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This is the first in a series of session reports on using HeroQuest (2nd Edition) to run through The Enemy Within Campaign. Game mechanics are discussed in italics. The Enemy Within's pre-generated characters were adapted to HeroQuest using this Genre Pack. This report contains spoilers.

Three players each take on a character with a sidekick. The halfling herbalist Harbull Furfoot met the laborer Werner Murrman recently, and they are now fast friends. Wanda Weltschmerz, apprentice to the wizard Heironymous Blitzen, prefers her independence, but the unflappable rogue Kirsten Krank has been tagging along ever since Wanda told her what was written on that flier. Finally, the boatman Johann had rowed the wandering elf Malvar Giluviel around long enough to be lured into Malvar’s tales of adventuring. Johann has sold his boat and now strikes out with Malvar for Altdorf.

The three pairs had met on the road and been traveling together for a few hours, when they arrived at the Coach and Horses Inn in the early evening. As they approached, a coach belonging to the Four Seasons company is departing. Viewing this as an unremarkable occurrence, nobody tried to stop the coach, and they all proceed to the manure-ridden courtyard of the inn.

Inside, the innkeeper Gustav welcomed them, and Harbull was happy to engage in some friendly banter, hoping to inquire after a coach for himself and his friends. Werner could not resist enjoying a drink alongside him. Gustav told them about some strange lights to the east (“demons dancing amongst the stars”). He pointed out Gunnar and Hultz, two coachmen across the bar, who plan to head out for Altdorf in the morning, but warned that it was likely to rain the next day.
Wanda seeks some alone time in a corner, carefully observing the inn’s clientele. It takes her a few minutes to notice that Kirsten is nowhere to be seen.

Meanwhile Johann and Malvar started a game with Phillipe, another barroom guest. After a couple initial losses, Phillipe starts a streak of wins that makes the pair suspicious. (No dice were rolled for these games.) Malvar called upon his experience as a well-traveled Minstrel to see if he could notice Phillipe cheating in anyway, thus introducing the first contest for the session. The Narrator deemed this a stretch on Malvar’s part (-6 penalty), but figured Phillipe wasn’t much of a professional, so made the Resistance 8 (Base 14 - 6). Malvar rolled a 2 against a 13 (Minstrel 19 - 6), while the Narrator rolled a 5, resulting in a Marginal Victory for Malvar.

Malvar remembered that he’d seen something about the way Phillipe played the cards in a gambling house of ill repute before, but he can’t quite pin it down. He immediately ended the game and went to look for Kirsten. Johann, unsure of what got into Malvar, left Phillipe as well.

It turns out that Kirsten had been lurking in the shadows all along, watching this exchange. Kirsten’s player asked to see if she could identify what trick Phillipe was using. Using her experience as a Thief, she rolled a 14 against a 1, while the Narrator rolled a 17 against a 14, assuming normal Resistance. This is Marginal Victory for Kirsten, but her Mastery boosts it to a Minor Victory.

Kirsten noticed that Phillipe was feeding aces into his deck and began a ruse to even the score. She proposed that she swipe Phillipe’s deck for one of her own and then best him in a match herself. Kirsten first used Practical Joker 13 to try to Augment her subsequent roll. Figuring the likelihood that Phillipe doesn’t notice that he’s using different cards is pretty low, the Narrator set the Resistance to Very High (2W). Kirsten rolled a 9 against the Narrator’s 3, resulting in a Minor Defeat.

Phillipe noticed Kirsten’s little ruse but did not take offense. Instead he insisted they use a third deck that he of course produced on the spot. Kirsten, still feeling emboldened, tried to beat Phillipe at his own game anyway. Kirsten rolled a 12 against Thief 1W. Given that the group’s previous victories have been minor, the Narrator goes easy on this exchange, set Phillipe’s Gambling Ability at 14 and added 6 in this case because it was more specific than Thief. He rolled an 11, resulting in a Marginal Victory for Kirsten!

Kirsten managed to pull of a few wins despite Phillipe’s continued cheating, but only by playing a few tricks of her own. Unfortunately, Phillipe noticed that she was playing his own game and ironically had no problem calling her out as a cheater.

Alert to this disturbance, Wanda immediately tried to put Phillipe asleep with a spell. Apart from the augment failure, the heroes have had three victories in a row, so the Narrator decided to make this one tougher. Impaired by the wine she had been drinking, Wanda went against a Resistance of 20 (Hard) with her Sleep 2W Ability. She rolled an 8, while the Narrator rolled a 3, resulting in a Marginal Victory for Wanda.

Fighting back her own wine-induced drowsiness, Wanda mumbled the words to her sleeping spell from across the room. Her casting a little off, she ended up putting Kirsten to sleep instead of Phillipe, but the result is the same nonetheless. When he saw Kirsten doze off nonchalantly, Phillipe lost his vitriol, looked around puzzled, and then hurried upstairs. Soon thereafter, the heroes followed suit and went to bed.

The next morning was overcast and gloomy, and the drunken coachmen slow to rise. After breakfast and ready for departure, the heroes joined with other travelers outside and realized there was not enough room in the coach for everyone. Nobody viewed this as a big deal, and the adventurers agreed to ride on the roof. Phillipe was among the other travelers, and Kirsten schemed how to have the last laugh.

Finally embarking, the coach ramped up to a paltry plod, and the well-traveled Malvar realized they will not make it to the next inn before dark. The coachmen mumbled about their headaches and were thankful to hand the reins over to Werner, who hoped to remember a vague notion of driving a cart from his days as a laborer. While he improved the pace slightly, it soon began to rain, drenching the adventurers and slowing the pace to a plod once again.

Shortly after joining the main road, the travelers came upon the Four Seasons coach that passed the adventurers the day before. Here, a grisly figure seemed to be feeding upon human flesh before turning and rushing, dagger in hand, toward the oncoming coach. Kirsten was shocked to recognize the figure as her old friend Rolf, now decaying and deformed. As he leaped toward Werner and the coachmen, both horses broke loose, one of them dragging Werner to the ground. Rolf turned toward this easy prey and pounced.

Here was our first opportunity for a Group Simple Contest. The group agreed they were trying to rescue Werner and chase off or kill Rolf. Rolf wanted to have a fresh corpse to feed on, preferably from the being immediately in front of him--Werner. Werner himself attempted to fend off Rolf with his own brawny Laborer self, at -6 due to the lack of specificity relative to Rolf’s impending dagger. Hurball attacked with his Sling 13, Wanda threw her Dagger 13, and Johann leaped into the fray with Sword 14. Malvar, feeling a bit useless, descended to comfort the other passengers, facilitating the eruption of Phillipe from the coach, who much to everyone’s surprise darted forth to attack as well. Noting the string of unmitigated victories for the PCs, the Narrator decided to bring it with Rolf, setting the Resistance to 2W (Very Hard). Werner rolled a 1 to Rolf’s 6 for a miraculous +2 for his side. Hurball rolled a 17 against Rolf’s 6 (again), for a -1. Wanda rolled a 7 to Rolf’s 2 for a -2. Johann rolled an 8 to Rolf’s 17 for a +1. Phillipe rolled a 9 to Rolf’s 4 for a -1. The end result is a -1 in favor of Rolf.

Werner grabbed Rolf just as he pounced on him and managed to hurl him like a sack of wood chips against the cart. This took Hurball by surprise, whose slingshot went awry and accidentally nailed Werner in the face. Rolf grabbed Wanda’s dagger out of the air and uses it to slay one of the coachmen. Johann managed to land a blow on Rolf but parries Phillipe’s attack, thinking him unfriendly, and thus giving Rolf a chance to scurry off, a severed limb from the coachman in hand. In the end, Werner was safe, but battered from Hurball’s accidental blow (-3 penalty until end of session).

The group was a little dismayed at this outcome. They felt that five on one should have put the odds in their favor and found it implausible that they had a tie before Phillipe’s “contribution.” In fact, they noted that were it not for the “group” effort, Werner would have won the Contest single-handedly!

The travelers suddenly heard screams from around the bend, but the adventurers’ recent stumble has them hesitant to investigate. One of the passengers, a noblewoman from Altdorf was presumptuous enough to “command” them to take a look, but they instead decided to start heading by foot back the way they came. Realizing they have little choice, the other passengers follow along.

The screams eventually faded in the distance, replaced by the sound of hooves. The group rushed off the road to hide in the woods. A few minutes later, five roadwardens galloped down the road with a coach in tow. The travelers agreed to make themselves known, and Harbull rushed forth to greet the riders. Initially friendly, the roadwardens stiffened when Johann emerged from the woods, and their captain commanded that he be surrounded. He called one of the roadwardens to him, and after a few whispers that roadwarden moves to the coach, looking disturbed.

The players started to discuss their escape plan, but the Narrator was quick to cut them off so he could complete the first railroad of the adventure.

The roadwarden at the coach called out, “He’s still here!” His captain looked notably relieved and called his men off Johann. Now somber, he reported that Johann will find some sad news in the coach and made way for Johann and his friends to take a look.

Inside the coach, the adventurers were stunned to find a corpse that looked exactly like Johann! Johann did not have any siblings, much less a twin, so he was as mystified as his companions. He mentioned that his family was killed by bandits when he was very young, so perhaps he had a sibling he never knew about. None of them thought to search the body in view of the roadwardens, but fortunately one of them stepped forward and offered Johann a parchment that he says they found on the body.

Johann handed the parchment to Wanda, who read it aloud. Shockingly, Johan’s twin was set to inherit a massive fortune in Bogenhafen. The adventurers almost immediately agreed that was to be their next stop. But the players all agreed this was obviously some kind of trap.

The roadwardens explained that they fought off a band of mutants up the road, the source of the howls the group had fled from. They helped them find their lost horses, so the travelers were soon on their way. Despite Malvar’s misgivings and the considerable delay, they made it to the Inn of the Seven Spokes shortly after dark.

The next day, they finish their journey to Altdorf. The players have agreed to abandon the initial call for adventurers from Prince Von Tasseninck, at least for now, and travel to Bogenhafen with Johann in the next session. Everyone receives three Hero Points, and Werner’s face feels better.

Apart from the Group Simple Contest, which probably should have been an Extended Contest, this session was very smooth and enjoyable. Players were safe to muck around with their Abilities early on, and there was some real tension--albeit forced--in the final contest.

Continued in Part II
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These were the starting Abilities for the pre-generated characters.

Harbull Furfoot: Herbalist 1W (Cure Disease +1, Heal Wounds +1, Herb Lore +1, Cooking +1), Halfling 16, Literate 13, Sling 14; Sidekick: Werner “Pickaxe” Murrman (Laborer - Carpentry 17, Slow to Infuriate 15, Hearty Drinker 15)

Wanda Weltschmerz: Wizard’s Apprentice 3W (Open +1, Sleep +1, Scroll Lore +1, Apprentice to Heironymous +1), Blather 13, Extremely Independent 13, Dagger 13; Sidekick: Kirsten Krank (Thief 1W, Practical Joker 13, Sixth Sense 13)

Johann “Rowlocks” Dassbut: Boatman 1W (Fishing +1, Orientation +1, River Lore +1, Rowing +1), Athletic 17, Family Killed by Bandits 13, Sword 13; Sidekick: Malvar Giluviel (Minstrel 19, Elf 15, Wanderlust 13)
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At first I misunderstood and thought you were running The Enemy Within with HeroQuest.



I wondered how you'd squeeze the campaign into a series of dungeons... then it dawned on me. blush

Mistaken Identity was the first roleplaying game I (and the rest of my group) ever played and we were fooled by the inheritance letter! We were young, naive and trusted our GM too much. laugh
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woodnoggin wrote:
At first I misunderstood and thought you were running The Enemy Within with HeroQuest.



I wondered how you'd squeeze the campaign into a series of dungeons... then it dawned on me. blush


Yeah, I had the same and thought it would be awesome. The Enemy Within Campaign Volume 2: Death on the Reik would work great but is extremely large. This is still awesome though.

Any reason why you are converting this to HeroQuest 2? Particular fondness of the system? Hate the Warhammer system?
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Kwakkie wrote:
Any reason why you are converting this to HeroQuest 2? Particular fondness of the system? Hate the Warhammer system?


I really like HeroQuest 2 and wanted to see how it could handle a traditional adventure module and campaign track. I'd previously thought it good only for completely open-ended stuff, but it's been working quite well so far.
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