Adventure Game Birthday Weekend: Return of the Big Damn Heroes

This was a big mash-up of Return of the Heroes, Under the Shadow of the Dragon, and Return of the Heroes: Quest for the Grail. The variant rules are from squash’s Extreme Makeover, giving multiple paths to victory. He’s also got the almost ultimate glossary, which lists the map cards and all of the counters. It’s invaluable, even though it doesn’t cover the individual heroes (though that information can be quickly looked up once).

Setup takes… a while.

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Once the game is set up, however, gameplay goes quickly, even if you’re playing two as one.



I’d have to say, though, that I must have had my nostalgia glasses on. While adventure games usually have a random element, it doesn’t always bother me—however, it currently bothers me here. The feature/problem is that you have to wait for quest items to come out of the bag to make appreciable progress, and that can be a long time coming—which is why a variant that offers multiple paths to victory is a great improvement. There are many things you can do to get prestige points, and doing a lot of them could get you enough points to cover bad luck in not finding the grail, etc. But when you’re dead-locked due to luck, the game can drag on.

In retrospect, I should have played only one character and implemented a count-down timer—in fact, one based on the Midnight entry in the Runebound series. It’s called a Threat Track and will advance the timer based on the difficulty you set. It’s a simple yet elegant mechanism for solitaire or co-op games. And it requires 2d10, but a 2d6 variant could be created just for Return of the Heroes.

… hmm.

But I’m eager to move to Wrath of Ashardalon! And I only just got it sleeved!

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