Deck Box Dungeons Adapted for Advanced Heroquest


Advanced Heroquest (AHQ) is a complex, out-of-print game, while Deck Box Dungeons (DBD) is portable with simple rules. This guide outlines how to adapt DBD to mirror the AHQ experience, incorporating small rule changes and custom cards.

Expedition System & Village Retreats

  • AHQ Expedition System: Players can retire to a village between Dungeon Levels.
  • Henchmen: Provided to each player if fewer than 3 players participate. None for 3 or 4 players.
  • Purchasable Upgrades: In the village, buy Power-Up cards, replacement Henchmen, and healing items.
  • Finances: Loot is doubled to support these purchases, although it won't be easily acquired.
  • Character Persistence: Characters continue between expeditions and are subject to permadeath.
  • Wandering Monsters: Random chance for these to appear in corridors or rooms with doors.

Quest & Dungeon Details

  • DBD Quest File: Three random text options for each room, flavored to AHQ.
  • Bonus Items: Expect to find one armor and one weapon bonus item during the quest.
  • Special Last Level: An earlier choice can affect the outcome of the last Dungeon level.


  • Skaven Foes: Including Warpfire Thrower with an area effect and a Plague Monk who casts spells.
  • Corridor Cards: New corridor cards may appear between Quest rooms, featuring random enemy spawns.

New Cards

  • Standard DBD Enemies: Now with Skaven graphics.
  • Specific Skaven: Warpfire Thrower and Plague Monk, with rules on the cards.
  • Level Up Cards: Two per player.
  • Enchanted Cards: One weapon bonus card and one defense bonus card.
  • Special Corridors: Cards featuring corridors with doors.
  • Dwarf Ability Card: Custom card for dwarves.

Simplified Rules

  • Complete the DBD Quest file three times to earn 1/4 of the Shattered Amulet (12 plays total, or 9 plays for 1/3 of the Amulet).
  • Enemy Skaven get a free adjacent Hero attack if they achieve a hit with a +3 bonus.
  • Optional Village Visits: Replace Henchmen for 10 loot, heal 2 points for one loot, or buy weapon/defense bonuses for 10 loot each.
  • Fate Points: Earned for skipping village visits and can be used to turn a dice roll in your favor.

Additional Features

  • Fancy New Cards: Includes generic Henchman ability cards.
  • Random Card Spawns: Chance for a new room/corridor card to appear, with spawn points in the corridor or behind room doors.


For 3D, visit Advanced Heroquest on Thingiverse.

AHQ Features Breakdown

Game Structure
  • Dungeon Levels: 3-level Dungeon in AHQ, where each level is equivalent to a DBD Game.
  • Quest Composition: A 4-Dungeon Quest made up of 12 interlinked DBD Games.
Character Progression
  • Level Up: Purchase primary stat increases using gold, easily implemented with bonus cards.
  • Henchmen: Recruit a fighter using gold before entering the dungeon.
Currency and Rewards
  • Gold: Amount increased to support leveling up and hiring henchmen.
Races and Classes
  • Races: Humans, Dwarves, and Elves with specific traits. For example, Dwarves are tough but slow, while Elves are agile archers.
  • Race Card: Create Dwarves or Elves by modifying Ability Card base stats, or use specific Character Cards like Legolas or Gimli.
  • Classes: Four main types—AHQ Barbarians, Warriors, Clerics, and Wizards.
    • Wizards are any AHQ hero without armor and weak weapons.
    • Clerics are not specifically governed by AHQ rules; can be considered as DBD Oathsworn.
Enemies and Combat
  • Enemies: Primarily Skaven, but also includes Orcs, Chaos Warriors, Fimirs, Goblins, Skeletons, Zombies, and Gargoyles.
  • New Cards: New enemy cards and potentially new colored dice are required.
Dungeon Mechanics
  • Layout: Modular tiles create corridors and special elements like Quest Rooms, pools, mosaics, statues, traps, chasms, and tombs.
  • Quest Rooms: Each room offers a random choice between three room texts.
Miscellaneous Features
  • Doors: DBD lacks doors; the closest mechanism is room revelation.
  • Energy: Not a feature in AHQ.
  • Exiting Dungeon: Players can leave a more dangerous dungeon to heal and re-enter.
Special Abilities
  • Fate Point: Can be used to undo all damage in a turn or convert a failed dice roll into a success.
  • Fumble: Rolling a natural 1 grants the enemy an extra attack.
Random Elements
  • Corridors and Wandering Monsters: Random encounters are possible between different areas.

AHQ Dungeon Mechanics

  • The general idea is to lead an AHQ party through a dungeon with three distinct levels.
  • One AHQ level corresponds to a single DBS Game, so: 3 DBS Games = 1 AHQ Dungeon.
  • Four AHQ Dungeons combine to form a single epic AHQ Quest.
  • Players can exit the dungeon after clearing the first or second levels to visit a village.
  • The village visit allows players to rest before returning to the next unexplored level.
  • Opting to advance to the next level without resting at the village earns players a fate point.
  • Players must proceed cautiously; many parties perish while trying to clear all three levels without rest.
  • Characters persist between dungeons, subject to permadeath and fresh replacement.

Upgrades and Rewards

  • Between dungeon levels, the party can purchase persistent level ups and henchmen.
  • Loot drops are doubled to facilitate these transactions.
  • Early levels present a significant challenge to newcomers.

Enemy Mechanics

  • Enemies possess Skaven cards, making level 3 enemies more perilous than those in DBD.
  • As the Quest advances (from game 3-9), all level 3 enemy dice rolls get a +1. After game 9, it's a +2.
  • Abundant treasure makes healing possible, but completing all three levels without a village rest is difficult.

Custom Levels and Quests

  • A 3-level AHQ dungeon is represented by three custom levels.
  • Those seeking a Quest will need to clear four identical dungeons, comprising 12 DBD games.
  • Levels range from 1 to 12.

Monster and Loot Mechanics

  • Monsters with a +3 level receive specific bonuses:
    • Levels 4-8: +1 to all die rolls.
    • Levels 9-12: +2 to all die rolls.
  • Loot drops are doubled.

Henchmen and Fate Points

  • Henchmen are available for purchase at 15 loot and can be created using unused cards.
  • A 20-loot purchase bestows a player with a +1 to both attack and defense dice rolls.
  • A Fate Point is awarded to each player who progresses from one level to the next without visiting the town.

Game Progression

  • Upon completing a DBD game, players have two options:
    1. Continue with existing character stats, gaining a fate point.
    2. Restore health and spend gold on henchmen or level ups.
  • Each DBD game is equivalent to half an AHQ dungeon.
  • Finishing the second DBD game reveals a Quest Location.
  • Four Quest Locations (or 8 DBD games) result in the acquisition of the Shattered Amulet.

Skaven Types

  • Level 3 Skaven enemies are either Warpfire Throwers (who can shoot 2 adjacent players) or Warlords.

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