HeroQuest and Hero Quest - Gladiator Quest


HeroQuest style Gladiator Combat

  1. Introduction.

  2. HeroQuest Gladiators is a game for 2 or more players. It can be played stand alone, or worked into a quest.
    In HeroQuest Gladiators the players fight against each other for glory, gold, and experience.

  3. Basic Rules.

    1. Any Hero class may be used.

    2. Gladiators may fight alone or as part of a team.

    3. With three or more Gladiators, opponents may be part of a team or fight in a 'free-for-all'.

    4. Normally any weapon may be used except for bows.

    5. Any weapon that may be thrown can be used and may be thrown at any opponent three or more squares away.

    6. Play consists of Movement Phases and Combat Phases, with the game beginning in Movement Phase and Combat Phase entered when necessary.

    7. Play continues until there is only one Gladiator or team of Gladiators left standing.

    8. Winners are the ones left standing; losers are either killed or beg for mercy from the Emperor (or whatever ruler you choose).

  4. Game Set-up.

    1. Game Board.

    2. You may have a special tile that you wish to use for the game. If not, you can make a board by taking a piece of cardboard or posterboard of any size and marking it off with 1-inch (xxx centimeters) squares.

    3. Paper For Movement.

    4. Each player needs piece of paper and a pen or pencil.

    5. Initial Placement of Gladiators.

      1. Two Gladiators - Gladiators should be placed on opposite ends of the board.

      2. Teams - Teams can begin either in a group or spaced evenly around the edge of the arena.

      3. 'Free-For-All' Match - Place the opponents evenly around the edge of the arena.

  5. Movement Phase.
    1. Classes of Gladiators - A Gladiator is considered to be one of these three classes:
      1. Heavy - Wears any type of armor, may have a helmet/and or a shield - rolls 1 red die for movement.

      2. Medium - No armor, may have either a helmet OR a shield (not both) - rolls 2 red dice for movement.

      3. Light - No armor, no shield, no helmet - rolls 3 red dice for movement.

      Note that if a Gladiator has both a helmet and a shield he is considered in the Heavy class of Gladiator, even if he doesn't have any armor.

      Generally Gladiators of the same class battle each other. This does not have to be the case, though, especially when dealing with Spellcasters (Elves and Wizards) battling non-Spellcasters (Dwarfs, Barbarians).

    2. Movement Phase Order.
      1. All Gladiators roll their movement dice, keeping the roll hidden from their opponents. The number rolled is their movement points for that turn.

      2. Each player that has some movement points left should write the direction they wish to move on their paper. Gladiators can move LEFT, RIGHT, FORWARD, BACKUP (this is done without turning around), TURN AROUND, or STAND STILL. Hide this from the other players. Note that STANDING STILL does not count as a movement and the player should not deduct one from his movement points.

      3. Once each player has written their movement down, all papers are shown and the figures moved in the appropriate direction.

      4. Players may pivot their figures to the left or to the right once during their movement - either before or after they move a square. Players may not turn all the way around - to do this takes a movement point (there is a movement direction, TURN AROUND, for this).

      5. If a player runs out of movement points before another, he must sit still while his opponent continues to move.

      6. Movement continues in this fashion until either all players use up their movement points, at which time the dice are re-rolled, or Combat Phase is entered.

      7. Once a Gladiator enters Combat Phase, his Movement Phase is over. If he survives the Combat Phase, he must re-roll his Movement Dice (step #1), even if he has movement points left.

    3. Special Cases.
      1. Throwing Weapons - a Gladiator may throw any 'throw-able' weapon anytime during the Movement Phase; the Gladiators do not need to enter Combat Phase to use this type of attack. Anytime during the Movement Phase a Gladiator may attempt to throw a weapon at an opponent that is at least three squares away from him, but no more than 12. He writes on his paper where he thinks the opponent will be after the end of the Movement (i.e. that the opponent will move Left, Right, Forward, etc), and that he is throwing a weapon there (do not tell the other Gladiators that you are doing so). When the players show their papers before moving, the Gladiator announces that he is throwing a weapon. If the opponent moves where the Gladiator predicted, he has hit him. The Gladiator rolls the attack dice for the weapon, and the opponent rolls his defense dice (no parries). The weapon is now considered under the opponent's figure. If the opponent does not move where the Gladiator predicted, he has missed. His weapon continues in a straight line (you may need to guess where it is going - in case of dispute use a string or a ruler) for 15 squares distance from the Gladiator, where it stops. It will stop sooner if it hits a wall. If it hits another Gladiator in this distance then this Gladiator has been hit with the weapon. You may need to use a tile to represent the thrown weapon lying on the ground. Whether the weapon hits or misses, Movement Phase continues.

      2. Casting Spells - once per Movement Phase (each dice roll is a separate Movement Phase) a Gladiator may cast a spell (this includes using spell scroll artifacts and spell cards for Spellcasting Gladiators such as Wizards an Elves). If the spell is an attack spell, the attack dice are rolled as normal. Unlike when throwing weapons, Gladiators casting attack spells do not have to guess where their opponent is moving. Attacks spells are considered to automatically hit.

      3. Passing Combat - If a Gladiator has a weapon that allows him to attack an opponent that is more than one square away (not a thrown weapon) he may make a Passing Attack. The Combatants do not need to enter the Combat Phase to make this type of attack. The Gladiator rolls the normal attack dice for his weapon, and the opponent rolls his normal defense dice. No parries are allowed. Whether the weapon hits or misses, Movement Phase continues. If a Gladiator makes this type of attack, though, and an opponent closes with him during the current Movement Phase and causes the Gladiator to enter Combat Phase, the Gladiator is off balance and rolls 2 fewer attack and parry dice. If his weapon only allows him to roll 2 attack dice then he may only roll 1 attack and parry die during the Combat Phase.

      4. Drinking Potions - once per Movement Phase (each dice roll is a separate Movement Phase) a Gladiator may drink a potion in his possession. Once each Movement Phase a player may give a potion to another player to drink, but the two players must be in adjacent square.

      5. If more than two players are in the Arena, two players may enter Combat Phase while others still have movement points left. When the players in Combat Phase return to Movement Phase, all players re-roll their movement dice.

  6. Combat Phase.
    1. Entering Combat Phase.
      If two or more Gladiators move into adjacent squares, or attempt to move into the same square, they have entered Combat Phase.

    2. Gladiatorial Combat.
      Gladiators roll the number of attack dice for their chosen weapon shown on the weapon chart or card. A hit is scored with a Skull.

      Gladiators have been trained in the art of parrying their foes' weapons with their own. This gives them an extra defensive dice roll, but also hampers their attack efforts. Each Gladiator may roll the same number of attack dice for his parry as he does for his attack, but the exact number of dice rolled depends on his attack. A successful parry is scored with a black shield.

    3. Types of Attacks.
      Gladiators are allowed to choose which type of attack they wish. Each has a factor in the number of attack dice and parry dice he rolls.
      1. Swing +1 attack die -1 parry die
      2. Thrust normal attack dice normal parry dice
      3. Jab -1 attack die +1 parry die

      When attacking the Gladiator takes the attack dice rolled for a given weapon, then consults the chart above to see the modifier to his roll.

    4. Defending.
      The Gladiator must rely on his armor to ward off any of his opponent's blows that he fails to parry. He rolls his defense dice as normal, successfully turning one hit made by his opponent for each white shield rolled.

    5. Order of Combat.

      1. Each player writes his type of attack on his paper, hiding it from his opponent.

      2. When all fighting Gladiators have written their type of attack down, the attacks are shown.

      3. Each Gladiator rolls his attack dice, using the 'Type of Attack Modifiers' shown above.

      4. If an opponent rolls one or more skulls, the Gladiator attempts to parry the attack. The Gladiator starts with the number of attack dice for his weapon, then adds or subtracts a die using the 'Type of Attack Modifiers' shown above. A successful hit (a skull) is parried for each black shield rolled.

      5. If a Gladiator fails to parry all of an opponent's hits, he makes his armor roll. A successful hit (a skull) is turned for each white skull rolled.

      6. After Combat the Movement Phase is re-entered.

    6. Special Cases.

      1. Three Or More Combatants - three or more Gladiator's may enter combat at the same time. Each Gladiator may only attack one opponent, but may defend against any number of attacks. While a Gladiator defends against all attacks made against him, he may only parry the attacks made against him by the Gladiator that he has chosen to attack.

      2. Diagonal Weapons - A Gladiator may have a weapon that allows him to attack diagonally. If so, he may enter Combat Phase when he is in an adjacent Diagonal phase with an opponent. If the opponent does not have a weapon that attacks diagonally, he may not attack or parry, only defend. If neither Gladiator has a weapon that attacks diagonally, then entering an adjacent diagonal square does not cause them to enter Combat Phase.

      3. Shield Bash - If two or more Gladiators attempt to move into the same square, any Gladiator with a shield may attempt to do a Shield Bash. A Shield Bash is a move where the Gladiator, instead of attacking with his weapon, uses his shield to both hit his opponent and block his blows. When a Shield Bash is made, all of an opponent's hits are automatically blocked. The Shield Bashing Gladiator rolls twice the number of defense dice his shield is worth as attack dice. A shield may be damaged in a shield bash. If two or more black shields are rolled, the Gladiator's shield is damaged and he rolls one fewer defense die for the shield. If a shield looses all its defensive dice, it is destroyed and discarded by the Gladiator. If two Gladiators both Shield Bash each other, then both attacks are nullified, but both should roll their attack dice to see if any damage occurred to the shield.

        To make a Shield Bash the attacking Gladiator should write this on his paper during step #2 of combat.

      4. A Gladiator should keep a tally of all successful hits he has made against his opponents during a game. Add one to the tally for each Body Point of damage caused. The tally should start over at Zero for each new Arena battle.

  7. Game Conclusion.
    The game is concluded when only one Gladiator or team of Gladiators is left in the Arena. This Gladiator or team of Gladiators is the winners. The losers are the Gladiators that are killed in combat or appeal to the Emperor.

    1. Killed in Combat - If a Gladiator loses all his Body Points he may automatically drink any Healing Potion that he might have. If he is on a team of Gladiators and if a teammate can make it to and adjacent square during the next Movement Phase, he may give the stricken Gladiator a Healing Potion to drink. Likewise a teammate may cast a healing spell on the stricken Gladiator. If a Gladiator loses all his Body Points, and he has neither Healing Potion nor a teammate that can heal him, he has been killed. That Gladiator may not fight in the Arena any more, nor may he play as a Hero in another game of HeroQuest.

    2. Appealing to the Emperor - If a Gladiator has only 1 Body Point left he may appeal to the Emperor for mercy. To appeal to the Emperor the Gladiator rolls ONE Red die, adding 1 point to this die roll for each Body Point of damage that he has inflicted on his opponents.

      If he rolls a 6 or more, then the Emperor was pleased with his fighting and grants him mercy. While the Emperor has granted him his life, the Gladiator is still considered defeated.

      If he rolls anything else, the Emperor was not pleased and orders him killed immediately.

      Whether the Gladiator's appeal was successful or not, he has lost the battle.

      If more contestants are still fighting, a defeated Gladiator who has successfully appealed to the Emperor must make his way to the exit, doing his movements like normal. While he may not enter combat, he is now an obstacle to the other Gladiators who may not move into the square where they are currently located.

      If more contestants are still fighting, a dead Gladiator's figure is turned on its side in the square where the Gladiator was slain. This Gladiator has become an obstacle to the other Gladiators, who may not move into the square.

      If a Gladiator accidentally hits another who has successfully appealed to the Emperor, whether with spell or weapon, then this Gladiator immediately incurs the wrath of the Emperor, who orders him slain. Archers surround the Emperor, ready to carry out his wishes, so be wary!

  8. Gold, Experience, and Increasing in Levels.
    At the end of each arena battle, gold and experience is awarded to the victors.

    1. Gold - 100 gold points is awarded to the Gladiator or Team of Gladiators for each defeated opponent. The gold is evenly divided between members of Gladiator teams. The Emperor graciously awards teams any extra gold needed to make the amount come out evenly for all team members.

    2. Experience - One Experience Point is awarded to Gladiators for each defeated opponent. These should be noted on the Gladiator's Hero sheet.

    3. Increasing In Levels.
      A Gladiator may increase in level for the first time by spending TWO Experience Points. He may increase in level a second time by spending FOUR Experience Points, a third time by spending SIX Experience Points, a fourth time by spending EIGHT Experience Points, and so on. Mark any spent Experience Points off the Gladiator's sheet.

      Increasing in level allows the Gladiator to add 1 to any of his stats. A Gladiator may add an extra die to his Attack or Defend rolls, or an extra point to his movement rolls, Body Points, or Mind Points. These numbers are cumulative, and may be added to as many times as the Gladiator increases his levels.

      Note that the rules for increasing in levels is only intended for use with a straight GladiatorQuest game. If playing with Heroes from a HeroQuest game that you intend to use in HeroQuest again, you may wish to use other rules for increasing in levels. Using these rules will make your Heroes VERY strong VERY quickly. Alternately, since GladiatorQuest is more dangerous than regular HeroQuest, you may wish to allow regular Heroes to use these rules as a reward.

  9. Other Notes.
    1. Except for daggers, which may be carried in the belt, Gladiators may not carry sheathed weapons into battle. All weapons must be in the Gladiator's hands. This means that a Gladiator may carry at most two weapons or a shield and a weapon. If a two-handed weapon is carried, the Gladiator may not carry a shield.

    2. Gladiator's enter arena battles fully healed.

    3. In between battles Gladiator's may spend gold on weapons, armor, and potions. If you are playing this in a game of regular HeroQuest, and the Gladiators are slaves, then all money won goes to the Gladiators' owners. It is up to the owner whether the Gladiator receives any new weapons, armor, or potions.

    4. Unless they are slaves, Gladiator's may end their careers in the arena at any time.

    5. At the end of a battle, any thrown weapons that are not picked up are lost.

    6. This game can be played as a freestanding game, or used in a quest. Some quest ideas might be to use this as a way for the Heroes to raise money, to have the Heroes captured and turned into Gladiator slaves, or maybe they are captured and must prove their worth to a ruler. If the Heroes are slaves, perhaps they must win their freedom, or maybe they start a Gladiator revolt.

    7. Be creative with the Gladiators. Orcs, Fimir, and Chaos Warriors would make good Gladiators. Gargoyles may be too strong against a single novice Gladiator, but you could do a 'two-on-one' match. Here are some stats to use for monsters (feel free to make up your own):

      Starting Weapon
      Goblin 4 1 Dagger or a Hatchet
      Orc 5 2 Sword, Flail, or Axe
      Fimir 6 3 Axe
      Skeleton 4 0 Scythe - does 2 Attack dice of damage
      Zombie 5 0 Axe
      Mummy 6 0 None - their touch does 3 Attack dice of damage
      Chaos Warrior 7 3 Battle Axe
      Gargoyle 8 2 Whip and/or Short Sword
      Chaos Wizard 4 6 Dagger
      Note: allow the Chaos Wizard to choose any 6 chaos spells to use in a quest.

      No Monster begins with any armor, but each starts with 2 Defense dice like Heroes.

      You can find descriptions of some of these weapons on my Armory Page.

    8. Special Combats - The Emperor enjoys watching special combat contests. Anything different will appeal to his tastes. You may wish to try some of these:

      1. Contests which pit a single opponent against multiple opponents.

      2. Contests where only bows are used, with no other hand-to-hand weapon or armor allowed. The combatants must either use their bows or fight with their fists (see unarmed combat rules).

      3. Contests where only magic may be used. Only once all of a Gladiators spells are used up may he use a weapon, or perhaps only unarmed combat is allowed.

      4. Contests where only daggers may be used. This works best for Gladiators of the 'Light' type. Each Gladiator is allowed the same number of daggers, ranging from 1 to 12. Don't forget that daggers may be thrown.

      The Emperor rewards Gladiators with double the amount of gold for these special contests!