A Partial Advanced HeroQuest FAQ
(original version posted to rec.games.miniatures on 31 July 1995; last updated 13 Mar 2008)
Q: What does "AHQ" stand for?
A: For convenience, "AHQ" is an abbreviation for Advanced HeroQuest. "HQ"
refers to HeroQuest, "WQ" refers to Warhammer Quest, and "WFB" refers to
Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
Q: What is Advanced HeroQuest?
A: Advanced HeroQuest is a board game published by Games Workshop in 1989. It is no longer in print, and was succeeded by Warhammer Quest. (At the time that this FAQ was originally written, Advanced HeroQuest was still available in stores, and Warhammer Quest was just first coming out.)
In Advanced HeroQuest, a group of Warriors and Wizards (Dwarves, Humans and Elves) ventured forth into a dungeon (either randomly generated, or designed by a GM or Game Master), fought monsters, accumulated treasure, and used Gold Crowns to better their characters by the acquisition of better equipment and training.
The original boxed set included die-cut cardboard "dungeon tiles" -- printed cardboard floor plans, including corridor, corner and intersection pieces that linked together much like a jigsaw puzzle, but could be interchanged -- stand-up plastic hinged doors, several "Skaven" (rat man) monsters, a set of four adventurers (Human, Dwarf and Elf Warriors, and one Human Bright Wizard), several "Henchmen" (warriors that can be hired by the adventurers, armed with various melee weapons), counters, a 12-sided die, and a rulesbook.
The game was made available both in the United Kingdom and the United States in hobby stores, listing somewhere in the vicinity of $40. Used copies of Advanced HeroQuest occasionally are sold over the Internet, but due to the game's out-of-print status, it's typically treated as a collector's item.
The Advanced HeroQuest game is loosely set in the Warhammer Universe (or an iteration thereof), and has basic elements of a role-playing game, though it is also designed to be played as a fairly complex board game. It is possible to play the game without a GM moderator, by using the "random dungeon generation" rules and various tables for resolution -- In fact, the box touted the fact that it allowed for "solo play." Character sheets are fairly small, printed on a journal-sized page (5.5" x 8.5"), and the game is based on a d12 (12-sided die) system.
Q: Can you mail me a copy of Advanced HeroQuest and/or the supplements?
A: Sorry, no. I recommend that you check sites such as EBay. Either that, or petition Games Workshop
to release Advanced HeroQuest again?
Q: Did you help design Warhammer Quest, did Games Workshop borrow your ideas, or did you write your
house rules after Warhammer Quest was released?
A: I have had no part in designing any games released by Games Workshop, nor have I had any input in these things. This is just a fan-made page. Any "rules" presented here are house rules, and by their inclusion I do not mean to suggest that they are in any way authoritative or that I have any relationship with Games Workshop. I don't. None of these house rules are official, and none of this is meant as a challenge to copyright or trademark status of any creation of Games Workshop.
Q: What spell colleges are available for Wizards? Where can I find them?
A: In the Warhammer World, the spell colleges are divided into the following
categories, only some of which are defined for Advanced HeroQuest:
||Healing, fighting undead, power of the earth
||Alchemy, potions, the elements
||Nature, forests, forces of life and decay
||Astrology, the heavens, fate and fortune
||Weather, travel, knowledge and wisdom
||Mind, emotion and empathy
||Wilderness, beasts, inner strength
The Bright College spell list is described in the AHQ boxed set.
The Light College is introduced in the Terror in the Dark supplement.
The Jade College is introduced in White Dwarf #121, in The Quest for
Sonneklinge. The version posted on this site is modified from the original, in an attempt to make it
The Amethyst College is introduced in White Dwarf #125, in The Dark
Beneath the World. The version posted on this site is modified from the original, in an attempt to make it
Spells for Dark Magic, Skaven Magic and Necromancy are listed in the AHQ boxed set and Terror in the Dark, and are not available to player characters. The lists that I have on this site are modified from those original lists.
No official spell lists have been defined by Games Workshop for the
remaining spell colleges for use with AHQ. The spell lists that appear on this site are not official, though they draw
inspiration from Warhammer Battle Magic spell cards. (My "Ice Magic" list is derived from the spells available to
the Ice Queen of Kislev from the 4th Edition Empire Army Book.)
Spell lists present on this site are house rules - that is, written by a third party (me), or significantly altered from the original. They are by no means official, though they may draw heavily from other Games Workshop products.
Q: What is White Dwarf?
A: White Dwarf is a magazine published by Games Workshop. Originally, it was a general role-playing magazine that printed articles about and for various popular games, but it eventually became exclusively devoted to printing material for games produced by Games Workshop and Citadel Miniatures.
Q: What articles of White Dwarf contain information for use with Advanced
A: The following issues contain adventure scenarios, spell lists, or other
information for AHQ.
||The Quest for Sonneklinge (scenario and Jade spell list)
||The Priests of Pleasure
||The Dark Beneath the World (scenario and Amethyst spell list)
||The Trollslayer's Oath
||Henchmen (new followers for AHQ: the Dwarf Trollslayer, the Elf Wardancer, the Human Captain, and the Wizard's Apprentice -- this material is duplicated in Terror in the Dark)
||The Eyes of Chaos (has rules for both AHQ and HQ)
||The Changing Faces of Tzeench
||Rivers of Blood
Q: The Daemonette is listed as being able to cast "Flaming Skull of Terror."
However, the effect of that is to make the caster a Fearsome Monster, and
the Daemonette already is one. Is this an error?
A: Yes, this is an error. "Fireball" should be listed as the spell instead. (This answer was provided in correspondence from a Games Workshop representative.)
Q: Will Games Workshop be providing any more supplementary material for
A: Not likely. Advanced HeroQuest was discontinued in 1995, shortly before
announcement of the planned release of Warhammer Quest, its successor. HeroQuest was discontinued by Milton Bradley before
Q: Do I need HeroQuest to play Advanced HeroQuest?
A: No. The similar names may be a misnomer, although they are indeed related.
They are different, completely self-contained games, more or less set in the
same Warhammer universe. They are not compatible, although AHQ includes
optional rules that allow you to "convert" your HQ characters over to the
new system. More specifically, statistics are given for the Dwarf Warrior,
Barbarian, "High Elf" and Wizard, and there are rules for making use of the old
floorplan board, furniture pieces, and new statistics for treasure items.
The monster pieces are also useful in AHQ as well, as statistics are given
Q: Can I convert my AHQ characters over to Warhammer Quest?
A: No, not really. The two systems are fundamentally different, even more so
than the differences between HQ and AHQ. However, note that the character
selection is very similar. In HQ, you have a Barbarian, Elf, Dwarf and
Wizard. In AHQ, you have a Warrior, Elf, Dwarf and Wizard. In WQ, you
have a Barbarian, Elf, Dwarf and Wizard (plus rules for a Trollslayer, and a supplement that allows the Wardancer as a character). Their abilities are quite
different, but at least the roles are similar.
Q: Are there any other supplements for AHQ, other than Terror in the Dark?
A: None were released, other than some articles printed in White Dwarf.
Q: Warhammer miniatures of wizards carry swords, scythes, spears, et
cetera, and not just daggers. Why do wizards in AHQ only get to use daggers?
A: "Play balance." Advanced HeroQuest was written before the
later editions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle and the Battle-Magic
supplement that introduced us to sword-swinging (scythe-swinging, etc.) Battle
Wizards. With each new Warhammer game, there are often major changes in the
You can, of course, for your own games, use whatever house rules you like,
but keep in mind that Barbarians and Dwarves can't use spells -- the thing that
makes up for the Wizard's spellcasting is his limitation in armor and weapons.
If you do decide to let Wizards use swords (or other weapons), my
suggestion would be that you make up for this by lowering the Strength of
Wizard characters by 1 point.
Q: Can a player choose a Wardancer or a Trollslayer to be his or her Hero
A: Officially, no.
As a house rule, I've tried this, with mixed results. If you let a player try using
the character sheets provided in the Terror in the Dark supplement for the
Trollslayer or Wardancer as a player character as-is (i.e., with the statistics
exactly as written on the sheet, and with only 1 Fate Point to start with), I personally
think they work fairly well. However, the number of special abilities they have gives
them the potential to overshadow "ordinary" Wizards and Warriors. Your mileage may
Q: Swords and Axes/Warhammers appear to have the same statistics and price,
with the exception being that Axes and Warhammers can be thrown. Is there
any advantage that a Sword has over an Axe or Warhammer?
A: There is no apparent "advantage." They are just different types of weapon.
Q: The Elf isn't strong enough to use a Long Bow! Is this a mistake?
A: This is corrected on p. 53 of Terror in the Dark: "A Long Bow can be
used by a character with a Strength of 5 or higher, to allow the Elf to use it."
Q: Can a hero buy a bow without buying arrows?
A: In Terror in the Dark, it is clarified that this is possible. The prices
for the weapons (without arrows or bolts) are as follows:
Short Bow, 10 GCs; Bow, 15 GCs; Long Bow, 40 GCs; Crossbow, 30 GCs
Q: Can a hero sell swords and armor he picked up from Orcs and other monsters?
A: As clarified on p. 54 of Terror in the Dark, no. Equipment found on Orcs
and other monsters is useless. The weight is off, the items are in lousy
condition, and nobody will buy something that has been tainted by Chaos!
The one exception is that of Bows and Arrows. Short Bows, Long Bows and
Crossbows taken from monsters can be used by Heroes or their Henchmen, but
aren't quite as good. 1 damage dice must be subtracted from the usual
damage rolls when using these inferior weapons.
"If the Heroes find equipment taken from humans (or Dwarfs, Elves, etc.),
then this can be used normally and arrows fired from Bows will inflict
normal damage. ..."
Q: Are there any errors in the Monster Reference Tables?
A: Yes, and the corrections follow (as given in Terror in the Dark and other
FIMIR: The Fimir is a Large Monster.
DAEMONETTE: The Daemonette casts Fireball, not Flaming Skull of Terror.
OGRE CHIEFTAIN: This should be a Large Monster and Fearsome Monster.
CHAOS WARRIOR: The Chaos Warrior has only 4 Damage Dice.
CHAOS CHAMPION: That the Chaos Champion has a double-handed axe is NOT AN
ERROR. Followers of Khorne are particularly proficient with the axe,
and therefore do not have to follow the normal rule concerning double-
handed weapons and shields.
Q: How do I avoid combats "bottle-necking" in doorways?
A: You might want to look into how Warhammer Quest handles some of these
problems. They use bigger doorways (two spaces wide), allow diagonal
movement (except around corners), and the monsters are not actually placed
until the heroes have entered a room. These, of course, would involve "house rule"
changes to AHQ, and may significantly alter game play.
Q: Why do you make references to lanterns and torches? There's no mention of light sources in the rules.
A: Correct. Any mention made of light sources in the rules on this site is
a reference to my own house rules. If you don't use house rules for lighting, simply ignore
such references, as it should have no significant impact on game balance.
Q: Your rules for the (Amethyst College, Jade College, Light College, Bright College, Henchmen, various monsters, weapons, et cetera) listed here differ from what I read in the rules book. How much of this is official?
A: If you are not certain about a particular point, feel free to email me and ask. I'd be quite willing to explain what changes I've made and why. This is a site for my house rules, additions and expansions to the game, not for a complete set of rules to play the game by without having bought it for yourself. (Though, if I were sure that I wouldn't get in trouble with Games Workshop for it, I'd absolutely love to just post all the rules I have, for all to use!) Therefore, you can expect that whatever you read here is probably changed here or there at the very least from what is officially in print.
Q: Have you playtested your house rules? Are they balanced?
A: Yes, I've playtested them. No, I wouldn't swear by them being totally
balanced, though I've tweaked them over time to try to overcome problems as I've found
them. After all, I want to keep my own games fair. I wouldn't be absolutely
certain that the original Advanced HeroQuest was strictly balanced, either, but
my house rules were designed with a bias toward moderation by a "Game Master", rather than
using the Solo Play or "random dungeon" generation rules in the basic game. Not all of
my house rules would work well with the basic use of the game. For instance, the rules
for rogues and such would be useless with a random dungeon: Why have an ability to pick locks, if there are no
locks to pick?
If you find anything on here that is patently imbalanced - such as, for instance, a spell that duplicates one of the official ones, but is hands-down better without any trade-offs, or a profession that is in all ways better than a basic Warrior, with no drawbacks - then please feel free to alert me. In the meantime, if I discover any problems on my own, I'll make updates periodically.
Q: Where can I find official rules for Advanced HeroQuest?
A: The best method would be to actually buy a copy of Advanced HeroQuest, but that's
getting increasingly hard to do, and fairly expensive, too. As of this writing, you can still find copies occasionally on
Q: Why do you have a web page devoted to an old game that is out of print?
A: I happen to like the game. I originally purchased a used copy of Advanced HeroQuest primarily for the purpose of acquiring the many Skaven miniatures included in the game, so that I could build up my Skaven army for Warhammer Fantasy Battle. I found that the cardboard dungeon tiles and plastic stand-up doors were very useful for use in general fantasy role-playing games, and -- just for fun -- I tried playing around with the rules of the game, to see how its "solo play" actually worked.
The novelty of playing this game solo wore off quickly, but I decided to try my hand at running a campaign for some players. Once I compiled the various tables scattered across the rules onto a "cheat sheet", and I managed to acquire a copy of Terror of the Dark over the Internet, and an extra copy of Advanced HeroQuest (minus the miniatures -- I wasn't the only one buying it just to build up a Warhammer Fantasy Battles army) I started running games at the local game store.
Unfortunately, just about the time I discovered Advanced HeroQuest, it was discontinued, and the game store lost its interest in me running "demo games" of a product they couldn't restock. I purchased Warhammer Quest (for about $60 at the time), and ran a "campaign" of that for a while. I eventually went back to playing a "hybrid" version of Advanced HeroQuest, borrowing a few rules (and pieces) from Warhammer Quest, with some local gamers.
Advanced HeroQuest is very simplistic, it doesn't lend itself well to "serious" roleplay, and character advancement has limited potential. If you play it exactly by the rules, gameplay depends a great deal upon arbitrary selection by random die rolls on charts.
However, the d12 "threshold" system of combat is fast, the system is simple enough that it can be tweaked without too many hidden dangers of imbalancing the game. If a GM takes the time to actually write up a story and moderate (rather than just falling back on the random dungeon generation rules), it's possible to have a fun game without being bogged down by complex combat resolution. The game has many board-gamish rules
to determine things via charts and die rolls that could just as easily be handled by the GM or by player agreement. For instance, if the rules
say that you have to roll dice to "choose the leader of the party," but the players are quite capable of choosing a leader on their own ... just let them choose on their own, no dice required.
Simple rules translate into a fairly short "learning curve" for new players, and I've found that this is a great game to run at gaming conventions because of it.
In order to run the game myself, I've put together a number of charts and sheets of supplemental information, and I figure that as long as I've gone to the trouble, I might as well put it up on a web page just in case there's anyone else there who shares an interest in the game, and might benefit from the material.
Q: Where can I get those custom AHQ fonts you had up here a while ago?
A: Sorry, they've been taken down. I received a notice from Games Workshop demanding that I remove them, so I did. I regret any