cloud of smoke lit by flickering lights moving about a room. His attempt at a surprise attack fails, and it tries to flow around him but he dodges. The others join him, finding weapon strikes to be effective at breaking it down. Seldrel realises that it is an ooze, and on defeat there is a brief, almost blinding blaze of sparkling magical fire, resembling a burning glitterdust spell.

The goblin tracks lead to a makeshift shrine to Maglubiyet (the main goblin deity) and two piles of stones. There is a faint glow in one and Seldrel detects magic from it. Lanliss carefully removes stones, revealing a blackened skull with faintly glowing eye-sockets. He lifts it out, almost dropping it as he finds its been anchored to the floor with a length of fine wire. Seldrel recognises a goblin skull-bomb, having been the victim of one before. When broken, the last person to touch it explodes in magical fire! They carefully place it in one of their magical bags.

A simple cross-bow trap is found and disarmed by Lanliss, and a broken door leads into an old storeroom with rotting furniture, lumps of cloth and possibly bodies. Everything glistens in the light and they recognise green slime. Lanliss enters with a torch to start burning it, and has some fall from the ceiling on to him. Seldrel quickly burns it, and they scrape the rest off before it eats through his jacket. Oil and fire quickly set the room ablaze. They retreat to find the smoke disturbing bats in an adjacent chamber. The vermin are as large as Merxif and aren’t ordinary, proven by their resistance to fire. Many are struck down as they try to bite the group and continue past them. A second wave of bats emerge followed by bulky rough-looking winged humanoids. The ‘Margoyles’ prove are tougher than the gargoyles previously fought, but Merxif weakens them with acid breath courtesy of his dragon orb.

Hardaz notes a wall that has been carved to look worn and cracked. Lanliss (invisible) scouts around it and finds a concealed, locked and trapped stone door. He picks the lock, disarms the trap and opens the door. He sees a metal cobra made of interlocking steel plates, taking up nearly half the chamber with its head about 8 feet above the floor and swaying from side to side. He notes a chest and other objects behind it. It seem to be aware that he is there. He backs off, looks around, tells the others then closes the door again. They spend some time planning and all position themselves just out of the way of the door. Wands are used to strengthen and toughen most of the group. Merxif uses a skull to summon a Dire Bear, then casts Bless and Prayer. Winter makes sure she has a line of sight to the chamber, Seldrel casts Haste, Lanliss opens the door and they both back up. The snake sways and Winter fires three arrows – all miss! The snake doesn’t react and Winter looks at it keenly. “I don’t think my arrows bounced, I’m sure they went straight into it and it didn’t react. I think it’s an illusion!”

Seldrel moves forward, casting Detect Magic and studies the chamber, while the snake continues to swing its head from side to side. There are multiple magic auras… one is illusion. Lanliss moves forward and joins the mage and both realise the snakes image has become translucent to them; they see the items piled at the back of the chamber through it. There is both amusement and relief amid the group. Lanliss steps into the chamber to look at the treasure and promptly has the ground collapse under him. The door and illusion have kept his attention from the concealed pit trap. Fortunately there aren’t spikes at the bottom. The others throw down a rope and help him climb out, not too badly wounded. He spikes the lid shut. The group is pleased to learn there are no further tricks or traps and recover quite a lot of gold coins, a few gems & jewellery, some small casks of oil, and a magical staff. They gather everything and head back up to the crafting halls to evaluate and recover.

Fals’Krag Session 42 – Cave and Temple

This session had all of my players attending, which was great of itself, but special because some of us still hadn’t seen each other for nearly a year. The session didn’t run any longer than normal, but as well as catching up on life in general, they worked their way through quite a bit of D&D!

I need to remember to take at least one photo during a session.

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(10th Sunsebb): Lanliss and Bacon check the closer southern tunnels finding small caves that appear to be goblin quarters. They make a fast search for valuables while the others make sure the goblins are dead and loot a few coins. Hardaz hears faint noises from the north and they all move forward as quietly as possible, glancing into adjacent passages and more small caves. Some of the walls seem smoothed by magic, and there are occasional traces of Suel runes. Seldrel surmises that they predate the goblins. They note the smell of smoke ahead. Lanliss moves forward as far as he can and still use his elf-sight. A chamber to the side has many boxes, but ahead in the dim light he sees a large cave and perhaps a dozen goblins. He retreats and the group make a plan – they line themselves in the passage with weapons ready, and wait for Bacon’s signal. He moves stealthily forward to the cave entrance, where he notices a trip wire, piles of rubble and what is likely a hidden pit. As well as many goblins, there is an other ogre in the cave and a large wolf. Bacon triggers a bright flash of light from his goggles blinding some of the closest goblins. He yells out to the others to watch for the trip wire right in front of him. Hardaz, and Boris make their way past him and begin to engage goblins. Merxif moves up and looks at the wire – it appears to be rigged to trip people, and not trigger another trap. Lanliss comes up and cuts it. Seldrel and Winter move up to provide ranged support. Many of the goblins fire arrows at the dwarves and Boris, while others with maces surround those in melee. Boris targets the ogre with his spell and is delighted when a fireball burns the ogre and knocks down many of the surrounding goblins. He, Bacon and Hardaz are also in the area of effect. Bacon avoids being burnt, though not the goblin he uses for cover. Hardaz and Boris take some damage from the fire. Boris manages to blind the ogre, though he has been hit by quite a few arrows. Merxif moves up to heal him before anything goes bad. Bacon trips a few goblins as he pummels those around him, and Hardaz, Lanliss and Summer finish them off. The rest of the group fire spells and arrows at goblins out of melee and are targeted in return by arrows. The blind ogre looks to be more of a threat to the goblins near him that the party and is downed before he can see again. The group block exit from the cave and steadily defeat the remaining goblins. Nearly everyone is wounded to some extent and Merxif channels healing energy to those who need it. Careful searching reveals a few more pit traps, and quarters for the goblins. A magical ring is claimed from the goblin leaders corpse and a nice selection of gems and coins are found. Seldrel is horrified to find the goblins had been burning books and scrolls, but salvages some with useful spells on them.

Many of the group are feeling a slight desire to go up through the mountain. It is similar to the pull they feel to explore when they spend days in town or in the crafting halls. They decide it doesn’t seem to be very defined in direction and do their best to ignore it for now.

At the end of the cliff path is what looks like a doorway blocked with rocks and bits of old timber. The dwarves take some time to clear it, finding a short passage and another blocked doorway. Behind this are stairs leading down westward into the cliff. Lanliss notes that they are not even, level or consistent, and must have been purposely carved that way. There are occasional faint Suel runes and what could be images of fangs. A crossroads with an open pit has images of mountains and cave entrances. Three short passages lead to doors – the southern is broken open, the northern jammed shut with pieces of the south door.

The southern chamber has three parts, with a smashed altar and open spiked pit (with a goblin skeleton). Suel inscriptions describe odd rituals, involving chains in darkness, deep pits, and flagellation. The western door opens into a three large three sectioned hall, each with a central pillar. An old goblin corpse lies at the base of the closest pillar, and some armoured skeletons are sighted to the sides. The group enters to fight them and are startled when a mummy emerges from another chamber at both ends of the hall. It becomes a difficult fight to defeat the undead, with fear paralysing two of the group, and Bacon, Hardaz and Summer all struck by the mummies. Thankfully, Bacon is unaffected by the rot that the other two suffer. Merxif heals those that he can, and struggles to remove the curse on owl and dwarf. The group search the crypts looting some treasure and decide to camp here for the night with the door spiked shut.

11th Having rested Merxif is able to remove the curse on Summer, and then negate the disease part of the rot. Winter restores her companion’s strength. The desire to move towards the surface is stronger and felt by all.

12th Hardaz finally has his affliction negated, and is healed. The group check the last door, finding within a chamber with intact altar and short mounds of quivering flesh. As Lanliss looks around, the flesh blobs extend arms and form distorted faces. They cause minor damage to those that enter to fight, but are resistant to fire, and take reduced damage from the groups weapons. Seldrel determines that these are minor demons – lemurs – that can be changed or promoted into more powerful forms. The altar is marked with the image of a set of fangs, with the walls have phrases that speak of discovering secrets in darkness, finding riches in caves, and gaining knowledge by eating your enemies. Merxif and Seldrel decide this is a temple and crypt for Beltar, an evil Suel deity of malice, caves and pits.

The group are happy to leave, heading straight towards the crafting hall, where they find they still feel the pull to go “up”. They do so, exiting the Hold and head towards the graveyard, with the compulsion beginning to fade away. As they approach they sight three human youths on the path. The trio from Falsford are curious about what the group has seen and fought. They also pay close attention to what each of the party carries and wears. Hardaz is becoming rather suspicious, and Boris who had dropped back as they approached, ducks into the long grass and moves around behind them. One of them suddenly points to a figure moving through the graveyard, and yells “the Vampire!”. All three bolt down the road heading back towards town. The group recognise Robann Falshandren, who seems pleased to have startled the “rascals” who have been hanging around a bit recently. He greets the party, and explains that he wanted to see them. They have committed themselves to locating his grandson, and in recognition of their efforts, he has relaxed the compulsion on them to explore the Krag. They should find they have more time to rest, study and prepare between bouts of exploration. After some further discussion they part, looking forward to a lunch that isn’t rations in town.

At the gate, a laughing guard asks if they have any statues to declare, while a second tells Lanliss that a bird left a message for him. A scroll (delivered yesterday) describes the group, and asks for Lanliss to visit Kevelli when they are in town again.